What follows are some topics we feel you ought to know about — both in terms of our cannabis-infused tea products and cannabis in general. These are the things we wanted to know but no one told us when we first started sampling cannabis-infused products, so we thought we’d pass along some hard-won wisdom. Also, check our Proof pages for information about studies conducted on the therapeutic benefits of the plant.
If you want to split the dose of your Kikoko tea in half, we recommend brewing a single tea sachet in double the amount of water you would normally use for a cup. Since the time of steeping does not change the potency, steep the bag for longer than normal so the tea doesn’t taste watered down. For example, steep the tea sachet in 16 ounces for 4-5 minutes, or to your taste preference. After a good stir, you can then split the liquid in half between two containers, each amount will be equal to half the tea’s labeled potency. Seal the brewed tea in an airtight container if you aren’t immediately drinking it and store in your refrigerator. For best results, drink within a week.
It’s rare, but some people are allergic to cannabis. We suggest you see an allergist if you feel you might be.
Please read all herbal ingredients carefully before consuming our cannabis teas. Rest assured, however, that our machinery is dedicated only to our teas, and no contaminants from other foods — including nuts, soy, wheat, dairy, eggs, peanut, sesame, shellfish products, fish products, saccharomyces, or insect protein—are present.
Our non-herbal ingredients include organically grown cannabis oil, glycoproteins, polysaccharides, and organic evaporated sugar cane juice.
- Place one sachet in a cup and add 6-8 ounces of almost-boiling or boiling water (the amount of water has no affect on the cannabis potency of your tea).
- Allow to steep for at least 60 seconds (we recommend 3-5 minutes to taste), after which all of the active cannabis ingredient will have dissolved into your tea.
- Remove tea sachet when you have steeped to taste, stir and sip. If you like your tea sweeter, by all means add honey or sugar.
However, there is no need to add anything else to your tea. Unlike many other canna drinks, no additional ingredients are needed to activate the tea.
No. Steeping our tea longer than a minute only increases flavor, not potency. You can keep the sachet in the cup as long as you like.
First effects are usually felt within 30 to 90 minutes, but it can take longer to reach maximum result. Wait at least two hours before drinking a second cup — or making any big decisions. Keep in mind that with some of our cannabis teas (Tranquili-tea and Sympa-tea) you may feel no “high” effect at all, or you may just experience a sense of relaxation.
No. So long as you drink the whole amount, you will get the intended effect. But we recommend between 6 and 8 oz. of hot water.
We suggest you use one cannabis-infused sachet on your first try. Then, if you find you can tolerate more, go for two. As they say in the cannabis world, start low and go slow.
No. There will be no cannabis “active” (the compounds that trigger medicinal and psychoactive effects) remaining after the first use.
While the average edible cannabis product on the market averages 30mg of THC per dose, our cannabis-infused teas range from 3mg to 10mg, depending on the health issue addressed. In short, none will knock you on your ass. We suggest you start low and build from there.
Kikoko’s cannabis-infused teas include many non-psychoactive cannabinoids (the chemical compounds in the plant that affect our physiology), all of which are precisely dosed. There are 113 known cannabinoids in the cannabis plant but only one gets you high: THC. That’s the one you need to watch out for. Other chemical compounds found in the plant — THCA, CBD, CBN, CBG, etc. — are not psychoactive and will not get you high. Many, however, are helpful in managing pain, insomnia, anxiety and an array of other conditions (see Proof for more information), which is why we include many of them in our teas.
Yes, you can save a portion of the brewed tea and put it in the refrigerator. We suggest you drink the remainder within one week.
Without boring you with too much science, (we actually find the research fascinating; if you’re interested as well, see Proof) the human body has its own endocannabinoid system. Operating in the brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous system, the endocannabinoid system affects a variety of physiological processes including mood, sleep, memory, pain sensation, inflammation and appetite. But because each person’s endocannabinoid system is unique — kind of like a fingerprint — everyone responds to cannabis differently.
The brain makes its own cannabis-like neurotransmitter called anandamide (stemming from the Sanskrit word for bliss), which causes us to experience pleasure, triggers motivation and regulates appetite. This neurotransmitter is mediated by the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain, which are the same receptors that respond to cannabinoids from the cannabis plant. See our Proof page for more information.
As noted in the previous answer, some people are more sensitive to THC, while others are less so. You may just have a high tolerance when it comes to cannabis. There is nothing good or bad about this, it’s just your brain chemistry. So — as always — start low and go slow. Once you’ve established your tolerance to THC, you can dose accordingly. But if you’re trying our cannabis tea for the first time, wait two hours before having a second cup.
Yes, you may find that with frequent use you are able to tolerate THC at higher doses. Click here for the science behind increased cannabis tolerance levels, including how long it takes it to return to lower levels.
We realized that a lot of people don’t want to get over-the-top high. Or maybe they don’t want to get high at all. They might just want to relax. Or possibly they’re looking for a healthy, low-dose cannabis alternative to dangerous, often toxic drugs, including alcohol and pharmaceuticals.
In addition to all the uncertainty cannabis users face around dosage ambiguity, the industry trend in recent years has been to jack up the THC content of cannabis as high as possible. The average potency of cannabis today is almost 14%— 4x stronger than just 10 years ago — and some strains boast potency as high as 28%. And while it may be the case that heavy users need higher doses to compensate for increased tolerance, soaring potency is crazy overkill for most of us. We’re working to bring THC back into the realm of sane for the unhabituated adopter.
We start our process with refined extracts, which means cannabinoid ratios are our focus rather than individual strains. Why? Because by the time you’re down to an extract, the cannabis is no longer strain-specific.
In terms of ratio, we refine the plant material so that it is high in the specific cannabinoids we are looking for. For example, for our Sympa-tea, we start with cannabis oil that has been extracted from a cannabis strain that is high in CBD, which studies show alleviates pain.
Our cannabis is grown in Mendocino, Calif., in what’s called the “Emerald Triangle.” All cannabis plants are sun-grown using organic farming methods and, whenever possible, purchased from women growers.
Many of our herbal ingredients are grown domestically. We buy imported herbs only when absolutely necessary. All are organically grown.
The cannabis for our tea is organically outdoor-grown in Mendocino. Our manufacturing facility is in Berkeley, Calif.
That’s a highly guarded secret, but let’s just say that unlike some other brands, we don’t spray cannabis oil on tea leaves and we don’t grind up weed and stick it in a teabag.
Terpenes is the hot word in the cannabis industry, and for good reason. There’s much behind the science (Leafly offers a good introduction), but here’s our version of the idiot’s guide: Terpenes are organic compounds found in certain plants, and are usually present in their essential oils. In addition to providing many plants with their distinctive scents, they offer medicinal properties of their own. For example, when you smell lavender, you are picking up on the terpene linalool, one of the compounds that stimulate nerves in the nose, which in turn send impulses to the brain that trigger relaxation. Terpenes also appear to work synergistically with cannabinoids.
But here’s the problem: Most cannabis edibles do not retain many terpenes; nearly all are burned off in the process of refining the cannabis into oil. With our teas, however, you are getting the terpenes from the herbal tea ingredients, which are loaded with them.
We ran laboratory terpene tests on our herbal tea ingredients and confirmed that the following terpenes are among those present. Also noted are their researched benefits.
- Limonene — elevates mood
- Myrcene — promotes relaxation and sleep
- Caryophyllene — relieves pain, slows bacterial growth, relieves symptoms of depression, reduces systemic inflammation, inhibits cancer cell growth, prevents oxidation damage to other molecules in the body, helps relieve anxiety, and slows damage to the nervous system and brain
- Beta-Caryophyllene — reduces anxiety and depression
- Alpha-Humulene — anti-inflammatory properties
- Carvone — decongestant, diuretic, antiviral and tonic properties; may also have an anti-tumor effect
- Eucalyptol — relieves pain, reduces inflammation, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, inhibits cancer cell growth
- Linalool — promotes sleep, relieves anxiety, reduces inflammation, anti-epileptic properties
- Terapinyl Acetate — antispasmodic and sedative properties
- Alpha-Pinene — reduces inflammation, bronchodilator, antibiotic and anti-cancer properties, increases alertness
- Levomenthol — reduces pain and swelling of respiratory tract mucous membranes, relieves cough, alleviates bronchitis and other respiratory infections, anti-asthmatic properties
- Beta-Bisabolene — anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties
- Aromandendrene — anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties
- Trans-Cinnamaldehyde — reduces respiratory ailments and digestive disorders, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties
- Anethole — antiviral, antibacterial, anti-oxidant and anti-fungal properties
- aR-Turmeron — stimulates regeneration of brain cells; anti-epileptic properties
- Alpha-Curcumene — anti-inflammatory properties
Cannabis contains 113 known cannabinoids, plus flavonoids and terpenes (the essential oils that offer amazing medicinal properties of their own). Research shows that these elements offer greater therapeutic impact when they work in concert than when they’re isolated and employed individually, which is why we include a small amount of THC in Sympa-tea, which is our highest CBD tea. (See Proof for more on cannabinoids and the entourage effect.)
Many people do. We aren’t physicians, however, so we’re not allowed to advise you medically. Please check with your doctor.
Eating does affect the cannabis tea experience for some people, and it’s possible you will feel the effects more quickly and noticeably when taken on an empty stomach. Again, we are not medical practitioners, but all evidence points towards the fact that when you eat, you are stimulating your digestive system and causing blood to flow towards your stomach in order to facilitate absorption of nutrients from food. This causes a shift in the blood circulation away from the brain and towards the stomach. Net biophysical effect is less THC-enriched blood going to the brain, which may cause a slight dampening of the “high” sensation. It does not, however, mean the cannabis tea is having no effect.
We detest that nasty aftertaste too. Which is why we worked long and hard with our scientists and artisanal tea expert to create delicious and healthy cannabis teas that have no medicinal or bitter aftertaste.
Adding sugar, honey or milk is fine. Our teas are delicious just as they are, however, and unlike many other canna drinks, no additional ingredients are required to activate the tea.
Yes, absolutely. Unlike some teabags, many of which are bleached, our sachets are made from plant starch (sugarcane, cassava and corn starches). See What Makes Our Cannabis Teas Different for more information.
All of the herbs in our teas are 100% organic certified. Our cannabis is organically grown (but not certified as there is no such thing).
No one has ever overdosed or died as a physiological result of ingesting too much cannabis. No one. Ever. (See our Proof page for more details.) This is not true of alcohol (88,000 reported deaths in 2014), prescription medications (27,000 deaths in 2014), cocaine (5,500 deaths in 2014) or heroin (10,500 deaths in 2014). These drugs kill people all the time, and there are 21.5 million Americans currently living with a substance use disorder involving alcohol, prescription medications or street drugs.
Alcohol, opioids and antidepressants can slow the central nervous system, including breathing and heart rate. While the pathways, or receptors, for these drugs are located in the part of the brain (the brainstem) that controls breathing, cannabis acts on different receptors in the brain and body, none of which control breath, so you never have to worry about falling asleep and not waking up. That doesn’t mean a few people don’t do stupid things while high and end up dead; it just means that getting really high on cannabis isn’t medically dangerous. Normally, you’ll just sleep it off.
The high from cannabis edibles and cannabis-infused products tends to be stronger and last longer than from smoking. As a result, overindulging on cannabis edibles can be uncomfortable and lead to what we call “Riding the Crazy Train.” Yep, we stepped aboard that locomotive more than once during our past two years of research, and let’s just say that the view out the window was blurred. We definitely don’t want you going there.
Cannabis consumables can take up to two hours to kick in fully. Don’t make the mistake of thinking after 30 or 40 minutes that nothing is happening, and drinking or eating more. WAIT. Too many people make this mistake and have a bad experience.
Here is the gist of a white paper Amanda wrote on the subject for her teenage daughters (Jen wasn’t kidding when she said Amanda is a nerd): If someone offers you a homemade brownie, cookie, candy — anything — and there is no label on the package indicating how strong it is, that probably means no one knows and it is likely very strong. Eat either none at all or just a TINY corner. Emphasis on tiny, or you could easily end up riding the Crazy Train for an hour or two.
If you are offered a cannabis edible that is medicinally packaged and lists a dosage, here is a guide: start with 5mg of THC, which is half the legal dose in most legal cannabis states. Just 5mg is plenty to get most people sanely buzzed. Keep in mind that 10mg is the maximum legal dose in legal states, although it’s not uncommon to find cannabis chocolate bars that offer 1,000mg of THC. Those are meant for ill patients — people really in need of cannabis medicine for pain or cancer or some other disease — and who are highly habituated. We recommend taking 5mg or less to begin. Remember, 10mg can be a lot (of fun) unless you are used to cannabis. Start low and go slow. Wait TWO HOURS for full effect. Cannabis takes much longer to kick in when ingested as it goes through the liver before entering the bloodstream.
No. That is really, really a dumb idea. DO NOT DRIVE under the influence of anything that contains THC. It is just as dangerous as if you have been drinking. Plus, you’ll give us all a bad name.
First of all, we specifically made these cannabis teas so you won’t get too high. Being too high is not a pleasant experience and can result in paranoia, anxiety, a dry mouth, sweating and a racing heartbeat. It can also lead to a perception that you are unwell or a sense of anxiety. YOU ARE FINE. This feeling will go away and you are not in any danger.
- You may have a dry mouth, also known as “cotton mouth.” This is normal. Drink water. Forget about it and go play instead.
- If you feel anxiety, relax and distract yourself. Go to sleep.
- Watch a movie. Get outdoors. Just keep yourself occupied and try not to focus on any insecurity. There is no reason to be anxious or insecure. Sleeping is generally the best remedy for being too high. Laughing is the second best, so put on a funny movie. Better yet, invite your most amusing friends over to begin with.
- If you have any CBD products on hand, use them. It is reported that CBD can help bring people down.
- Do not mix cannabis and alcohol. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol actually intensifies the effect of THC.
- A high normally lasts around 3 to 5 hours, but the “too high” part generally only lasts about an hour before your body starts to break down the THC and you begin coming down.
- You may feel a sense of paranoia — as if everything you say sounds really stupid, or that you are not a good person. Again, relax. This is a result of too much THC and the feeling will quickly subside. You are not an idiot. You are a good person.
- Tell someone who is more familiar with cannabis that you are uncomfortable, and ask for help if you are feeling very anxious.
Yep, and it is delicious. Prepare as you would any other iced tea, but just make sure you pour boiling water on the sachet(s) before cooling. Be careful to watch dosing if using more than one sachet.
Personally, we’ve never had one, but we’ve heard of people who do too high a dose and say they feel “groggy or “underwater” the next day. (We can proudly say this has not yet happened on Kikoko products). This is particularly true of smoking pot, as opposed to edibles. In any case, clinical studies show that a hangover from weed is a real thing. Another reason to stick to low, reliable doses.
Yes. Because our sachets are made from 100% renewably sourced plant material, they are compostable. It’ll take about six months for them to decompose entirely, but they’ll get there.
Yes. Our cans are made of recycled steel, which means they can (again) be recycled an infinite number of times without losing any integrity.
We set out to make healthy, sensibly dosed cannabis-infused tea products for women after watching a friend with ovarian cancer struggle with medicinal cannabis. Every form of medical marijuana Jan tried in her search to ease pain, reduce nausea or get a good night’s sleep got her too high. Dealing with cancer is horrendous enough; to find yourself riding the cannabis Crazy Train when all you’re looking for is relief struck us as a wrong.
Both of us have traveled quite a bit, and have learned about the native remedies used in some far-flung places. What has become all too clear to us is how we’ve lost focus in our own culture about the healing properties of plants, including cannabis.
Not until 1937, and the circumstances around it becoming illegal smack of big-industry lobbying.
Alcohol was illegal in the U.S. from 1920 to 1933 during Prohibition, at which time you can bet your bottom dollar people turned to cannabis, which was fully legal and had been used both medicinally and recreationally worldwide for millennia. Once alcohol prohibition was lifted, lo and behold, for the first time in America’s history, a variety of industries (tobacco, alcohol, cotton, petrochemical) came together to lobby hard to outlaw both marijuana and hemp. And in 1937, after four years of extensive lobbying, they succeeded; cannabis in all forms, industrial and otherwise, was made illegal (see our Timeline for more information.)
Nothing. Other than being a tiny town in Kenya (which we discovered while applying for a trademark), Kikoko is a word that we came up with by combining two words: koko, which is a Samoan cocoa drink, and ki, a Hawaiian syllable. When our lawyers demanded we stop waffling about a name, Amanda happened to be in Samoa and Jen in Hawaii. So, voilà! We’ve decided Kikoko means “mighty mojo,” but feel free to assign any meaning you like.
Still have questions? Please email us at email@example.com.
A CYA (“Cover Your Ass” for those as acronym-challenged as our editor): These are generalized answers and observations only. Please note that they are NOT written by a medical professional. Please also note that human bodies are unique, and everyone experiences cannabis individually. Thus, we respectfully request that you do not sue us if you are the one person who falls outside the curve and experiences something weird. These FAQs are for the benefit of the average consumer; in no way do they apply to everyone.