Cannabis Tincture - Everything You Need To Know (including how to make it!)
WOW! I mean, wow!
There are so many different, new, and exciting ways to consume cannabis out there in this modern age. It’s no longer just get to the point, roll another joint. This sure ain’t your grandma’s cannabis!
Edibles, waxes, oils, beverages, vapes, there’s something crafty for every kind of connoisseur. All in pursuit of the effects of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient found in the cannabis plant.
I find the most effective and efficient way to turn the clock to 4:20 is with a cannabis tincture.
WHAT IS A TINCTURE?
Is there a discreet, long-lasting way to always have a dose of THC? Yes, there is! It's called a cannabis tincture, and I'm going to tell you everything you need to know about it, including a cannabis tincture recipe. But let’s start with: what is a tincture? Many tinctures are produced from various plants that have health benefits, including cannabis! Let’s not forget that cannabis really is a plant. Tinctures are common in medicine and spirits. A tincture is an extract from a plant or animal material, made into a solution, commonly mixed with ethanol. Tinctures you might know include iodine and echinacea. A chamomile tincture calms the nerves, a lemon balm tincture boosts the immune system. But what can a marijuana tincture do for you? Let’s explore.
WHAT A WEED TINCTURE CAN DO FOR YOU
Just like cannabis buds come in all kinds of different strains, a THC tincture, AKA green dragon tincture, can be extracted from different strains. And just like strains, each tincture has different effects. Tinctures can be an attractive alternative to smoking for recreational and medicinal users. It’s really very easy to make and boasts lower calories than a brownie. Economical too! It just takes a little patience and some high proof Everclear. Next, let’s learn how to make cannabis tincture.
HOW TO MAKE THC TINCTURE
In this section, I will share a pot tincture recipe. Tinctures, in fact, were the most common medicinal application of cannabis until 1937 when the government introduced prohibition. The process is different from and much less dangerous than, how to make dabs or how to make cannabis wax. And you don’t need a blow torch to consume it! But we’ll get to that fun part later. Cannabis tinctures are usually made with alcohol or ethanol, which is most effective at breaking down the components of the plant. Sure, you can use a glycerin tincture recipe or vinegar, but a solvent like Everclear is the easiest. Here is a tincture recipe that takes some patience but will yield powerful results. It’s what’s known as a decarboxylation tincture. Don’t say that makes you sound smart?
- Get Grindin’! About 5 grams of bud or 30 grams of the shakey leaf should do it. Give it a fine consistency.
- Ready to roast. Bake your leaves at about 40 degrees in the oven, until crisp. This preserves the terpenes, or character, of the THC molecules.
- Add the spirits. About 250ccs of above 150 proof grain alcohol. Yee-ha!
- Let ‘er soak. Store your tincture at about room temperature, in the dark and in a glass container. You will want to shake, shake, shake that senora once a day over the three weeks it takes for your tincture to crystallize.
- No strain, no gain! Strain the tincture using – ta-da – an ordinary coffee filter!
If you are short on patience, here’s a shortcut that will speed up the process. It’s also an alcohol tincture recipe. Heat the alcohol using an electric burner, to about 70 degrees, and then let it soak for about an hour. You can measure the temperature with a regular cooking thermometer. Now it’s ready!
Once you’re an expert, you can further refine and concentrate the tincture. But first, it’s a good idea to learn…
HOW TO USE CANNABIS TINCTURES
What so many stoners like best about cannabis tinctures is that they are discreet. Many newbies are freaked by names like a green dragon, or sometimes gold dragon tincture. Or others compare it to edibles and worry about the dosage. In fact, not only is it discreet, it is easy to measure. Because the method of dosing is what’s called sublingual cannabis usage. Meaning you put it under your tongue. Which attracts a lot less attention than sparking up a pattie. Just a simple drop or two is necessary at first. Since the effects kick in only about ten minutes later than smoking by it, you can determine pretty quickly if you need more to achieve the desired buzz. With cannabis drops, it’s not difficult at all to regulate your marijuana tincture dosage. But still there remain…
QUESTIONS ABOUT MARIJUANA TINCTURES
Many new users wonder how long the effects will last, as they try to decide if a tincture is a way to go for them. I’ll answer that question. Sometimes, you will get a smoking-type high within just a few minutes. This is because the arterial blood supply under your tongue absorbs the molecules quickly. In any case it will be no longer than 15-45 minutes, and you should reach the peak of the effects after about an hour and a half. The effects will last longer than puffing or vaping, but not as long as eating, for example, an edible. That being said, there are…
OTHER WAYS TO CONSUME
You don’t have to just drop it on your tongue. You can also squeeze a few drops into a soda. Or any beverage you take along with you on the road. You can put it in food. This, however, changes the metabolizing of the molecules. In everyday terms, the molecules will be absorbed into your bloodstream much in the same way as an edible would, and therefore the intensity of the effects will be more like the sensation of eating a brownie. So, if you add the tincture to food, it will take about 45 minutes to hit and last a long time.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA TINCTURES
Of course, this application can be very appropriate for medical marijuana users, especially those who are too sick to consume their medicine by inhaling or ingesting. Those who desire some of the medical benefits but don’t want the high that THC produces can make a CBD tincture. Here, watch this video, where you can easily follow the CBD tincture recipe:
Medical Marijuana patients use tincture to manage anxiety issues, stress, pain, insomnia, and many other symptoms. The best – well, maybe not best but definitely cool - part is, it can also be used topically for bug bites or disinfecting cuts and scrapes. So, your next question probably is…
HOW LONG DO TINCTURES LAST?
Tinctures have a long shelf life. If stored in a cool, dark place, one batch can last you months, maybe even years. As I mentioned before, they are economical. Do the math! Or here, I’ll do it for you. Get a 100ml dropper, with each drop containing about 1ml, two drops at a time, and you get 50 doses from every bottle! As effective as smoking, but not nearly as wasteful as lighting up.
MORE FUN WITH CANNABIS TINCTURES
If you really want to be fancy and stealth, I can tell you how to make hard candy edibles with cannabis tinctures. You know, weed hard candies, pot suckers…In fact, I will now reveal a not-so-secret cannabis lollipop recipe, easily produced using a tincture. Here’s what you will need:
- 1 cup of sugar
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- ¼ cup of water
- 1 Tablespoon flavoring – baker’s choice
- 2-3 Tablespoons Cannabis Tincture
- And here’s how you make the magic!:
- Mix and match, baby! Mix the sugar, corn syrup and water over medium-high - no pun intended- heat in a medium saucepan.
- Like Bob sang, Stir It Up! Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Once boiled, don’t stir, babe. Instead, stick in a candy thermometer.
- When the thermometer reaches 300F, remove the pan but not the thermometer.
- Once it’s cooled down to 250F on the thermos, add the flavoring and tincture and keep stirring.
- Then pour your concoction into lollipop molds - don’t forget to buy them before you start cookin’!
Let em chill for 30 minutes, then store em in an airtight container. That was actually pretty easy after all, no? As long as you didn’t forget to buy the molds!
THREE CHEERS FOR THC TINCTURES
Well, there you go. You’ve dabbed your foot in the world of cannabis tinctures. Don’t be scared off by fears of “chasing the dragon”. Tinctures are actually one of the healthiest ways to enjoy cannabis and its effects. Plus, nobody’s going to question you about a dropper you tell them is for medical benefits. There’s plenty more to learn, so go on young grasshopper, and Thanks for saying high!
Written by Megan Medeiros (BA)
Megan Medeiros has a bachelor’s degree in English and is currently working on a master’s in English at James Madison University. She's the owner and operator of Medeiros Writing, and has been working as a cannabis writer for the past three years, mostly following the legal climate of marijuana, especially in areas like California, Colorado, Oregon, Canada, and other legal areas.
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