Homemade preparations are so much fun! It is such a fantastic experience to gather your ingredients, get your hands in the middle of things, discover new and delicious variations, get your family or friends involved, and share the results with your loved ones.
Among all the small-batch preparations that are so popular these days, kombucha is one of our favorites. It is sweet, fizzy, and healthy. You can find it in stores or make it yourself. And, combined with all the goodness of CBD, it is simply a glorious beverage. CBD-infused kombucha brings the health benefits of CBD and the kombucha fermentation process into a new and tasty experience you will want to share with everyone.
Health Benefits of CBD
CBD is the short name of cannabidiol, one of the most common compounds of cannabis plants, along with THC and aromatic terpenes. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the molecule responsible for the psychotropic effects of marijuana, getting you “high.”
CBD, on the other hand, does not have this kind of effect. Instead, it interacts with our endocannabinoid system, a part of the body’s nervous system that regulates pain, inflammation, and cell growth.
CBD works together with other cannabinoids and aromatic terpenes in the Entourage Effect. This effect increases the individual action of the molecules, bringing you their full benefits. These benefits include anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, modulation of the immune response, regulation of anxiety and depression episodes, and inhibition of excessive growth of abnormal cells, such as the ones in tumors or endometriosis.
There are many ways of taking CBD, including topical creams and ointments, gel capsules, and our favorite form, edibles. Infusing CBD and terpenes from the hemp flowers into foods and beverages is a fun and low-cost way of taking your daily dose of CBD.
You may be wondering how you can put CBD in kombucha. While many recipes use CBD-infused oil or butter for cooking the ingredients, we will use a different infusion method for our kombucha. Some people simply add CBD oil to their preparations. Still, we do not recommend doing that since oily substances do not mix well with the kombucha components, and they might not distribute evenly, thus going stale or turn moldy.
Health Benefits of Kombucha
The origins of kombucha go back to ancient China more than 2000 years ago, where people used a SCOBY, a mixture of bacteria and yeast, to ferment sweet tea. The result was a delicious, mildly effervescent beverage that brought together the benefits of tea and fermentation.
The base of kombucha is black or green tea. Both kinds of tea are rich in antioxidant agents, protect your heart, liver, and blood vessels, and reduce the levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides in your body. The caffeine and theine in tea boost your nervous system, leaving you alert and ready for the day’s challenges.
The double fermentation process gives kombucha its own set of benefits. Homemade kombucha does not pass through pasteurization, which means it gets to keep the lactic acid and probiotic colonies that will improve your gastric health by protecting your stomach lining walls and restoring your gut flora. Fermentation also gives kombucha healthy amounts of vitamins C, B6, and B12 and other substances with anticancer properties.
If you already were a kombucha fan, you will find that infusing CBD in kombucha opens up a whole array of possibilities for the taste and healthiness of this beverage. Come with us on this discovery voyage!
What is a SCOBY?
The critical ingredient in your homemade kombucha is the SCOBY. This cute name is short for Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast, which is a basic definition. A SCOBY is the association of millions of microorganisms living together and helping each other, making us think that brewing kombucha with their help and sharing it with others is a powerful act of love and cooperation.
During the fermentation process, the yeast in the SCOBY eats the sugar and turns it into alcohol; the bacterial population eats the alcohol and uses sugar to turn it into organic acids and vitamins while releasing probiotics and carbonic gas.
As a living organism, the SCOBY needs love and care. Be sure to mix your tea only with cane sugar. Other substances like honey, stevia, brown sugar, or other sweeteners do not have the chemical composition your SCOBY needs to thrive and might starve. For your sweet tea, use “real” tea, not flavored or herbal tea. The flavorings, herb extracts, and essential oils will make your SCOBY sick and moldy, and they might even kill it.
When you are not using it for fermentation, keep it in a glass container with some kombucha from your first fermentation or sweet tea for it to eat and keep its moisture. Cover the “SCOBY hotel” with a tight-weave cheesecloth and secure it in place with a rubber band. Keep it at room temperature close to 75°F (24°C) and do not refrigerate it.
Homemade kombucha has a higher risk of contamination than commercial-made ones. Be sure to clean and sanitize all your equipment before you start working to minimize that risk. Handle your SCOBY with clean hands when you take it on a new batch of kombucha, put it back in the hotel, or tear a piece out for a friend.
Do not remove the brown stringy bits from it. These are the yeast part of the SCOBY, essential to your fermentation process. If they get too big, you can remove some of them, always keeping a healthy portion attached to the rest of the SCOBY.
How Much Kombucha Should I Drink?
As healthy as kombucha is, too much of a good thing can be harmful, too. According to research, people with liver or kidney conditions may react to drinking too much kombucha with dizziness, gas, nausea, vomit, or blood acidosis. Kombucha may pose an additional risk for people with sensitive immune systems.
Even if you do not have a health condition, you may see the effects of drinking too much sugar as a decrease in your general health or the quality of your teeth. Excess kombucha will flood your body with too much caffeine, which may alter your mood, affect your heart rate, or even disrupt your stomach.
The infused CBD of our kombucha recipe does not pose such risks. For you to experience the drowsiness and disorienting effects associated with large doses of CBD, you would have to take a much larger quantity than the one we use in our recipe.
While there is no standard dosage for the daily ingestion of kombucha, we recommend you to take no more than 8 oz a day. You can choose your bottles for the second fermentation to contain 8 ounces or less. This bottle size will help you keep track of your daily consumption.
Are you ready to make some healthy deliciousness? Let’s wash our hands and feed our SCOBY!
- Baking tray, lined with parchment paper, for decarbing the CBD hemp flowers
- Large cooking pot
- Wooden spoon
- 1-gallon glass jar
- Fine-weave cheesecloth. You can sew a reusable bag for future batches.
- Thick glass bottles with tight caps, enough to receive the contents of the glass jar
- 1 oz CBD hemp flower. Our strains Bubba Kush, Sour Special Sauce, and Hawaiian Haze will infuse your kombucha with the perfect amount of CBD to take your anxiety away and give you all its health benefits.
- 12 cups filtered water
- 12 bags or 4 tbsp of loose-leaf black or green tea
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 2 cups starter tea, which is first fermentation kombucha
- 1 SCOBY. You can get it from a friend or a natural food store, along with the first fermentation kombucha.
- 2 cups of fruit juice. Get crazy with it! Mix berries, lime, fresh herbs, or any flavor you love.
Serving size: 8 oz.
Estimated cost: $30
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 7-12 days first fermentation, 2-4 days second fermentation.
Nutrition: 30 calories, no fat, 4 to 6 grams of sugar per serving.
Cuisine type: fermentation
Decarb Your Hemp Flowers
Any CBD recipe you try will need to use decarbed hemp flowers, whether you are infusing in oil or water. This process is necessary because the raw flowers do not contain the active CBD we want for our recipe. Instead, what we find in the flowers is CBDA, the chemical precursor of CBD. This compound needs heat to react and become CBD.
The process of decarbing your hemp flower is a simple one. Grind your hemp flowers and spread them over an oven-safe baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place the tray in the oven and heat it at 240°F (115°C). Let the flowers bake for 20 minutes, or until their color darkens and turns a shade of brown. Take them out of the oven and let them cool while you prepare your kombucha.
Kombucha is a fermented tea-based beverage, which means that you will need to have patience and a cool, dark place for it to sit untouched for a few days. The complete kombucha fermentation process consists of two separate stages: the SCOBY and the other in its definite container bottles.
The first phase of fermentation is the most delicate and essential of the whole process. It lasts at least a week, and you will obtain a basic kombucha without extra flavor or carbonation.
- In the cooking pot, bring four cups of filtered water to a boil.
- Turn it off when the water boils, add the tea and the cane sugar, mix well, and let it steep for 15 minutes.
- Strain out the tea leaves and pour the sweet tea into the glass jar.
- Gradually add 8 cups of cool water. Stir and check the final temperature. It has to be between 70 and 90°F, the optimal range for the SCOBY to feed and grow.
- Add the starter kombucha tea and gently slide the SCOBY inside the jar.
- Pack your decarbed CBD flower in a piece of cheesecloth and secure it so nothing gets out. Dip the bag inside the glass jar.
- Cover the jar with cheesecloth and secure it in place with a rubber band. This cover will allow airflow to the mix while protecting it from dust and insects.
- Leave your jar in a place with good airflow and no direct light. Let the mix rest untouched for at least seven days.
- You can start tasting your kombucha from day 5. Dip a clean straw in it and cover the top with your finger to take a small amount without contaminating the rest. When it tastes right to you, your CBD-infused kombucha is ready!
The result of the first fermentation is already a delicious beverage. However, you can improve it by adding your favorite flavors and a touch of carbonation to make it fizzy. The second fermentation happens inside the final containers of your kombucha, so you need to get bottles that allow a tight cap and will not explode from the extra pressure. Get sure that your bottles are clean and sanitized before proceeding.
- Mix your favorite fruits, berries, and herbs to make your flavoring juice. You can even add a few chunks for texture. Pour two tablespoonfuls of juice in each bottle of 8 oz. If your bottles are of different sizes, add the juice proportionally.
- Uncover your first fermentation. Take the SCOBY out of the jar and place it inside its hotel to wait for a new kombucha batch. Be sure both your hands and the hotel are clean. Take 2 cups of your first fermentation kombucha and pour them in the SCOBY hotel to keep it moist. Secure closed the hotel and put it back in its waiting place.
- Stir the remaining kombucha evenly distribute all its components before pouring it into the bottles with the flavoring juice. Leave at least ½” unfilled on top of each bottle. This space will store generated gas, so we do not want it to accumulate too much pressure.
- Put the caps on the bottles, securing them tightly. Put them in a dark, cool place at room temperature and let them sit for at least two days.
- Put the bottle in the refrigerator to chill. Your flavored CBD kombucha is ready!
Experiment! Once you have your first batch of flavored CBD-infused kombucha, you will want to try new things. You can brew your new batches with different flavoring mixtures or CBD concentrations. Try various times for the second fermentation to get your kombucha more or less effervescent. Discover the kombucha scientist inside yourself and share your success with your loved ones.