Weed lovers in California are taking cannabis in every form that exists, but using a marijuana tincture is extremely popular. So, how do you make it at home?
In California, people are using pot in every way imaginable. Medical patients mostly use a cannabis tincture, but it has recreational and preventative benefits too. You can find guides for all types of edibles and extractions online, but they are not always organic or effective. Tinctures can be particularly potent, however, and if you are a weed grower, then you should try making it from your harvest at least once.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, making marijuana tincture involves extracting the THC and cannabinoids in an alcoholic solvent. Experts recommend using Ever clear because it has a high alcohol content and is clear in color. Remember, though: The higher the ethanol percentage, the more THC it will extract from the plant. Read on for five easy steps to make a powerful cannabis tincture:
- Step 1: Ingredients
- Step 2: Preparation
- Step 3: Extraction
- Step 4: Processing
- Step 5: Consuming
- Extra Step: Non-Alcohol Cannabis Tincture
Step 1: Ingredients
- 2 Ounces of Premium Grade Cannabis Flowers
- Kief- or Hash-Infused Concentrate for Extra Potency
- 2 Cups of Highly Concentrated Alcohol
- Coffee Grinder or Blender
- Aluminum Foil
- 1 Plastic Bag, Sealable
- Glass Eye Dropper
- Big Jar, with Lid
- 2 Coffee Filters
- Large Measuring Jug
- Large Oven-Safe Glass Dish
- Latex Gloves, 1 Pair
- Cheese Cloth, 1 Pack
- 1 Rubber Band
- Small Funnel
- Several Small Amber Bottles
Step 2: Preparation
- Grind the cannabis ingredients and seal them in the plastic bag. Freeze for an hour. Freezing the marijuana enables its properties to keep their structure during the extraction phase.
- After freezing spread the weed evenly across the ovenproof glass dish and cover it with foil.
- Preheat the oven to 235°F.
- Bake the marijuana for one hour with the foil still covering it. Foil minimizes the risk of burnt weed while preventing terpenes and THC from cooking out. At 240°F, THC begins to boil. According to the National Institutes of Health, if this happens, decarboxylation will not be ideal and the potency not as strong. Be cautious of this if you have an unpredictable temperature gauge in your oven. You only want to activate the THC, not lose it.
Step 3: Extraction
- After an hour, remove the glass dish from the oven. Do not lift the foil at this point.
- When it is cool enough to touch, take the foil off and transfer your marijuana into the large jar.
- Add the alcohol, but only enough to cover the weed.
- Tighten the lid on the jar and freeze it for at least a week, preferably longer. Experts recommend freezing for six months.
- Shake the jar every day for a minute at least. Shaking is crucial because it breaks the plant matter up and allows the cannabinoids to distribute evenly in the alcohol.
Step 4: Processing
- When you cannot wait anymore, after a week at minimum, take the jar out of the freezer.
- Cover another glass jar with a double layer of cheesecloth.
- Using the funnel, pour the tincture through the cheesecloth and into the other jar. Twist and squeeze the cheesecloth to render all of the fluid. You do not want to lose any of this precious liquid, which will still be murky.
- Use gloves during this process. Your pores will easily absorb the tincture and medicate you unintentionally.
- Clean the original Mason jar and make sure it is completely dry. Cover the mouth of the bottle with two coffee filters, smooth it tightly, and secure it with your rubber band.
- Filter the mixture slowly into the clean jar until the filter contains only plant matter.
Step 5: Consuming
Once you complete the above mentioned steps, your marijuana tincture is ready to enjoy. Portion it into small amber bottles to prevent airing one jar too much, and to protect it from sunlight deterioration. Keep it dry and cool. Smoking a joint will amplify the effect of your marijuana tincture, so figure out your dosage and tolerance levels before adding other factors to your high. Start slowly with just a few drops.
Extra Step: Non-Alcoholic Cannabis Tincture
If you do not like the idea of using ethanol to extract the cannabinoids for your marijuana tincture, then consider using glycerin, such as that found in coconut or olive oil. It is both safe to use for medical purposes, and it is cost effective. Furthermore, you can customize according to your needs.
For example, you can use sativa strains during the day, have a high cannabinoid tincture to improve your mood, or use your favorite Indica strain to relieve pain or get a good night’s rest. Your options are virtually limitless, so do not be afraid to experiment with what you need.
Dosing for a cannabis tincture is not an exact science. It is likely that you will try several strains when making it, and therefore you may not be certain of the THC and cannabinoid levels in your mixture. Play around with your preferred strains and potencies. Experimenting is the only way to figure out what dose is best for you, as well as your level of tolerance toward it.