When it comes to marijuana, there are numerous ways to enjoy it. Various cannabis strains, phenotypes, and products with multiple delivery systems are now available. One of the most convenient and smoke-free methods for ingesting cannabis is tinctures. The traditional formulation remains somewhat popular particularly among non-smokers because of its simple preparation and traditional oral use.

Tinctures are alcohol-based dosage forms and are one of the oldest methods of administering the drug in the body. These are becoming a good alternative for smoking and edibles.

Cannabis tinctures are extracts made in alcohol. It is stored in a bottle with a dropper and placed under the tongue for faster absorption. CBD found in the hemp plant has gained popularity for its ability to ease anxiety and depression. These formulations were readily available in pharmacies until most states banned them. You can make a traditional cannabis glycerine tincture at home that is often called Green Dragon. These have a variety of benefits over other cannabis products:

  • These are easy to use, and their effects last longer than smoking. They are the ultimate choice for beginners as it is easy to find what dose works for you.
  • When taken sublingually, the formulation produces effects in 15 to 30 minutes and may last up to 4 hours.
  • They can be made easily at home within a couple of hours using glycerin tincture recipe.
  • Customizable tinctures are formulated with the degree of bitterness that you want. These are a lot harder to take too much since they’re not in the form of something that tastes good. So you can add honey or replace alcohol with brandy or vodka.

Process of Making Cannabis Tinctures

Generally, the process requires much patience as it takes weeks to months. Decarboxylated hemp is soaked in 80 proof or higher alcohol until it is cannabis-infused. Non-alcoholic methods can also be a choice for extracting marijuana. 

You will learn a step-by-step process of making tinctures further in this post. So let’s do it!

The formulations are prepared using any of the following three different mediums:

  • High grain alcohol (Green Dragon)
  • Vodka or Brandy 
  • Non-alcoholic 

GREEN DRAGON: Pure Grain Alcohol Marijuana

The Green Dragon Tincture popularized by Master Wu is alcohol extraction. It is made by using Everclear or Pure Grain Alcohol, PGA. High-proof alcohol readily dissolves the cannabinoids. It is perfect for making strong candies, gummies, lollypops, etc. Green dragon tincture is bitter, so it is better to add honey if you are about to take it sublingually.

Vodka or Brandy

Everclear is illegal in most parts of the world, so the better alternative is brandy or vodka. These are not so potent as the Green Dragon tincture, but they are still good.

Non-Alcoholic cannabis

If you do not like the taste of alcohol or have given up on alcohol, then a non-alcohol tincture is the option for you. 

For a non-alcoholic tincture, cannabis-infused MCT oil is prepared and taken sublingually. It is not a tincture in a classical sense. Most people argue it is an infusion. Whatever the debate, it is a great way to enjoy marijuana.

Similarly, a cannabis glycerine tincture can also be made. Vegetable glycerine is a thick, sweet liquid that is used in marijuana tincture making. The glycerine tincture recipe is the same as the rest of the tincture preparation methods. The only difference is that cannabis tincture glycerine is kept for two months after soaking hemp with glycerine. It is because glycerine is considerably thick for cannabis to be fully absorbed in it. You can study how to make vegetable glycerine hash oil to make a tincture that is non-alcoholic and contains your desired solvent.

Requirements

  • Hemp
  • Food grade alcohol like Everclear or other grain alcohol/ Glycerine/ Vodka or Brandy
  • Mason jar
  • Grinder
  • Rubber spatula
  • Glass dropper bottle
  • Cheesecloth or coffee filter (190micron)

Procedure

  • Decarboxylation

Break cannabis into pieces with hands or grinder and place it in the oven at 230 degrees Fahrenheit or 110 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes. The decarboxylation process helps to convert THCA or CBDA found in hemp to THC or CBD. It makes your product more potent.

  • Soaking:

Once cooled, add the freshly ground and decarboxylated cannabis in a Mason jar. Add enough high-proof alcohol in the container so that the hemp is submerged. Close the jar and keep it in a dry and dark place for at least three weeks. Shake once in a while. If you want the cannabis tincture immediately, shake the jar vigorously for several minutes and go to the next step. But you can miss valuable ingredients this way. Patience is the key to obtaining a high potency hemp tincture. So it is best if you wait for 21 days to let all the ingredients dissolve in alcohol.

  • Straining/Filtration:

After three weeks, strain the hemp-alcohol mixture through a coffee filter-lined funnel to get the cannabis-infused alcohol. Discard the plant material.

Precautions

  • High-proof alcohol is flammable, so caution must be adopted while preparing tincture.
  • Proper ventilation must be in place during the preparation process.
  • If you are preparing a highly potent tincture by evaporating alcohol, then keep yourself at a safe distance to avoid inhaling alcohol fumes.

Conclusion

Cannabis tinctures are a convenient delivery system for both medical and recreational consumers looking for a smokeless method of marijuana consumption. You can prepare cannabis glycerine tincture at home without the need for any heavy equipment. These can last for years if stored properly. The long shelf life means it can be taken at any time whenever you want. You will have a wonderful experience with hemp tinctures. However, it’s good to consult a physician before starting any cannabis products.

Written by Lana Braslavskaia, Editor and Contributor at AskGrowers

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