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.
- An overview of the Green Dragon vs. Golden Dragon tincture
- Pros and cons for each method, including taste vs. potency
- Lab results that show which option is more potent
Why You Will Love This Guide
If you are a member of my Well With Cannabis Community, you may already be familiar with the standard alcohol-based cannabis tincture.
Preparing a cannabis tincture involves pouring alcohol over cannabis flower buds or leaves to extract the medicine, like CBD and THC, from the plant matter.
The resulting tincture can be used for various purposes, including under the tongue or to create tasty recipes.
Each process has its pros and cons that we will explore below, but the most crucial 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.
Continue reading to learn more about the pros and cons of each method, and read the lab tests for yourself so you can decide which method is right for you.
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The 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, until a certain point. However, this method produces a stronger-tasting tincture with more residual plant matter like chlorophyll.
This leaves you, the consumer, deciding to choose potency over taste. Continue reading to determine which method is suitable for you.
What is the Golden Dragon 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 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 preferred due to its mild taste and flavor, resulting in better-tasting edibles.
Pros and Cons of the QWET Tincture
|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 the Green Dragon 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, 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.
Pros and Cons of the Green Dragon Tincture
|More potent per lab testing - until a certain point||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|
Lab Test Results with Photos
Before lab testing, we knew that the Golden Dragon tincture was preferred over the Green Dragon tincture for its 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 on the blog and sent the samples in for lab testing.
The results show that overall the Green Dragon tincture was slightly more potent than the Golden Dragon tincture.
The potency of the Green Dragon tincture continued to increase slightly from 24 hours through 30 days.
However, between 30 days and 60 days, there was a degradation in the potency, showing a reduction in the number of cannabinoids available.
These results suggest that up to 30 days is a good soak time for the Green Dragon tincture, but anything more than that can be detrimental to the final product.
Results Per Dropper
When looking at the lab test results, I found it 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.
Results Per Bottle
Now let's 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, the potency seems quite similar among the first four samples.
But when you look at the results per bottle full, it seems that the potency does vary between the Golden Dragon and 30-day Green Dragon tincture.
That's a difference of 69mg per 30mL bottle!
And then you will see that it dramatically drops off between the 30-60 day tincture. The final test has the lowest potency result.
This suggests that any soaking time over 30-days is not ideal and may lead to degradation of the cannabinoids.
Which One is Right For You?
With all this information presented, it is 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 undoubtedly more potent overall, but only until a certain point.
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 tincture before but are ready to try it now, be sure to grab the recipes I have here:
- Golden Dragon QWET Freezer Tincture
- Green Dragon Long Soak Traditional Tincture
- CBDA (Cannabidolic Acid) Tincture
- THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid) Tincture
- Cannabis Root Tincture
Don't forget to evaporate the alcohol if you find the burn of the alcohol too overwhelming.
The Actual Lab Tests
If you're interested in seeing the actual lab tests used and reviewing them for yourself, I am happy to share them here.
I will share 7 lab tests; the first is the decarboxylated material we started with that serves as the control, followed by the 6 tinctures.
To prepare each of the tinctures, we used 12.18 grams of decarboxylated CBD flower (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 precisely as printed in the instructions:
Test 2 - Golden Dragon QWET Freezer Tincture
These are the results of the Golden Dragon tincture.
Test 3 - Green Dragon Tincture 24-Hour Soak
These are the results for the Green Dragon tincture that was left to soak for 24 hours.
Test 4 - Green Dragon Tincture 5-Day Soak
These are the results of the Green Dragon tincture that was left to soak for 5 days.
Test 5 - Green Dragon Tincture 8-Day Soak
These are the results of the Green Dragon tincture that was left to soak for 8 days.
Test 6 - Green Dragon Tincture 30-Day Soak
These are the results of the Green Dragon tincture that was left to soak for 30 days.
Test 7 - Green Dragon Tincture 60-Day Soak
These are the results of the Green Dragon tincture that was left to soak for 60 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 products. 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 containing cannabinoids should not act differently in testing based on their makeup.
Any Remaining Questions?
I know a lot of information was shared here!
If you have any more questions about these results, please join the Well With Cannabis Facebook Community or post your question below.