How to Create the Perfect Cannabis Coffee Drink – Chaga Chai

How to Create the Perfect Cannabis Chaga Chai

For most adults, energizing drinks like coffee are a daily ritual and have been for generations. Similarly, so has cannabis. So, it should come as no surprise that questions surrounding the combination of cannabis and the drinks we rely on to get us through the day have become quite numerous. That’s why we decided to spend some time exploring this subject. For the sake of this article, we will focus on the less frequently discussed, but rapidly growing in popularity topic of Chaga and cannabis.

Chaga drinks aren’t a new trend. In fact, Eastern Europeans have been consuming this mushroom derived, energizing drink for hundreds of years. Scientifically known as Inonotus obliquus, the chaga mushroom is most commonly found growing on birch trees. Upon first sight, many people mistake the nutrient-laden fungus as a part of the tree that is dead or diseased, because of its unsightly appearance. Once cultivated however, the mature chaga mushroom presents a soft, vibrantly golden colored interior.

Chaga as an Alternative to Coffee? 

Most people who cherish their daily coffee will tell you that you’ll need to pry it out of their cold, dead hands before you’ll see them freely give it up. That said, more than ever before, coffee drinkers are giving up their daily dose of caffeine in lieu of chaga-infused drinks.

Probably the number one reason people grab their coffee mug first thing in the morning is for the stimulating effects of caffeine. If you’ve ever had too much caffeine, you’re likely aware of the unpleasant feeling of being over-stimulated. While some individuals build a tolerance to caffeine, some people remain sensitive to even small doses, resulting in a daily decision to battle the jittery side-effects or go without caffeine. This is the point where many people are turning to chaga drinks as an alternative.

In a 2015 experimental study, researchers found mice that given chaga showed evidence of fatigue reduction during physical endurance testing. Many anecdotal reports from chaga consumers also reflect the sentiment that chaga may be an acceptable replacement for caffeine-packed coffee.

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The Other Potential Benefits of Chaga

The energizing effects of chaga are only one reason to consider adding it to your daily routine. A comparative study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology reported evidence of chaga’s antioxidant properties. The study reported chaga extracts as having “the capacity to scavenge free radicals” [3] and “protect cells against oxidative stress”.[3] Although more research involving human clinical trials needs to be completed, this certainly presents a positive outlook for chaga consumers.

Additionally, chaga has been shown to be a rich source of nutrients. Research into the composition of the chaga mushroom has shown that it is a source of numerous minerals and vitamins like vitamin D, potassium, vitamin B, amino acids, fiber, magnesium, copper, selenium, zinc, iron, and much more.

Adding to chaga’s resume, at the International Conference on Biomedical Engineering and Informatics, researchers reported findings of chaga’s potential to lower LDL cholesterol (AKA: bad cholesterol).

While published research around chaga certainly paints the mushroom in a positive light, it should be mentioned that chaga does contain oxalate, which is a compound found in some foods. High levels of oxalate consumption has been linked to kidney issues. That said, as more research becomes available, we will be able to better ascertain the potential benefits and risks of chaga.

So, Can I Mix Cannabis into my Chaga?

In short, yes! But, there are some things that you should keep in mind.

Most retail cannabis products are what is referred to as hydrophobic. This means that they do not mix with water. You shouldn’t expect to be able to simply drop just any cannabis extract into your chaga and have it homogenize [mix] well. In this case, you need to find a cannabis product that has been formulated to be what the industry refers to as hydrophilic or “water soluble”.

Koan Cordials are an excellent option for this situation. Koan’s proprietary Resonate System in their single serving cordials result in a water-soluble cannabis product that is consistently and precisely dosed from batch to batch. These cordials bring a level of convenience and ease into the mix, resulting in the perfect way to supplement your chaga drinks with cannabis. Additionally, the broad offering of various THC, CBD, and terpene dosages in Koan cordials make them ideal for those seeking a sub-perceptual cannabis microdose as well as individuals who want a deeper, more enlightening experience with higher amounts of THC.

But I Don’t Want to be Stoned All Day!

You don’t have to be! If you’re using a precisely dosed product like Koan cordials, then you should have total control over the effects of adding cannabis to your chaga drinks. Understanding your tolerance levels and starting with a low dose is the best way to assess exactly how much cannabis you need in order to meet your desired effects.

Unless you really over-do it when it comes to adding cannabis to your chaga, the effects should be sub-perceptual, especially if your intent is microdosing.

The best method to avoid adding too much cannabis to your chaga is by conducting some controlled experimenting of your own. Testing different amounts of cannabis in your chaga will help determine what works best for you. For instance, if using Koan cordials, you may opt to use Koan’s Calm cordial on busy work days when you need to quiet your mind while getting work done, their Create cordial on days when you need to spark your imaginative side a bit, and the Wonder cordial on the weekends that you have less responsibilities and can spend time exploring nature or your own mind.

How to Create the Perfect Cannabis Infused Chaga Chai

If you are interested in trying a chaga drink out for yourself and aren’t sure where to begin, we have the perfect recipe for a chaga chai that will rival any chai you’ve previously tried.

Ingredients: 

1 tsp Chaga Mushroom Powder

10 mL Koan Balance cordial (or any other Koan cordial that fits your setting)

Chai Spices*:

1     Whole Cinnamon Stick or ½ tsp ground Cinnamon, plus more for dusting

6-8 Green Cardamom pods (or 1 tsp ground cardamom)

3-4 Whole Cloves (or 1/4 tsp ground cloves)

1 tsp Whole Black Peppercorns (1 tsp ground pepper)

2 Tbs Fresh Ginger, grated (or 6 cubes of frozen ginger – pre peeled/grated)

*Whole Chai spices can be substituted for 2-3 Tbs of a pre-made chai spice powder.

1 tsp Raw Cacao powder

2 cups Oat Milk (any dairy-free milk will do; we prefer a barista blend)

1-2 tsp sweetener of choice

Optional: 1 scoop of Collagen Powder

Directions:

  1. Place whole chai spices into a mortar and pestle and lightly crush to bruise the spices, but do not pulverize to a powder. The spices should impart a fragrant aroma.
  1. Pour oat milk into a heat-proof vessel. Heat on the stovetop or microwave.
  1. Place spice mix directly into the oat milk. Steep in simmering oat milk for 5-10 minutes on the stovetop and add cacao powder, chaga powder and whisk. Steep longer off the heat for a more intensely flavored drink (optional).

As an alternative, you can also heat the milk and spices together in the microwave for 2 minutes on high, then set aside to continue to steep for greater flavor intensity.

  1. Strain the liquid over a mesh strainer or in a strainer bag, into your favorite mug. This will make 2-3 servings.
  1. Pour the rest of the hot liquid into a mason jar for storing or into a teapot for serving.

If you are using a chai spice mix, add the chai mix directly to your heated oat milk along with the chaga and cacao powder.

Add sweetener and add collagen powder (optional) if desired. Pour in Koan cordial, stir. Dust with cinnamon or cacao powder. Serve hot.

A Note About Temperature

When preparing your cannabis infused chaga chai, it is important to be cognizant of the oat milk’s temperature, not letting it get too hot. This is due to the fact that high heat can destroy the beneficial attributes found in chaga as well as degrade the cannabinoids and terpenes from your cannabis. Most sources recommend keeping the liquid between 140-160 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain the integrity of the chaga.

Let us Know What You Think!

How have you incorporated chaga and cannabis into your daily routine? Have you figured out a tweak to improve our recipe? What benefits have you felt from a cannabis and chaga combination? We want to hear about it! We believe that chaga will continue to convert coffee drinkers and we are as excited as you are to see what future research surrounding chaga and cannabis uncovers.

This article is for informational purposes only and not to be used as medical advice. Please speak with a medical professional before making any changes to your diet, medications, or daily routine. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and not to be used as medical advice. Please speak with a medical professional before making any changes to your diet, medications, or daily routine. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

References:

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0254627215301266
  2. https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-chaga-tea#1
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15588653/
  4. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318527
  5. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/5305591?reload=true%E2%88%82%3D1
  6. https://senchateabar.com/blogs/blog/how-to-make-chaga-tea