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Cannabis tincture is a remedy that has been around for a long time but has recently seen a boom in popularity. It was first developed as the main form of medical cannabis use in the United States and is now used medicinally in this day-and-age. The tincture is basically cannabis infused extract made with alcohol. The THC is extracted from the cannabis product by the alcohol. Tinctures are a great way to manage pain and are also great for experienced and novice marijuana users alike.

What is a Cannabis Tincture?

Cannabis tinctures are usually alcohol-based cannabis extracts. High-proof alcohol is used as a solvent to dissolve the plant’s active ingredients and in the final product. Alcohol-based marijuana tinctures can contain between 60-70% alcohol.

Since alcohol-based tinctures can taste bitter, vegetable glycerin, sweeteners, and flavoring may be added to improve the flavor. Commercial tincture producers may add other natural ingredients like vitamins, supplements, and herbal extracts. It’s a versatile product that can be added into food or drinks or taken on its own by applying drops under the tongue.

THC tinctures offer users many benefits, including:

  • Low calories
  • Long-lasting effects
  • Long shelf life
  • Multiple delivery methods
  • Fast-acting effects with sublingual absorption

THC tincture’s high alcohol content (60-70%) gives it a long shelf life (3-5 years) but has a bitter flavor. In order to offset the harsh taste, manufacturers may use additional ingredients to give the herbal tincture a better flavor.

A glycerin THC tincture features a vegetable glycerin base and no alcohol. Alcohol and glycerin tinctures are found in dropper bottles, making them easy to dose and drop under the tongue for fast absorption.

Tincture is usually administered in a dropper so that it can be easily measured and dosed appropriately. For novice users it is recommended that you start with about 1mL and go from there. Slowly increase the dose especially if you feel the effects onset quickly. It is important to build up slowly until you get to a comfortable dosage that you like.

For users who are weight watching, tincture is a perfect substitute to high sugar edibles such as gummies or brownies. The alcohol has a low calorie count and the tincture actually has an enjoyable flavor especially in high concentrated products. You can even incorporate the tincture into your regular meals or use it to spice up an interesting dish. It is also recommended for use when making gelatin or salad dressing. I am sure with all the creative minds out there some pretty great dishes could come into being.

Fortunately unlike other concentrate preparations, tincture is safe and easy. All you will need is a strainer, alcohol, a grinder and the best part, your cannabis products. The steps are simple and can be completed and maintained easily over the process. The culmination of the process is a few weeks but you will be satisfied with the results.

What Do You Need to Make Cannabis Tinctures?

Making a cannabis tincture at home is super easy and affordable. Cannabis plant material and high-proof grain alcohol are the main ingredients.

Here is what you need to make a cannabis tincture:

  • Cannabis flower 
  • Cannabis grinder
  • Baking dish with see-through cover
  • Oven thermometer
  • Glass jar (opaque or clear)
  • High-proof alcohol (190 proof grain alcohol; do not use isopropyl alcohol) – * Use 750 mL of high-proof alcohol for every ounce of cannabis flower used. Use less alcohol for a stronger tincture.
  • Coffee filter
  • Dropper bottle
  • Funnel

How to Make Cannabis Tincture

  1. Collect all the supplies and ingredients.
  2. Break the cannabis flower down into pea-sized pieces by hand, with a grinder, or with scissors.
  3. Decarboxylate the cannabis material (decarbing is not necessary if you plan to remove the high-proof alcohol via heating)
  4. Preheat the oven to 212º F.
  5. Put the ground cannabis in a baking dish with a see-through cover. Spread the cannabis evenly across the bottom of the dish.
  6. Put an oven thermometer on top of the cannabis and cover the dish with the cover.
  7. Place the baking dish in the oven. Check every few minutes and take note when the thermometer reaches 212º F.
  8. Once the oven reaches the desired temperature, leave the baking dish inside for one hour and 20 minutes. Ensure the thermometer reads 212º F throughout the baking process.
  9. After one hour and 20 minutes, turn off the oven and use an oven mitt to remove the dish from the oven.
  10. Let the dish cool for about 30 minutes before removing the cover.
  11. Put the decarbed cannabis in an airtight container.
  12. Add enough high-proof alcohol in the jar to completely submerge the cannabis.
  13. Let the jar sit for at least 24 hours and up to three months. Shaking the mixture every day can help dissolve more trichomes. The mixture may start to turn green or brown.
  14. Strain the mixture into a funnel lined with a coffee filter into an opaque dropper bottle. Note the production date. Store in a cool and dark space.

Interested in improving the flavor of the THC tincture? Explore a variety of delicious marijuana tincture recipes in our blog post.

How to Use THC Cannabis Tinctures

How do you consume cannabis tinctures? A dose of cannabis tincture is usually dropped under the tongue and held for about 60 seconds while it is absorbed by the mucous membranes. After 60 seconds, users can swallow the cannabis oil. 

Cannabis tinctures can also be added to your favorite food or drink. Just add a few drops into your morning cup of coffee, lunch-time soup, or savory sauce during dinner. Anything goes!

As a first-time user, it is important to start with the lowest dose possible and gradually build up to your desired effects. We recommend starting off with 1 to 2 mg of cannabinoids under the tongue, about 4 times a day. When taken sublingually, effects should appear within minutes and last for a few hours.

Effects should appear within minutes due to the fast absorption method under the tongue. Keeping a journal can allow users to track responses to the dosage. After about 4 to 5 days, increase the dose by 2 to 3 milligrams and continue to increase every 4 or 5 days until the desired dose (maximum therapeutic benefits and no adverse effects) is reached.

How to Store Marijuana Tinctures

Store tinctures in an opaque and glass bottle. Avoid clear and plastic bottles. If clear bottles are all you have on hand, make sure to keep your bottle in a cool and dark place. Exposure to heat and light can break down cannabinoids in your tincture. In an optimal storage environment, alcohol-based tinctures can be stored for 3-5 years. 

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marijuana extraction course - Johanna Rose
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Learn to Make Cannabis Infusions at Cannabis Training University

There you have it! Quick, easy and safe even a novice user will be delighted in this process. Now you know how to make cannabis tincture of your own!

Interested in making cannabis edibles, cannabis topicals, and other cannabis infusions? Cannabis Training University provides students with a comprehensive curriculum covering the essentials of how to grow cannabis, how to harvest cannabis, and how to make a variety of cannabis infusions from scratch.

Start making your own THC tincture today!

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