Mar 102011
 March 10, 2011

How To Make Weed Tincture

Tinctures are perhaps the least popular and beloved way of consuming marijuana. They don’t have the ritual that comes with smoking, nor the fun of edibles. Some long-term weed lovers might not even know exactly what tinctures are. Well, to clear that up, tinctures are a liquid concentration of cannabis, where the THC and cannabinoids have been leached out into alcohol. Put a few drops of this concentrated serum under your tongue, and within a few minutes you’ll be feeling the effects.

Why are tinctures underrated, in my opinion? Unlike edibles, the effects of tinctures can be felt rather rapidly, usually within 15 minutes. Although the high varies with respect to the type of bud used, tinctures are known for delivering a peak rather rapidly and then bringing a steady high over a long period of time. Unlike eating weed, you won’t be waiting around for an hour and a half, wondering if you’ve peaked yet and if it’s safe to go about your daily activities, or if you should resign your seriously baked self to the house. Tinctures don’t have a smell (unless you open the bottle!), so you can discreetly carry some with you wherever you go, and you won’t have to worry about finding a place to smoke. Let’s face it, even with a medical marijuana card, it makes sense to avoid the stress of a run in with the law and having to explain yourself.

And besides all those reasons, it’s just nice to have another way to medicate! You can purchase tinctures at most medical marijuana dispensaries. A small bottle of 100 drops will run you about $20, and 3 or 4 drops will deliver a moderate dose. Or, if you’re feeling creative, you can experiment with making your own tinctures at home. Here are the basic guidelines.

Supplies:

  • Pure grain alcohol of 90% strength or higher (Everclear)
  • Your bud of choice
  • A small glass jar with lid
  • Brown medicine bottle with eyedropper

Instructions:

  • Decide how much tincture you would like to make. A ratio of 1 gram of weed to 35 mL (1 fluid ounce) of alcohol is the minimum, although some people use up to 6 grams per 35 mL. Pick a moderate ratio for your first time, and see how it works for you. There are about 20-25 drops in 1 fluid ounce. An average dose calls for 3-4 drops, so you can expect 6-8 doses per ounce of Everclear you use.
  • Weigh out the amount of weed you would like to use, cut it up, and allow it to dry out. Fresh weed isn’t ideal for making tinctures.
  • Put the weed and Everclear in the glass jar, and allow it to soak. The mixture should soak for anywhere from 1-10 days-experts disagree about the optimum time; once again, this is a process of experimentation and finding a time frame that creates a product that feels good to you. Gently shake the mixture once a day.
  • After the soaking period is done, strain out the plant, and put the liquid in a dark brown medicine bottle with an eyedropper. This will protect the tincture from sunlight to keep the THC from breaking down, and allow you to dose easily.
  • Enjoy!

If you’d like more details on tincture making and their use, check out this comprehensive resource at Cannabis Culture.

About Jay Smoker

I have been smoking marijuana for almost twenty years and I have no plans to stop anytime soon. My life was turned upside down in 2009 after getting arrested and tossed in jail for being in the wrong state with legal medical marijuana. I got fed up, and I now devote all my time to ending this insanity.I am responsible for the technical side of this project, but try to chip in when I can, either with syndicated articles or original content.Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.Feel free to email. any questions or concerns. Peace!
Dissenting opinions are welcome, insults and personal attacks are discouraged and hate speech will not be tolerated. Spammers and people trying to buy or sell cannabis or any drugs will be banned. Read our comment policy and FAQ for more information
  • Michaelburton01

    Any thoughts on using say 2 oz of olive oil and 1 ounce of everclear?
    With 14g of nice bud.
    I’m using a magical butter machine, at 160f and a runtime of 4 hours.

    Thoughts?

    • fancygapva

      You’re supposed to have 2 to 5 Cups of liquid to 20 gm. per C liquid. They don’t recommend mixing water into any of their potions so I’m betting mixing oil and alcohol might make a mess of your bud. I’d call the people who make the machine or email them. They are very helpful. 3 oz of liquid in the machine won’t cut it though. the blender arm can’t reach and the bud will soak up all your fluid and you’ll have sludge.
      If you actually did it though I’d love to hear how it comes out.

  • Greg Gallacci

    This is an old thread, but I would to add this: tested the last batch of “hot wash” at about 2.4 mg thc/ml. of tincture.
    110 kg body weight [big-boned!], 2.4mg per dropper, that works out to about 22 microgram/kg.
    Threshold for ‘buzz’ is what, 30 or so?
    Three dropper gives ya about 65 or so. Yeah, buzzed.

  • Greg Gallacci

    There is a non-solvent extraction process that costs very little, and is kitchen friendly.
    Oils. The right vegetable oil will do a fantastic job of separating the plant matter from the medicine, but what next?
    Remove the oil using a chemical process known since before written language: make some soap.
    Review: saponification, or soap making, is a reaction between fatty acids/triglycerides[oils] and an alkali in the presence of water. Terpenes lack the functional groups to be affected by alkali solutions in water.
    So, use plant oils at room temperature to grab the ‘medicine’ [terpenes and di-terpenes], then saponify the mixture to remove the oils.
    The newly made soap is washed away with additional water, the waxes float to the top, and the medicine, being slightly denser than water, settles to the bottom.
    I said No Solvents, and I do not count water as it removes impurities rather than moving product around.
    The plant oils do not count either, as they are neither volatile, toxic, artificial or overtly flammable.

    BTW, Cannabinoids are di-terpenes.

  • Elliot Jackson

    So, I have some shake and trim a buddy gave me and have decided to finally make the marijuana tincture my mom has been subtly hinting that she’d like me to make her so she can topically treat her arthritis. I’ve thought of making her a coconut oil balm, but she seems to be dead set on an alcohol extraction, as she grew up in Mexico City and it was very common for families to have a bottle of rum or other booze with some leaves soaking in it for a couple of months. Anyway, I’m still drying out the plant material but am looking over recipes and am trying to figure out whether I should decarb it before I begin the soaking step. I’m pretty sure that THCA would be better as an anti-inflammatory but was just wondering if anyone else had tips on making the most effective tincture for applying straight to the skin.

    • Gold B Wolf

      Do some research on DMSO. :D

  • Mary Jane cannibbas

    Magicalbuttetmachine.com you can make it there too

  • Matt

    Actually it’s tincture made with vegetable glycerin that can be obsorbed under the tongue. With alcohol generally you ingest the tincture

    • aint stephen

      Not true. Alcohol can burn, but under the tongue is the quickest way into the blood stream, and avoids gastric juices. More capillaries/cm2 than just about anywhere else in the body-under the tongue. Can dilute the 180 proof for more comfort

  • Herbie

    I’ve heard several different people say different things regarding the process. One said to heat the oven to 220 and heat for one hour. Another said heat at about the same temperature for 15 minutes. Also, one said after it’s strained, put it in the freezer for approximately one week, shaking a few times a day. The other said nothing about a freezer… Just store in a dark cool place and it’s ready the next day. Anybody want to comment for me please? I’m confused.

    • Nasty Nate

      The freezer is supposed to help reduce extracting unwanted compounds, but only works if you get the alcohol below waters freezing point and letting the soaking process take place in the freezer also.

  • Cheech

    If they say 25 to 1 ratio how much CBD is that

  • Heath

    I have to say I’ve had the “most potent” tinctures and was not impressed. I find CO to be a much more potent and healing version of the miracle meds.

  • Mindy Sanders

    I’m a newbie, so please bear with me. Can you smoke a tincture in a vape pen like you would e-juice?

    • Alex

      you can but that means you also inhale alcohol. Which we dont know the harm of it in full detail. But some new items that vaporize alcohol have been released to the market. So at least it is not an experiment anymore.

      Luckily another option is to further process the tincture and drain the alcohol. Something i havent tried, since it seems complicated and in my opinion might reduce the high quality.

      Also some other concerns are that vape pens are enclosed environments and there is a lot of heat. And while it has never happened to me, a chance of the pen lighting up on fire does exist.

      Which is why i generally combine the tincture i make with e-juice (you can use plain water though, gives the cleanest high). Generally a 50-50 is the best. But 60 e-juice – 40 tincture and 40 e-juice – 60 tincture is acceptable. Never tried those 2 combinations though.

      Again also my tip is if you are planning to make a tincture to use on a vape pen then you seriously need to consider a weaker alcohol percentage. Again safety first. Reduce the chances of that thing catching fire or exploding.

      Which is why i prefer making tincture for vape pens with regular alcoholic drinks (i use Absolut Vodka or a clear Tequila or Whisky) Their alcohol percentage is much lower which drastically reduces the chances of combustion. Add it that you combine a 50-50 mix on your vape pen and you have probably reduced the chances of an accident to almost improbable to happen.

      • Mindy Sanders

        Thanks Alex! I should have been more specific, the tincture I am referring to is not made with alcohol,; it is made with 100% vegetate glycerin. It is intended to be absorbed under the tongue

      • legal eagle

        To make cannabis oil you do the same as tincture as far as steeping goes, but then you boil off the alcohol in a rice cooker until all that is left is the gooey oil. See Rick Simpson Oil or YouTube “Run From the Cure”

      • Tincture Express

        Yikes I disagree. The more water content in your alcohol the longer it will take to evaporate off when you make your extraction. After you KNOW you have evaporated all of your alcohol off you do your 50/50 mix with PG. The point is to have no ethanol residue, not to hope there isn’t enough to blow your face off.

      • Nasty Nate

        I have had a lot of luck making vape cartridges using everclear extraction. One step i dont see anyone here mention is lowering the temperature of the plant material and the grain alcohol. I place both the plant material and booze in the freezer while it is soaking. keeping the temp around 0 and 10 degrees during this process reduces the amount of chlorophyll and other unwanted water soluble compounds. when i strain my alcohol from plant material i get a bright yellow and golden color, not the dark green or black liquid i’ve seen people describe. After purging away the alcohol with a double boiler on low to medium heat (MAKE SURE NOT TO INHALE BOOZE FUMES, THEY WILL GET YOU BY SURPRISE) When all alcohol is gone collect the oil from bottom of glass dish with razor blade. (Do this quickly, with less of the unwanted compounds your oil can quickly harden to a shadder-like consistency.) At this point i measure equal parts PG with your ethanol hash oil in a small mixing glass and place glass in simmering water until your solution is well emulsified. allow to cool and fill vape pen of your choosing. (Feel free to adjust the PG ratio to make a stronger or weaker batch) happy Vaping!

  • Melissa

    I’m new to using cannabis. What is the difference between oil and tincture? If there is an article you can refer me to that would be great.

    • moodpies

      Dear M,

      The difference is that oils are extracted with gases, while the later is extracted with alcohol. No article can tell you than 1. With love moon pies are good.

      • Val

        the oils you refer to are I believe extracted thru a cooking process that involves a solvent, such as alcohol or highly flammable liquid..
        dabs are made this way also.. haven’t been fortunate to have enough bud for this process.

    • Val

      oils… herb soaked in oil over a month or so can be used for cooking.. Not sure about weed oil, never made it, you may have to decarb first..
      tinctures are extracted with alcohol , decarb first.. usually a week is enough to extract..
      dilute in juice or water, or take directly under tongue with a dropper..
      I’ve been making medicinal oils used in lotions etc… great book for instructions is…Earthly Bodies and Heavenly Hair, by Dina Falconi,, explains everything you need to know about making oils and tinctures.

  • Debbie

    Hello there. Truly admire your battle to make it legal, I suffer from sever pain continously, and insomnia. Nothing so far the Dr or professionals have given me has aided me, and has cost me fortunes when you cannot work is expensive. So started smoking a few years ago, I am still very unwell but do now get some sleep. Hate the stigma attachment you receive as the postives are better than any prescription I’ve had over many years of trial and error.

    • Val

      try some 3 Kings strain, puts me right out.

  • Debbie

    Also whats a recommendable place to purchase marijuana tincture to be taken orally, thank you :)

  • Aya Quest

    Loved the simplicity of you article, as a Native American Church we use Cannabis legally in ceremony, being discreet is a great point.

  • Jordan

    Is there no heating or cooking involved?

  • Mike

    Decarboxilation is needed to activate the chemicals in Bud for ingestion.
    It can be done by leaving bud out for a few weeks or it can be done quickly.
    Tools needed to do it quicker, a oven or a toaster oven, some aluminum foil, a gold mesh coffee filter and a thermometer to make sure your oven is accurate.
    Make a foil pouch, fill with ground bud and seal tightly.
    Place foil package in oven at 220-250 for 15-20 minutes.
    Remove and let cool before opening the foil.

    Now you can make bud infused butter, coconut oil, alcohol.

    After straining Try adding a bunch of honey to your tincture so it is more palatable.

    It can also be made using vegetable glycerin.

    Anyone that doesn’t understand the medical qualities of cannibis has NEVER watched a loved one suffer when pills don’t work and cannibis Does.

    • htbdynamics

      So….please read my post

  • Mike

    The reusable coffee filter is very helpful, it allows you to press the plant material to retrieve the most liquid from whatever you have made.

  • htbdynamics

    So…made some the good ole` “decarveglyes bb/masepotday” way, …..don’t thank I decarbed correctly. Thought about it, ” the thca didn’t convert all the way. But its still attached V.G.” So I dipped a blunt of Reggie….swore I got higher. So…was I right or just high?

    • Val

      decarb chop weed up small, put in oven @ 240 degrees for an hour.

  • Blegit12

    I heard a rumor that if the plant was sprayed with insecticides/pesticides then you make a tincture from that plant and use alcohol (everclear) to make the tincture that you risk being paralyzed or damaging your body? is this true? and if so can you just boil it at a certain temp for a certain amount of time to kill anything that would cause this?

    • StrawB3ri

      this is the biggest bunch of bull honkey I’ve ever read. If you’re stuff is sprayed with pesticide it will smoke different, taste will be off. There is no way you can have your goodies without the gross stuff, get a better dealer. It’s all over the trichomes.

  • TotallyToked

    Umm what? 35ml per fl oz?
    1 fluid ounce is 29.5735 ml. (Rounded to 30 in the math below.)

    And 1 ml is 20 drops from a dropper.

    So there should be more like 600 drops per ounce of everclear, which would be 100 doses at 6 drops per dose?

  • TotallyToked

    Sorry for double post–also decarb before extracting? if you don’t its gonna be a lot weaker…

    • Ryan M Andrée

      do you need to decarb if making a vape oil?

      • StrawB3ri

        Vaped flowers are Decarbed already, its your vaping. You’ll need to do more runs through your alcohol with more materials for the same effect though. A good rule of thumb is for every gram of normal flowers in the recipe, go for three vaped. Especially if Coffee brown dark, if light brown to dirty blonde with green two times normal buds. If you are a vape only type, wait until you are out of buds to use tincture, you’re body will be used to a higher THC content and you’ll waste a bunch of green dragon.

    • Jennifer Mendez

      How do to decarb?

  • deby

    I was wondering,
    if you can use moonshine to make the Tincture?

    • AmberZimmerman6989

      Moonshine if it’s real moonshine would probably be the best thing to use because the higher the alcohol percentage the better the medicine! From what I’ve read anyway lol and I’ve read quite a bit… Just going to try to make my own as soon as my stuff is all dry cuz I am not going to do the whole baking it thing living in an apartment lol… If you’ve already tried it, how is it lol

      • Domenique

        Are you a grower

  • Michelle

    I live in CT…can I purchase the tinctures?

  • William S Anderson

    591 DROPS EQUALS AN OUNCE NOT 20-25!

  • brandi629

    Is there anywhere to purchase this? Any recommended sites?

    • Tincture Express

      http://www.culinarysolvent.com is where I get my 190 proof. I can’t get Everclear in my state.
      Besides some math being off they also left out the step about your decarb first and you can technically do a QWET instead of waiting 10 days for your tincture to taste like chlorophyll.

  • Ron

    OMG please skip this article/recipe and keep googling. The author doesn’t understand measurements and so none of this can be trusted to be correct! Also, I’ve made tinctures for over 10 years and you need to decarb the weed first.

  • KJ

    I made this tincture exactly as described using everclear and it is horrendous! I can not even put one drop in my mouth because the alcohol is to strong and burns my tongue. Any tips?

    • Val

      Dilute in a small amount of water or juice

    • Tincture Express

      Evaporate some of the alcohol off

    • Hänchenz

      Use food grade glycerin (AKA glycerol) instead of alcohol. It is safe to consume, and is very sweet yet low-glycemic (acceptable for diabetics). It is also far more viscous than alcohol and as such is considerably easier to handle. Decarb your shit, add it to glycerin, warm up the glycerin, stir continuously as it becomes runny. Do so on low to medium low heat as glycerin evaporates at a fairly low temperature (as does ethanol). Once your glycerin has visibly absorbed the contents of the plant material (it should be a deep and rich yellow/green/brown with a reddish hue) strain it and use as you would an alcohol tincture.

  • Val

    it won’t work unless you decarbolize the weed first.. which means you bake the weed in the oven @ 240 degrees for about an hour. This process activates the chemicals.
    I’ve made several tinctures.. have some strong salvia, but no one wants to test it..

    • Donald Lasker

      I’ll try it. And I thought the process of soaking in the ever clear was decarbolizing ?
      I’m pretty new with Tinctures. It’s all I can get in NY right now. But it is fast and it’s amazing that just a few drops of my stuff works so good.

      • Val

        I just started making tinctures myself. I got the directions from a book. earthly bodies and heavenly hair by Dina Falconi. potency depends of the herb, the amount of liquid used. but must decarb the herb.in the oven first!

        • Donald Lasker

          Mine is a script. High THC Sativa. 1ml is a large amt.
          Under tongue, directly into action in a few minutes and lasts about 6-8 hrs.

          • Val

            what is the tincture base? alcohol or something else? I think they call it extract?

  • Val

    tinctures… 1 oz of herb to 10 ounces of alcohol (or glycerine) or vinegar, will give you a 1:10 ratio. if you want stronger tincture, increase the amount of herb per ounce of liquid.

    • Donald Lasker

      Hey. Do you think that’s how I would Judge what’s in my oz of medication?
      I like to know what I’m takin but couldn’t find out from dispensary.
      I have a 10z bottle so it would be the equiv. Of 1/10 of flower.?

      The other thing to take into account is that people judge what they use normally from smoking x grams.
      Well e grams of smoked flower could be equal to 4 g when used in tincture form.

      This is what I want to know.
      Can ya help.?

      • Val

        the strength of the tincture depends on the ratio of herb to menstrum, (liquid used). I am surprised it is not on the label. a 1:10 ration would mean 1 oz of herb to 10 oz of liquid. hope this helps.

  • Charley Flushington

    So helpful, I have anxiety and panic attacks daily, I hope this will help my mornings fingers crossed!