How to Make a Cannabis Tincture

how to make a cannabis tincture 1

A cannabis tincture is an alcohol-based cannabis extract. This means that these tinctures are infused with alcohol. Tinctures, in general, were the primary form of cannabis medicine until certain areas enacted weed prohibition. With nicknames given to tinctures such as “green dragon” or “golden dragon”, you might also have the impression that tinctures are not for the faint-hearted. However, they are actually an amazing introduction for both medical and recreational users who are searching to improve their weed using experience.

History of Cannabis Tinctures

You may have already heard of different stories on how tinctures came into the marijuana world. Regardless of those stories, one thing is sure. Tinctures are not really new. As a matter of fact, before they were banned first in 1937, tinctures were recognized as the primary form of cannabis medicine.

Perhaps you may have not yet heard about these tinctures before, thinking that just an eyedropper filled with medicine is not enough in providing the same effects as with dabbing, or with edibles. Tinctures have often been referred to as the moonshine of weed because of the way in which they are usually made. Still, making weed tincture consumes less space, and are less likely to result in an overdose or explosion. At the same time, making weed tinctures is generally less dangerous, and less controversial compared to creating weed concentrates. The likelihood of resulting in an explosion that will burn your down is almost zero with tincture making.

The Advantages of Using Cannabis Tinctures

One advantage of using tinctures is that they are easy to measure. For starters, you can drop 1 ml of the finished tincture under your tongue. If you already feel satisfied with the effects, then it’s good. If the effects are not enough for you, then you can move to take 2 ml for the next day. If you find the tolerance to the amount, you can slowly add more the next day until you finally find the specific volume that will make you feel satisfied and content. Just a note, however, it is best to ramp up just slowly as you test your desired dosage so that you will avoid feeling uncomfortably high.

Another advantage of weed tinctures is that they usually last many years, provided that they are stored in the right conditions. The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook explains that tinctures are expected to last for several years, especially when they are stored in a dark and cool location. This long shelf life capacity, together with its ease of self-titration only means that you can also make bigger quantities of tinctures all at once, thus having an accurate and convenient way of ingesting cannabis.

Also, tinctures are the perfect low-calorie alternative compared to the usual cannabis-infused edibles. For example, if you decide to make tinctures filled with 190-proof alcohol, then you can only expect about 7 calories. This is particularly true if you are making sweet edibles.

Weed Tinctures vs. Edibles

Let’s say you consider yourself a huge fan of edibles. That is something good. However, it is not always possible to have edibles every day. As a matter of fact, even though some are content with having small doses of cannabutter, or oil on a daily basis, they can oftentimes come up really strong and may have an impact on your productivity during the day. While edibles are perfect for pain relief and relaxation, there are times when you just want to try something new.

One of the advantages of consuming weed tinctures over edibles is that you can skip the tendency to feel lost, confused, overwhelmed and distracted because of the dosage. With weed tinctures, you can easily adjust the dosage, which means that the tendency of overconsumption is avoided. At the same time, the effects also wear off quite quickly.

Cannabis Tinctures vs. Smoking

One of the primary advantages of consuming tinctures inside of smoking weed is that you can still expect to keep all medicinal compounds right in place. Since you do not have to light up the important parts of weed as medicine, you can expect to get more of the medicinal effects.

While vaping is an alternative to smoking, and is also convenient, tinctures are generally more discreet. In fact, they are more travel-friendly compared to vaping or smoking. The effects also last longer compared to smoking. You can feel that uplifting feeling, even giving you an interesting head high, compared to feeling a couch lock sensation.

Cannabis Tincture Recipes

Cannabis tinctures are your perfect DIY project, especially if you do not have all the equipment you need, or you just prefer easy and sample preparation techniques. In fact, you can make your tinctures even with just a jar, a strainer, alcohol, and your weed product. There is no need to be elaborate on the requirements or equipment.

The following are some recipes that you can make for yourself. Of course, your choice will highly depend on the time available, risk tolerance, equipment, and personal preference. You may even end up preferring some recipes over others. The recipes mentioned here have been tried by other fanatics, and have been tested to be effective.

Traditional Tincture Recipe

One of the most familiar recipes on tincture is one that comes from Green Dragon. This is the traditional tincture recipe.

  • Start by decarboxylating your extract or flower. If you choose to use a flower, make sure that it is ground into a fine consistency.
  • Mix your extract or flower in a mason jar, using high-proof alcohol.
  • Close the jar, covering accordingly. Allow it to sit for several weeks. Make sure that you shake it once a day.
  • After a few more weeks, use a coffee filter and simply start with a small 1 ml dose. This is in order to assess potency.

Master Wu’s Tincture Recipe

This recipe was described as among the most comprehensive recipes on tinctures currently available online. Detailed instructions are provided, including some specific tricks and tips. This recipe is different from the usual way because it uses heat in order to speed up the concentration and extraction process. Compared to the traditional way of creating tinctures, you will finish this in just a few hours.


  • Start by decarboxylating your extract or flower. If you choose to use a flower, make sure that you grind it to a very fine consistency.
  • Mix your extract or flower inside a mason jar, using high-proof alcohol.
  • Simmer the jar inside a water bath at 170 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.
  • Strain the mixture, and store accordingly afterward.

Veggie Glycerine Weed Tincture

One thing that needs to be noted is that this tincture is weaker compared to the other tinctures in this list. The advantage, however, is that it is sweet and delicious, and has proven to be a favorite among a lot of users, especially for those who want to start their day by medicating weed. Organic glycerine, however, is quite challenging to find. However, when you find one, you are ready to go.

Techniques in Making Weed Tincture

Now that you are already familiar with the different tinctures that are available, and the ways in which you can administer them, it is time for you to learn making a batch for your personal use.

Still, there are some things that need to be learned, including the techniques in which you can make weed tincture. There are actually two techniques in doing so, the heat steep, and the long steep. In easier to understand terms, the heat steep is ideal for those who want a tincture, immediately. This can give a weaker concoction, but it is easy to make. On the other hand, the long steep takes several months to complete. It requires minimal effort, and worth the time.

  • Heat Steep Technique

If you are looking for a tincture immediately, using the heat steep technique is easy and quick. However, it is important to understand that you may have to sacrifice a bit of potency when it comes to output. While you can also make this tincture using a magical butter machine, you can also do it on a stovetop, though it requires more care. At the same time, you also need to use a lower proof of alcohol, or even vegetable glycerine.

  • Long Steep Technique

If you are up to making stronger tinctures, then the long steep technique is a preferable option. With this, you can easily fill a quart jar using 1 ounce of decarboxylated cannabis. Afterward, you can add either Moonshine, Everclear, Brandy, Vodka or even Vegetable Glycerine. Fill the jar, but leave at least 1 inch of space, then cover the jar with a lid. Place the jar in a dark cupboard, or on a shelf or a paper bag.

Make sure to shake your mixture once every two days. This process can take longer, so steep from anywhere between 2 weeks to 1 year. It may even go longer, depending on your preference. Periodically test in order to determine whether the tincture is already at the strength you desired. Remove the plant material and pour your mixture into dropper bottles.

Are There Possible Side Effects?

As with any other consumed medicine, the likelihood of experiencing side effects depends on certain factors. For instance, if you are consuming a THC tincture, then you can expect to experience the very same side effects that you would also get when smoking weed. This may include munchies, paranoia, and others.

On the other hand, if you are consuming a CBD tincture, then you can also expect less obvious side effects. You may still experience effects such as dry mouth, though a lot of users feel that it is worth all the efforts in paying for the medical benefits offered by this cannabinoid.

Another side effect that should be noted when consuming CBD tincture is that it may decrease the ability of your liver to process other drugs. This is not really an issue if you are replacing one medication with your CBD tincture medication. However, if you are taking a CBD medication along with another medicine, there is a possibility that CBD will disturb the effectiveness of the other medication. Due to the possibility of possible interactions, make sure to consult a doctor first.

Are Weed Tinctures Ideal for You?

Even though weed smoke is not scientifically connected with any type of disease, such as cancer, sublingual ingestion of weed tinctures is recommended for anybody who may be well concerned about possible health risks of inhaling the smoke to the lungs.

Taking weed tinctures is also recommended for those who may be too sick, too young, or too old, making them not really capable of smoking properly or even vaporizing cannabis. Tinctures also make it possible for people of different ages to acknowledge the advantages and health effects that cannabis has to offer.

Seasoned stoners also regard tinctures as a very effective way to experience recreational high. This means that you can enjoy tinctures discreetly in social situations without the need to draw attention to yourself, which is usually common if you light weed amidst a crowd.

It is also a proven fact that cannabis smell can also draw attention to yourself. This can either be a bad thing or a good thing, depending on where you are. Tinctures, on the other hand, will skip this attention. All that you need is 2 or 3 drops right under your tongue. This process only takes a short period of time, less than 20 seconds even, in order to achieve the very same high as with smoking weed.

The onset of medicinal or euphoric effects of tinctures is expected to kick in slower than when smoked, but relatively faster than when eating edibles. The effects of those 2 or 3 drops placed under your tongue can be felt within just about 15 minutes. This is the reason why tinctures are superior to edibles. While you may still have to deal with the entire process of trial and error, once you achieve the right dose, you will feel the positive effects.

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