Making a cannabis tincture is cheap and you can do it easily at home. Especially compared to, for example, CO₂ extraction, it is a simple preparation process. Still, you can make high-quality and potent products with it. For a tincture, you condense cannabinoids and terpenes into a powerful, cheap and simple formula, whether you use THC-rich or CBD-rich cannabis.
What is a cannabis tincture?
The use of tinctures goes back thousands of years. In fact, people have been utilizing these concoctions since the invention of distilled alcohol. Entire civilizations, such as the ancient Egyptians, used alcohol to soak their medicinal herbs and extract the desired substances. European cultures have also utilized this method for hundreds of years to make more effective medicines. Even today, people still use tinctures to extract sought-after phytochemicals from plants. This results in concentrated formulas that provide more benefits than the raw plant material on its own. In essence, tinctures are very simple. In fact, they simply revolve around soaking plant material in alcohol, often for several weeks. Alcohol works surprisingly well as a solvent and can extract alcohol-soluble phytochemicals from plant material. The resulting solution is rich in molecules. In the case of cannabis plants, most of the interesting chemicals in the resinous buds are also alcohol-soluble. Think cannabinoids, terpenes, waxes, flavonoids and chlorophyll.
What are the benefits of a cannabis tincture?
Where shall we start? Cannabis tinctures offer a host of impressive benefits that can make them extremely useful for home growers. Read more about their main benefits below.
Cannabis tinctures are discreet
With a tincture, you have a very discreet way to take cannabinoids during the day. You don’t have to light up a joint in the parking lot on your lunch break or vape on the toilet. Just sit quietly at your desk and drip some of your tincture under your tongue. No smell. No fuss. No strange looks. Want to be even more stealthy? Then add a few drops of tincture to your thermos of coffee or to a bottle of fruit juice before you leave the house. That way you don’t have to explain what’s in that dropper bottle either.
Cannabis tinctures offer fast effects
You can use a tincture orally or drip it under the tongue. If you swallow the drops directly, you choose the oral route. The effect comes on more slowly, but lasts longer. By placing the drops under the tongue and letting them take effect there, the cannabinoids enter the bloodstream directly. This is also called sublingual administration. In this process, the effect occurs almost immediately.
Cannabis tinctures are easy to dose
Unlike smoking or eating edibles, you know exactly how much tincture you’re ingesting at a time. If you know how much cannabis you started with and use the millimeter mark on your pipette, you can calculate pretty accurately how much THC or CBD you’re ingesting.
Making cannabis tinctures is super easy
On top of the benefits mentioned above, you can make a tincture yourself very easily at home. Simply fill a jar with cannabis buds, cover them with a solvent and wait a few weeks. Curing Pots For Cannabis (160) View
Choosing between high percentage alcohol and glycerine
When making a tincture, there are two solvents to choose from: alcohol and glycerine. Both have advantages and disadvantages.
Alcohol is the most effective solvent for making tinctures. This agent effectively binds to cannabinoids, terpenes and other phytochemicals. If you use alcohol with a high percentage, you can extract the most beneficial molecules from your precious cannabis buds. Still, there are disadvantages to consider. For example, some users do not like the taste of alcohol in the final product. In addition, this type of alcohol is sometimes difficult to obtain. This depends on where you live. In some countries, its sale is restricted.
Vegetable glycerin offers a good alternative if you can’t find alcohol or prefer not to use it. This clear liquid is often made from soy, coconut or palm oil. In doing so, it is odorless and tastes sweet, which enhances the flavor of the tincture. But glycerin does not bind as effectively to the phytochemicals in cannabis. However, there is a golden mean: make a tincture with both alcohol and glycerin to improve absorption. In this case, you end up letting most of the alcohol evaporate, so the tincture contains more glycerin.
How to make a cannabis tincture?
I’m sure it’s nice to hear that making your own cannabis tincture is very easy. Simply gather the ingredients below, follow the directions and enjoy your cannabinoid-rich creation!
- 30g hardened cannabis buds
- 480ml strong alcohol or vegetable glycerin
- Weed grinder
- Baking paper
- Baking tray
- 2 preserving jars
- Dropper bottles
- 2 coffee filters
- Measuring cup
- Rubber band
- Small funnel
Now that you have gathered all the ingredients and other supplies, you can get to work and make your own tincture!
- However, before you prepare anything with cannabis, you must first decarboxylate your weed. This fancy word simply describes the process of activating your cannabis. By heating your buds to a certain temperature, you change the non-psychotropic cannabinoid acid THCA into the psychotropic THC (or CBDA into CBD, if you’re using buds with a lot of cannabidiol). To decarboxylate your cannabis, first grind it into a coarse powder. Next, preheat your oven to 110°C. Cover the baking sheet with baking paper and spread your ground cannabis on it. Put the plate in the oven for 30-45 minutes to decarboxylate the cannabis buds. Once that time has passed, remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the cannabis to cool.
- Now transfer the cooled, decarboxylated cannabis to a jar. Add enough glycerin or alcohol so that all the ground weed is submerged; this often comes to 480ml. Seal the jar and put it in a cool, dark place for 6-8 weeks. The longer you leave it, the more potent the final product becomes (up to a point). Shake the jar every day for one minute. This helps to separate the trichomes from the plant material.
- After 6-8 weeks, you can filter and use the tincture. Using the rubber band, stretch a double layer of cheesecloth over the other weck jar. Pour the tincture through the cheesecloth to remove the plant material. Now clean the weck jar you used to make the tincture. Place two coffee filters over the opening of the clean jar and secure them with the rubber band. Pour the tincture through the filters. This second filtration removes smaller particles of plant material, leaving you with a purer final product.
- Prepare your dropper bottles and fill them using the small funnel. Store them in a cool, dark place until use.
How can you make your tincture stronger with percolation?
Do you already have some experience making traditional tinctures and want to take the preparation process to the next level? Then consider opting for percolation. With this method, you can significantly reduce the preparation time. Say goodbye to a six-week waiting period and hello to a tincture within 48 hours!
How do you perform percolation?
This method is slightly more complicated than the traditional method. Still, it is quite simple to make tinctures with percolation compared to other extraction techniques. If you have enough space in your kitchen, the right ingredients and the right glassware, you can easily do this at home.
The ingredients for making tinctures with percolation are the same as with the traditional way. However, you cannot use glycerin with this technique.
- 30g hardened cannabis buds
- 150ml high percentage alcohol
You will need the following tools to simplify the process:
- Laboratory stand with clamp
- Weck jar
- Stainless steel valve
- Glass column (or empty 1.5 liter wine bottle)
- Glass dropper bottles
With regard to the glass column, you have two choices. You can buy one from a laboratory supplier (which can be quite expensive), or you can use a 1.5-liter transparent wine bottle. Cut the bottom with a water-cooled tile saw, attach the valve to the bottle opening and you have a functional glass column.
- First, of course, you need to grind and decarboxylate your weed. Follow the same process as above.
- Transfer your weed to a clean bowl. Add enough strong alcohol to moisten and rehydrate it. Set the bowl aside for 24 hours and allow the plant material to expand.
- Secure your glass column or bottle with the clamp, neck down. Place a weck jar under the valve and seal the valve. Transfer your weed to the column and add the rest of the alcohol. You now have two options. Are you in a hurry? Then let the tincture drip into the weck jar. Do you have enough time? Then let the tincture stand for another 24 hours to strengthen the extract.
- After soaking, open the valve. Let the tincture flow drop by drop into the weck jar. This process takes several hours. When the jar is full, you can fill your glass dropper bottles with your homemade tincture. Keep an afternoon free to test your tincture and enjoy the effect for the first time.
Tips and tricks for making cannabis tincture
The following tips will help you improve the effect of your tincture, extend its shelf life and use the product as efficiently as possible.
Add your cannabis tincture to your favorite beverages
Although sublingual administration is faster, you have more flexibility with the oral way. Add drops of tincture to soup, coffee, tea, juice or smoothies to make the taste a little more pleasant.
Use dropper bottles made of miron glass
Dropper bottles made of miron glass are colored blue. This glass helps protect cannabinoids and other phytochemicals from the degrading effect of natural light. We always recommend storing your tincture in a cool, dark place, but these bottles help protect the contents when you remove them from that spot.
Discover your ideal dosage
We recommend starting with one drop of tincture under the tongue. Then take another drop every ten minutes until you feel the desired effect. Once you reach a point where you are experiencing pleasant sensations, without overwhelm, then you have found your ideal dosage. Write this amount down and use it as a basis for future use.