Cannabis Tinctures 101: What Are They, How to Make Them, and How to Use Them.
South Africans buy Cannabis/Dagga tinctures in South Africa to use for a variety of ailments or simply for nutritional benefits or even to cook with.
Way back before cannabis prohibition, tinctures were the primary mode of consumption for medical cannabis and for good reason, too: tinctures are a great way to administer medicine in a hurry, and when stored properly, could last for many years. The tincture was also called the Green Dragon.
Cannabis tinctures are simple to make and even easier if you buy the Magical Butter Machine.
What is a Cannabis Tincture?
Using alcohol Cannabis can be extracted and made into concentrated extracts called tinctures.
Benefits of Cannabis Tinctures
Before learning how to make a tincture, let’s go over the reasons for using a Cannabis tincture.
- Easy medical use by placing drops under the tongue known as sublingual dosing
- Fast acting as it absorbs quickly
- Simple to store and odorless
- Controls dosage amount
- Long-lasting and is preserved in the alcohol
- For sale at dispensary or online shops
- Healthy alternative to smoking
- Can be used for edibles
The recipe below is to make a THC/CBD activated tincture. If you want to make a non-decarboxylated Cannabis tincture then simply skip the decarboxylation process and preferably use fresh plant material (Up the alcohol % if using wet Cannabis) or well cured Cannabis flowers which were not exposed to heat or the sun etc.
How to Choose a Strain?
Choosing a specific stain can affect the potency and after effects of a tincture. This tincture will take on the medicinal properties of the strain. If you choose an indica plant, then you will experience a relaxed state through a body high. This can help with insomnia, body pain, nausea, and depression. A sativa strain will have the opposite effect and may provide high energy and an appetite stimulate. A hybrid can combine both of these qualities depending on the need of the tincture. Of course lately this has become debateable. There is also the option of a CBD strain that is used to make purely medicinal, non-psychoactive tinctures as would be the same case with making a non-decarboxylated dagga tincture. Our suggestion is to purchase Cannabis plant material from a reliable source or grow your own dagga at home.
- 1.5L mason jar
- Grinder or food processor
- Cheese cloth
- Brown or dark glass eye dropper
- Baking sheet
- 1 L of grain alcohol with a high percentage like Royal Vodka 96%, or normal Vodka if you cannot find a higher proof clear alcohol. You can also use Food Grade Ethanol. If using 96% food grade ethanol you can dilute it to 50%+ using a alcohol dilution calculator. If you don’t have access to food grade ethanol you can always use 43% Vodka or Gin.
- 100g of cannabis
- Grind the cannabis into small pieces using a grinder or food processor.
- Decarboxylate your Cannabis before adding alcohol. Or skip this method if you are wanting to make a Cannabis tincture where the THC and CBD won’t be activated, but contain more of the Cannabinoids like THCa and CBDa.
- Place 1L of alcohol and your Cannabis in a mason jar.
- Close the lid tightly, so no air can get it.
- Store in a cabinet or a cool dark place.
- Shake the jar every few days.
- Wait a least 3 weeks, then strain the mixture using a cheese cloth. Personally we like to wait 4-6 weeks and there’s no problem with leaving it to soak for longer.
- Some people prefer to freeze both the cannabis and the alcohol overnight before combining ingredients and then storing the mixture in the freezer for the length of time, shaking it daily. The reason for freezing the plant material and the alcohol beforehand is that you will have more of the cannabinoids going into the alcohol and less chlorophyll and plant waxes. Which is also why we suggest starting off with a 4 week soak as feel this is optimal.
Tincture dosages are easy to self-titrate, or measure. Start with 2-3 drops of your finished tincture and put it under your tongue. If you’re happy with the effects, you’re done. Otherwise, try 4-5 drops in two hours time and so on until you find the volume you’re happy with (ramp up slowly while testing your desired dosage so you can avoid getting uncomfortably high).
According to The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook, tinctures will last for many years when stored in a cool, dark location. When combined with easy self-titration, the long shelf life means you can make larger quantities of tinctures at once and have a convenient, accurate way to ingest cannabis.
Other methods of making THCa tinctures include freezing the plant material and the alcohol before mixing and then storing in the freezer for about 4-5 weeks shaking it every few days.
It really depends on what type of Cannabis tincture you are wanting to make.
If you have any comments or recipes then share them in the comment section.