It’s more usual to think of green tea as something we drink. In recent years, smoking green tea has also become popular.
Green tea cigarettes gained favor in Vietnam decades ago. It’s also been a recent trend in America.
The green tea plant (Camellia sinensis) — also the source of oolong, black, and white tea — has many health benefits.
In tea form, it’s been consumed for health and ritualistic purposes for thousands of years. Many other types of tea plants have also been smoked for spiritual and health uses throughout history.
People smoke green tea for these reasons and more, such as to help quit tobacco cigarette addiction.
However, studies on these benefits, risks, and safety of smoking green tea are lacking.
Health effects of smoking tea
The health benefits of drinking tea are supported by scienceTrusted Source.
There’s no research on the health benefits of smoking tea, however. Its beneficial compounds could possibly be absorbed more quickly into the bloodstream through the lungs. But smoking, or inhaling anything burning, is unhealthy.
Regardless, people who smoke green tea report certain health benefits.
Green tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid. Studies show this compound has anxiety-lowering effects by interacting with neurotransmitter receptors.
Drinking green tea or taking extract is the most research-supported way to experience this effect.
Smoking green tea could have similar effect. Some people who smoke it report this. However, more studies are needed to prove if L-theanine can be absorbed through smoking.
Some may claim green tea gives you a marijuana-like high. No studies or science support this.
L-theanine may have mild cognitive-enhancing effects. This means it may help improve memory, focus, learning abilities, and overall mental function.
Studies show this may have to do with the combination of L-theanine and caffeine. However, these studies have only tested this with green tea beverage or extract.
There are currently no studies that prove cognitive enhancement from smoking green tea, and if L-theanine can be absorbed that way. Drinking green tea is recommended as a better way to take in the health benefits.
Green tea is a popular supplement for boosting metabolism, burning fat, and promoting weight loss.
Studies support thisTrusted Source, especially with use of extract rich in catechins, green tea’s powerful antioxidants. However, there are no studies showing antioxidant benefits can be experienced by smoking it.
Healthier cigarette replacement
Some people turn to green tea cigarettes to help quit smoking.
It could replace the habit while taking away tobacco’s addictive substance, nicotine. It’s also argued that it’s healthier.
Yet there are no studies proving it’s healthier, or testing smoking tea’s benefits on cigarette addiction or quitting. Smoking tea is also not considered a reliable, safe, or approved addiction treatment.
Breathing any smoke into your lungs is irritating and causes damage to the tissue.
Remedies and drinks with cannabis leaves
If smoking is not your thing, don’t worry: there’s much more we can do with them. Cannabis leaves have long been used as a remedy against many diseases. With them, you can make a rubbing alcohol. In a well-covered glass bottle, macerate a litre of alcohol with rosemary and 20 – 30 g of marijuana leaves for three or four weeks. Keep it in a cool and dark place.
The leaves can also be used to prepare a nice weed tea. Remember that this drink by itself does not produce any effects as the cannabinoids are not hydrosoluble. If you want to really experience the effect, you’ll need to mix them with oil or butter, add the mixture to the tea, and stir. Place everything in a filter and steep in hot water for half an hour.
Cannabis leaves have been found to have medicinal properties as well. Former cricket player Viv Richards once shared that, on one occasion, when travelling to Jamaica, he told his friends about some serious sight problems he had been experiencing. They took him to a herbalist who recommended a green tea with raw marijuana leaves. “Whenever I drank that tea, I knew that it was going to do wonders for me.”
Make sure you remember, though, to check whether the plant you’re about to use hasn’t been exposed to many fertilisers. If your leaves don’t belong to homegrown plants, be sure to use only the ones that come from organic cannabis plants.
All about marijuana leaves
First things first, let’s find out whether weed leaves can be smoked. It was done in the past, but now, as THC levels in buds are way higher, leaves have been pushed to the background. What many people do is crush them up and mix them with the buds, in a joint, pipe or bong. They make a great fallback option too when there’s no cannabis left. You can store them and dry them for some emergency.
The views on the use of leaves for joints are definitely split. Some prefer smoking bud with no leaves mixed in, as it slightly modifies the taste. Others prefer a bit of tobacco in the mixture. There are also those who are totally up against it because it has given them headaches. The best you can do is try a nicely shredded mix of buds and leaves and decide whether you are one who likes to smoke leaves or not.
Just a heads up: not all leaves should be smoked. The largest ones, for example, must be used with caution as they may contain great amounts of chemicals if the plant has been treated with unknown fertilisers. Those tiny and gooey leaves closest to the bud, on the other hand, are extremely valuable, great for carrying out top-notch extracts with. A common practice known since time immemorial, when in some areas of Asia, like in Nepal, the resin was extracted by rubbing the buds or leaves by hand to obtain top-quality charas, that has survived all the way until today.
Another way to obtain the so-coveted resin is with techniques such as the Ice-o-Lator. But how? It’s very simple. All you have to do is place them and the leftover plant material on a mesh located atop other smaller ones and dip it in a bucket of very cold water. Little by little the resin will start to come out through the meshes and you’ll be able to collect it.