Cannabis Tinctures 101: The Low Down On A Potent Consumable

Welcome to the wild, wild world of cannabis tinctures. We know, we know. Yet another cannabis product that touts amazing benefits and is a happy addition to your repertoire? Sometimes we can’t believe it either – cannabis actually does have this many permutations and they all bring their own, fun effects and healing properties. 

Let’s break it down. Cannabis tinctures also moonlight under the names green or golden dragon and are, simply put cannabis-infused alcohol. Historically, in the early days of medicine in the US, tinctures ran rampant and most of them were alcohol-based cannabis medicine. Once cannabis prohibition took effect, this once widely- used form of cannabis disappeared entirely but is now making its comeback. 

Whether you’re a beginner or a master of consuming marijuana, cannabis tinctures are a great and easy entry point for those looking to try new, non-smoking consumption methods. 

How to Take Cannabis Tinctures

Health effect of cannabis

Tinctures are taken sublingually, meaning they are consumed by putting a couple of drops just under the tongue. Sublingual consumption is the speediest way to get THC into your system, but you can also add tinctures to your food or drink, but the effects may take longer to feel as your liver will be doing all the absorption. 

When consuming sublingually, the onset of any effects usually takes 15-45 minutes. You reach the zenith of the high at around 90 minutes, so plan accordingly! As mentioned above, expect slower onset times when simply consuming with food or drink (similarly to the effect from edibles). 

Cannabis tinctures highs tend to last longer than when you smoke or use a vaporizer, but are much shorter than when you eat a cannabis-infused butter or edible. 

As with any new consumable, we suggest beginning with 1ml of your tincture of choice and ingesting sublingually. If you find that to not be enough, up the dose to 2ml and keep building until you find that sweet spot that gives you the feeling that you are seeking. 

Storing Cannabis Tinctures

Once made, Cannabis tinctures can be kept for months, even years if stored correctly. To keep your tinctures lasting long, store in a cool, dark location. 

Making Your Own Cannabis-Infused Tinctures

Cannabis health effect

Now that you’ve learned a little bit about the basics of cannabis tinctures, we’re moving on to the fun part – actually making them. A very fun DIY project, these can be made in any household kitchen. All you need are some jars, alcohol, cannabis products, and a strainer and you’re all ready to get going! For the alcohol, go towards an ethanol variety (what you drink). The higher the proof (the alcohol content) the more efficient the process will be and the more potent your tincture will turn out. Most people use Everclear which has 190 proof. If you’re not a drinker, then you can use vegetable-based glycerin in place of alcohol. 

Before starting, we recommend that you decarb your weed. If you’re looking for a high level of THC content in your tincture, then this is definitely the way to go. Learn how to decarb your weed here.

Here is our favorite recipe that you can start making at home, no fuss, no muss.  Read on to learn more. 

Green Dragon Recipe 

The Green Dragon is the most famous of tincture recipes. Existing since the early days, this one is a simple recipe that will help get you started. The Green Dragon tincture is known for its potency so beware! It’s made with what is known as the “long steep” technique and is great for adding to any edibles that you may be making. Add a few drops of this under your tongue, or add to your favorite smoothie or coffee for a nice kick. 

What you’ll need: 

  • Your favorite high-quality Cannabis
  • High proof alcohol (vodka such as Everclear has a 190 proof (95%)
  • 1 Medium saucepan 
  • A cooking thermometer (one that attaches to the pot can be helpful!) 
  • Quart sized Mason jar with a sealable lid 

Master Wu’s Tincture recipe*:

  1. Decarboxylate 1oz of weed. Grind it into a fine consistency.
  2. Mix the ground up herb in a mason jar, and add 2 cups of the high-proof alcohol.
  3. Place the mason jar in the saucepan and cover the jar halfway with water.
  4. Bring the water to a simmer and keep in the pan for 20 minutes at 170 degrees F. This is where the thermometer comes in handy! 
  5. After 20 minutes, strain the mixture through a paper coffee filter (you can do this twice to filter out any particulate) and store in a dark, dry, cool place. 
  6. Make sure to shake the mixture every few days. While this can be stored anywhere between 2 weeks to a few months, it’s recommended that you test it out periodically to ensure efficacy. Try and leave it for a month — we know it’ll be tough, but the longer you leave it for, the more potent it will be. So, we like to err on the side of a few months before using.  
  7. Once it’s sat for long enough, strain out all the weed particles and pour it into a dropper bottle. From there you can use daily! 

*Adapted from this recipe.

Now that this is done, your next job is to find a one-to-four oz, dark colored glass bottle with a dropper that can carry your tincture around. Keep it safe from the sun and we hope you enjoy! Drop us a line if you have more questions about cannabis-infused tinctures.

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