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!
  • kakhan55

    everclear is only 151 proff ,just bought a bottle

    • GK

      Everclear comes in both 75.5% and 95% purities.

      • elda

        not in California …..only 75%

  • Major Chronic

    You will need the following…
    1 ounce of dried cannabis (buds or tops)
    1 bottle of Everclear or other high proof clear alcohol
    Sweetener (sugar both refined and unrefined, honey, brown sugar, molasses, etc)
    A double boiler
    A candy thermometer
    A tall slender bottle(s) for processing and storage. (a nice deco bottle for display, if not re-use the original bottle)
    Coffee filters or cheesecloth
    Funnel

    Fill lower half of double boiler and place on heat source. (hot plate, stove top, etc)
    Pour bottle of Everclear into upper boiler.
    Insert candy thermometer and turn on heat. Adjust heat SLOWLY bringing temperature up to 185-189 degrees F.
    IT IS VERY IMPORTANT that you do not exceed 190 degrees F as it will then boil off your alcohol rendering the whole process a colossal waste of time and bud.
    Take 1 ounce of dried cannabis material, grind to a medium coarseness and add to the warmed alcohol.
    Allow to sit at this temp for several minutes before turning off the heat and allowing to cool completely.
    After the mixture has cooled to room temperature, using the funnel and your bottle(s), pour the mixture into the bottle(s) and then cap lightly.
    Place the bottle(s) somewhere dark and cool for 1 week. Shaking or mixing not required.
    After a week, take the bottle(s) and pour the contents through the coffee filters or cheesecloth back into the double boiler which again has had the lower half filler with water.
    Insert the candy thermometer and SLOWLY bring the temperature of the alcohol to 185 degrees F and sweeten to taste.
    Allow to cool completely before returning to the bottle.
    You now have Creme de Cannabis. A light green, nutty flavoured sweet elixir that’s useful whenever the need strikes.
    BEWARE. This is very potent and care must be used when ingesting.
    A teaspoon helps with pain, 2 with bad pain like a tooth ache.
    A shot will take care of a migraine, 2 shots will probably allow you to amputate a limb. I’ve never need more than a single shot to help me deal with migraines, a bad back or an arthritic knee so please be careful with the use of this.

  • Greg Gallacci

    Hi,
    Tried this the other day, good result.
    3.2 grams Sour Diesel, dried, powdered.
    Heat 1/2 fl. oz. vegetable glycerin to 375 F, stir in herb in small (1/8 tsp.) increments. Will foam up a bit.
    Stir for another 5 minutes after last herb added.
    Herb should be getting dark.
    Strain WHILE STILL HOT through 70 micron stainless steel mesh.
    Take solids from strainer, mix into another 1/2 fl. oz. glycerin at 375 F.
    Cook, repeat straining.
    Combine liquids, allow to cool; dark brown-orange milky looking product.
    MUCH thicker that pure glycerin.
    1 eyedropper is usually enough for relaxing, two is fun. Three? Don’t go to work.
    Theory sez THC ‘vapes at 370 F, catch vapors in a liquid. Seems to work!
    Liquid ‘vape!

    • Jared Gonzales

      Decarboxylating for THC-A to THC happens only @ 240F, so 370F would be way too hot and will cause your tincture to go down in potency.

  • painkills2

    Public Service Announcement:

  • Tom

    I purchase a vegetable glycerin menstruum containing 15% THC on my first visit to a dispensary. I have a two-fold goal. I want to relieve the arthritis pain in my right shoulder. I want to increase my libido. On my first try I took 3 drops under the tongue. It had no noticeable effect of any kind. The nest day I took four drops. Again , no noticeable effect. Needless to say I am disappointed. Two extra-strength Tylenol gives me more relief. Viagra is OK for sustainability, but does not by itself increase libido. Would vaporizing or edibles be a better way to go. My asthma reacts strongly to inhaled smoke from a joint.

    • malia

      MACA for Libido and a huge amount of other health benefits with no side effects.

    • helpfulstoner

      That is incredibly disappointing sounding. Please, try this, buy something like everclear or Bacardi 151 overproof rum, I used St. Vincent’s 169 over proof rum that was available locally at my Liquor Commission. Buy 1 ounce of medical marijuana, make sure to ask for a strain that helps your problems. Ask if they have Decarboxylated their marijuana at all, to activate the cannabinoids. If they have skip this next step, if not you need to do this part too. Bake your weed after you have ground it up, in a pyrex dish or pie tin that you covered with an oven safe cover. You need to bake it around 175-200°F for 30-60 minutes, really good gas ovens get hot fast and old gas ovens have hot spots, certain ovens have a convect bake setting and others do not. So be careful you don’t ruin your medicine by getting it too hot for too long. Its a learning process and because we all don’t have the same obstacles I can’t give a perfect description. It isn’t as touchy as let’s say, baking artisan breads or even making candy, where a bad day of weather (in terms of baking or making candy) can cause chaos on your recipe. A lack of humidity in your bud or the air can affect things , so if you have extremely dry weed, its going to get dryer and lose more if its turpenoids and flavenoids which on their own have medicinal properties that are sought out by people. Extremely fresh grown weed doesn’t make a great tincture I’ve heard as it contaminates your end product with chlorophyll and it makes your tincture taste like plant matter, yuck! OK so let’s say you’ve completed the decarboxylation or you scored some decarboxylated weed somehow, now you just need to get a mason jar or similar glass or plastic jar (BPA free, if you don’t understand BPA free please don’t use plastic) you put your decarboxylated weed in the jar and cover it generously with alcohol, that strong stuff you bought, the dryer the weed is the more you’ll alcohol you will need as it will suck up some alcohol and you always want it swimming.keep it somewhere cool and dark, After 1-10 days of occasional shaking of the jar, you’ll be able to filter the plant matter out with a cheesecloth or similar method like coffee filter. Make sure if you use a re useable coffee filter that you buy a metal only one or a BPA free plastic one. Now you are left with a very strong alcohol, that is imbued with the medicinal propertied of cannibis. Now is a good time to begin to evaporate the alcohol, increasing potency. If you evaporate 90% of the mixture for example, 1 drop becomes as strong as taking 10 drops would. So you see the way you can control your medicines power. Alcohol is more effective at leeching THC and other active cannabinoids from marijuana, so its better than vegetable lecythin or anything else really since its drinkable alcohol we are using. Hope this all helps.

      • Shauxana Coks

        @helpfulstoner – just a question. Can a person smoke decarboxylated weed? Since you said that Tom should have asked if the weed was already decarboxylated?

        • TerriG

          If it is made with alcohol, it seems it could catch on fire. Perhaps if you burn the alcohol off first, you will be left with pure THC.

      • TerriG

        I made some tincture this way with some good “old” bud. I put in oven at 200 degrees for 60 minutes and it didn’t work. I was told that because my bud was old, it likely decarbed on its own and I likely baked the THC out of it. :( I had a graham of the same marijuana left so I ground it up like flour and put it in a small mason jar with 1 oz of Everclear. Perhaps this will tell me if I had baked the THC out of the marijuana or not. I was told that marijuana will decarb on its own with time???

  • The Byrdman

    Sounds like bullshit as soon as you say, “20-25 drops in 1 fluid ounce.” I know damn well that there is a lot more drops in an ounce than that. You credibility died right there.

    • Blackfoot Colombian

      Thank you!

    • Wahine

      Agreed. I work in a biological laboratory. 20 drops roughly equals 1 mL. Definitely far LESS than 1 fluid oz.

      • Joe

        Isn’t it because you boil it down so you lose a lot of the liquid in the alcohol. Because it evaporates thus leaving you with ~20 drops. Are you sure you work in a bio lab?

  • cxbx

    I decarb my weed at 200 degrees for 1 hour, then soak in everclear for 14 days, putting it in freeezer and shaking daily, seems to work for me – cxbx

  • Christine Meeusen

    when we make our tinctures, cannabis, skullcap, curcumin (the holy trinity of pain relief), we make them according to ancient native american tradition. the women only put hands on the making of the medicine, we set them by moon cycles, use 150 proof grain alcohol, and pray over them and turn them once in the morning, once in the evening, from new moon to full moon.

    • malia

      how many grams to liquid oz? You begin the day of new mooon and strain the herbs the day of the full moon?

  • Mike

    I have a small tincture 50L of patron lil single shooter with a phat dank nug in side and its been there for almost five years how potent is it how do I find out an how much should I injest

  • Malia

    I have a question as I have never tried tincture and really want to. Is it a head, body, or both feeling? I’d like to make a sativa one.

    My friend grew some amazing Sativa last year but I can’t remember the name? I think silver or sterling something…. ? Anyway, the high was very clear, motivating, deep thinking, inspirational type and I would like something like that.

  • Ganja Grynch

    My only comment on your tincture recipe is that you are not decarboxylating the cannabis first. Isn’t that required to activate the THCA for proper absorption in the bloodstream? Vaping or smoking does this implicitly, but it has to be done explicitly in a tincture

  • barbiejean

    I put a crushed ounce in a glass canning jar and add enough Ever Clear to cover plus maybe an inch or so. Put the jar in the cupboard and check it every few days. After 3 or 4 days the liquid is a lovely shade of green. After a week it is a much darker shade and in 2 weeks it is so black you can hardly tell it has green. Then take one teaspoon a day if you like. It clears my inner senses and lasts for hours infact time stands still.
    When the liquid is exhausted put the remaining leaves in the refrigerator. If you have a gold filter you can take a few tablespoons of this mixture and add to your ground coffee in your drip coffee maker.
    The tsp of pure tincture is better at night when there are fewer intrusions. The coffee is nice on a week-end morning.

  • Sparky

    Can I use wax for this?

    • FractalPalindrome

      Why the hell would you waste bomb-ass wax on making a tincture.

    • tincture alchemist

      You can use anything! Doesn’t even have to be weed… Like the taste or antibacterial properties of rosemary for example? You can make a tincture in the same way, use it for cooking or dose under the tongue. It isn’t a waste of wax, although you must make sure your wax has been decarboxylated first, or it won’t be active if ingested without the heat of smoking or vaping it, if you make an alcoholic tincture you should not be heating it up because of the high proof alcohol. You would have to evaporate all the alcohol and be leftover with another wax like substance.

  • Works well for me

    Try using absinthe.

    • Curious bro

      Really? I hear the sugars in the absinthe make it undesirable?

  • Make it go away

    I used rum and heated it up until crystalized made a great sugar

  • been there

    i definitely recommend soaking for more than 10 days. awhile back i did a test and tried using the tincture after 1,2,3,4 weeks. the strength was noticably better from 1-2 and 2-3 weeks but i couldn’t tell any difference between 3 & 4 weeks.
    i also tried the “decarboxylating” (search for it) and again, could not tell any difference whether the 420 was decarbed or not.
    so for my personal use i decarb it (heh) and let it soak for 4 weeks.

  • curious smoker

    can you put the tincture oil on a bowl of marijauna and smoke it out of a bong to make the bowl more potent? any bad side affects?

  • jack

    It’s it safe to smoke the left over marijuana after you have made the juice jack fleshman

  • elda

    I was under the impression the herb must be heated to release the property. I have read you must spread the herb out on a cookie sheet and bake it for a few minutes before putting it in the jar of alcohol. I have this for my autistic son but I don’t know because I don’t use it. It seems to work much better for him if I bake the herb first.