Cannabis Kombucha



I’ve tried some delicious cannabis kombucha brands here in California, where adult use of cannabis is legal. Commercial brands mix a THC-infused emulsion into kombucha that’s already brewed.

I hadn’t heard of anyone including cannabis in the fermentation. I wasn’t sure what would happen. Would the SCOBY be okay, or would it get paranoid and climb out of the jar? Would it ferment? I used vegetable glycerin to emulsify the THC into the simple syrup. I read that glycerine is bacteriostatic (a compound that freezes the metabolic action of bacteria, without killing them). Would this throw off the fermentation in any way? Only one way to find out!

UPDATE: After experimentation, I concluded that it’s preferable to simply infuse the cannabis syrup into a secondary kombucha fermentation. See notes at bottom of this post for the original experiment.

I found that the secondary fermentation with cannabis syrup is slower than with other adjuncts I commonly use (fresh squeezed fruit juice, dried or fresh herbs, ginger), so I adjusted the length of time to reflect that.

add a little ginger along with the syrup for a bright flavor that complements the subtle terpenes

The syrup I made used some old trim for which I did not know the THC content, so I had to estimate the THC content.

STEP 1: Make Cannabis Syrup

You will first need to create cannabis-infused simple syrup.

STEP 2: Make Kombucha (primary fermentation)

Follow our classic recipe for kombucha.

STEP 3: Make Secondary Flavored Cannabis Kombucha

The recipe below creates a finished kombucha with about 10mg THC per 8 ounce serving.

Cannabis Kombucha
Prep time: 
Fermentation time: 
Yield: 24 oz. 750 ml
  • 24 oz. (750 ml) mature kombucha
  • 1 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. (25 ml) cannabis syrup
  • 15g fresh ginger, cut into matchsticks
  • swing-top bottle
  • funnel
  1. With a funnel, add cannabis syrup to a clean glass bottle (either a swing top or one with a cap which can tighten.)
  2. Add ginger pieces to bottle.
  3. Top with plain kombucha. Leave no more than ½" of head space in the neck of the bottle. Close tightly.
  4. Ferment 4-14 days, burping occasionally (over the sink) to release gas buildup.
  5. When you like the flavor and carbonation, move bottle to refrigerator.
  6. Before serving, gently rock (DO NOT SHAKE) the bottle by inverting it a few times. This will allow any sediment to be better incorporated into the beverage when you pour it.
  7. Serve chilled to reduce the chance of the bottle overflowing with carbonation. Enjoy responsibly.


Initial Experiment

Kombucha (primary fermentation) with cannabis syrup

In order to test whether the fermentation affects THC content, I tried a scientific-ish experiment. I tasted a spoonful of cannabis syrup mixed in with regular kombucha, and then studied the effects. Then I tried an equivalent amount of syrup in the fermented-with-cannabis batch. The effects of the fermented batch were indeed more mellow. So it appears that the fermentation process reduces the THC content at least a little.

The effects of the cannabis when it’s been fermented in with the kombucha are noticeably more subtle than when consuming the syrup without fermentation. The finished kombucha has a really nice aroma (subtle terpenes), and is quite tasty. Many testers report that they couldn’t detect any flavor of cannabis. I’ll keep working on the recipe. Most would therefore argue that it’s not a good technique because it is loses potency during fermentation. That could well be true. I still enjoy drinking the kombucha and its light effects. I will continue the experimentation again using more and stronger syrup.

Always store scobys used in this recipe separately from other “non-cannabis” scobys. Best is to store them in their own jar (always at room temperature– never in the refrigerator!) in a little of the reserved liquid from the last batch you make. Keep a cloth lid on top of the jar to keep out flies and allow the scoby to continue to breathe. It doesn’t need much liquid to hang out– just enough to keep it submerged.


  1. Meet the Cannabis Kombucha Guru, Accessed Mar. 20, 2018
  2. Cooking with Cannabis: Delicious Recipes for Edibles and Everyday Favorites. Wolf, Laurie.
  3. How to Calculate Edible Potency, Accessed Mar. 12, 2018.
  4. How to calculate THC dosage in recipes for marijuana edibles, Accessed Mar. 12, 2018.
  5. Dosing Homemade Cannabis, Cooking with Cannabis, Part 4.


Hoppy Hazy Kombucha

Satisfy your hop fix– Hangover-free!

Eager to hop on the hops bandwagon, but not wanting to suffer the consequences of drinking beer (which my body has, in not so subtle ways, recently told me to give up), I wanted to see if kombucha could be hopped in a similar way to beer.

I use whole leaf, dried hops so far and have had great results. Hops is also sold in “nuggets”, whereby the flower is compressed into pellets or nuggets. I have not yet used these, mainly because I like the results from using whole hop flowers.

After a few experiments, I found that the flavors indeed work well together.

You can customize the hoppiness to just your liking.
Mild variation. 5-10 hop flowers per quart. Ferment at room temp 3-4 days.
Hazy AF variation. Double the amount of hop flowers (20 flowers per quart of kombucha). After fermenting at room temp 3-4 days, bottle condition another 3 to 5 weeks in the refrigerator. Aromas are dank, lemony, piney. Flavors are bitter, sour, chalky, hoppy.

Check out that haze! (this is the 30 day hopped variation.)


Hopped Kombucha
Prep time: 
Fermentation time: 
Yield: 1 quart
  • 1 qt/liter ripe (or slightly sweeter than ripe) kombucha
  • MILD: 5 grams hops flowers or nuggets, any variety
  • HAZY: 15-20 grams hops flowers or nuggets, any variety
  • ¼ cup (60ml) grapefruit juice (freshly squeezed, about 1 medium sized grapefruit)
  1. If fresh squeezing, slice grapefruit in half and juice through a strainer sitting inside a funnel, to catch seeds and pulp, into a swing top or tightly sealable bottle (or add about ¼ cup juice).
  2. Add hop flowers to bottle.
  3. Top with kombucha until there is only ½" space from the top of the bottle.
  4. Ferment at room temperature 2-5 days, (less time in hot weather, longer in cooler weather).
  5. Carefully let out pressure by slowly uncapping over a sink.
  6. Refrigerate bottle.
  7. MILD: Serve chilled. Pour through strainer into glass (to filter out hops petals).
  8. HAZY: Let sit in refrigerator from 3 to 5 weeks.
  9. Serve chilled. Pour through strainer into glass (to filter out hops petals).


Cannabis Simple Syrup

Cannabis has been coming back into its rightful and honorable place as sacred plant medicine, after having been outlawed for most of the 20th century in most of the world. It has begun its slide towards decriminalization and/or full legalization (9 states plus DC and counting!) in earnest. To celebrate, we want to provide you with a lovely suggestion on how to enjoy your probiotics and cannabinoids at the same time!

You can use almost any bud, from top-shelf flower to old shake. Edibles like this recipe are a great way to use trim (leaves and stems other than the flower, which still have a good amount of trichomes, the sticky resin which contain the active ingredients). Near zero waste! The syrup I made used some old trim for which I did not know the THC content, so I had to estimate that. [2]

This cannabis-infused syrup can be used as a sweetener for cocktails, a way to relax with a cup of hot tea, or really any recipe calling for sugar, including making a secondary fermented cannabis kombucha!

♪ Just a spoonful of medicine helps the sugar go down! (wait, is that how it goes?) ♫

You can customize the potency of the syrup to your liking. Try out our handy canna-calculator below.

Notes & Assumptions

  • Cannabis is legal in your state or jurisdiction, and/or it is legal for you to consume (you are over 21 and/or have a medical registration card to legally possess).
  • To maximize the effects, decarboxylate cannabis plant matter first (by low roasting) before making edibles with it. This converts THC-A into THC and increases the psychoactive effect significantly. Decarboxylation is not necessary if you are beginning with oil or concentrate.
  • It is believed that extraction efficiency (the rate at which cannabinoids and terpenoids are retained) is 50% for fat-based infusions (THC levels drop from plant form to syrup by 50% during the infusion process). We hold the same assumption for this syrup-based infusion. Calculations incorporate this assumption.[4]


Cannabis Simple Syrup
Prep time: 
Fermentation time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 2 cups/500 ml
  • 12 fl. oz or 375ml (300g by weight) raw organic sugar
  • 12 fl. oz or 375ml filtered water
  • 23ml (1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp.) vegetable glycerin (we like this brand)
  • 13g cannabis trim (assumes 3% THC potency, for 10mg THC per 8 oz. of finished kombucha-- see calculator below to modify potency)
Decarboxylate Cannabis
  1. Preheat oven to 225F.
  2. Spread cannabis on an even layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Break into small nuggets or roughly chop.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven, let cool.
Create simple syrup
  1. Boil water in a saucepot. Add sugar and stir until dissolved.
  2. Add decarboxylated cannabis to the pot and stir gently.
  3. Cover and reduce heat. Let simmer 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in vegetable glycerin. Reduce heat to low and cook 10 minutes.
  5. Turn off heat and let mixture cool.
  6. Strain through cheesecloth into a heat proof mixing bowl. Let syrup cool down and drain from solids, about 30 minutes.
  7. Squeeze cheesecloth into a ball to extract last drops of syrup.
  8. Store syrup in a tightly sealed glass container in the refrigerator OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN. Lasts up to 3 months.



  1. Cooking with Cannabis: Delicious Recipes for Edibles and Everyday Favorites. Wolf, Laurie.
  2. How to Calculate Edible Potency, Accessed Mar. 12, 2018.

  3. How to calculate THC dosage in recipes for marijuana edibles, Accessed Mar. 12, 2018.

  4. Dosing Homemade Cannabis, Cooking with Cannabis, Part 4.

Pineapple Ginger Kombucha

Got any extra pineapple scraps lying around? Why not make some tropical kombucha? Inspired by tepache (a Mexican boozy pineapple based beverage), using scraps such as cores and peels infuses very well into kombucha in just a few days.

There are an infinite number of ways to flavor kombucha.

Pineapple Ginger Kombucha
Prep time: 
Fermentation time: 
Yield: 2 quarts/liters
  • 48 oz/ 1.5 liter ripe kombucha
  • ½ lb. pineapple cores or skins
  • 30g fresh ginger, sliced thin
  1. Add ingredients except kombucha into a half-gallon-sized jar or large-mouthed bottle with a lid (either a swing top or one with a cap which can tighten.)
  2. Top with kombucha.
  3. Wait 2-3 days, then remove scraps from bottle. Move to refrigerator.
  4. Serve chilled.



Pumpkin Spice Kombucha

There are an infinite number of ways to flavor kombucha. Here is a seasonal (autumn/winter) idea using pumpkin puree, as well as the classic “pumpkin spices”: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and ginger. The flavors balance well, especially the sweetness of the pumpkin against the tart kombucha base!

Pumpkin Spice Kombucha
Prep time: 
Fermentation time: 
Yield: 1 quart
  • 24 oz/ ¾ liter ripe kombucha
  • ¼ cup pureed pumpkin
  • ⅛ tsp. allspice, ground
  • ⅛ tsp clove, ground
  • ⅛ tsp. cinnamon, ground
  • ⅛ tsp. nutmeg, ground
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, julienned into 5-6 matchsticks
  1. Using a funnel, add all ingredients except kombucha into a quart-sized bottle with a lid (either a swing top or one with a cap which can tighten.)
  2. Top with kombucha, to ensure puree and spices are "washed" into the bottle.
  3. Leave ½" space from the top of the bottle.
  4. Remove funnel and tighten cap on bottle.
  5. Wait 2-3 days, then move to refrigerator.
  6. Serve cold or room temperature.

Coffee Kombucha

Kombucha is traditionally made with brewed tea (from the Camellia sinensis plant). Did you know you can also use coffee to make this probiotic elixir?

I decided to start with a cold-brew. My bet was that the flavors would be more noticeable in the finished kombucha coffee. I was right!

After you use a SCOBY (the mother or starter culture for kombucha) to make coffee kombucha, you should store it separately from tea SCOBYs. Start your own “SCOBY café”!

Coffee Kombucha
Prep time: 
Fermentation time: 
Yield: 56 oz/1.6 liters
  • 54 fl oz. (1.6 liters) plus ¼ cup/60 ml filtered water
  • ⅓ cup/60 ml sugar
  • 4 ounces (by weight)/113g whole coffee beans (or ground coffee)
  • 4 ounce (by weight)/113g or larger kombucha SCOBY
  • ½ gallon or larger glass jar or ceramic vessel
  • Food grade canvas/muslin bag to hold coffee grounds
Make Cold Brew Coffee
  1. Grind coffee and pour into canvas/muslin bag. Tie bag off tightly so grounds cannot escape.
  2. Fill jar/vessel with 54 oz/1.6 liters of cold water. Add coffee bag and put in refrigerator.
  3. Twelve hours later, remove coffee bag and lightly squeeze bag over jar/vessel to capture remaining liquid. Compost or discard grounds.
  4. Filter coffee into another container through a paper coffee filter to remove any sediments. Pour back into jar/vessel.
Make a simple syrup
  1. Add sugar and ¼ cup/ 60ml water to a small saucepan. Heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Add simple syrup to jar.
  1. Allow coffee to warm to room temperature (70°F/21°C or higher).
  2. Add SCOBY to jar. Be sure to coat your fingers with mature kombucha or vinegar first before handling SCOBY.
  3. Cover with a cloth and secure with a rubber band. Place in a spot out of direct sunlight.
  4. Check after 5 days. If you like the taste, remove the SCOBYs and decant to another jar. If not, check again in another day.
  5. When finished, put lid on container and store in fridge.
  6. Serve chilled.
  7. NOTE: Keep coffee SCOBYs separate from tea SCOBYs.

Bloody Mary Kombucha

There are an infinite number of ways to flavor kombucha. Here is one that has a savory taste, but still refreshes like sweeter flavor combinations!

No hangover required to enjoy this summery fermented beverage!

bloody mary kombucha

Serving suggestion: Pour over ice and garnish with a few garlic dilly beans!

Bloody Mary Kombucha
Prep time: 
Fermentation time: 
Yield: 1 quart
No hangover required to enjoy this summer-y probiotic treat!
  • 1 qt/liter ripe kombucha
  • ¼ cup peeled cucumber, about 1.5 ounces or 45g by weight
  • 1 medium tomato, about 1.5 ounces or 45g by weight
  • ½ tsp (5ml) California chile powder (or other mild chile pepper)
  • ¼ (2.5ml) teaspoon cayenne pepper powder (or other hot chile pepper)
  • OPTIONAL ¼ of a fresh jalapeno, sliced
  • pinch of sea salt
  1. Blend cucumber and tomato until liquid.
  2. Using a funnel, add blended veggies to a quart-sized bottle with a tight-fitting lid (either a swing top or a metal cap which can tighten.)
  3. Add chile powders and salt.
  4. Top with kombucha until there is only ½" head space from the top of the bottle.
  5. Remove funnel and tighten cap on bottle.
  6. In warm weather, "burp" the bottle over a sink once a day to relieve built up pressure.
  7. Wait 2-3 days, then move to refrigerator.
  8. BE CAREFUL WHEN OPENING, as contents may have built up pressure.
  9. Serve cold, maybe with a few Garlic dilly beans.


All About Kombucha

Kombucha (kahm-BOO-chuh) is a fermented tea drink that probably originated in ancient China over two thousand years ago. The active culture which transforms the tea into kombucha is a complex Symbiotic Culture (or Colony) of Bacteria and Yeast which is held together in a thick, gelatinous biofilm. That’s a mouthful, so it’s commonly referred to by its acronym– SCOBY (SKOH-bee). It is rubbery and slippery, resembling the texture of a squid. It may also be called a kombucha culture, pellicle, zoogleal mat (impress your friends!), biofilm, mother or mushroom (although that last term is not quite accurate, because even though the yeast that comprises the colony are in the fungus family, they are not mushrooms).

Austin handles a SCOBY during a recent kombucha workshop
Austin handles a SCOBY during a recent kombucha workshop

Fermenting Containers and Primary fermentation

When looking for a fermentation vessel in which to make kombucha, select a non-porous, non-metallic material. Glass or ceramic work best. Plastic is okay, but some people prefer to avoid all plastic when fermenting. The SCOBY organisms need air. And the wider the container, the bigger the SCOBY can grow. When considering the diameter of a vessel, think Texas, not Manhattan.

Brewing Safely and pH

When you start your brew, sweet tea has a pH of about 5. In order to make the brew safe (that is, less prone to pathogenic microbes), you need to decrease the pH (that is, make it MORE acidic) to at least 4.6 at the beginning of the fermentation. That’s why it’s important to add a cup of mature kombucha to the starting tea. Once fermentation starts, the pH will continue to lower.

The pH, or measure of acidity, of finished kombucha should be around 3 to 3.5. At a minimum, it should drop to 4.6 in order to be considered safe. If you’re brewing at home, you can use pH strips to measure pH. It’s not super precise– if you’re brewing commercially or want more accuracy, you can obtain a pH meter.

Kombucha Kalkulator

Technique and Recipe

Recipe type: Beverage, fermented
Prep time: 
Fermentation time: 
Yield: 1 gallon
  • 15 cups/3.5l (1 gallon less one cup) filtered water
  • 10 tea bags or 10 teaspoons loose-leaf tea- any combination black, green, white, oolong, or pu-erh
  • 1 cup/250 ml raw sugar (6.05 oz./200g by weight) sugar (refined white, or raw, but SCOBY prefers refined)
  • 1 SCOBY (kombucha culture), 4-5 oz/110g or larger by weight
  • 1 cup/250ml starter liquid (mature kombucha from a prior batch)
  • (Optional) Flavorings (e.g. berries, fresh fruit, fruit juice, coconut water, herbs, ginger, etc.)
  • 1 one-gallon/4L or larger glass jar or ceramic container (preferably with spigot at bottom, but not essential)
  • Bottles to hold secondary ferments; pint-, quart-, or half-gallon sized-- bottles with tightly sealable caps, such as growlers, recycled mineral water bottles, or Grolsch-style swing-top bottles
  • Swatch of cloth to cover the opening-- dish towel, tea towel, or paper coffee filter to cover the container's opening (not cheesecloth--flies can get through!)
  • Rubber band
  • Funnel (for bottling)
Make Sweet Tea
  1. NOTE: You want the new SCOBY to form as large in diameter as possible. It forms at the top of the liquid, so if you're using a one-gallon container, be sure you fill the container to just below the neck of the jar (no higher). You might not use the full gallon of sweet tea. You can either brew a little less tea than shown in the recipe, use the extra for another purpose, or even reserve for the next round of 'buch-making.
  2. Boil 1 quart of filtered water (in a tea kettle or 1-gallon or larger pot).
  3. Add tea bags (or if using loose tea, add tea to muslin bags or tea ball) to pot.
  4. Pour boiling water into pot. Add tea. Let steep for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Remove tea bags from pot. Add sugar and stir to dissolve.
  6. Pour remaining (unheated) filtered water into pot. Wait until the temperature drops to 100°F/38°C or below (otherwise you might kill the SCOBY). Tea is now ready
  7. Dispense tea into the glass or ceramic container.
  1. Rub your hands with vinegar or some of the starter liquid before handling SCOBY. Carefully add the SCOBY to the jar. Pour the starter liquid from the SCOBY on top of the contents.
  2. Cover with a cloth and secure with a rubber band. Store in a dark, well-ventilated area (keep out of direct sunlight). If using a transparent container, wrap a towel around it to minimize light.
  3. Give it some good vibes, and your newly created universe will prosper!
  4. Taste a bit after 7 days by dispensing some from the spigot. If using a container without a spigot, gently insert a straw into the jar (pushing the SCOBY aside). If it's too sweet, let it ferment longer. If you like the taste, it's ready for secondary fermentation and bottling (see next section). If you don't plan on a secondary fermentation, then move it to the fridge (to stop further fermentation) and enjoy!
  5. If it's too tart, then adjust the time next batch. If it's WAY TOO TART, then you can use it as vinegar.
Flavoring & Bottling (aka Secondary Fermentation)
  1. Add various flavorings to a clean glass bottle (that has either a swing top or one with a cap which can tighten.)
  2. Top with plain mature kombucha. Leave no more than ½" of head space in the neck of the bottle. Close tightly.
  3. Ferment an additional 1-7 days in the bottle, depending on the weather (cooler= longer, warmer=shorter). Note that carbonation will build up, so burp bottles occasionally (over the sink) to release gas buildup.
  4. Move to refrigerator and enjoy (or swap with your fellow Fermenters)!
  5. When you like the taste and texture (i.e. bubbles), move to refrigerator.
  6. Serve chilled. Enjoy in moderation.

Secondary fermentation (aka “Flavor Time”)

After the primary fermentation, flavoring and bottling (aka the secondary fermentation) is when you can really get creative with your ‘booch! You can use any combination of fresh fruit, fruit juice, veggies, ginger or other herbs and spices. Remember: a little goes a long way, but you should still play around with the quantities needed to achieve the desired level of sweetness or strength. Some ingredients will lend more carbonation. Here are just a few combinations we’ve tried.

Kombucha Flavor Gallery

Kombucha videos

Keeping Flies Out

You can craft a simple fly trap to lure vinegar flies away from the good stuff.

Homemade fly trap
Homemade fly trap

Read more about flies and kombucha here.

Where to get a SCOBY

  • Mail Order: From a Kombucha specialist. I got my original culture from Kombucha Kamp and love it! It has made dozens of babies. They ship nationwide, too (Disclosure: I am an affiliate for Kombucha Kamp, meaning I get a small percentage of sales made if you click these links and buy from them).
  • From a health-food store: Many local or regional brands now offer starter kits.
  • Craigslist or local classified ads- People are always giving them away (you’ll know why after your first batch!)
  • Ask for one on our Facebook page (indicating where you are located). Chances are other Fermenters in your area will be happy to give you one.

Storing SCOBY babies/ Taking a Break

If you decide to take a break from making kombucha, or you have extras (because a new SCOBY is made each time you make a batch), you can store your SCOBY (always at room temperature– never in the refrigerator!) in a little of the reserved liquid from the last batch you make. It doesn’t need much to survive, just enough to keep it wet. You can even build a SCOBY hotel by adding multiple cultures to a single container into a “hotel”, like so:

hotel scoby cutout half size

How much should you drink?

Kombucha, like any other fermented food, should be taken in moderation. While it is good for us (being a much healthier alternative to soda drinks), it is acidic, which can upset your stomach. It also contains sugar and caffeine (although it is believed the SCOBY consumes most of the caffeine, leaving about 1/4 the amount in an equivalent portion of brewed tea). There can be “too much of a good thing.” I’ve read that 4 to 8 ounces, twice a day (for a max daily intake of 16 ounces/2 cups) is a safe limit. Personally, I only drink max 8 ounces a day (and not every single day). You’ll have to experiment and pay attention to your own body, and as always, Trust your Senses.

Flavors of Summer Kombucha

Flavors of Summer Kombucha
Prep time: 
Fermentation time: 
  • 1 quart/liter plain kombucha
  • 1 ounce fresh blueberries
  • ⅓ medium peach, rough chopped
  • 3-4 basil leaves
  • ¼" fresh ginger, sliced
  1. Brew kombucha as you normally would.
  2. Puree blueberries and peach using an immersion blender, food processor, or stick blender. Optionally, strain the puree through a sieve to leave skins behind. Add to jar or bottle.
  3. Add ginger slices and basil leaves to jar.
  4. Top off with Kombucha.
  5. Secure lid tightly and wait 3 days.
  6. Enjoy! Refrigerate unused portion.




How to Add Flavors to Homemade Kombucha [VIDEO]

Did you miss the recipe for kombucha? Here it is.

Some seasonal flavors to try:


  • Pomegranate
  • Grapefruit
  • Guava
  • Tangerine


  • Strawberry
  • Coconut water-chamomile


  • Peach
  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Nectarine
  • Blueberry-Peach
  • Strawberry
  • Peach-Ginger
  • Tomato-Cucumber (think “bloody mary”)
  • Cucumber-Mint
  • Blackberry-Ginger
  • Lavender-chamomile


  • Apple-Ginger
  • Pomegranate-Passionfruit
  • Persimmon-Ginger

What are some of your favorite kombucha flavors?