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What are Cannabis Tinctures and How do You Make and Use Them

So you are here, wondering what are tinctures, let alone cannabis tinctures. I know when I first got handed a tincture I thought to myself: am I about to get drugged? Well in fact, I did get drugged. Tinctures are an alcohol based liquid that utilize extracts from various plants. Today we will be discussing specifically what cannabis tinctures are, how to make cannabis tinctures, and how to use cannabis tinctures.

What is a Tincture?

As I said above, a tincture is a liquid extract of a plant that is usually extracted into alcohol. While there are other mediums one can use instead of alcohol, like vegetable glycerin, we’ve found that alcohol releases the medicinal qualities of herbs the best. If you are curious about the process and makings of tinctures then hold on, we will discuss that a little further down the article.

Before the ban on cannabis and thc, cannabis tinctures were a commonly used remedy for a variety of common ailments. From glaucoma and menstrual cramps, to anxiety and stress, there are many different uses for cannabis.Throughout the 19th century, you could find weed tinctures in the medicine cabinets of almost any home in North America and Europe. In fact, Understanding Medical Marijuana states that “…one museum has identified more than 600 medical products involving marijuana as a chief ingredient prior to its prohibition in 1937.”


  • Now with the cannabis industry growing, more and more illnesses and conditions can be alleviated with the CBD and THC found in cannabis. CBD or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis which, unlike THC, will not get you stoned while carrying various benefits. However, both THC and CBD can treat a wide variety of ailments. You can find a list of these ailments here.

    There are many different benefits that come alongside using tinctures, some of the simpler ones are:

    Bypassing the harmful effects of smoking
  • More convenient
    More discreet
    Almost no calories
  • Safe for children

With the legalization of marijuana in a variety of states in America and the increasing popularization of weed culture, more and more people are trying to find ways to partake in weed without smoking. Whether you are a recreational cannabis user or you take them for medical reasons, tinctures are a great alternative to smoking, vaporizing, or eating- edibles (please don’t try to eat the plant). However, there are even more reasons why thc tinctures are the best way to partake in marijuana.


Benefits of Tinctures

1. Fast Acting


Everyone is used to having to wait for edibles to kick in, sometimes it can last an hour to even get a minor feeling after ingestion. However, tinctures take only around 15 minutes to take effect and it has been reported that the high from tinctures have an earlier peak and a more constant high for a longer period of time.


2. Storage


Thinking that you might have to make tinctures once a week every time you run out? No worries, if you properly store your tincture bottles then you can make and store large amounts of tinctures for years! (Storage will be discussed in the recipes below).


3. Odorless


Just like I said earlier, tincture require absolutely zero smoking so you don’t have to worry about a stench from burning weed. Furthermore, the tincture itself is odorless, no problems putting a few drops in your morning coffee!


4. Dispensaries


If you’ve finished reading this article and you aren’t too keen on making tinctures in your own home, then stop by any of your local dispensaries. Almost all dispensaries carry marijuana tinctures for around $20 for a 100 drop bottle. Furthermore, if you were interested in other healthier ways to consume marijuana you can check this out.


5. Control


Lastly, tinctures are one of the few forms of partaking in cannabis that allows you to completely control your own dosage. When smoking, vaping, or eating edibles, your intake is very hard to track. However, the dosages from tinctures can be tracked just as easily as how many drops you put.








Before Making Tinctures


Now, whether you want to call them cannabis tinctures, thc tinctures, marijuana tinctures, or weed tinctures, we will walk you through the steps and processes needed to make them. You can choose whichever strain you want, many strains provide different benefits. For example, if you were looking for specific strains that help with depression or pain, you can find information at these two links, depression and pain. Once you have your strain picked out and before you can start making your tincture, you have to go through a process called Decarboxylation.


To decarboxylate your cannabis plant you are essentially heating up your plant in order to activate the plant’s compounds. The estimate of how much THC is stored as THC-A is approximately 70 - 80%. Only when you heat the cannabis enough, is the acidic THC-A converted into THC. This is usually done through smoking, vaping, baking (edibles), etc. So decarboxylation is basically just turning the natural THC-A in marijuana into THC, which is the compound you want because it is what will give your tincture the ability to make you high.


Steps to Decarboxylation


  1. Thoroughly grind up your cannabis bud.

  1. Preheat your oven to 250°F.

  1. You can decide to skip this step if you want but I always recommend to line your baking sheet with parchment paper.

  1. Spread out your ground up cannabis and make a thin layer over the sheet.

  1. Bake for about 20 - 30 minutes.

  1. Let cool.



How To Make Tinctures


Now that you have your cannabis decarboxylated, you are ready to start making your cannabis tincture! However, you will have to make one more decision before we get started. There are a variety of methods and recipes one can use when making a tincture of cannabis.



Traditional Method (Cold)


Probably the simplest and most convenient way to make weed tincture. The method calls for you to only leave the mixture in your freezer for 2 days. You can leave your mixture in there longer if you’d like to increase the potency, but who could wait?


  1. Take an ounce of your decarbed (decarboxylated) cannabis and put into a mason jar.

  2. Fill the excess space in the mason jar with high proof alcohol (like Everclear).

  3. Make sure to tightly close the jar and vigorously shake the container for a few minutes.

  4. Place the jar in the freezer for as long as you can stomach, at least a minimum of 2 days.

  5. Once ready, strain the mixture into a container of your choice.

  6. Make sure to store your tincture in a tinted dropper bottle and keep it in the refrigerator.

(Recipe from Eat Your Cannabis)  




Traditional Method (Warm)


Very similar to the cold method, the warm way of making thc tincture takes a whopping minimum of 30 days to complete. So, if you like restricting yourself and indulging after a long time, then this method is perfect for you.


  1. Take an ounce of your decarbed (decarboxylated) cannabis and put into a mason jar.

  2. Fill the excess space in the mason jar with high proof alcohol (like Everclear).

  3. Make sure to tightly close the jar and vigorously shake the container for a few minutes.

  4. Store your mixture away from sunlight for anywhere between 30 - 60 days, making sure to shake the container once a day.

  5. Once ready, strain the mixture into a container of your choice.

  6. Make sure to store your tincture in a tinted dropper bottle and keep it in the refrigerator.

(Recipe from Allbud)



Hot Method


Although this method requires the most work, you can make your marijuana tincture in as little as 1 hour! For anyone that doesn’t want to wait for a few days, let alone 30 days, you can exchange a little elbow grease for some almost instant tincture.


  1. Take an eighth of an ounce of your decarbed (decarboxylated) cannabis and put into a mason jar.

  2. Fill the excess space in the mason jar with high proof alcohol (like Everclear). Do not cover the jar.

  3. Fill a saucepan with about an inch of water and place your jar in the middle.

  4. Bring the water to a low boil and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.

  5. Use a thermometer to constantly check the temperature of the contents in the jar. You want to keep it around 160-170°F

  6. After the 20 minutes is up, turn the heat off and let it cool.

  7. Once ready, strain the mixture into a container of your choice.

  8. Make sure to store your tincture in a tinted dropper bottle and keep it in the refrigerator.

(Recipe from Patients 4 Medical Marijuana)



Vegetable Glycerin


Although the most complicated method, not everyone wants the health effects associated with alcohol. Vegetable Glycerin is a perfect substitute for alcohol when making tinctures. However, be wary that the shelf life will be about a year shorter and the safety of using glycerin is still a controversial topic.


  1. Take a half of an ounce of your decarbed (decarboxylated) cannabis and put into a mason jar.

  2. Fill the jar with 2 cups of vegetable glycerin, close tightly, and shake vigorously until it is thoroughly mixed.

  3. Take your closest slow cooker and line it with a towel and fill it about halfway with water.

  4. Place your jar into your water filled slow cooker and leave it in there on low heat for 24 hours.

  5. Being careful not to burn yourself, be sure to remove and shake the contents of the jar throughout the 24 hours.

  6. Once completed, carefully remove the jar and let it cool.

  7. Strain the mixture into a container of your choice and make sure to store your tincture in a tinted dropper bottle inside the refrigerator.


How to Use and What Dosage


Finally got your tincture ready and you are wondering how to use tinctures. Figuring out the correct dosage is the first thing you need to know and it is as easy as a process of elimination. Start your first day by only putting a single milliliter of tincture under your tongue. If you felt the effects and are satisfied then continue with a single milliliter, if not or you begin to notice a tolerance build up then just add another milliliter every day until satisfied.


If you want to be a little more creative with how you take your dosage then by all means! Tinctures can be used in an endless amount of ways. If you are out and don’t want to be that person who opens their mouth wide and puts a few drops of some unknown substance under their tongue, then no worries because there is a variety of ways you can intake marijuana tincture. You can use it during cooking, you can put it on finished meals, you can put a few drops in your morning coffee or your juice at lunch, you can even put a few drops of tincture in your cereal.


A Tincture Specialist


Here you are at the end of the article, you’ve learned what tinctures are, their benefits both medically and practically, how to make them, and how to use them. Being a much more discreet and convenient way to partake in cannabis, tinctures have been shown to have a variety of uses and benefits. From giving cannabis a more long-lasting shelf life, to aiding in a variety of ailments, there are many things that one can do with tinctures that you can not do with other forms of marijuana. Being given an arsenal of different recipes and methods to create tinctures, you are just short of an expert in cannabis tincture creation. Be careful during preparation and enjoy responsibly.


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