Video: Can Tea Get You High?


OK, first of all, I’m talking about ordinary tea (black, green, oolong, etc.) from the Camellia Sinensis plant–not infusions (you steeped it) or decoctions (you boiled it) of cannabis, poppy seeds or anything else folks out there are throwing into a pot. I am also not talking about you folks who roll up tea into a cigarette and smoke it. Shout out to these ladies in Brooklyn.

So, when I saw this fun video about foods that make you high (in some cases, only when consumed in dangerous quantities–not recommended), I was surprised that coffee and cocoa were mentioned, but not tea. Tea contains the most widely used psychoactive drug on the planet– the stimulant caffeine. It has less caffeine than coffee, which is one reason we may feel aroused, alert and less drowsy after drinking it, but we’re less likely to feel “wired.”

But what really makes tea (and certain species of mushrooms…hmmmn) unique is L-theanine.  This amino acid crosses the blood-brain barrier and encourages an increase of alpha waves, typical of brain activity when we are alert and relaxed. It is also linked to focused attention.

So will you spend your days locked in a haze if you enjoy a cuppa? Will you loaf around listening to Snoop Dogg? Not exactly. But many tea enthusiasts do report a sense of wellbeing, mellowness and euphoria after consuming it. Others compare it to the effects of meditation. The “high” experience seems to be especially common among tea drinkers who use it to find relief from anxiety. Have you ever noticed a high from drinking tea?