Cannabis Tinctures Guide: What Are They, How to Make Them, and How to Use Them
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What Are Cannabis Tinctures?

Cannabis tinctures are infusions of cannabis and alcohol. Just like “dabs”, they are a type of cannabis extract. They were the main method of medical consumption for hundreds of years before cannabis prohibition was enacted.

More commonly referred to as “green dragon” or “golden dragon”, cannabis tinctures present a very precise consumption method for medical or recreational users wanting to avoid smoking or ingesting unwanted calories and ingredients.

How Do You Use Cannabis Tinctures?

Titrating (measuring) your doses with cannabis tinctures is very easy and they can be added to a multitude of different mediums for consumption. Once cooked, tinctures can be dosed in:

Juices and soft drinks

Ice creams, sherbets and smoothies

Soups, sauces and gravies

Gelatin

Salad dressings

Tinctures are normally taken sublingually, or under the tongue. This method allows the venous blood supply under your tongue to rapidly absorb the THC into your system. Adding the tinctures to food or drinks avoids the not-so-pleasant burning sensation you get when you place it under the tongue. Using the tinctures in food or drinks will slow the absorption process because the medicine travels through your digestive tract and is filtered by your liver first.

How Do You Make Them?

Tinctures are simply an infusion of grain alcohol and cannabis. The alcohol is used to extract the terpenes and cannabinoids from the cannabis flower, thus the remaining liquid contains the active compounds in a very high concentration. Now, the valuable compounds in the tincture are preserved by the alcohol and can be stored for years in a cool, dark atmosphere. There are three basic ways to make your own cannabis-infused tinctures.

 

Traditional Green Dragon Tincture Recipe

This is the most commonly used recipe for this method.

 

Decarboxylate your ground cannabis flower for 30-45 minutes in a 220-240 degrees Fahrenheit preheated oven.

Add decarboxylated flower to a grain alcohol base (Everclear is recommended). Ratios are determined by the needs of the user. Typical starting amounts should be 1/4oz flower to 4oz of alcohol.

Place infused mixture into a mason jar and secure the lid.

Leave the jar in a cool, dark place for at least 4-5 weeks, shaking it daily.

After the first few weeks have passed, filter the infusion through a coffee filter.

Test potency by taking just a 1ml dose. Additional doses may be taken each hour until symptom relief is experienced.

If the tincture is not potent enough, reclose and let it sit for another week, then test potency again.

Place tinctures into amber dropper bottles and label them.

Store tinctures in a cool, dark place and they will last for years.

Master Wu’s Green Dragon Tincture Recipe

Master Wu’s Guide was first published in 2006 and embodies one of the most comprehensive tincture recipes accessible online. It offers detailed instructions along with tips and tricks to make things easier along the way. This recipe uses heat to accelerate the concentration and extraction process. The traditional technique is very effective, but takes several weeks to be available for consumption. Master Wu’s recipe can be completed in one night.

Decarboxylate your ground cannabis flower for 30-45 minutes in a 220-240 degrees Fahrenheit preheated oven.

Add decarboxylated flower to a grain alcohol base (Everclear is recommended). Ratios are determined by the needs of the user. Typical starting amounts should be 1/4oz flower to 4oz of alcohol.

Place mason jar with mixture, uncovered in a water bath for 20 minutes at 170 degrees Fahrenheit

Strain the mixture and store in a cool, dry place for years.

Modern Green Dragon Tincture Recipe

If you are watching the newest developments in online tincture formulas, you might be familiar with the third recipe in this list. It seems almost too easy, but people are reporting good results.

Decarboxylate your ground cannabis flower for 30-45 minutes in a 220-240 degree Fahrenheit preheated oven.

Add decarboxylated flower to a grain alcohol base (Everclear is recommended). Ratios are determined by the needs of the user. Typical starting amounts should be 1/4oz flower to 4oz of alcohol.

Shake continuously for 3 minutes.

Strain the mixture, place in a covered, labeled mason jar and store in a cool, dry place.

What Are the Benefits?

Cannabis-Infused tinctures present many benefits for the medical user who must be discreet when medicating.

Smoking is not necessary - Smoking through burning the cannabis plant regularly, while helpful for medicinal purposes, can cause respiratory issues like coughing and excessive phlegm production.

Tinctures are discreet - It is a fast and odorless method of medicating.

Quick results - The alcohol in the tinctures allows your body to absorb the medicine quicker.

Safe for children - Tinctures can be used for patients, including children, who have been prescribed medical marijuana or who are sensitive to other medications.

Less calories - Tinctures provide a way to medicate without having to ingest unhealthy calories and ingredients from cannabis-infused edibles

Tinctures last longer - If kept in a cool, dark setting tinctures can last for years without losing their potency and without spoiling.

They resemble medicine - Tinctures in their small amber or blue colored bottles look like medicine. So it is highly unlikely that someone would accidently ingest them. They can be dosed in any public setting traditional medicine is accepted in.

Who Should Try It?

Cannabis has been successfully used in treating a multitude of ailments and disorders both physical and neurological such as; pain, nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, depression, anxiety, sleep apnea, diabetes, glaucoma, cardiovascular disease, cancer, PTSD, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

Those tinctures containing a high concentration of CBD have proven to reduce the frequency of seizures in children who suffer from Dravet syndrome or Epilepsy. Also, tinctures containing a high level of THCA (non-psychoactive THC) may be useful in treating pain, inflammation, nausea and neurodegeneration.

Cannabis tinctures provide a discreet alternative for those who wish to medicate themselves through more natural methods, yet want to avoid smoking or vaporizing.

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