Applied Technology

How to Make and Use Cannabis Tinctures

Asia Mayfield
Written by Asia Mayfield

Mankind has been ingesting cannabis tinctures for a long time.

Evidence shows that humans began using cannabis for medicinal purposes over a thousand years ago. [1] Tinctures are especially valuable in the medicinal community because they’re an easy way for the patient to take their medicine. Smoking cannabis can be too harsh for someone with lung problems, or is just considered to be unhealthy due to the combustion of plant matter. Eating edibles may not offer relief from one’s ailments in a timely fashion. Taking tinctures sublingually can provide a fast onset like inhalation, without the production of undesirable by-products.

What are Tinctures?

A cannabis tincture is made with plant material and high-proof alcohol. The alcohol extracts the terpenes and cannabinoids. When the tincture is ready, the plant matter is strained out before the extract is consumed.

How to Make Cannabis Tinctures

To make a potent tincture at home, you need to use high-proof alcohol. Ever clear is a popular choice. Note: always exercise caution when handling a solvent like high-proof ethanol, which can be explosive.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • At least a half ounce of high-quality, contaminant-free cannabis flower
  • A grinder
  • A baking tray
  • High proof alcohol. It needs to be at least 90 proof. Use enough to fill your mason jar to the brim.
  • A mason jar
  • Cheesecloth
  • Amber-glass dropper bottles (amber glass protects the contents from light)

Don’t Forget About Decarboxylation

For the maximum effect, use decarboxylated cannabis. Grind up the flowers, spread the plant matter onto an aluminum foil-covered baking tray, and pop the tray into a preheated oven. You should set the oven temperature to 230°F. Let the cannabis bake for 110 minutes.

Directions

One your cannabis ready:

  1. Place your decarboxylated cannabis in your mason jar.
  2. Fill the jar with alcohol.
  3. Put the lid on the jar. Store the jar in a secure place. Note: ethanol is known to remove undesirable substances from the plant, like chlorophyll or waxes. Incubating the cannabis and ethanol mixture in the freezer can help prevent the extraction of some of these substances.
  4. Shake the jar every few days.
  5. After at least two weeks have passed, you can strain the liquid through the cheesecloth.
  6. Add the product to one or more amber-glass dropper bottles, and store in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent degradation from light or warmer temperatures.

That’s it! Making a cannabis tincture is a simple process. You can ingest your tincture by adding the liquid to your food, dropping it directly into your mouth, or you can take your desired dose sublingually.

There are many benefits associated with tinctures. These include:

  • They’re fast-acting
  • They’re discreet
  • Measured dosages are possible
  • They’re simple to make, provided you have enough cannabis

Cannabis tinctures are potent, easy to make, and suitable for medical patients. (2)

References:

  1. Russo, Ethan, “History of Cannabis as Medicine: Nineteenth Century Irish Physicians and Correlations of Their Observations to Modern Research”, Cannabis sativa L. – Botany and Biotechnology, 2017, 63-78
  2. Peschel, Wieland, “Quality Control of Traditional Cannabis Tinctures: Pattern, Markers, and Stability”, Scientia Pharmaceutica, 2016, 84

About the author

Asia Mayfield

Asia Mayfield

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