Discover the difference between the Golden Dragon vs. Green Dragon Tincture, review the pros and cons of each method, and see real-world lab tests that tell us which method is more potent and by how much.
Purpose of This Research
The research presented in this post aims to identify the ideal method for maximum cannabinoid extraction and minimum chlorophyll release when making an at-home cannabis alcohol tincture by comparing the Golden Dragon (QWET) Tincture method to the Green Dragon (Long Soak) Tincture method.
TL: DR - Per lab test results, the Green Dragon Long Soak Tincture method produces a more potent tincture. The longer the soak, the more potent the final product. However, this method also produces a stronger tasting tincture with more residual plant matter like chlorophyll. This leaves you, the consumer, with the decision of choosing potency over taste.
Continue reading to determine which method is right for you.
Golden Dragon vs. Green Dragon Tincture
In simple terms, preparing a cannabis tincture is the process of pouring high-proof grain alcohol over cannabis flower buds or leaves.
The high-proof alcohol acts as a solvent, extracting the cannabinoids (AKA medicine: CBD, THC, etc.) from the plant matter, trapping them in the alcohol.
Each process has its own pros and cons that we will explore below, but the most important question is - which one is more potent?
For a reliable, science-based answer, I sent samples off for lab testing to determine once and for all - which method is more potent and by how much?
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What is Golden Dragon (QWET) Tincture?
QWET stands for ‘quick wash extraction technique’ or ‘quick wash ethanol extraction’ and is a cannabis tincture often called the Golden Dragon or Ice Dragon.
This QWET extraction method makes a cannabis tincture using frozen cannabis, frozen alcohol, and quicker wash times.
This method produces a lighter-colored, less-intensely flavored – but still highly potent – cannabis extract.
Compared to a traditional Green Dragon tincture, this quick wash freezer method produces a much lighter colored tincture with a much more mild cannabis taste.
The QWET method is generally preferred due to its mild taste and flavor that results in better tasting edibles.
Pros and Cons of QWET Tincture Method
|Quicker to produce||Less potent per lab testing|
|Produces better tasting edibles||Requires upfront prep work|
|Produces a much more mild cannabis taste that many people prefer||Pulls fewer plant compounds, resulting in a less full-spectrum experience|
What is Green Dragon (Long Soak) Tincture?
A traditional cannabis tincture called the Green Dragon involves combining cannabis flowers and alcohol in a vessel and letting them sit and steep for a prolonged period of time, with no freezing required.
I’ve seen traditional tinctures steep anywhere between a few hours to up to 4-6 months or longer in some cases.
Fans of the traditional tincture prefer this method because it is believed that the longer soak times help extract a full spectrum of plant compounds, resulting in a complete full-extract cannabis oil after the alcohol is evaporated.
Many believe that a complete plant extract that includes more plant compounds like chlorophyll and terpenes produces a more medicinal final product.
Pros and Cons of Green Dragon Tincture Method
|More potent per lab testing||Requires long waiting times|
|Pulls more plant compounds for a more full-spectrum experience||Produces a much stronger cannabis taste that many people do not like|
|Better suited for making FECO||Produces less desirable tasting edibles|
The Lab Test Results with Visual Images
Before lab testing, we knew that the Golden Dragon tincture was preferred over the Green Dragon tincture due to the better taste.
But many people wondered if we were sacrificing taste for potency?
So I conducted a series of tests by preparing the tinctures according to the directions available here on the blog and sent the samples in for lab testing.
I tested the Golden Dragon single wash compared to the Green Dragon Long Soak for 24 hours, 5 days, and 8 days.
I will also be testing a 2-month long soak of the Green Dragon, but those results aren't in yet.
The results show that the Green Dragon tincture was indeed more potent than the Golden Dragon and that the potency does increase slightly with longer soak times.
Results Per Dropper
When looking at the lab test results, I found it to be easier to visualize the information based on measured dropperfuls.
Each measured dropper has a 1mL mark.
Remember that 1mL = 1 gram, or that 1 gram = 1mL.
On the lab tests shown below, you will see the very right hand result is printed in mg/g, which translates into mg/mL.
When looking at the results this way, it seems that the potency is really quite similar among all four samples.
However, the 8-day Green Dragon tincture is clearly more potent, providing 2mg more per mL.
Results Per Bottle
Now lets look at the results per bottle and compare.
A standard tincture bottle holds 30mL, or 30 doses of the droppers shown above.
When looking at the results per dropperful, it seems that the potency is really quite similar among all four samples.
But when you look at the results per bottle full, it seems that the potency really does vary between the Golden Dragon and 8-day Green Dragon tincture.
That's a difference of 63mg per 30mL bottle.
Which One is Right For You?
With all of this information presented, it is now time for you to decide - which one is right for you?
It is most definitely a question of taste vs. potency here.
The Golden Dragon no doubt tastes better as a sublingual or to make edibles.
But the Green Dragon is no doubt more potent overall.
Think about your end goals.
What are you trying to achieve?
Delicious, tasty homemade cannabis edibles?
Or a more medicinal end product like FECO?
Ultimately, the choice is yours.
Thankfully now have the education and resources needed to make an educated decision for yourself.
If you've never made your own tincture before but are ready to try now, be sure to grab the recipes I have here:
The Actual Lab Tests
If you're interested in seeing the actual lab tests used and review them for yourself, I am happy to share them with you here.
I will share 5 lab tests; the first is the decarboxylated material we started with that serves as the control, followed by the 4 tinctures.
To prepare each of the tinctures, we used 12.18 grams of decarboxylated CBD flower (it was 14 grams before decarbing, but we accounted for the 0.87 loss associated with the process.)
We then used 8 ounces of Everclear 190 Proof Grain Alcohol for each tincture.
Each method was followed exactly as printed in the instructions:
Test #1 - Control Material - Decarbed CBD Flower
Test #2 - QWET Freezer Tincture (Golden Dragon)
These are the results for the Golden Dragon QWET Freezer Tincture.
Test #3 - Green Dragon Tincture - 24-Hour Soak
These are the results for the Green Dragon Long Soak Traditional Tincture that was left to soak for 24 hours.
Test #4 - Green Dragon Tincture - 5-Day Soak
These are the results for the Green Dragon Long Soak Traditional Tincture that was left to soak for 5 days.
Test #5 - Green Dragon Tincture - 8-Day Soak
These are the results for the Green Dragon Long Soak Traditional Tincture that was left to soak for 8 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
A few reasons. Cost is one, we are NYS licensed hemp farmers so we have access to an abundance of CBD product. Legality is the other, we are legally not allowed to ship THC samples across state lines, and the lab we use is in Colorado. I am confident that these cannabinoids function the same within the tests, and that if I used a THC dominant flower, the results would be the same.
Yes, definitely. The trichomes that contain the cannabinoids should not act any differently in testing based on their makeup.
Any Remaining Questions?
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