does cbd oil tea really work for pain

I Tried CBD in My Tea, and Here’s What I Felt

I’ve been burned by a lot of wellness fads in the past. Indeed, it’s been my job for over a decade to embrace what companies say will be the new “revolution” in health and personal care and make myself a guinea pig. I’ve tried any number of products, diets, even retreats to determine if they have hope (probiotics) or belong at the bottom of the bin (rocker bottom shoes).

So naturally, with the rapid proliferation of CBD shops across the U.S., my nature brought me to the point at which I had to try this much-hyped and ballyhooed product—and write about it so you’ll know if it’s right for you or not.

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of several dozen active compounds found in cannabis. CBD’s popular first cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is the compound that’s associated with marijuana’s “high” or psychoactive effects. CBD has zero psychoactive effects.

Research shows that CBD has some positive benefits on health, however. For example, studies show CBD may help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. It’s also been shown to help treat or prevent seizures in people with epilepsy. CBD has shown promise as a treatment for common side effects of cancer treatment, including nausea and vomiting. It even holds promise as a treatment for anxiety, and it might help with short-term sleep problems, too.

So CBD Isn’t Marijuana?

No, it’s not. Some people confuse hemp with marijuana because they’re both types of cannabis. Indeed, both hemp and marijuana are different varieties of the same plant species, Cannabis sativa. But marijuana typically has between three and 15 percent THC, and hemp has less than one percent. CBD products, by law, cannot have more than 0.3% THC by dry weight.

In December 2018, the U.S. Congress removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. It is no longer illegal to possess hemp-derived products in all 50 states. That’s why you’ve likely seen so many stores popping up in your town, or even found your local spa or health food store selling CBD products. Indeed, a recent report found that the popularity and accelerated growth in the market has CBD on track to be a $2-billion dollar industry by 2024.

I Tried CBD in My Tea

There’s a stigma, for better or worse, associated with marijuana that may be deterring people from trying CBD. I will be the first one to tell you that, as a rule, I’m no fan of the sensation of being “high” or stoned. I do, however, like and am always curious about, alternative treatments to health issues I face, whether it’s essential oils for headaches, acupuncture for low-back pain, or probiotics for regular tummy troubles. Because research shows CBD may help ease symptoms of anxiety, I decided it was a good option for me to try.

I started by using half a dropper of a 500-milligram tincture in a cup of green tea in the morning and a cup of herbal tea before bed. I did this every day for one week. Each half dropper delivers about 8 milligrams of CBD; a full dropper would be 16. Typical recommended doses for people trying CBD for the first time are between 20 and 40mg per day. However, research shows much higher doses are well tolerated.

My first experience with CBD was at night, after a long day of work. I was exhausted but decided to go ahead and give it a try. Many brands recommend you take CBD oil sublingually, or under the tongue, for a faster-acting effect. I chose tea in order to mask the bitter oil flavor of the tincture.

I don’t know if I can fully credit the CBD—I was very tired already—but I found myself quite relaxed within 15 minutes of finishing my cup of tea. I was asleep shortly after, and I had very deep sleep that night. My sleep tracker recorded 100 percent sleep quality, with very little movement. That’s unusual for me, but again, it was a long, taxing day. My body could have been responding to the exhaustion, not the CBD. But I was certainly curious.

The next morning, I repeated the amount and felt nothing, not even a hint of relaxation. That’s OK. I’m typically more relaxed and refreshed in the morning as is, so it could be that I didn’t have any “symptoms” to alleviate.

Over the course of the next four days, I only noticed mild effects when I would take the CBD with my tea before bed. During the day, I felt nothing. I decided to up my dosage to a full stopper for the three remaining days. That’s when I began to notice some differences.

My first day with two full droppers (32mg), I felt incredibly relaxed, almost too relaxed. I struggled a bit to find motivation for work. Thankfully, it was a Saturday, so I could afford the luxury of laziness. I didn’t experience any “head” symptoms, like dopiness or feeling spaced out, as some people with higher doses report. But I did certainly feel a bit disconnected from my sense of drive. That night, when I used another whole dropper in my tea, I fell to sleep rapidly and slept harder than I had slept in some time.

The next day, the effects of my first higher-dose day weren’t as strong. I was able to accomplish my work and felt productive, but a certain “edge” was taken off my mind. When I work, I typically feel crunched or pinched by deadlines, even when I’m on not late. The higher CBD didn’t fully erase the “urgency” I feel with my work, but it helped me feel calmer, less frantic.

For that, my week with CBD counts as a win, and I will likely keep taking it, especially during periods of high stress or anxiety. I may also venture to try other options, like gummies. Other brands have different formulations that may make the effects of CBD more or less powerful, too. Though my total dose, even on the “high” dose days, was well within the recommended limits for a first-time user, I would be curious to see the impact of a higher dose. I’ll just be sure to do it on days when I don’t have deadlines.

Overall Takeaway

My initial impression is a positive one. I fully believe people can have positive results after taking CBD for a variety of issues. In my experiment, I was only trying to treat anxiety, and I found it to be moderately helpful. It did not eliminate the anxiety or associated stress, but it felt as if it took the sharp edge off the running worries and constant stream of thoughts that I frequently experience. I felt calmer, though not at all “high.”

It's important to note that CBD use and products are still in their infancy, and newer, better products will probably be available in the next few years that will make these initial products look silly. Indeed, some studies suggest CBD is really, truly only beneficial in large doses (over 300 milligrams), so it’s possible the impacts people like myself do experience are minimal compared to what’s possible. As studies increase and products improve, the CBD landscape may change dramatically.

If you are interested in trying CBD yourself, be sure to source high-quality CBD products. Unfortunately, CBD products have been dropping in quality in recent years, and they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That means you cannot know for sure, just by looking at a bottle, if you have a good product. Look for third-party lab tests—reputable companies will proudly promote them—and read a lot of reviews. Websites like Leafly and CannaInsider provide extensive reviews on effectiveness and potency.

Exploring CBD Tea Benefits

We’ve seen CBD products from dog chews to face creams, but it’s CBD tea that we are really excited about at Zest Tea . Combining our naturally high caffeine teas with CBD offers a number of great wellness benefits that you can explore.

The numerous benefits listed below for CBD tea are all backed by science, with studies and research proving just how great (and safe) CBD tea is for you.

But before we dig into that, let’s quickly cover the basics.

First, What is CBD Tea?

CBD infused tea is tea… with CBD. Simple.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound from the marijuana and hemp plant – both varieties of the same plant species. A CBD product contains cannabinoids, which are natural chemicals that have the great health benefits you’ll find below.

Importantly, this CBD from the cannabis plant does not contain THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, is the psychoactive element of the plant. As there’s no THC in CBD tea, it won’t make you high. Sorry!

Instead, water soluble and THC-free cannabidiol oils sourced from the hemp plant are added to tea blends, so you can have the great health benefits without the mind-altering high. Still have questions? Check out our What is CBD Tea article for an in-depth explanation.

What CBD Tea Benefits Are There?

The benefits of CBD tea for health and wellness are still being investigated, as the world opens up to the possibilities that CBD provides. In the meantime, CBD products with cannabidiol sourced from hemp plants are completely legal in the United States but they aren’t yet regulated by the FDA. 1

That’s why you’ll see many product disclaimers on CBD products that claim to have health benefits, like “This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”

At the moment, even though the science points to some fantastic health benefits, the FDA needs more data before they can provide detailed guidance for lab-tested, CBD teas.

Here is what we know so far about the potential benefits of a cup of CBD tea.

Relaxation and Stress Relief

A 2020 OnePoll study of 2000 Americans found that 40% of participants already take CBD on a daily basis, and 28% take it occasionally too. 2 Of those that do take CBD, almost a quarter confirmed that it helps with stress and a further 22% find it helps with anxiety (more on that below).

Another study into CBD and THC in cannabis by the University of Washington found that symptoms of stress were reduced in 93.3% of tracked sessions. 3

Reduce Anxiety

There is good evidence to show that CBD can reduce anxiety. One study found that pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety and discomfort during public speaking among those with social anxiety disorder. 4

Interestingly, green tea has proven to be good at reducing anxiety while boosting brain function too. 5 So if you’re looking to feel less anxious, our Superberry Samba flavor may be the best bet. It’s a green tea blend with natural acai, passionfruit, and strawberry flavors.

Treat Depression

CBD can also offer relief for the symptoms of depression. The University of Washington study that shows a link between CBD and reduced stress also found significant links to reduced depression. A CBD product that’s low in THC and high CBD will provide the best results for reducing symptoms of depression.

Prevent Seizures

CBD can significantly reduce the number of seizures experienced by those with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, according to a 2018 epilepsy study. 6 Furthermore, the only FDA-approved CBD medication is a prescription drug to treat seizures in those with epilepsy.

Prevent Neurological Damage

The benefits of CBD can potentially help prevent neurological damage, as CBD has neuroprotective properties. Administering CBD reduced short-term brain damage in piglets after hypoxia-ischemia, and it also showed cardiac, hemodynamic, and ventilatory beneficial effects. 7 More research is needed to find a link between CBD oil and preventing neurological damage in humans.

Ease Chronic Pain

A combination of THC and CBD has shown to be effective at relieving pain in individuals suffering from malignant diseases, 8 but a 2020 assessment of CBD for chronic pain management states that it’s difficult to attribute these pain-relieving properties specifically to CBD, and not the THC or any other component. It’s a promising start but more research is needed to link CBD with reducing neuropathic pain.

Regulate Nausea

CBD oil-containing products can be taken to regulate and even suppress vomiting and nausea. This is thanks to the anti-emetic effects of cannabinoids, including CBD. 9

This is great news for anyone experiencing nausea caused by medications or treatments, like chemotherapy. Furthermore, CBD could be effective at preventing organ toxicity, pain and loss of appetite in chemotherapy patients too. 10

Reduce Inflammation

A study into allergic contact dermatitis proved that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties. 11 More research is needed to find out how effective it is, but this is a good sign for inflammatory conditions of all kinds. From treating acne and allergic reactions to arthritis relief, there are many ways that we can benefit from reducing inflammation.

Treat Substance Use Disorder

CBD can reduce the chances of a relapse in those with substance use disorder and it may prevent high impulsivity associated with alcohol dependence. 12 In a later study, researchers found that cannabidiol could reduce cravings and anxiety in individuals with heroin use disorder too. 13

Soothe Insomnia

Drinking a nice cup of chamomile tea has long been the herbal remedy of choice for sleep troubles, including insomnia, but CBD may be a viable replacement. If you aren’t a fan of the chamomile flavor, you might prefer drinking a mix of CBD oil and another herbal tea, or even a mug of hot milk to help you drift off.

Although more research is needed on the link between CBD and sleep, existing studies already suggest that CBD can be a therapeutic treatment for insomnia and it could even treat REM sleep behavior disorder. 14

CBD is also effective at reducing symptoms of PTSD in adults, especially frequent and recurring nightmares associated with the disorder. 15

The Side Effects of CBD Tea

While the benefits of CBD are great – maybe even life-changing – there are some side effects you should know about as well.

The FDA found the following potential side effects, but just like the benefits, we need more research to confirm them:

May cause liver injury,

May interact with other medications,

May create gastrointestinal problems, such as loss of appetite.

There’s also some evidence that a CBD product can make you feel too sleepy and drowsy, however with CBD tea you also ingest caffeine which has the opposite effect. As a result, CBD tea may not have this side effect.

Furthermore, don’t get hemp tea mixed up with CBD tea . Hemp tea is made from hemp plants. The leaves, stalks, flowers and buds are chopped up and placed inside tea bags. CBD tea, on the other hand, only contains CBD oil that’s extracted from the hemp plant, without any additional components. This makes it much easier to work out a precise dose and regulate what ends up in your mug. CBD is a safer choice than hemp – by easily regulating how much CBD you take in the form of tea, you can avoid these side effects and enjoy the benefits.

It’s Not Just for Bedtime

CBD sure has a lot of great health benefits, but we shouldn’t overlook the benefits of tea. While many CBD products are designed to keep you calm, relaxed, and soothe sleep troubles, CBD tea can have a different effect.

Tea Benefits in a Nutshell

Tea contains two important components: caffeine and L-Theanine. This mix of natural amino acid and energizing stimulant provides energy and focus. Caffeine blocks neurotransmitters in your brain, preventing you from feeling sleepy, while L-Theanine manages the effects of caffeine for a steadier energy burst and promotes feelings of calmness and focus.

When you combine high levels of caffeine with natural L-Theanine, like our energy teas do, you can channel your energy towards productivity without the jitters and caffeine crash you get with a cup of coffee.

Tea + CBD

When we add the anxiety-soothing, stress-relieving properties of CBD to our high energy teas, the relaxation benefits are boosted… but without the sleepiness! If you were feeling anxious about an afternoon meeting at work, for example, drinking a cup of CBD high energy tea can help calm your nerves and give you productive energy. You’ll be ready to tackle whatever the day throws at you. This is the really unique benefit of CBD tea that you won’t find in other CBD products. Calmness, clarity, energy and productivity all wrapped into one.

“Calmness, clarity, energy and productivity all wrapped into one.”

Where to Buy CBD Tea

The best CBD tea is one that contains high-quality CBD and is completely transparent about the tea blend ingredients, without making unproven health claims.

Our CBD loose leaf tea leaves are full of flavor and provide a 15mg dose of CBD per cup, along with up to 150mg of caffeine and natural L-Theanine. All our ingredients are natural, our teas are non-GMO certified, and our hemp-based CBD is broad spectrum (which means it won’t even contain trace amounts of THC).

There are currently two of our most popular flavors available. Try our fruity green tea blend, Superberry Samba, or if you prefer a black tea classic go for Blue Lady with a splash of milk.

CBD Tea FAQs

How to make CBD tea?

Either add a small dose of water soluble CBD oil to your favorite tea blend and mix well, or choose one of our CBD teas so all you need to do is brew a cup and put your feet up.

How does CBD tea make you feel?

CBD tea may make you feel calm, focused and productive. The CBD can calm your nerves and anxieties, while the tea provides focus and energy. You will feel alert, calm and focused.

What does CBD tea do?

When you take CBD, the cannabinoids help you feel relaxed and calm. It’s often taken to reduce anxiety and sleep troubles. But with the addition of tea, you get a smooth boost of energy from the caffeine too.

How fast does CBD tea work?

When you drink a delicious cup of CBD tea, 99% of the caffeine is completely absorbed within 45 minutes 16 but you might find the effects kick in sooner – usually 10 to 20 minutes. The CBD takes a little longer to reach its peak, at 1-2 hours 17 but again, you can often feel the effects begin much sooner. Of course, it often depends on the levels of CBD and caffeine that are in your tea.

What are the benefits of CBD tea?

While CBD tea is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent anything, it still has some great advantages for your health. It reduces anxiety, relieves stress, and soothes sleep troubles. There’s also evidence that it can prevent seizures and has neuroprotective properties.

How often should you drink CBD tea?

This depends how much CBD oil is in the product, as well as how much caffeine is included. General guidelines are to drink no more than 400mg of caffeine per day. This is roughly equivalent to 2.5 cups of Zest CBD Tea.

Will CBD tea make you high?

No, CBD is not the same as marijuana or the cannabis plant, even though it is extracted from them. CBD teas only contain certain cannabinoids, not THC which is the psychoactive substance that gets you high. At most, they will help you relax and stay calm.