The sip of comfort has now become the libation of good health.
The main draw is that cannabidiol or CBD, a chemical compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant, has several health benefits, which the wellness industry is now warming up to.
It helps in reducing inflammation, fights insomnia and aids in recovery from chronic pain.
“CBD works wonders on hormonal fluctuations in addition to promoting heart health, lowering blood sugar levels, and managing neurological disorders. Also, a few studies have shown that CBD prevents the growth of cancer cells,” says Mamta Dagar, a Delhi-based nutritionist, fitness and lifestyle coach.
CBD has been around for centuries but has largely lurked in the background. Realising the potential of this underdog, the tea market has now begun to leverage its advantages.
“Regulations have changed. CBD is now legalised, and therefore, is being produced on a large scale. Once production of anything increases, it begins to trickle into markets. Adding to this, the acceptance of cannabis in medical supplements in India has resulted in CBD becoming the fastest-growing industry in 2019. That’s why researchers began looking for its health rewards and found plenty, making way for the tea industry to tap on its virtues,” says Dagar.
When the compound meets the existing properties of tea, its potency doubles.
“We already know that polyphenols found in tea are rich in antioxidants and aid in the recovery from chronic diseases. When CBD, with all its virtues, is added to it, the brew becomes a bullet of good health,” says Aditi Sharma, Dietician, Columbia Asia hospital, Ghaziabad.
CBD is fast becoming a household name with people using it to treat nausea, headaches and sore stomach by combining it with peppermint or ginger.
Other ways in which one can enhance results is by supplementing it through skin creams, oil droplets, in edibles, and vaping.
There are three popular types of extraction methods: Solvent Extraction, which involves isolating cannabinoids from hemp.
This is done by dissolving it into a solvent. The other is a method called Decarboxylation, in which heat is applied to the plant to remove the carboxyl ring from the raw cannabinoids.
Finally, Broad-spectrum distillate in which all the original cannabinoids are retained but the winterisation process it is put through gets rid of THC, a psychoactive constituent of cannabis.
There are multiple ways to infuse CBD in tea, but it largely depends on personal choices. Most people around the world add a few drops of CBD to their tea just before drinking it.
“This is also the easiest way to consume it with tea as it doesn’t need any special products. You can brew your tea and get a bottle of CBD from its hemp in and you’re good to go.
"However, one must note that CBD drops are oil-based and they don’t mix well with water. There are also water-soluble formulations of teas available online where you can get pre-infused tea packs. These will soon be available in India as well,” says Anamika Singh, Founder Director, Anandini Himalaya Tea Pvt Ltd, who extends hemp tea as part of their latest range of wellness teas, perfect to boost immunity.
Srijan Sharma, co-founder of Its Hemp who has been working extensively with CBD for the past few months, says “The ideal dosage of CBD varies from user to user. Some may need a higher dosage close to (70-100mg/day) and others may be able to feel effects in low dosages (20-30mg/day). Most CBD users begin with a moderate dosage of 35-48mg/day.”
Proceed with caution
We must look at CBD as a wellness product and not a cure, says Singh. “CBD right now has a lot of limelight around the world. Even though most of it is well deserved, we must be cautious of people claiming its magical effects. There is still a lot of research that needs to be done on what it can help with and what it may not be as useful against,” she says.
Most people don’t have an adverse reaction to CBD; however, some may experience allergies, drowsiness, diarrhoea and tiredness.
It can also interfere with certain medications, according to Himanshi Sharma, dietician, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, Delhi.
“Changes in mood are not uncommon. In extreme cases, it can lead to liver failure and other serious repercussions. It’s best to consult a doctor before, while also informing if you’re on anti-depressants or heart medications,” says Sharma.
The process of acquiring and making CBD tea is not simple. It needs to be water-soluble and only good quality can ensure that. This is hugely dependent on extraction methods.
The high price is a deterrent for many people to try out the product. There is also little branding, so to speak, triggered by the lack of credible knowledge sources.
Government-approved certification can help but is a grey area at the moment. Proper labelling will reassure the buyer further. It’s come this far. Seems like it’s here to stay.
One Love Tea
The Brothers Apothecary
The biggest roadblock in the path of the CBD tea market today is the misconception that CBD is marijuana. It’s not.
The former is an ingredient in cannabis or marijuana, derived from the Cannabis sativa. ‘CBD can be extracted from hemp or marijuana.
Hemp plants are cannabis plants that contain less than 0.3 percent THC, while marijuana plants are cannabis plants that contain higher concentrations of THC.
CBD is sold in the form of gels, gummies, oils, supplements, extracts, and more, according to a Healthline report.