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.
- Pure grain alcohol of 90% strength or higher (Everclear)
- Your bud of choice
- A small glass jar with lid
- Brown medicine bottle with eyedropper
- 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.
If you’d like more details on tincture making and their use, check out this comprehensive resource at Cannabis Culture.