Smoke it, eat it, vape it, apply it. There are many methods by which you can ingest cannabis. That’s one of the many allures of this miracle plant. Not only are there a wide variety of strains to choose from, each offering a different effect on your mind and body, but there are also many different methods to consume cannabis. From the traditional method of breaking apart the cannabis bud and rolling it into a joint to smoke, to cannabutter mixed into a delicious edible treat, cannabis sure can be a pleasure to consume. If you’re a cannabis advocate, chances are you’ve tried another method; cannabis tincture. In this post we’ll teach you how to make your own cannabis tincture.
What is Cannabis Tincture?
Cannabis tincture is essentially a mix of food grade alcohol and cannabis extracts. Alcohol is used to extract the terpenes and cannabinoids from the cannabis plant to be consumed in a liquid form. As the cannabis will be consumed orally, the cannabis must first go through a process called decarboxylation in order to activate the cannabinoids. (Check out our blog on “How to Make Cannabis Butter” to read more about the decarboxylation process.) The end product is a cannabis infused alcohol that can be administered by using a glass dropper bottle. For those who are new to cannabis or prefer not to smoke it, tincture is a great method for cannabis ingestion. There is of course no smoke, and the dosage can be measured and customized quite easily and accurately based on the number of ml you take from the glass dropper bottle.
How do Cannabis Tinctures Differ?
As there are a variety of cannabis strains, so too are there a variety tinctures. The potency of your tincture is directly influenced by the quantity and quality of the cannabis used to create it. There are Indica based tinctures for that more mellow high, as well as sativa and hybrid tinctures for a more energetic high, and everything in between. There are also CBD tinctures for those who wish to explore the many health benefits of CBD in a consumption friendly form.
Using Glycerine vs Alcohol for Tinctures
Although alcohol is the best and most popular base for tinctures, some choose to use glycerine as a plant-based oil alternative. However, the bonding of glycerin to the cannabinoids is not as strong as it is with alcohol, so a glycerin-based tincture tends to be less potent.
What Do I Need to Make Tincture?
The good news is making your own tincture is a very simple and straight forward process! With a few items from around your house and from your local grocery store, you’ll be ready to create your own cannabis tincture concoction. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Decarboxylated Cannabis (See decarb cannabis section in link)
- Food grade alcohol (750 ml – high alcohol by volume)
- Mason jar (At least 1L in size)
- Glass measuring cup
- Glass dropper bottle
How to Make Homemade Cannabis Tincture
Now that you have everything you need to make your tincture, let’s go through the process step by step. This recipe is based on 1 ounce of cannabis, but you can adjust the quantity by maintaining the same ratios:
Step 1 – First, if you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to carboxylate 1 ounce of cannabis. This is a very important step. Skipping this process will leave you with a cannabis flavoured alcohol which has little to no effect. It’s a simple process of heating your cannabis at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 40 – 45 minutes. Make sure you review our “How to Decarb Cannabis” section at this link.
Step 2 – Place your 1 ounce of decarboxylated cannabis into a large mason jar and add 750 ml of alcohol. Tightly seal the jar with a lid.
Step 3 – Let the alcohol and cannabis mixture sit for two to three weeks, making sure you give it a good shake every day. Some recommend leaving the mixture in the freezer as the cold can help separate unneeded components such as chlorophyll.
Step 4 – Once your mixture of alcohol and decarboxylated cannabis has rested for two to three weeks, it’s time to strain it to remove the unwanted particles. Place a cheesecloth over a glass measuring cup and pour some of the alcohol mixture onto it, letting it drain through the cloth. Pour some more of the alcohol mixture through the cloth and repeat until the liquid no longer passes through. Give it a squeeze to help push the remaining liquid through. If you feel there are still particles in the liquid, strain a second time through a new cheesecloth.
Step 5 – Now you’re ready to place your tincture into your glass dropper bottle. Carefully pour the liquid into your dropper bottle. You can either fill a multitude of glass dropper bottles or leave the remainder of the tincture mixture in the mason jar until you’re ready to use it. As with any cannabis product it’s ideal storage is in a cool, dark environment in an airtight container.
How to Ingest Cannabis Tincture
Now that you have your homemade, hand crafted tincture ready for use, it’s time to give it a try. There are a few options to use your cannabis tincture. You can use the dropper to add a dose to your drink, food or drip it directly into your mouth. For the fastest, most effective method of consumption, many suggest administering the tincture sublingually. To do this, draw your preferred dosage into the dropper and drip the tincture under your tongue. Hold the liquid there for approximately 30 seconds and then swallow. This method allows the tincture to enter the bloodstream in a quick and effective manner.
Cannabis tincture is a great method for ingesting your favourite cannabis strain. It’s very discreet, offers a quick, effective and controllable high, and doesn’t require inhaling smoke. Now, you can make your own cannabis tincture right in the comfort of your home! Don’t forget to store your cannabis tincture properly, and you’ll be able to enjoy it right until the last drop.