People consume CBD tea to alleviate pain, anxiety, and to help with sleep or weight management. Learn more. Curious about CBD and its side effects? Here are some tips and insight from someone who tried it in their tea for a week. Hemp tea is not necessarily the same thing as CBD tea. Tea with actual Hemp leaves is a superior choice to tea with added processed CBD, whether in powdered or crystal form.
CBD tea for anxiety, pain, and weight loss
There are many ways to consume CBD, including drinking it as tea. People consume CBD tea to alleviate pain, anxiety, and to help with sleep or weight management. The easiest way to make it is with pre-packaged tea bags or adding CBD oil to a cup of tea.
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If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Tea is the answer to most problems. You may have seen these words plastered on a co-worker’s favorite mug. Or if you frequent the tea aisle at your local grocery store, you might feel these words in your soul.
Black, green, herbal––there are plenty of types of tea, and now CBD is hitting the scene. You likely won’t find CBD tea at a typical supermarket, though you can probably find it in specialty shops or online. Let’s take a look at what’s in CBD tea, its potential benefits, and how to make it at home.
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What is CBD tea?
As you can probably guess from the name, CBD tea is a beverage that contains cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in cannabis plants.
Unlike THC, another well-known cannabinoid, CBD isn’t psychoactive and doesn’t get you “high.” It doesn’t have mind-altering effects associated with marijuana (like euphoria) and is commonly used to treat pain or anxiety (VanDolah, 2019).
CBD products have grown in popularity following the legalization of hemp, a strain of Cannabis sativa that has high CBD levels and trace amounts of THC (Abernathy, 2019).
What is CBD tea used for?
Cannabis in general has been used for centuries. Given its low risk for misuse and abuse, medical researchers have been very interested in CBD for its purported health benefits.
Currently, the only FDA-approved use for CBD is in the form of a medication called Epidiolex, which is used in combination with other medications for the treatment of a rare childhood seizure syndrome (Greenwich, 2020). People report using CBD on their own to treat a range of conditions like (Corroon, 2018):
- Chronic pain
- Insomnia and other sleep issues
- Migraines and headaches
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
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How to make and take CBD tea
An obstacle with hemp tea and other edible forms of cannabis, like gummies, is absorption.
Cannabinoids are fat-soluble molecules, meaning they need other oils and fats to be absorbed properly. That’s why many pre-packaged CBD tea bags include fat-rich ingredients like coconut oil. Drinking CBD tea right after a meal or with a fatty snack can also help your body absorb it (Devinsky, 2014).
There are many ways to make CBD tea, but it’s not as easy as soaking hemp plants in hot water. To extract CBD from a hemp flower, it needs to be processed and mixed with a binding agent.
If you’re new to CBD tea, pre-packaged bags are a convenient option. They typically contain hemp, tea leaves, and other herbs. Like conventional tea bags, they only need to be steeped in hot water. Many popular brands, such as Buddha Teas and The Brothers Apothecary, will tell you how much CBD each tea bag contains.
Another option is to add hemp oil to a cup of tea. If you’re planning on making your own CBD tea at home, you might be wondering what type of tea you to add. If you’re not crazy about the earthy flavor of hemp, mixing in a fragrant herb like peppermint or cinnamon can mask the taste.
The type of tea you choose depends on your intentions, as certain herbs and teas have similar health benefits to CBD. While research on teas and herbal products is limited, here are some suggestions for making CBD tea at home.
CBD tea for pain
People turn to CBD for its purported pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties (Anand, 2021).
If you have inflammatory, joint, or nerve pain, CBD turmeric tea may be a good option. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Newer studies show that curcumin may also help with nerve pain (Basu, 2021).
If you already take medication for chronic pain, speak with a healthcare provider before taking CBD. While there is some evidence that cannabis combined with certain pain-relievers can alleviate pain, it can also affect how your body processes those drugs (Anand, 2021; Greenwich, 2020).
CBD tea for sleep and anxiety
The calming effects of CBD are some of the most well-studied. CBD has been shown to help manage anxiety and reduce stress associated with public speaking (Bergamaschi, 2011).
Sipping on a hot cup of CBD tea before bed can be soothing for people with insomnia. Adults prescribed CBD in New Zealand reported improved sleep when using CBD (Gulbransen, 2020).
Chamomile and other caffeine-free herbal teas are good options to add CBD into if you’re trying tea for sleep (Srivastava, 2010).
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CBD tea for weight loss
People often associate cannabis with having an increased appetite (the munchies), so it may be counterintuitive to think of hemp tea and weight loss. However, appetite stimulation is an effect of THC, the other main active chemical in cannabis plants––not CBD.
In clinical trials of pharmaceutical-grade CBD, around 20% of participants felt less hungry while using it (Greenwich, 2020). Animal studies suggest that CBD may help lower body weight and food intake, but there haven’t been any human studies yet to test this theory (Rossi, 2018).
If you’re looking to try it out, CBD and green tea make a good combo. Research shows that the antioxidants found in green tea can also aid in weight loss (Rondanelli, 2021). Whether you’re looking to try CBD tea to unwind or for overall wellness, there’s no shortage of options to explore.
I Tried CBD in My Tea, and Here’s What I Felt
Kimberly Holland is a highly regarded food editor and content creator, sharing her knowledge on turkey basting, pizza making, and random food facts for dozens of nationally known brands. She has also been a market editor for over 10 years, highlighting exciting and new kitchen and home products.
I’ve been burned by a lot of wellness fads in the past. Indeed, it’s been my job for over a decade to embrace what companies say will be the new “revolution” in health and personal care and make myself a guinea pig. I’ve tried many products, diets, or even retreats to determine if they have hope (probiotics) or belong at the bottom of the bin (rocker bottom shoes).
So naturally, with the rapid proliferation of CBD shops across the U.S., my nature brought me to the point where I had to try this much-hyped and ballyhooed product—and write about it, so you’ll know if it’s right for you or not. Are you someone thinking about trying hemp tea or CBD oil for the first time? I encourage you to let my experience be your guide. But before we get into my story, let’s go over some basics.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of several dozen active compounds found in cannabis. CBD’s popular first cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is the compound that’s associated with marijuana’s “high” or psychoactive effects. CBD has zero psychoactive effects.
However, research shows that CBD has some positive health benefits. For example, studies show:
So CBD Isn’t Marijuana?
No, it’s not. Some people confuse hemp with marijuana because they’re both types of cannabis. Indeed, both hemp and marijuana are different varieties of the same plant species, Cannabis sativa. But marijuana typically has between three and 15 percent THC, and hemp has less than one percent. CBD products, by law, cannot have more than 0.3% THC by dry weight.
In December 2018, the U.S. Congress removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. It is no longer illegal to possess hemp-derived products in all 50 states. That’s why you’ve likely seen so many stores popping up in your town, or even found your local spa or health food store selling CBD products.
My CBD Tea Experience
There’s a stigma, for better or worse, associated with marijuana that may be deterring people from trying CBD. I will be the first one to tell you that, as a rule, I’m no fan of the sensation of being “high” or stoned. I do, however, like and am always curious about, alternative treatments to health issues I face, whether it’s essential oil diffusers for headaches, acupuncture for low-back pain, or probiotics for regular tummy troubles. Because research shows CBD may help ease symptoms of anxiety, I decided it was a good option for me to try.
I started by using half a dropper of a 500-milligram tincture in a cup of green tea in the morning and a cup of herbal tea before bed. I did this every day for one week. Each half dropper delivers about 8 milligrams of CBD; a full dropper would be 16. Typical recommended doses for people trying CBD for the first time are between 20 and 40mg per day. However, research shows much higher doses are well tolerated.
The First Dose
My first experience with CBD was at night, after a long day of work. I was exhausted but decided to go ahead and give it a try. Many brands recommend you take CBD oil sublingually, or under the tongue, for a faster-acting effect. I chose tea in order to mask the bitter oil flavor of the tincture.
I don’t know if I can fully credit the CBD—I was very tired already—but I found myself quite relaxed within 15 minutes of finishing my cup of tea. I was asleep shortly after, and I had a very deep sleep that night. My sleep tracker recorded 100 percent sleep quality, with very little movement. That’s unusual for me, but again, it was a long, taxing day. My body could have been responding to the exhaustion, not the CBD. But I was certainly curious.
Over The Next Week
The next morning, I repeated the amount and felt nothing, not even a hint of relaxation. That’s OK. I’m typically more relaxed and refreshed in the morning as is, so it could be that I didn’t have any “symptoms” to alleviate.
Over the course of the next four days, I only noticed mild effects when I would take the CBD with my tea before bed. During the day, I felt nothing. I decided to up my dosage to a full stopper for the three remaining days. That’s when I began to notice some differences.
Upping The Dosage
On my first day with two full droppers (32mg), I felt incredibly relaxed, almost too relaxed. I struggled a bit to find motivation for work. Thankfully, it was a Saturday, so I could afford the luxury of laziness. I didn’t experience any “head” symptoms, like dopiness or feeling spaced out, as some people with higher doses report. But I did certainly feel a bit disconnected from my sense of drive. That night, when I used another whole dropper in my tea, I fell to sleep rapidly and slept harder than I had slept in some time.
The next day, the effects of my first higher-dose day weren’t as strong. I was able to accomplish my work and felt productive, but a certain “edge” was taken off my mind. When I work, I typically feel crunched or pinched by deadlines, even when I’m not late. The higher CBD didn’t fully erase the “urgency” I feel with my work, but it helped me feel calmer, less frantic.
For what it’s worth, my week with CBD counts as a win, and I will likely keep taking it, especially during periods of high stress or anxiety. I may also venture to try other options, like gummies. Other brands have different formulations that may make the effects of CBD more or less powerful, too. Though my total dose, even on the “high” dose days, was well within the recommended limits for a first-time user, I would be curious to see the impact of a higher dose. I’ll just be sure to do it on days when I don’t have deadlines.
It’s important to note that CBD use and products are still in their infancy, and newer, better products will probably be available in the next few years that will make these initial products look silly. Indeed, a study mentioned earlier suggests CBD is really, truly only beneficial in large doses (over 300 milligrams), so it’s possible the impacts people like myself do experience are minimal compared to what’s possible. As studies increase and products improve, the CBD landscape may change dramatically.
Is CBD Worth It?
My initial impression is a positive one. I fully believe people can have positive results after taking CBD for a variety of issues. In my experiment, I was only trying to treat anxiety, and I found it to be moderately helpful. It did not eliminate the anxiety or associated stress, but it felt as if it took the sharp edge off the running worries and constant stream of thoughts that I frequently experience. I felt calmer, though not at all “high.”
Where Should I Buy CBD?
If you are interested in trying CBD yourself, be sure to source high-quality CBD products. Unfortunately, CBD products have been dropping in quality in recent years, and they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That means you cannot know for sure, just by looking at a bottle, if you have a good product. Look for third-party lab tests—reputable companies will proudly promote them—and read a lot of reviews. Websites like Leafly and CannaInsider provide extensive reviews on effectiveness and potency.
Buyers guide to hemp and CBD tea
When looking for the benefits of CBD, it’s important to know exactly what product you are buying, and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Some companies are using the term ‘Hemp Tea’ in their products when there is no actual hemp included. Others are using the term ‘CBD’ in their product description but don’t have actual CBD in the ingredients!
What’s the difference between Tea with CBD and Hemp Tea?
There are two ways to get CBD in tea – through the hemp leaf itself or by adding CBD to regular tea such as herbal tea, black tea, green tea, etc. Hemp tea would be leaves from the hemp plant. But even hemp leaf tea doesn’t mean there is usable CBD!
Tea with CBD oil added
Advantage : Easy to obtain.
Disadvantage: When added to tea, CBD oil by itself is not water soluble. It requires additional ‘fat binder’ ingredients for your body to absorb. Some companies do not post the source of their CBD which can be contaminated with toxins. Also some may use isolate (cheaper) or full spectrum (more expensive) oils. We’ll explain the difference shortly.
Water Soluble or Nano CBD
Advantage: If it is true water soluble product, then your body should be able to absorb more of the CBD than just adding oil. The aim is to reduce the size of the oil droplets so that you can absorb the CBD.
Disadvantage: Some companies use this term without any sort of testing or verification. The term ‘nano’ has been greatly misused. We recommend educating yourself. A great resource can be found here. Regardless, it requires additional processing and adds cost to the product.
Full spectrum CBD versus isolate
If the tea has added CBD, is it an isolate or pure spectrum product? Generally isolates are lower cost and lower purity. Isolates also do not contain the entire range of cannabinoids, terpines and phenolics.
CBD Isolates are only effective at certain dose levels, and the effectiveness decreases with higher and lower doses. Meaning that some teas which have
Hemp tea itself may be a good option as it’s the least processed form of the plant. However this is one of the biggest areas of misinformation, and due to lack of regulation there are a lot of products being sold that simply are fraudulent. We recommend asking these questions:
- Does the tea actually contain hemp? Many firms will advertise themselves as Hemp tea, or use the word hemp but one look at the ingredients show CBD oil and not actual hemp.
- Hemp extract. Some companies will advertise a tea with many of the benefits associated with CBD (calming, relaxing). And while there are benefits to hemp extract / hemp seed oil – the main concern is that it contains ZERO CBD.
- Hemp flowers. These are usually sold to be smoked. Simply putting dried flowers in tea will result in virtually ZERO CBD absorption.
- Hemp leaves. Unless the leaves have been decarbed, simply added dried hemp leaves to tea will not result in much CBD being absorbed unless there are binders.
MAKE SURE THERE IS A TEST
Also known as a COA (Certificate of Analysis), any legit product being sold should be associated with a COA. While reading a COA may be confusing at first, it will at least show that the product has been tested by a third party that requires the amount of cannabanoids to be listed.
MINIMUM AMOUNT OF CBD
Ideal CBD dosing can vary greatly, but for every day use anything below 30mg will have questionable effects. Many products being sold have 5-15mg of CBD (of which not 100% will be absorbed) – which really isn’t worth consuming at such small quantities as they will have negligible effects.