If you’re just getting started with making your own cannabis tinctures at home, you will hear different names for different processes. But is one better than the other? Here you will learn the difference between the Golden Dragon vs. Green Dragon tincture, review the pros and cons of each method, and see my real lab tests that show us which method is more potent – and by how much.

Golden Dragon vs Green Dragon


  • 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 are probably already familiar with the common alcohol-based cannabis tincture.

Preparing a tincture involves pouring alcohol over cannabis flower buds or leaves to extract the medicine, like CBD and THC, from the plant matter.

The final prepared tincture can be used for a variety of purposes at home, including under the tongue as a tincture, reduced into FECO, or used to create tasty recipes.

There are two most common processes for creating a tincture, the Golden Dragon QWET Tincture method and the Green Dragon Long Soak Tincture method.

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.

The Purpose of This Research

My personal 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 QWET extraction method makes a cannabis tincture using frozen cannabis, cold high-proof grain 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 preferred due to its mild taste and flavor, resulting in better-tasting edibles.

Quicker to produceLess potent per lab testing
Produces better-tasting ediblesRequires upfront prep work
Produces a much more mild cannabis taste that many people preferPulls 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.

Many believe that a complete plant extract that includes more plant compounds like chlorophyll and terpenes produces a more medicinal final product. 

More potent per lab testing – until a certain pointRequires long waiting times
Pulls more plant compounds for a more full-spectrum experienceProduces a much stronger cannabis taste that many people do not like
Better suited for making FECOProduces 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.

I tested the Golden Dragon single wash compared to the Green Dragon Long Soak for 24 hours, 5 days, 8 days, 30 days, and 60 days.

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.

Image showing the Green Dragon vs. Golden Dragon test results.

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.

Image showing the Green Dragon vs. Golden Dragon test results.

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 #1 – Control Material Decarbed CBD Flower

We started with CBD flower decarboxylated for 90-minutes using this decarboxylation process.

Decarbed CBD Flower Lab Test

Test #2 – Golden Dragon QWET Freezer Tincture

These are the results of the Golden Dragon tincture.

Golden Dragon QWET Freezer 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.

24 hour Green Dragon Long Soak Traditional Tincture

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.

5 Day Green Dragon Tincture

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.

8 Day Green Dragon Tincture

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.

Lab test results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why chose a CBD over a THC strain?

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.

Would the results be comparable for tinctures made from a THC-dominant strain?

Yes, definitely. The trichomes containing cannabinoids should not act differently in testing based on their makeup.

Conclusion – 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 tincture recipes I have here:

Don’t forget to evaporate the alcohol if you find the burn of the alcohol too overwhelming.

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 Community or post your question below.

More Tincture Guides

About Emily

Hi, I’m Emily Kyle and I teach people just like you how to use cannabis to find joy, enhance productivity, improve relationships, and naturally support your overall health and wellness.

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  1. Thank you and your team for doing and publishing this research.

    Do you know if the cannabinoids continue to degrade after the Everclear is strained from the flower?

    Do you assume the results would be similar for a THC-dominant strain vs the CBD-dominate that was used in this test? Why so?


  2. Hi Mark. To answer your first question, once the Everclear is strained from the flower, cannabinoids do continue to degrade over time, especially when exposed to heat, light, and air. Storing in a cool, dark, and airtight environment is ideal for minimizing degradation.

    As for your second question, while we used a CBD-dominant strain for this particular study, the results will be similar for a THC-dominant strain. CBD and THC are both cannabinoids and have similar chemical properties.

    Thank you for your support! Keep exploring and learning!

  3. Great article as always! And thank you! 🙏
    Has there been, or have you tried, the Green Dragon version, but storing and shaking for up to 30 days, but in a freezer?

  4. Hi Mike. Many cannabis enthusiasts have experimented with this method and found success. Experimentation is part of the fun in the world of cannabis, so I definitely recommend giving it a shot and see how it turns out for you. And if you do try it, we’d love to hear about your experience!

  5. Hey, Emily, couple of comments on your math…

    1: When you say you used 12.18g flower after decarbing 14g, this isn’t quite right. The 87% (actually 87.7%) applies to the actual cannabinoids, not the flower itself…by which I mean if a piece of flower had 100mg of CBDA in it before decarb, it would have roughly 87-88 after fully decarbed. But it’s not the _whole flower_ that’s reducing by 12-13%, just the canna-acid precursors. All the actual plant matter isn’t reducing by that much. For THCA -> THC it’s 0.877 because the “CO2” that comes off in decarb is 12.3% of the mass of the THCA molecule.

    2: Ethanol (everclear) is not 1 gm per 1ml. Water is 1g/ml, but not alcohol. The lab result came back as mg/g…and 1ml of alcohol is about 0.79g, so your “10.4 mg/g” QWET result should actually be read as ~ 8.3 mg/ml. (and all other potencies should also be multiplied by ~ 0.79 as well)

    Correction on my own comment – when I said 10.4, that was total cannabinoids. Your total CBD was 9.8mg/g which would be 7.74 mg/ml.

  6. Feco question here. How do I figure out the potency of QWET feco? I want to make hard candy and use dispensary cannabis.
    Thank you!!!

  7. Hello Janette! Do you know the potency of the flower in % you started with? And how much you used in grams? If so, you can input those values into the dosage calculator. The final total numbers you get of mg of THC and mg of CBD for the whole batch will stay the same regardless of the volume of alcohol lost when you evaporate. Let me know if you need any help with this!