A cannabis tincture is a liquid extract made by soaking cannabis in high-proof alcohol. It’s a potent, long-lasting, and fast-acting form of cannabis that is easy to make and easy to dose.
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Definition of a Cannabis Tincture
A tincture is an alcohol-based extract of the cannabis plant. It’s made by soaking cannabis in high-proof grain alcohol, then cooking it slowly over low heat. The resulting liquid is highly concentrated and contains all the beneficial compounds found in cannabis, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Tinctures are a convenient and discreet way to consume cannabis, and they can be used in various ways, such as sublingual (under the tongue) or topical application.
There are many different recipes for making tinctures, but the basic process is always the same: decarboxylate your cannabis (activate the THC), soak it in alcohol, then cook it over low heat until all the desired compounds have been extracted into the liquid. The finished product can be stored in a dark glass bottle for months or even years.
There are many different ratios of cannabis to alcohol that can be used, but a common ratio is 1 ounce (28 grams) of cannabis to 1 pint (473 ml) of alcohol. This will yield a high-quality tincture that contains a potent concentration of cannabinoids.
History of Cannabis Tinctures
Cannabis tinctures go back centuries and were once the primary form of medical cannabis. Tinctures are made by soaking cannabis in high-proof alcohol, which extracts cannabinoids like THC and CBD. The resulting mixture is then strained, bottled, and labeled.
Tinctures were very popular before cannabis was made illegal in the United States in 1937. At that time, tinctures were the most common form of medical cannabis. After cannabis was made illegal, tinctures went underground. They remained popular among medical users and were even used by some people for recreational purposes.
Tinctures became less popular when smoking became the primary way to consume cannabis in the 1960s. However, they have experienced a resurgence in popularity in recent years as more people are looking for alternative ways to consume cannabis.
How to Make a Cannabis Tincture
-1/8 ounce (3.5 grams) of cannabis trim or bud
-1/2 cup (118 ml) of high-proof alcohol like vodka, Everclear, or grain alcohol
-1/4 cup (59 ml) of distilled water
1. Combine cannabis and alcohol in a mason jar. Seal the jar tightly and shake well.
2. Place the jar in a dark location like a cupboard for 3 days, shaking it once daily.
3. After 3 days, add the distilled water to the jar and stir well.
4. Place the jar back in the dark location for another 2 days, stirring once daily.
5. After 2 days, strain the liquid through a cheesecloth or coffee filter into a clean jar. Be sure to squeeze the cheesecloth to get all of the tincture out.
6. Store your tincture in a cool, dark place like a cabinet for up to 6 months.
How to Use a Cannabis Tincture
Cannabis tinctures are concentrated extracts made from cannabis flowers or trim. The flowers and trim are soaked in high-proof alcohol or glycerin, then left to steep for weeks or even months. This process pulls all of the active compounds, like THC, CBD, and terpenes, from the plant material and into the solvent. once the extraction is complete, the solution is strained to remove any solids and then bottled. The end result is a highly concentrated, potent product that can be used in many ways.
Tinctures are usually taken sublingually, which means they are dropped under the tongue and allowed to dissolve. This method of administration bypasses the digestive system and allows for more efficient absorption of the active compounds into the bloodstream. Tinctures can also be added to food or beverage if you’re looking for a more discreet way to consume cannabis.
The Benefits of Cannabis Tinctures
Cannabis tinctures offer a long list of benefits. Perhaps the most notable benefit is that they are very easy to dose. You can drop the tincture directly under your tongue, or you can add it to food or drink. Because tinctures are concentrated, a few drops will go a long way.
Another big benefit of cannabis tinctures is that they are fast-acting. You will feel the effects within 15-30 minutes, which is much faster than other methods like edibles or topicals.
Tinctures are also discreet and portable, making them a good choice for people who need to be discreet about their cannabis use. They don’t have any telltale cannabis odor, and they can be stored in a purse or pocket without attracting attention.
Cannabis tinctures are also long-lasting. They can last for several months (up to a year) if stored in a cool, dark place. This makes them a good choice for people who want the effects of cannabis but don’t want to smoke or vaporize it.