Not beer, not coffee, not even A Certain Name Brand Cola – The most popular beverage in the world (not including plain water) is tea. The UN Food & Agriculture Organization estimates over two billion cups of tea are consumed every single day, securing tea’s #1 spot on humanity’s drink of choice list. And while your average mug of tea will certainly do wonders to both relax the body and put a spring in your step, (most) teas won’t get you high.
But what if they could? If you’re here because you’ve been curious about using kief in your daily cup (or fifth daily cup) of tea, we have all the details you need to know below… and a few tips on potential alternatives if the original recipe isn’t to your liking. So read on for the full scoop on kief tea.
What is Kief?
We talk about kief at length in other articles on our site but for a quick refresher, what we call “kief” is the bit of powdery crystal that falls away from the cannabis bud after it’s been agitated. If you’ve ever used a weed grinder with a kief collecting screen at the bottom, then you know what we’re talking about – The dusty material left at the bottom? That’s kief.
Kief can be used in a wide variety of applications, from making hashish to being used in edibles, but trying to ingest your kief raw isn’t likely to do you much good. The reason for this is a process called “decarboxylation” or “decarbing.” In its natural state, the cannabis plant does not contain THC – It instead contains THCA, a chemical that, on its own, won’t get you high.
When THCA is exposed to heat over time, it turns into THC, which has psychoactive properties; this means that if you just eat marijuana (or kief) in its raw state, you’re likely to be left disappointed if you were looking for a buzz.
Can I Add Kief to My Tea?
Well, you certainly can, but whether or not this fashion of “kief tea” will get you what you’re looking for is a whole other topic. But, again, all cannabis must go through a decarbing process before it becomes “active” – Without being decarbed, kief simply cannot get you high.
But how much heat do you need to decarb kief? Well… this is a tricky topic with a fairly uncertain answer. But what we can say for sure is that you need more than the average cup of tea will provide. Way more.
As we said above, decarbing is the process of exposing THCA to heat over time to transform it into THC – Keywords: “over time.” Outside of literally lighting it on fire and inhaling the smoke (as per the traditional methods), decarbing your cannabis requires a steady temperature at a length of no less than 30 to 45 minutes, often in excess of an hour. Your cup of tea sitting on the counter will not maintain a temperature that high for long enough to matter.
What this means is that any advice you’ve read on the internet telling you it’s ok to just throw a spoonful of kief into your tea is not going to work. Sorry to say. Without being decarbed, cannabis cannot and will not get you the buzz you’re likely seeking, so save yourself the time, effort, and wasted kief; “kief tea” made with raw kief will probably leave you sober and very disappointed.
How To Properly Make Kief-Infused Tea
Now that said, while kief that hasn’t been decarbed won’t give you any psychoactive benefits, using kief that has been properly decarboxylated will make kief tea just fine. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should, and we’ll explain why below.
Steeping Kief in Tea
In theory, steeping tea and steeping kief (or any part of the cannabis plant ) are the same basic actions & ideas – Take a form of plant matter, put it in hot water, let the chemical compounds inside seep out, drink & enjoy. But while this works well enough for the flavonoids contained in tea, the cannabinoids contained in marijuana are a bit tougher customers and need a bit more heat and time before they begin to leech out.
Unfortunately, while keeping it at high heat for a long time may work for your cannabis, it will absolutely wreck your delicate tea. Tea that has been over-brewed or steeped too long develops a tart, astringent quality from the tannic acid inside the tea leaves leeching out into the water. Meaning that while you can brew one or the other, brewing both at the same time for “kief tea” is… tricky.
That doesn’t mean all is lost. For example, if you have a batch of decarbed kief, you can dump it into your tea, stir well, and simply consume the kief as you drink – This will have the exact same effect as if you’d eaten it outright, only now you can consume it as a grainy, gritty drink product instead.
…. and if that didn’t exactly sell you on the concept, we can’t blame you. While this method will work for getting you high off your morning cup of tea, there are better ways to achieve the same end result.
Kief Infused Cream
We go over the details of many different infusion techniques in our article on “How to Make Edibles.” Still, the basic idea is to use a substance high in fat to steep your kief in before using that infusion to make kief tea – Things such as coconut oil, butter, or, in our case, cream. The cream is a popular addition to tea for many reasons and can make infusing your tea with THC vastly easier and more palatable (if you’d like something a bit less heavy, milk will also work).
Again, for a full recipe & methodology, check our related edibles articles linked above, but as a basic overview: Place your cream into a double boiler and bring to very low heat; you don’t even want it at a simmer, just make it enough to feel warm to the touch.
You can either place your kief directly into the cream or steep it using a sachet (like a tea bag). Leave your kief inside the cream for a minimum of an hour (preferably 2 – 4 hours) before removing from the heat, straining the kief out with a coffee filter if need be.
From here, your cannabis-infused cream is ready to be used however you like, though, for the purposes of this article, we’ll be assuming it as an addition to your tea. Just add in a few splashes, and you should be good to go, though bear in mind that like any other cannabis edible product, it could take a while before it kicks in – Anywhere from 45 minutes up to 2 hours.
Tinctures & Other Concentrates
Of course, the above can be a lot of work, and in truth, if you’re just looking for a quick way to make your morning brew give you a bit of extra pep, the easiest method is to forgo the kief and add in any form of infusion or concentrate you have hanging around. Tips like melting a cannabis hard candy or gummy into your tea work just as well as preparing your own infusion and allow for more precise dosage measuring if that’s something you need to keep track of.
Likewise, any cannabis tinctures or other infusions will work, too; simply add in a few drops or a splash to your cup of earl grey, and you’re ready to go. Ultimately a lot easier – and more predictable – than trying to add in kief itself.
So while you can make tea using kief, does that mean you should? Well… in our estimation, there are better ways of using your trichomes, and while making an infusion with your kief is a wonderful idea, using it to steep in a bunch of tea, even decarbed, kinda isn’t. There are better ways of drinking down a buzz in the morning than just adding in a heaping spoon of kief, and we hope we’ve opened your eyes to some of the possibilities. Enjoy!