What is a cannabis tincture?
Essentially, cannabis tinctures are infused alcohol containing cannabis extracts. Before the United States enacted cannabis prohibition, tinctures were the main form of cannabis medicine. Smokeless vaporizers are a great entry point for recreational and medical consumers alike.
Self-isolating? With Leafly, you can order cannabis online and have it delivered or picked up
How to make cannabis tinctures
Making cannabis tinctures is a great DIY project for those without a full kitchen or who prefer a less messy approach. Cannabis and alcohol can be used to make tinctures. It’s as simple as that!
Using alcohol vs. glycerin for tinctures
High-proof, food-grade alcohol is your best friend when you are making tinctures. It is possible to substitute glycerin for alcohol if you wish to avoid the use of alcohol. Glycerin, on the other hand, is not as effective at bonding with cannabis compounds and will produce a less potent tincture.
People sometimes try to make glycerin tinctures with higher potency by adding alcohol first, evaporating the (very flammable) alcohol slowly off the tincture, and then adding glycerin afterwards. Alcohol’s potency is enhanced with glycerin’s body. The use of a heat source to evaporate alcohol poses a variety of risks, so Leafly is not a proponent of this method.
Choosing the right type of alcohol for tinctures
Ideally, the alcohol should be high-proof but safe to drink. Cannabis resin will dissolve better when it contains more alcohol. Whenever I make a tincture, I use Everclear since it is both safe to consume and highly potent.
If you want to make a tincture, you should avoid using products such as isopropyl alcohol. You should use it to clean your pipes rather than consuming it!
Making the tincture
When making a tincture, I like to use this proportion: for every ounce of cannabis flower, use one 750 mL bottle of alcohol (for an eighth of weed, that’s about 3 fluid ounces).
Suitable for microdosing, it produces a mild effect. Reduce the amount of alcohol in the tincture by a third until you reach the potency you desire.
Step 1: Decarboxylate your cannabis flower or concentrate (if you’re using flower, grind it finely).
- Step 2: Pour high-proof alcohol (preferably Everclear) into a mason jar and mix your flower or concentrate.
Step 3: Close the jar and shake it every day for a few weeks.
Step 4: Strain it through a coffee filter after a few weeks.
If you don’t want to wait several weeks, you can even shake it for 3 minutes, strain, and store.
How to dose and consume cannabis tinctures
Tinctures should be made consistently. The dose of each batch will vary depending on the strength of the two batches. You should record how much alcohol and cannabis you used for each batch so that it can be replicated if you like it.
You can easily titrate and measure dosage after you’ve made the tincture. Take one mL of your finished tincture and place it under your tongue. When you’re satisfied, you’re done.
If you are getting uncomfortable with the dose, start slowly and increase the dose the next day. Keep doing it until you find the dose that feels right to you.
Cannabis tinctures can last for many years if they are kept in a warm, dark place, according to The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook. Making them in one sitting is easy because they have a long shelf life.
Tinctures are much lower in calories than the traditional cannabis-infused brownie. The calorie count per mL of a 190 proof alcohol tincture is approximately 7.
Cannabis tinctures can be incorporated into all sorts of meals and drinks:
- Ice creams and sherbets
- Mashed potatoes and gravy
- Salad dressing
A delicious infused dinner can be made with a little cannabis oil and homemade chicken tikka masala.
Benefits of using cannabis tinctures
A cannabis tincture is a great choice for beginners. The following are some reasons why:
They’re discreet. Have you ever thought to yourself, “I really wish I smelt like weed smoke right now.”?” Me neither. By taking a tincture, you can avoid the smell while still taking advantage of all the benefits of cannabis. Furthermore, it is easy to conceal in a small jar in your bag.
Fast onset of effects. Tinctures containing cannabis are capable of causing immediate effects. It may take an hour or more for cannabis edibles to kick in, but tinctures can be felt within 15 minutes. Before you move on to other activities, you will quickly see how cannabis affects you.
Easy to dose. Tinctures are the perfect product to find the right dose for you! The dose can be measured using an eyedropper and increased, decreased, or let ride as needed.
Cannabis tincture FAQs
How do I take my tincture?
The typical way to take cannabis tinctures is to put a few drops under your tongue (sublingually). This method of taking THC rapidly absorbs the substance into your arterial blood supply. To this end, you can always swallow the tincture in food or drink, but the liver will process it slower.
Do tinctures burn under your tongue?
There have been reports of people experiencing a burning sensation under their tongue after a few drops of tincture. This is due to the high-proof alcohol used to make tinctures. For those who find that the tincture burns under their tongues, glycerin-based tinctures are available or the tincture can be consumed as a beverage.
How long does a cannabis tincture take to kick in?
When dosing a tincture sublingually, expect to feel the effects in 15-45 minutes and reach your peak high at about 90 minutes. If you simply drink the dose, expect a slower onset that more closely resembles traditional edibles.
How long will I feel the effects of a cannabis tincture?
As with smoking or vaping, you will experience a longer high than if you ate a butter or oil-based edible.
Cannabis tincture guide summary
Tinctures are cannabis extracts based on alcohol. They are a great entry point for both medical and recreational consumers looking for smokeless consumption methods. The dosing of tinctures is straightforward. Under your tongue, place three eye droppers full. Effects of taking sublingually, or under the tongue, should appear within an hour.
When you drink your tincture or add it to food, effects can take up to two hours to appear – more like edibles. Once you are satisfied with the effects, you are finished. Please take it one eyedropper at a time if you’d like more. To begin feeling effects, always begin slowly and be patient when ingesting cannabis. You may experience effects after as long as two hours. This will prevent you from getting too high.
You will feel the effects of ingesting a tincture for longer than when you smoke or vape cannabis. A cool, dark place is the best place to keep tinctures for many years. You can make large batches of your own cannabis and have a convenient and accurate way to consume it when you want.
This post was originally published on June 16, 2016. It was most recently updated on March 4, 2020.