Tinctures are a form of cannabis extract that use alcohol as the basis for the extraction. Tinctures can be consumed by drinking, by placing drops underneath your tongue or by mixing with other drinks and food.
Tinctures can be potent, sometimes being comprised of 60% THC, and should be taken with caution. It is important to ease yourself into using tinctures if you don’t yet know how they will affect you. Try 1-2 drops and wait at least an hour and half before taking more.
Light is the natural enemy of tinctures as it will cause them to spoil, so make sure to keep yours in an opaque bottle and store it in a dark, cool space.
What You Will Need
- Decarboxylated Flower
- High Proof Alcohol (Preferably Everclear)
- Cheese Cloth
- Coffee Filter
- Dark Tint Tincture Bottles with Droppers
- Canning Jar with Lid
Quick Note on Decarboxylation
In order to get the most out of your tincture, you are going to want to decarboxylate your flower beforehand. Decarboxylation is a fancy word to describe the process of increasing the amount of THC in your flower. THC is the psychoactive compound which gives you the sense of euphoria associated with being “high.” This process occurs naturally when smoking or vaping, but is an extra step needed to be taken when making tinctures.
During decarboxylation, THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) turns into THC when exposed to heat for the right amount of time. There is some debate as to how best achieve decarboxylation, but an easy rule of thumb is to put flower in the oven between 220 degrees Fahrenheit and 240 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 30 minutes and up to one hour.
For more detailed information on decarboxylation, click here.
Once your flower is decarboxylated, you’re ready to start making tinctures.
How to Make Tinctures (3 Methods)
You will find three different recipes for making tinctures below. By no means is this an exhaustive list, and you can do your own research to find additional recipes in order to find the one that suits you best.
Small Batch Method
This method is the fastest of the three – it can be completed in as a couple of hours. However, this method will not typically yield as potent a tincture as with the other recipes. This is a great recipe for beginners who are making or consuming tinctures for the first time.
- Grind 4 grams of decarboxylated flower and pour it into your canning jar with some kief.
- Add 2 ounces of alcohol, stir vigorously and firmly attach the lid to prevent evaporated alcohol from escaping.
- Place jar in a cool, dark place for 2 to 3 hours. The longer you take during this step, the more potent your tincture will be. On the other hand, more chlorophyll will be drawn out of the flower the longer you let your tincture sit, and this will giving your tincture a greenish hue.
- After a couple of hours, stir well again and strain the mixture into another jar using the cheese cloth to collect the plant matter in the liquid. You might want to save this leftover material as it can be used to make cannabutter.
- Take your remaining liquid and strain it again using a coffee filter this time. Repeat as necessary until all plant particles have been removed.
- Pour liquid into tincture bottles and store in a dark, cool place.
Cold Brew Method
This method relies on freezing your decarboxylated flower before starting. It is also recommended to keep your alcohol as cold as possible. This is supposed to help maximize the tincture’s potency.
- Put a half an ounce of decarboxylated flower into a freezer proof bag and place in a freezer for at least a couple of hours.
- Grind your frozen flower and mix with one quart of alcohol and a dash of kief in your canning jar. Firmly secure the lid.
- Shake forcefully for at least five minutes and return to freezer.
- Over the course of the next 48 hours, remove jar and shake it well before returning it to the freezer.
- After 48 hours is over, strain the plant matter out using your cheesecloth first followed by your coffee filter.
- Bottle your tincture and store in a dark area.
Traditional Method (Green Dragon)
This method is by far the lengthiest of the three but is also the simplest and most straightforward.
- Grind your decarboxylated flower and mix with alcohol and kief in a canning jar.
- Close the jar firmly and place it in a cool, dark location.
- Let the jar sit for a few weeks while shaking the jar vigorously once a day.
- Strain first using a cheese cloth followed by a second run through using a coffee filter.
- Store your tincture in an opaque bottle and store it in a dark place.