In this post, you will learn what a cannabis tincture is, the benefits of making your own tincture at home, what tinctures are used for, and how to make a traditional cannabis tincture recipe with alcohol at home (oftentimes called The Green Dragon).
What Is A Cannabis Tincture?
Cannabis is starting to take center stage as more benefits of using it are discovered regularly. If you’d like to incorporate cannabis into your health regimen, there are a few easy ways to get started, including using a cannabis tincture.
While you may commonly hear the word tincture in reference to CBD oil, this post is specifically dedicated to alcohol-based cannabis tinctures.
Read on to learn more about what a cannabis tincture is and how it can benefit you.
What is a Cannabis Alcohol Tincture?
Let’s start by looking at what a tincture is. Tinctures are concentrated extracts made by soaking the leaves, bark, or roots of herbs in a solvent like alcohol or glycerine.
The liquid pulls out the active compound in the plants, dissolving them and concentrating them. Tinctures usually come in glass bottles with a dropper. This makes a tincture a very accurate way to dose a compound, and very easy to take as well.
When it comes to cannabis tinctures, the alcohol is used to extract the active ingredients, including cannabinoids like CBD and THC and terpenes from the plant material, and is then taken orally.
This means that, for the compounds in cannabis to be active, they need to be heated with low temperatures over a period of time. So, to make a cannabis tincture, first, the cannabis is heated, and then it’s extracted in alcohol.
A cannabis tincture can be taken sublingually (under the tongue) or orally (swallowed), or can be added to just about any food or beverage. Taken sublingually, you’ll feel the effects quite quickly.
When swallowed, it may take up to two hours for the full effects to be felt, but that will be dependent upon your own unique Endocannabinoid System.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Cannabis Tincture?
There are many advantages to using tinctures over other ways of consuming cannabis. Tinctures are a preferred method of consuming cannabis because they are easy to make at home, and can be consumed in a variety of ways.
For people who prefer edibles to smoking or vaping cannabis, sublingual tinctures work well because they are easy to consume and don’t add calories to your diet. And unlike cannabis flowers, tinctures don’t have a smell once they’re made, so they are more discreet.
In addition, you don’t need any special equipment like a pipe to make or consume a tincture. And you can more precisely measure the amount of cannabis you’ll be dosing with a dropper, while cannabis flower and baked goods are notoriously difficult to measure.
Smoke or vapor can be harsh or unpleasant for some people, which means tinctures are great alternatives. And, when taken sublingually, it has a very fast onset, so you can quickly tell whether or not you’ll need to take more to feel the effects.
What Are Cannabis Tinctures Typically Used For?
One of the most common uses for tinctures is to create edible cannabis recipes. Because tinctures are so easily measured, you can add a precise amount to any dish without greatly affecting the final flavor.
It’s easy to test out the exact amount needed to feel the effects and find the minimum effective dose (MED), so you don’t use too much. In the long run, this will save you money
Depending on the strain of cannabis tinctures used, they may be used to help you find relief from pain, depression, anxiety, or chronic conditions.
It’s important to remember that cannabis works differently for each person, so it’s important to try a few different strains and dosages to find out what works best for you. If you want to gauge the effectiveness of a tincture, start with a small dosage, and then increase drop by drop until you feel the effects.
How To Make a Cannabis Tincture
You can scour the internet and find hundreds of different ways and methods to make a cannabis tincture. There is no one right way.
As the process of decarboxylation or the process for making cannabis-infused coconut oil is unique to each cannabis Chef, there are many methods and ways to achieve the same result in successfully making a cannabis tincture.
Below you will find a basic, beginner-friendly cannabis tincture recipe.
Your cannabis tincture can only be as strong as the cannabis flower you’re starting with. Keep this in mind as you choose how much cannabis to use. If you want a stronger tincture, use only 1 cup (8 ounces) of alcohol.
You can also make a CBD alcohol tincture using CBD dominant flower.
It is extremely important to use high proof grain alcohol, like the recommended Everclear 190 Proof, for the best quality extraction. You will not achieve the same results with lower proof alcohol like vodka or rum.
Your cannabis alcohol tincture will no doubt be strong and likely burn. Depending on your desired final outcome, you will want to evaporate off some of the alcohol to have a more concentrated tincture.
How much alcohol you evaporate off will depend on the type of final product you want, but many people typically evaporate off anywhere from 20-50% of the alcohol. If you evaporate off all of the alcohol, you will be left with Full-Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO).
There are many different ways to evaporate off the alcohol, some safer than others. The most simple way is to let the tincture sit out without a cover to let the alcohol evaporate away naturally.
What To Make With a Cannabis Tincture
Once you have your cannabis tincture prepared, you can use it in many different types of recipes. One of the most popular recipes to use a cannabis tincture is to make cannabis sugar.
Once you have the tincture made, it really is quite easy to make a cannabis-infused sugar. Get the full directions to make cannabis sugar here.
- If you haven't already, decarboxylate your cannabis by baking it in a 240° F oven for 40 minutes. Click here for a full tutorial on cannabis decarboxylation, if needed.
- Place the decarboxylated cannabis flower at the bottom of a pint-sized mason jar.
- Pour the Everclear alcohol over the cannabis flower. Screw the cap tightly and shake gently.
- Place the mason jar in a cool, dark location like a cupboard or closet and leave to infuse.
- Remove the tincture from the cupboard to shake gently once daily for the next 10 days.
- After 10 days, strain the cannabis tincture through a coffee filter or cheesecloth into a clean mason jar, separating the plant-matter from the alcohol.
- You now have a cannabis tincture. You can choose to evaporate off as much alcohol as desired, typically 20-50%.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 ounce
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 190