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).
How to Make A Cannabis Alcohol 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 tinctures, this post is specifically dedicated to a long soak, alcohol-based cannabis tincture.
Read on to learn more about what a cannabis tincture is and how it can benefit you.
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What is a Cannabis Alcohol Tincture?
Let’s start by looking at what a tincture is.
Tinctures are extracts made by soaking the leaves, bark, or roots of herbs in a solvent like alcohol.
The liquid pulls out the active compound in the plants, dissolving them and concentrating them.
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.
Tinctures are usually stored in glass bottles with a dropper. This makes a tincture a more accurate way to dose and easy to consume as well.
Taken under the tongue, you’ll feel the effects quite quickly, within 15-20 minutes.
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 and how your body specifically responds to cannabis edibles.
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.
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.
Be Sure to Decarboxylate First
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, decarboxylate the plant matter.
Your cannabis tincture can only be as strong as the cannabis flower you’re starting with.
High-grade buds are going to be more potent than trim or shake, but less potent than kief.
Keep this in mind as you choose how much cannabis to use.
You can also make a CBD alcohol tincture using CBD dominant flower.
If you cannot access high proof alcohol, 151 proof will work as well, although it is not as strong.
You will not achieve the same results with lower proof alcohol like vodka or rum.
We do not recommend using any alcohol that is not graded as food-safe such as isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol).
*Warning: Combining high-proof alcohol with open flames can be extremely dangerous.
Before attempting any type of alcohol evaporation, ensure you are being safe. Proper ventilation, no open flames, and common sense go a long way*.
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 50%-100% of the alcohol.
If you evaporate off all of the alcohol, you will be left with Full-Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO), a powerful concentrated cannabis extract.
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.
You can also follow the instructions here on how to make Full-Extract Cannabis Oil with complete instructions for evaporating the alcohol off in a mini-crockpot.
What To Make With a Cannabis Tincture
Once you have your cannabis tincture prepared, you can use it in many different types of recipes.
Once you have the tincture made, it really is quite easy to make a cannabis-infused sugar.
Printable Cannabis Tincture Recipe & Instructions
- 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. You only need to add enough alcohol to completely cover the plant matter*.
- Screw the cap tightly and shake gently.
- Place the mason jar in a cool, dark location like a cupboard or closet and leave it to infuse for 24-hours. Shake occasionally.
- After 24 hours, 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.
- Click here for instructions on how to evaporate the alcohol, if needed.
*You do not need to use the full 16 ounces of Everclear tincture, you just need enough alcohol to cover all of the plant matter in the container you are using.
**Soaking your plant material for longer (days) will not increase the potency, but will increase the amount of chlorophyll in your final infusion.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 ounce
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 190
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