Citation: Skandalman Dan. "Ganja Tea: An Experience with Cannabis (exp45092)". Erowid.org. Nov 6, 2007. erowid.org/exp/45092
Some time ago, I had a discussion with two friends of mine over the effectiveness of ganja tea, which I am told is widely used in Jamaican folk medicine. My friends believed that ganja tea (i.e., an infusion made by boiling marijuana in water) would make you stoned. I disagreed, saying that if you made a tea from marijuana, it would have no psychoactive effect. I also argued that bud used to make tea could be dried and smoked afterwards and would get you as stoned as it would if it had never been boiled up. My belief was based on the fact that THC is always described in scientific sources as being insoluble in water.
One day, I decided to check it out for myself. I boiled up some bud in water and drank it. Though the tea was pleasantly relaxing, it did not make me stoned. I then left out the weed I had used until it was dry, and smoked it. As far as I was concerned, it had its full effect.
I told my friends about this and proposed that we do the experiment together. At the time, we had the custom of meeting weekly at my home to watch kung-fu movies. One week therefore, I boiled up a measured quantity of skunk-type weed. I think it was an eighth of an ounce, but I donít remember for sure Ė this was, as I say, some time ago. We drank the resulting brew and watched a film. Afterwards, I asked my friends if I wasnít right in saying that it had no effect. My friends replied, and I had to agree with them, that I was only partly right. True, we were not stoned. But the tea did have some effect. We all felt pleasantly relaxed, and this was definitely a noticeable psychoactive effect of the brew.
The following week, having dried out the weed, we conducted the second part of the experiment by smoking it. After a couple of spliffs (straight weed), I asked my friends if it didnít have the full effect of the bud, the same as smoking the weed before it was boiled up in water, with a slightly smoother taste. Again, my friends contended, and again I had to agree with them, that I was only partly right. Yes, the weed did make us stoned, but there was something missing from the experience. Indeed, as one of my friends pointed out, what was missing was the equivalent of the effect we had experienced the previous week from the tea. The effect of the weed after making tea from it and then drying it out and smoking it was the same as the full effect of the weed minus the effect of the tea.
This was a private experiment conducted a few years ago now, but recently it occurred to me that it might be of interest to others since the effects of ganja tea are rarely described, and it is often erroneously believed to have the same effect as that of smoking or eating cannabis.
True, this was just a subjective experience on the part of three ordinary cannabis smokers, but it seems to indicate that, although THC and most cannabinoids are not soluble in water, some active constituents of cannabis are indeed water-soluble, and this could explain the efficacy of ganja tea in Jamaican folk medicine. It also means that people who do not smoke cannabis or who dislike its effects can nonetheless use ganja tea for medicinal purposes, and indeed I am told that many people who use ganja tea medicinally in Jamaica never smoke cannabis for its psychoactive effects.
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