How to Make a Tincture
The fastest way to get THC into the bloodstream is through what is known as a tincture.
A tincture is an extraction using alcohol, then bottled into dropper bottles and taken under the tongue by the drop. Most people use Vodka 80% or higher. I recommend using the highest proof vodka at the cheapest price. It is the power of the alcohol we want, not the smoothest or attitude of a fancy, expensive, sipping Vodka.
Why make a tincture?
Besides being the fastest acting way to administer THC by placing it under the tongue, it is the cheapest method to make to get more THC into your life.
It is fast because it bypasses the digestive track and gets absorbed in the mouth, usually under the tongue. But be warned….it tastes nasty, but it is highly effective, especially if there is a lot of pain.
Tinctures are very easy to add to recipes. You can use this extraction to make edibles or add it to drinks or foods. Remember, if you add it to food it will take longer to feel the effects. If eaten, even if it’s a tincture, it still must go through the digestive track so it will not provide immediate relief.
Another great thing about a tincture is that it is very discreet, so you may be able to take a dosage without notice rather than smoking or vaping which has a noticeable odour.
Tinctures can be made non-alcoholic, which is great for kids or senior citizens or those will aversion to alcohol. Liquid vegetable glycerine, available at the local pharmacy, is used as the extracting agent. The downside to using vegetable glycerine is that it takes six to eight weeks until the tincture is ready.
Alcohol accelerates the tincture making process, but if non-alcoholic is important to you, then just plan accordingly. Directions for vegetable glycerine is below the alcohol method.
Alcohol Method for Cannabis Tincture:
This recipe is very easy. It is the same ratio for a small jar or a large jar. It is exactly the same recipe so the yield is up to you, your budget and availability of cannabis leaves.
Fill up a glass mason/kilner jar with decarboxylated leaves. Do not pack the leaves in the jar, let there be room in the jar. Full but not packed tightly. We want room between the leaves so the tincture can marinate easily.
Cover leaves to the top of the jar with Vodka 80% proof or higher.
Shake the jar daily for 10 days and then weekly until 30 days have passed.
Strain through a cheesecloth lined strainer into a measuring cup. Be sure to squeeze all the liquid out of the spent leaves with tongs to get the maximum amount available. It will be very dark green or brown in colour.
Discard spent leaves and store in clean glass jars, away from light or refrigerate. Will keep for several years but make sure it is tightly sealed and in a cool, dark place.
Take the finished product and pour into to small dropper bottles.
NOTE: You can keep the Vodka and leaves combined for a couple of years without straining. I have had good results when I found a jar I forgot I made a few years ago and it was strong and powerful! A little went a very long way! So the longer it sits, the stronger it gets.
As with all dosages, start by trying with one or two drops, wait an hour and see how you feel before having more. Even though it moves through the bloodstream quicker, it might feel more subtle – so like I always say, less is more!
Again – be warned. It tastes terrible. My favourite way to take this tincture is to place it under my tongue for 30 seconds allowing to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Then I have a small piece of very dark raw chocolate which I let melt on my tongue to wipe away any bad taste in my mouth.
The Alcohol Freezer cannabis Tincture Method:
Some people make this tincture the exact same way as above with Vodka, but store the jar in the freezer, shaking once a day for 10 days, then shaking weekly to finish out the 30 days, strain and store in the freezer. Alcohol will not freeze, so you end up with icy cold tincture.
This process can also be done in the refrigerator. I like the refrigerator method because I know it is cold and dark and I can see the tincture when I am in and out of the refrigerator and I can easily remember to shake it daily. Shaking is a good thing.
What is most important is that it is cool and dark space. Light is not your friend when making tinctures!
Non-Alcohol Cannabis Tincture Method:
Non-Alcohol is great for kids and the elderly and the recipe is exactly the same as for the Vodka method:
Fill a jar up to the top with decarbed leaves.
Cover all the leaves to the top of the jar with vegetable glycerine found at the pharmacy.
Store in a cool, dry place. Shake daily.
EXCEPT … It will take 6-8 weeks for the extraction to be at its maximum because the vegetable glycerine is slow to extract.
ALSO, you cannot use the freezer process if you are working with vegetable glycerine because it will NOT have good results since the glycerine is unstable at freezing temperatures – unlike alcohol which will not freeze.
After six to eight weeks, strain using a cheesecloth and a strainer, squeezing tightly with tongs to get all the liquid out. Store in dropper bottles in a cool dark place and take under the tongue.