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How to Make a Cannabis Tincture: Cold Alcohol Extraction 101

How to Make a Cannabis Tincture:

Ever gazed at a tiny bottle of cannabis tincture and wondered, "How on earth is this powerful potion made?" Well, you're about to uncover that mystery.

Picture yourself brewing your very own 'Green Dragon', as enthusiasts lovingly call it. Imagine having the power to create an elixir that offers potential health benefits right in your kitchen. Intriguing, isn't it?

We'll journey together into the world of cold alcohol extraction—a method so simple yet efficient it's almost magical! We'll dive deep into why high-proof alcohol is crucial for extraction and how decarboxylation plays a pivotal role in activating therapeutic compounds.

You won't just learn; you'll be equipped with practical steps to make your first batch. Now wouldn’t that be something worth boasting about at parties? Stick around—it’s going to be quite an adventure!

Understanding Cannabis Tinctures

Cannabis tinctures, also known as Green Dragon, are liquid extracts of cannabis plants. Tinctures of cannabis are frequently utilized for their therapeutic effects and can be ingested directly or added to meals and beverages.

Tinctures offer a smoke-free option for those who prefer not to inhale cannabis but still want its benefits. Because they’re absorbed through the mouth lining, effects kick in faster than edibles — usually within 15 minutes.

The Versatility of Cannabis Tinctures

Cannabis tinctures provide versatility that other consumption methods lack. You can take them sublingually (under the tongue), which allows rapid absorption into your bloodstream, giving you quicker results compared to ingesting orally.

Another benefit is dose control – it’s easy to measure out precise amounts using the dropper provided with most commercially available tinctures. This gives users more power over their experience, ensuring they get just what they need without going overboard.

The Magic Behind Green Dragon

If you're wondering why these concoctions are referred to as "Green Dragon", it's because when prepared correctly, cannabis tinctures have a rich green color due to chlorophyll extraction from plant material during preparation—a feature many find appealing visually alongside its beneficial properties. WeedMaps has an excellent guide on this topic if you want more information.

Given its visually appealing color and beneficial properties, the Green Dragon moniker has been fittingly applied to cannabis tinctures crafted with scientific precision and a hint of artistry.

The Popularity of Cannabis Tinctures

Cannabis tinctures have been becoming more and more well-known recently for multiple motives. Firstly, they are discreet—you can take your dose without anyone being any wiser. This makes them ideal for those who need to medicate without drawing attention, as well as providing a way for people concerned about lung irritation from smoking or vaping to still benefit from the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids.

Secondly, they offer an easy entry point into cannabis use for those wary about smoking or vaping—tinctures give these individuals access to therapeutic cannabinoids without potential lung irritation associated with inhalation methods.

Finally, let's not forget their flexibility. We've already discussed how you can use them under your tongue or...

Key Takeaway: 


Delve into the world of cannabis tinctures, also known as Green Dragon. They're liquid plant extracts that offer a smoke-free way to enjoy cannabis benefits, with effects kicking in faster than edibles. Enjoy their versatility and control over dosage when taken sublingually. These discreet, easy-to-use solutions are gaining popularity for good reasons.

The Importance of High-Proof Alcohol in Cannabis Tincture Preparation

When you're making a cannabis tincture, the type of alcohol you use matters. A lot.

Now, before we go any further, let's clear something up: We’re not talking about your average six-pack or cocktail mixers here. When it comes to preparing cannabis tinctures, high-proof grain alcohol is the gold standard.

The Role of Alcohol in Extraction

If you've ever wondered why vodka just doesn't cut it for this job – there’s science behind that. The key lies in how well different types of alcohols extract medicinal compounds from our green friend—the humble cannabis flower.

You see, when extracting cannabinoids and terpenes—those therapeutic goodies found inside cannabis—it all boils down to solubility. Think back to your school days’ chemistry lessons (don’t worry; there won't be a test). Do you remember hearing "like dissolves like?" Well, because THC and CBD are non-polar substances—they don't mix with water—they need a non-polar solvent for extraction. That's where high-proof grain alcohol comes into play.

This mighty brew has an alcoholic content typically between 75% - 95%. It means it can effectively dissolve those valuable cannabinoids better than lower proof options (5). You might think adding more vodka would solve the problem—but alas no. Lower-proof alcohols contain more water—a polar substance—which hinders efficient extraction (6).

So, high-proof alcohol doesn't just extract more; it extracts better. It pulls out a wider range of cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant material than its lower-proof cousins.

Picture this: you're brewing a cup of joe. Hot water, much like high-proof alcohol, delivers a bold, full-bodied taste teeming with caffeine. But if you opt for lukewarm...?

Key Takeaway: 


When making a cannabis tincture, don't skimp on the alcohol. High-proof grain alcohol is king because of its ability to efficiently extract cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis flower due to its non-polar nature. It's not just about extracting more; it's about extracting better - delivering a wider range of therapeutic compounds than lower-proof options.

Decarboxylation and Its Role in Tincture Preparation

Before diving into tincture creation, we need to understand a key step: decarboxylation. Often shortened to "decarb," this process is crucial for unlocking the therapeutic potential of cannabis.

Decarboxylation Process Explained

The term might sound complicated, but it's all about heat. By heating raw cannabis flower, we cause a chemical reaction which converts THCA into the medicinal form of THC. The same goes for CBDA converting to CBD. These activated forms are what give us the medicinal benefits we seek from cannabis.

In its natural state, raw cannabis contains cannabinoids like THCA and CBDA, which aren't psychoactive or readily absorbed by our bodies' endocannabinoid system. But with some applied warmth? Welcome THC and CBD.

To properly execute decarb, precision matters - both in temperature setting and timing your bake. Decarb at too high a temp or for too long could degrade these beneficial compounds; doing so at too low or short might leave them unactivated.

  • A common approach is baking ground buds on a parchment-lined tray in an oven preheated between 220°F – 240°F (Note: Oven temps can vary. Use an oven thermometer).
  • Bake time typically ranges from 30-45 minutes depending on bud moisture content.
  • Your goal here is achieving golden brown color without getting it charred black. Leafly's guide to decarbing can give more specific insights.

Decarbing is all about finding the right balance, kind of like whipping up a perfect meal. Too much or too little heat and time can mess things up, but if you get it just right...

Cold Ethanol Extraction Method for Cannabis Tinctures

Ever wondered how to make a potent, clean cannabis tincture at home? The secret lies in the cold ethanol extraction method. Let's quickly explore why this method is so effective.

Freezing Cannabis and Alcohol for Efficient Extraction

The first step involves freezing your cannabis and high-proof alcohol. This isn't just some fancy trick; there's science behind it. When these two ingredients are chilled down to sub-zero temperatures, magic happens.

This cooling process makes sure that less chlorophyll is extracted from the plant material when you soak your buds in alcohol. Less chlorophyll means fewer green pigments and thus less bitterness in taste - making your homemade tincture not only more effective but also more enjoyable.

Besides improving flavor profile, pre-freezing aids in achieving better cannabinoid extraction rates as well. The low temperature causes trichomes on the bud (the tiny crystal-like structures where cannabinoids reside) to become brittle and break off easily during soaking.

Reducing Undesirable Compounds with Cold Ethanol Extraction

Moving onto another significant advantage of this approach: reducing undesirable compounds like fats or waxes which can muddy up your final product if left unchecked. Now who wants a murky-looking Green Dragon?

To give you an analogy – think about pouring hot water over ground coffee versus cold brewing those same beans overnight. Both methods will yield caffeinated drinks, but each has its unique qualities because different elements are drawn out by hot vs cold extractions.

Recent studies suggest that ethanol's polar nature allows it to extract a wide range of compounds, including both desirable cannabinoids and less-wanted elements like chlorophyll. Cold extraction limits the latter, giving you a cleaner tincture.

That said, remember not all unwanted compounds are bad news. Some may have their own health benefits. But if your goal is creating a clean cannabis tincture focusing on potent cannabinoid content – cold ethanol extraction is the way to go.

The Steps Involved

  1. Decarbox
Key Takeaway: 


Whipping up a powerful, tasty cannabis tincture is a breeze using the cold ethanol extraction method. Chilling your cannabis and high-proof alcohol before soaking them together cuts down on bitterness by reducing chlorophyll extraction and boosts cannabinoid release at the same time. But that's not all – this approach also helps keep unwanted stuff like fats or waxes from muddying your final product, guaranteeing you end up with something cleaner.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Your Own Cannabis Tincture

Creating your own cannabis tincture at home can be a fun and rewarding process. Not only does it allow you to control the quality of ingredients, but also lets you adjust the dosage as per your needs.

Preparing for Extraction

The first step in creating a cannabis tincture is decarbing, which involves heating up the dried herb to activate its beneficial compounds like THC and CBD. For those wondering how exactly we do that, there's an excellent guide on Healthline.

Once done with decarbing, pop both your activated bud and high-proof alcohol into the freezer overnight. This freezing stage is essential because it helps break down cell walls of the plant material more efficiently when soaked in alcohol.

The Extraction Process

Moving onto extraction now. It's pretty simple - just mix together frozen buds with cold alcohol inside a mason jar until all plant matter is submerged completely.

Tightly seal off this mixture and let it sit undisturbed in some cool dark corner for about 5 days. Remember: patience here yields potency later.

Note: Shake gently once every day during these five days – this will help maximize cannabinoid absorption from our green friends into their new boozy home.

When five days are up, strain out all solids using cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer before reducing liquid volume by simmering over low heat (but avoid boiling.). And voila. You've got yourself homemade cannabis tincture ready for bottling and storage.

Dosage Recommendations

When it comes to using your newly crafted tincture, the golden rule is "start low and go slow". You can begin with a dose of 1ml (about one dropper-full) under the tongue. Wait for an hour or so to see how you feel before taking more.

Once this time has passed,

Key Takeaway: 


Making your own cannabis tincture at home can be a thrilling and satisfying journey. Kick off by activating the medicinal compounds in your dried bud through decarboxylation. Follow this up by freezing it alongside high-proof alcohol overnight, then let them soak together for five days tucked away in a cool, shadowy spot. Once you strain and simmer down the liquid, voila. You've got yourself homemade cannabis tincture.

FAQs in Relation to How to Make a Cannabis Tincture: Easy Cold alcohol Extraction

What is the cold method of cannabis extraction?

The cold method, also known as Cold Ethanol Extraction, involves freezing both your cannabis and high-proof alcohol before combining them. This aids in extracting beneficial compounds while minimizing unwanted ones.

Can you make a cannabis tincture with alcohol?

Absolutely. In fact, high-proof alcohol acts as an efficient solvent for extracting medicinal properties from the cannabis flower to create a potent tincture.

How do you make a quick tincture?

To whip up a fast-acting tincture, combine decarboxylated (heated) marijuana with high-proof ethanol. After that, strain out plant matter and reduce liquid by heat or evaporation—just be mindful of dosage.

What is the ratio of cannabis to alcohol for tinctures?

An effective starting point can be one gram of weed per one ounce of 190 proof grain alcohol—but remember: potency depends on factors like weed quality and individual tolerance levels.


Unveiling the mystery of how to make a cannabis tincture, you've journeyed through cold alcohol extraction. It's simple, efficient and almost magical.

You now know why high-proof alcohol is essential—it acts as an excellent solvent for extracting those beneficial compounds from our green friend.

Decarboxylation isn't just a fancy term; it’s your key to unlocking therapeutic potentials. By heating up the plant material, we activate those desired compounds before diving into extraction.

The art of freezing both cannabis and alcohol optimizes extraction while reducing unwanted elements in your tincture. Remember this: Cold ethanol helps produce a cleaner product.

Your newfound knowledge doesn’t end here; it culminates in practical action! You're armed with step-by-step guidance on creating your very own 'Green Dragon'. A personalized potion filled with potential health benefits—ready at your disposal!

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