There are many many ways to consume marijuana from edibles to vape pens to good old fashioned flowers, cannabis truly comes in many shapes and sizes. One wonderful way to consume cannabis that is user friendly is tinctures. In fact, tinctures are a great way for first time users to consume marijuana.
So, what is a tincture? Well, tinctures are any medicine made by dissolving a drug in alcohol. Tinctures are not just for cannabis products but many different versions of medicine come in tincture form.
The Basics: What’s a Tincture?
Tinctures are made with high percentage alcohol and they come in glass bottles with little droppers. Cannabis tinctures are very easy to properly dose when precise dosing is needed. This makes it, in our opinion, one of the best marijuana edibles due to the simplicity of it.
Remember that regardless of the alcohol that is chosen, it has to be at least 80-proof (namely, 40 percent alcohol) to prevent any mildewing of the plant material in the bottle. 100-proof (50 percent alcohol) is better, if you can get your hands on it.
Tinctures are similar to concentrates and extracts in the sense that cannabinoids and terpenes are extracted from the trim or flower product. However, tinctures are made by using alcohol as the extracting solvent. Tinctures are unique in a sense because the solvent, alcohol, is both used to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes, and is also found in its final form unlike butane extracts. Butane is unsafe to consume so after the butters, badder and shatters are made, the concentrates then sit in an oven to purge the butane of the product.
You don’t need a weed pipe or any type of smoking accessories for tinctures because it is basically a liquid edible. Similar to medicine the lid of the tincture is a dropper, so you can use it to drop cannabis oil directly into your mouth or onto something you are eating.
Now, tinctures are edibles so the cannabis used must be decarboxylated to ensure the proper cannabinoids are active. Otherwise, the effects of the marijuana won’t be as strong.
It’s crazy that cannabis tinctures aren’t mentioned as much as flower or concentrates. Cannabis tinctures were the most common form of medical marijuana back in the day before prohibition.
Nowadays more attention goes to the blunts, bongs and dabs but don’t be fooled. Marijuana tinctures are one the best forms of cannabis especially when it’s being used as a medicine.
CBD VS THC
It’s important to know what you’re buying when it comes to marijuana products. Make sure if you are making a purchase you read the label and identify if it is CBD or THC. Although they are both technically forms of marijuana the different cannabinoids give you two completely different feelings.
The most common tinctures out on the market are THC, CBD or various combinations of the two in ratios like 1:1 (which means equal parts of THC and CBD), 5:1 and 20:1.
CBD has many different health benefits when consumed ranging from anxiety relief to pain relief. CBD also will not give you any type of high feeling, but it will make you feel calm and relaxed. With research on CBD and hemp recent laws have made it easier to produce and sell CBD products with less than .3% THC in the United States. As a result, CBD doesn’t face the same legal obstacles as THC and can be sold all over the country.
THC on the other hand can only be sold in certain states that allow legal cannabis. THC tinctures are just like consuming marijuana edibles, so you will get that magical high feeling cannabis is famous for. THC tinctures also have many health benefits and can help with pain, anxiety, inflammation and many other ailments. Not only do they get you high, but they help heal your body as well.
Moral of the story, know what you’re buying!
How to Make a Marijuana Tincture
Now that you know what a cannabis tincture is and you understand how it is consumed, we can show you how to make your own!
At a minimum, you’ll want the following ingredients and equipment to make a cannabis tincture:
- A half ounce of cannabis flowers or trim.
- High alcohol by volume liquor.
- Mason jar
- Glass dropper bottles
- Aluminum Foil
- Glass measuring cup
- Oven-safe pan
Decarboxylation is Key
It is very important to decarboxylate your cannabis in order for this to work. For those who don’t know what decarboxylation is, it’s when the cannabis is heated to a certain temperature in order for the THC to activate, so when the user consumes it they feel the high effect they are seeking.
The optimal temperature for decarboxylation is 230 degrees Fahrenheit for 110 minutes according to a study done in Holland.
So, grind up your marijuana or break it down into smaller pieces and fill the oven-safe pan with them. Cover the pan with aluminum foil so the weed doesn’t get hot enough to burn or vaporize because that will destroy your flower. Then simply bake in an oven that has been preheated to 230 degrees Fahrenheit for 110 minutes and you are good to go.
Step 1: Take your mason jar and fill it up with all of your decarboxylated weed. Then fill the mason jar with the highest percentage of alcohol you have, Everclear being the highest. Do this until the cannabis is fully submerged with alcohol.
Step 2: Many sources recommend freezing the mason jar full of alcohol and cannabis for about two weeks, only taking it out once a day to shake thoroughly. The cold helps separate the components of the cannabis plant like chlorophyll from the tincture you are creating.
Step 3: The next step is to strain the materials out of the jar through a cheesecloth into a glass measuring cup. Once the liquid is no longer passing through the cheesecloth, use gloves to squeeze the remaining liquid through the cheesecloth and into the measuring cup.
Step 4: The fourth and final step is to properly store your newly created tincture. You’ll want to transfer your tincture into a small glass bottle with a dropper lid so you can easily dose yourself. You can also store your tincture in a mason jar but you’ll want to store it in a cool, dark place. Air, heat and light decrease the quality and potency of tinctures.
How to Use a Tincture
Now that you’ve purchased or created a cannabis tincture it’s time to discuss how to properly consume it. There are few different ways you can use a marijuana tincture.
I would recommend the sublingual method to get the effects quickly and effectively. All you’ll need to do is take your dropper and fill it up halfway or completely depending on the dose you want. Then simply drop the liquid into your mouth under your tongue. Hold the liquid in your mouth for about a minute and then swallow. This allows the tincture to go directly into your bloodstream.
If you’re not feeling that method then you can also just drop the tincture directly into your mouth and swallow. This won’t be as effective as letting it sit under your tongue but it will get the job done. This method will also take a bit longer for you to feel the effects of the cannabis tincture just like other edibles.
Lastly you can add your tincture to any food or beverage. Just simply drop onto your meal or into your drink the amount you want to consume and off to the moon you go. This will also be just like taking an edible, so it will probably take 30 minutes to an hour to feel the effects.
5 Reasons to Try Cannabis Tinctures
✅ Fewer Calories: You can get the edibles experience from meals that you were already planning to eat instead of sweets like gummies and brownies.
✅ Discretion: Tinctures don’t smell like cannabis and in a glass bottle with a dropper, they’ll look like any other medicine.
✅ Faster Onset: Sublingually, the effects last longer.
✅ Precise Dosing: With edibles, flowers and concentrates it is easier to accidentally take a higher dose than necessary. Tinctures allow you to take a few drops at a time until you feel the desired effects.
✅ Easier Than Smoking: People that dislike or have a hard time smoking or vaping cannabis are better off using tinctures.
Ready to try a Cannabis Tincture?
Cannabis tinctures are awesome, it’s that simple. They offer several different medicinal values and they are extremely easy to dose and consume. I believe tinctures should be advertised more alongside flower, edibles and concentrates. It only takes a few ingredients to make so you can always make your own at home. We highly recommend you try a cannabis tincture the next chance you get!