When it comes to cannabis there are a number of ways to enjoy the versatile plant — beyond smoking, one of the most popular ways is edibles. While the most common imagery of an edible has long been the well-known weed brownie, with all of the innovation and creativity out there, you don’t have to eat anything just to enjoy this form of cannabis. Instead, you can ingest cannabis in another form — a tincture. In this article we share what it is and how you can make your own!
What Is A Cannabis Tincture?
In a nutshell, these tincture are digestible forms of cannabis, specifically extracts. What many may not know is, these are some of the oldest forms of medical cannabis. It was very long ago when they were given to medical patients and even sold in pharmacies, before the prohibition of course. Thank goodness those days are over because now, you can find cannabis tinctures everywhere — dispensaries, wellness shops, even well-known grocery chains.
So, how are cannabis tinctures made? These alcohol-based extracts are made by soaking cannabis flower in oil, glycerin, or high-proof alcohol (suitable for consumption) until it is fully cannabis-infused.
Benefits of Homemade Cannabis Tinctures
Tinctures are a fast, simple way to use cannabis and all of its benefits. They are also another great option for those who want to avoid inhaling combustive smoke from smoking cannabis or are looking for a more discreetly delivery
method to enjoy cannabis.
Whether you are looking to keep your calorie count down or wish to minute your sugar intake, tinctures are a great choice. Not only are they low in sugar, but they are also low in dairies.
Furthermore, compared to other delivery methods of cannabis such as edibles, cannabis tinctures typically have a longer shelf-life. And, you guessed it—, tinctures are quite flexible when it comes to getting creative with how you choose to use. You may make your own therapeutic beverages and foods — literally whatever you can think of!
Effects of Cannabis Tinctures
You may be wondering, “will a cannabis tincture get me high?” This all really depends on the potency of your tincture and which cannabinoids are contained in the extract.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the popular cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, known for producing a psychoactive effect in the body. Cannabidiol on the other hand, better known as CBD, is sought after for its therapeutic benefits without producing a ‘high’ sensation. Those include anxiety relief, inflammation reduction, pain decrease and many others.
These two cannabinoids found in cannabis tinctures produce two different effects on the brain. While CBD and THC have similar molecular structures, CBD does not directly stimulate CB1 and CB2 receptors found in our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This causes a unique effect different from THC — in short, you won’t get high ingesting a CBD tincture (typically broad spectrum), but as for cannabis and THC tinctures (known as full-spectrum) you will experience some level of psychoactivity. Again, this all depends on the potency and cannabinoids present.
Cannabis Tincture Recipe
Now the part you’ve been waiting for. Tinctures are relatively simple to make; all you need is the necessary ingredients, materials and a little patience! We should note, this recipe is for an alcohol-based tincture which is considered to be more effective than the other extraction methods.
Below, we list what you will need:
High-proof consumable alcohol
Glass dropper bottle (preferably dark-colored)
Step 1: Decarboxylate.
Decarboxylate your flower by grinding your flower, evenly spreading it on a baking sheet and covering with aluminum foil. Set the temperature of your oven up to 230 degrees and bake for 110 minutes.
Step 2: Combine.
Once finished, take your decarboxylated flower and place it in a mason jar and pour alcohol inside until the flowers are fully covered and grounded to the bottom. Then, place the lid on the mason jar.
Step 3: Store.
Store your mason jar in a cool, dark place for at least 2 weeks. The fridge is a great alternative — especially if you reside in a warmer climate. Every day, you must shake your tincture for at least 30 seconds, once a day.
Step 4: Strain.
After 2 weeks, the tincture is ready to be strained. Using your cheesecloth, strain the tincture into a measuring glass — repeating this process will help ensure a higher quality end result.
Step 5: use
Finally, store your tincture in a dropper bottle in a cool, dark place. We recommend using a dark-colored bottle to protect the therapeutic chemical compounds contained in your tincture. Sunlight tends to degrade cannabinoids, which can decrease the potency drastically.
How To Use Your Cannabis Tincture
Okay, so you’ve made your own cannabis tincture, now what? There are really no limits to what you can add your cannabis tincture to. A few examples include:
There are several ways you can use your cannabis tincture, but it’s important to note that how you choose to use them will affect how your body absorbs them.
Sublingual – Known as one of the fastest absorption methods, using cannabis sublingually allows for the extract to enter your bloodstream through the capillaries in your mouth— totally bypassing the digestive process. By placing a few drops under your tongue, effects are typically felt within 25-30 minutes or less.
Ingestion – By infusing cannabis tinctures in your food or beverages, this method makes for a fun way to enjoy your cannabis. Unlike sublingual, using cannabis tinctures this way requires it to pass through the digestive system. This does take a little longer to fully absorb in the body (up to two hours or so)c however the effects typically last much longer than sublingual consumption.
Topical – We didn’t discuss much about utilizing cannabis tinctures as a topical, but it is totally possible! You can use it for pain, inflammation, skin care or any other conditions. The possibilities are truly endless.
When it comes to consuming your cannabis, as a general rule of thumb, start low and go slow. To be safe, avoid taking another dose for at least five hours after the first one to avoid experiencing an potentially uncomfortable experience. Though if effects are unsatisfactory, you may need to increase the dosage. And as always, be sure to consult your physician about what will work best for your needs.
Well, there you have it! No matter if you're a newbie or seasoned cannabis user, tinctures are an awesome, convenient, and discreet way to enjoy the plant — which as we’ve learned today, can be made in the comfort of your own home.
As we mentioned before, your cannabis tincture has a long shelf life, so we can stress enough to keep it stored in a cool, dark place and enjoy as needed!