A commonly overlooked use of leftovers from your weed bag is a beautiful thing called tea. Though cannabis is known for not having water soluble properties, our favorite herb can easily be made into an herbal infusion. In turn, that can be made into a plethora of other things. Take a second and think of how many things you consume or make with water. With a little time and effort, you can serve up the most amazing hot chocolate or apple cider that your family has ever experienced (that just may leave you in giggles and feeling amazingly relaxed).
There is a difference between teas and infusions. Herbal tea is easily made by adding a chosen herb to water and steeping it for a few minutes. This material needs to be dry and clean. Using a tea ball, bag, or filter can give you a nice relaxing drink with not too much of a canna high. Herbal infusions use a larger amount of herbs and are steeped for a longer period of time. Encouraging the plant parts to break down through gentle heat and agitation allows the full spectrum of cannabis’ effects to become bioavailable to our bodies, ensuring a greater and more long lasting high.
Passive infusions use no applied heat or pressure. An example of a passive infusion is the “sun tea” method — you put the herbs in a jar of water outside and the sun does the rest. This is the most pure infusion you can make with little effects on taste or color. The length of sun steeping is dependent on personal tastes.
With aggressive infusions such as boiling teas for a duration of time or adding an edible solvent, you may experience darker colors or a more potent cannabis taste from your infusions. When you apply even the smallest drop of butter or olive oils to your tea, the cannabinoid molecules burst at higher rates when heat is added. This makes for full bioavailability of all the cannabis effects, so your recipes and ideas have the most long-lasting benefits.
When your cannabis infusion is done to your liking you can easily bottle or freeze it (canna popsicles are yummy) for the future. When combining with other infusions while cooking with cannabis, such as butter or infused sugars, remember you are doubling the number of cannabinoids for that product, and you can easily add too much and put the party to sleep. The number of things you can cook with your “weed water” is endless. Try making rice or your favorite hot cider or cocoa. Or, try jello, holiday stuffing, gravy, lemonade, cranberry sauce, soup. As you can see, pretty much anything you can make with water can be made with your canna infusion!