Hemp refers to the fibrous matter that is derived from the cannabis plant, famously known for yielding marijuana. Tea is an ancient drink originating in Asia. Although tea is traditionally prepared through the steeping process of different variations of tea leaves, alternative ingredients are sometimes used and still classified as tea. One example of these alternatives are herbal teas, which utilize flowers, herbs and other flavorful ingredients typically giving rise to a non-caffeinated herbal tea. A second example of a non-traditional classification of tea is hemp tea, which is a beverage containing steeped hemp products often in the presence of other ingredients.
The steeping process through which tea is made involves the tea leaves or other ingredients setting in hot or cold water for a designated amount of time, allowing for the ingredients to manifest themselves into the beverage. The length of steeping varies depending on the desired density or particular type of tea leaf. Hemp tea utilizes the same steeping method to achieve a hemp-infused beverage. This tea is not to be confused with cannabis tea, "pot tea" or "weed tea." These similar teas contain psychoactive ingredients such as tetrahydrocnanabinol (THC) that might alter the senses of the consumer.
THC is not water-soluble, which makes it difficult to exist in a beverage that is brewed with water. For this reason, even hemp tea that is brewed with THC-containing ingredients will likely have minimal psychoactive effects, but they are reported among some tea consumers. Although some proponents of hemp tea enjoy this beverage for its flavor, others consume it on a regular basis for its reported health benefits.
Most alternative foods and medicines are not immediately accepted by the medical community as being valid, and there has been debate regarding the benefits of their uses. Hemp tea has not escaped this alternative stigma, but many others swear by its ability to improve digestion, lower blood pressure and increase energy. Additionally, hemp tea has been linked to weight loss, blood sugar control and the lowering of cholesterol. Results have been known to vary from individual to individual, adding to the complicated debate between believers and skeptics.
Teas have been used for thousands of years for medicinal and social purposes, originating in the eastern hemisphere and gaining popularity in the west. Although disputes over the benefits of teas will likely continue until conclusive evidence presents itself, few tea enthusiasts would argue that a hot cup of tea is an enjoyable way to bring people together and ease the mind. Hemp tea is a unique form of this traditional beverage, but when consumed with ingredients that make it personally enjoyable, it can a great social medium to bring people together in a natural and healthy way.