Have you heard of tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, or THCA, yet? The precursor to the famous THC. This compound is non-intoxicating, meaning it won't get you high, but it does offer many potential health benefits. Read on to learn more about the benefits and discover how to make a THCA tincture at home.
- Just 2 ingredients needed: THC-dominant cannabis flower & high-proof grain alcohol.
- Quick wash soak time: ready in just 15 minutes.
- Can be used as a sublingual tincture or made into FECO.
- Dietary Features: vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, fat-free.
Why You Will Love This Tincture
You are probably familiar with the cannabinoid, THC, the one most famous for the intoxicating, or high, feeling it produces.
But when the cannabis plant grows in the ground, it doesn't immediately contain high amounts of THC, it actually contains THCA or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid.
It is the process of decarboxylation that converts THCA into THC.
THCA is non-intoxicating, meaning it won't get you high, but it does have many potential health benefits.
Many of my Well With Cannabis Community members have been looking for the benefits of cannabis without the high, which is what led to the creation of this THCA tincture recipe.
In this guide, you will learn how to make a THCA tincture following the QWET freezer tincture method and learn more about the potential benefits of tetrahydrocannabinolic acid.
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- THC dominant cannabis flower: You must start with a cannabis flower with THCA already present. This comes from THC-dominant cannabis flower. You will need your desired amount of flower, ranging from 1 gram up to 1 ounce or more. Do NOT decarb.
- High-proof alcohol: You need high-proof, grain alcohol. You want at least 150 proof, but ideally 190 or 200 proof. Lower proof alcohols, like vodka, are not ideal. Be sure to check out my guide for where you can order high-proof grain alcohol online and have it shipped to your door, or learn more about what to ask for when visiting your local liquor store.
Note: a complete list of ingredients with amounts and printable instructions is located in the recipe card below.
The Step-by-Step Process
- Step 1 - Place the NON-decarbed CBD flower in a mason jar inside the freezer. Freeze overnight. Place the alcohol inside the freezer. Freeze overnight.
- Step 2 – When you're ready to make your tincture, pour the cold alcohol over the frozen flower. Screw the lid on tightly.
- Step 3 – Gently invert the mason jar to shake – do not shake vigorously. Place back in the freezer for 5 minutes.
- Step 4 – Remove the jar from the freezer, shake gently, and place back in the freezer for 5 minutes.
- Step 5 – Repeat the step above one more time for a total of 3 times.
- Step 6 – Remove from the freezer and strain the tincture through a filter. Repeat a second and third wash, if desired.
- Step 7 – Store in a dark jar, like this dropper bottle.
- Step 8 - Move on to evaporating the alcohol, if desired, but be sure to follow the no heat method to avoid converting the THCA into THC.
Note: complete step-by-step printable instructions are located in the recipe card below.
Store your tincture in glass, not plastic. A dark jar, like this dropper bottle, is ideal, but clear glass is just fine if you store it in a cool, dark place like a cupboard or freezer. Tinctures can be stored for up to several months or even longer.
How to Determine The Dosing
Want to get a more accurate guesstimate of the potency of your cannabis infusions and extractions? Try our popular edibles calculator!
Not sure what your perfect dose is? Learn more here.
THCA is the non-active form of THC, and because it is in a non-active form, THCA has no potential intoxicating activity (it cannot get you high).
However, research suggests that this chemical compound in its raw form has potential anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antiemetic properties.
In mice studies published in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, THCA has been identified as an anti-inflammatory agent and also has the ability to act as a bronchodilator, antipyretic, and anti-rheumatic agent.
While earlier reports suggested that THC and CBD can stimulate the production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids, it was then reported that its metabolites, such as THCA, could inhibit this process, suggesting that the acid is an anti-inflammatory agent in-and-of-itself.
THCA has also been studied for its use as an analgesic, or pain reliever. In another mice study, both THC and THCA were administered orally at a dose of 20 mg/kg.
It was shown that after 30 minutes, the acid form of THCA showed an effect twice as potent as the neutral form THC.
In addition to all of these benefits, THCA has also been studied for the treatment of nausea and vomiting, possibly suggesting that THCA may have stronger anti-emetic properties when compared to its alternative THC.
Published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, one study further supports the theory that THCA in its acidic form is not intoxicating like it is in its active form, noting that THCA did ‘not induce hypothermia or reduce locomotion, indicating non-CB1 agonist-like effects.
As cannabis can undoubtedly be used as a therapeutic tool, certain measures such as dosing, consumption rates, and quality of life can vary greatly based on a person’s tolerance of activated THC.
By eliminating the intoxicating effect, we can better utilize THCA at much higher doses for increased therapeutic results without compromising a person’s quality of life.
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THCA Tincture Recipe - Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid
- Place the NON-decarboxylated cannabis in the freezer. Also place the high-proof alcohol in the freezer. Freeze overnight at a minimum, ideally 24 hours.
- When ready to prepare your tincture, place the frozen cannabis in a mason jar.
- Pour the cold alcohol into the jar. You only need to add enough alcohol to cover the cannabis completely*.
- Screw the lid on tightly and shake gently. Place the jar back in the freezer for 5 minutes.
- Remove the jar from the freezer, shake gently, and place it back in the freezer for 5 minutes.
- Repeat the above step one more time, for a total of 3 times.
- Remove the jar from the freezer one last time and strain. Pour the tincture through your preferred straining system, separating the plant-matter from the alcohol, into a clean mason jar. A coffee filter in a funnel works well here.
- You now have a golden QWET THCA tincture. You can choose to evaporate off as much or as little alcohol as desired, however, ensure you are using a no-heat method.
- Store this tincture in a mason jar, amber-colored tincture jar, or other glass container. You can store at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or freezer. A tincture should last months, if not longer.
- *Do NOT decarboxylate your THC flower if you want to keep the THCA properties intact.
- You do not need to use the full 14 grams of cannabis called for in this recipe. You can use as much or as little cannabis as you want. For a small, starter batch, start with just 3.5 grams.
- Only use high-proof alcohol, the higher the better. Lower-proof alcohol, like vodka, is not ideal. Use this guide to finding high-proof alcohol, if needed.
- You do not need to use the full 8 ounces of alcohol, you just need enough to cover all of the cannabis in the container you are using. Anything more is a waste.
- If you want to make FECO, follow this guide for how to safely evaporate the alcohol from the tincture.