This post was originally published on learngreenflower.com
You already know eating and inhaling cannabis provides a number of health benefits, but did you know you could be drinking it too?
Cannabis tea is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet. It is loaded with vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants.
People drink cannabis tea for alleviating everything from morning sickness to stress. Now, modern research has given us a much better idea of how it can improve our health.
Here are 7 incredible health benefits of drinking cannabis tea:
#1) Reduces Chronic Pain
Cannabis tea is ideal for pain relief. In fact, this is one of the primary reasons people choose to consume it.
The active ingredients in the plant are absorbed through the digestive track and liver.
The tea takes effect between 30-90 minutes after ingesting. However, the effects usually last around 4-8 hours, peaking at about 2-3 hours in.
Because of the slow acting, but long-lasting effects, cannabis-infused tea can be particularly helpful for those with chronic conditions such as cancer, AIDS, MS, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Instead of dosing several times throughout the day, one cup of tea provides extended pain relief.
BONUS TIP: For maximum cannabinoid absorption, consider drinking your cannabis tea on an empty stomach.
#2) Alleviates Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression are among the most common and pervasive ailments people experience.
Globally, it is estimated that 350 million people suffer from depression. And one out of every thirteen people worldwide is affected by anxiety. In fact, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States.
Cannabis tea has a number of healing qualities that can help here. Studies show that cannabis contains powerful nueroprotective properties and plays a major role in regulating emotional behavior.
These effects can be explained in part by the numerous components of cannabis. Cannabis contains antioxidants that help repair cells and protect DNA from damage. It also happens to be a potent anti-inflammatory, which can help with brain swelling.
Brain inflammation is a leading cause of depression and anxiety. By reducing inflammation, cannabis allows the brain to heal itself and overcome damage from stress.
Consuming cannabis tea is a soothing and milder way to medicate. Not only is the process itself therapeutic (sipping on a relaxing cup of tea) but the beverage is loaded with healing properties for your mental health.
#3) Improves Lung Health
Did you know cannabis actually enhances rather than inhibits lung functioning?
Unlike tobacco, cannabis acts as a bronchodilator rather than a bronchoconstrictor. In other words, cannabis actually decreases resistance in the respiratory track and increases airflow.
Also, researchers from Harvard University found that THC reduces tumor growth in lung cancer by 50 percent. In fact, THC also significantly reduced the ability of cancer to spread.
Cannabis tea offers an alternative to people who wish to experience the benefits of cannabis without smoking it. This can be especially beneficial for people battling respiratory ailments.
#4) Promotes Heart Health
Regular exercise and a healthy diet prevent many forms of heart disease. However, it may be time to add cannabis to the mix.
According to a study published in the journal Pharmacological Research, cannabinoids lower blood pressure and improve circulation in human tissue. Essentially, the compounds in cannabis open the arteries by causing them to relax and widen. This is significant because high blood pressure and blocked arteries are known to cause heart attacks and heart disease.
While smoking cannabis has been known to raise a person’s heart rate initially, drinking cannabis tea can greatly reduce (or negate) these effects. Particularly when a low to mild dose is used.
Drinking cannabis tea slows the onset of cannabis in the body because it must be absorbed by the digestive system. The effects are therefore gentler and milder as long as you don’t over-consume.
#5) Eases Symptoms of Nausea
Nausea is a symptom associated with several serious illnesses. Many people, especially those undergoing chemotherapy, experience nausea on a regular basis.
The active substance in cannabis, THC, has shown to relieve nausea and stimulate appetite. This is a huge factor in why so many cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy are turning to cannabis for relief. In fact, nausea and vomiting following chemotherapy is one of the best-supported therapeutic uses of cannabis according to the British Medical Association in their review of 13 studies.
Drinking cannabis tea can help reduce bouts of nausea and is easy on the stomach. Plus, drinking cannabis tea also increases appetite. This in-turn can help prevent severe weight loss and the nausea associated with chemotherapy for cancer patients.
#6) Alleviates Bowel Problems
Cannabis has a long and documented history of aiding in gastrointestinal relief.
For people suffering from gastrointestinal disorders such as IBS and Crohn’s disease, cannabis has shown to relieve cramping, constipation and diarrhea. Research suggests that cannabis interacts with the endogenous cannabinoid receptors in the digestive tract to reduce muscle spasms, pain, and improve motility.
Drinking cannabis tea could be a great way to target these symptoms related to the G.I. tract because those cannabinoids head straight for your gut.
So, instead of eating cannabis on an upset stomach why not drink it? Not only is the act of sipping on tea therapeutic in itself, but the healing properties of cannabis-infused tea enhance the experience.
#7) Prevent Onset of Alzheimer’s Disease
Could drinking cannabis tea really prevent Alzheimer’s Disease? According to science, that answer is yes.
A preclinical study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease revealed small doses of THC slowed the production of beta-amyloid proteins. Beta-amyloid proteins are a hallmark characteristic of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Although the findings are preliminary, numerous studies indicate that cannabinoids are neuroprotective – a key factor in preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Granted, no studies have been done evaluating the effects of cannabis tea for patients with Alzheimer’s yet. However, we do know that cannabis provides anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective capabilities.
Drinking cannabis tea is simply another way to supply the body with these powerful cannabinoids.
Tips for Brewing Cannabis Tea
People make cannabis tea in all sort of ways. You can find a lot of recipes online and no two are alike. Some are complex, others are simple. You can use buds, leaves, keif, and even stems.
The biggest thing to remember is that THC is not water soluble, so if you want potency you’ve got to first heat your cannabis with milk, butter, or coconut oil. This will allow the THC molecules to combine with the fat molecules, creating a psychoactive solution you’ll use for your tea.
Once you mix your tea into this solution, a lot or recipes call for 20-minutes of simmering in a covered pot, and then to let it cool for 40 minutes. And of course you may want to strain any remaining plant material from your beverage before drinking.
As our friends at Merry Jane point out, you can also add different herbs and spices to the mix for enhanced therapy or taste.
With any cannabis tea recipe you try, we highly recommend you start small so that you can experiment and find something that delivers the best results. Another reason to start small is that cannabis tea doesn’t store well and is better consumed fresh.