Cannabis tinctures are among the most popular alternatives to smoking or vaping weed. It is one of the simplest and easiest ways to deliver potent cannabinoids into your system. If you finally decide to stop smoking or want to try out new ways of consuming cannabis, you can take cannabis tincture sublingually, orally, or add to foods and beverages.
Many cannabis users do not like smoking because it can irritate the throat and pose health risks. Others opt not to eat edibles because they can be tricky. Hence, the only alternative left is to consume a potent cannabis tincture.
Cannabis tinctures may contain THC, CBD, and minor cannabinoids such as CBG. It is worth exploring the possible benefits of these cannabinoids. In this article, we will explore their benefits, make them, and how to use them.
What are Cannabis Tinctures?
In the cannabis industry, cannabis-infused liquid products in dropper-style bottles are often called tinctures. Tinctures are alcohol-based cannabis extracts or essentially alcohol infused with cannabis. However, tinctures also refer to cannabis extract infused into carrier oils such as MCT oil.
Tinctures are one of the main forms of medical cannabis in Northern America. It is one of the best methods of delivering potent cannabinoids into the body without smoking weed. If you are looking forward to starting your medical cannabis journey, you are more likely to start with tinctures.
Tinctures are a convenient delivery system because they are fast-acting. When you put drops of the liquid under your tongue, the plant compounds get absorbed rapidly and delivered directly to the bloodstream. Hence, tinctures make getting your dose of cannabinoids easier than eating edibles infused with cannabis.
Whenever you administer tinctures sublingually, you can get THC, CBD, or any other cannabinoid into your system faster. It takes around 15 to 30 minutes for the effects to kick in and can last around 2 to 4 hours. You can get high in a few minutes if you take THC tinctures or experience pain relief quickly if you consume CBD tinctures.
The effects last shorter, but it gives you more control over your experience. You can take another dose after the effects end or go through your day usually. In addition, you are less likely to consume a lot of it because it does not come in a delicious form, a problem common in edibles. Even if you over-consume THC from tinctures, you will not feel too high for too long because the effects are much shorter than edibles.
With tinctures, you can incorporate other herbs to improve the flavour and the effect. For instance, adding chamomile and lavender into CBD tincture can enhance its relaxing effects. You may want to add ginger or turmeric to improve its anti-inflammatory properties. Before we get into the infusion process, let us first talk about the benefits of using tinctures over other forms of cannabis products.
The Wonderful Benefits of Cannabis Tinctures
There are many ways of consuming cannabis. The most popular method for recreational use is by smoking weed. The most prevalent method for medicinal use is through tinctures. However, you can use tinctures for both recreational and medicinal purposes. Here are some of the best reasons:
Easy to Dose
Whenever you consume cannabis products, you have to be careful with your dose. As soon as you exceed your body’s tolerance to any cannabinoid, you are more likely to experience adverse side effects. Therefore, it is essential to consume only what your body can handle.
Tinctures are easy to dose because each millilitre contains a specific amount of cannabinoids. The effects may not last as long as edibles, but it is easier to find your ideal dose with it because you never have to wait for an hour or more to experience the effects. If you are trying to determine your tolerance level for THC, you want to start taking THC tinctures sublingually.
For CBD and other non-psychoactive compounds, you can initially find your ideal dose by taking tinctures in smaller doses. The effects of the tincture can last only for two to four hours. However, when you find your perfect dose, the effects last longer. When you exceed your ideal dose, the effects tend to fade quickly.
When consumed sublingually or under the tongue, the tincture can deliver its full effects as quickly as 15 to 30 minutes. As soon as that time has passed, you should know whether you have achieved the desired effect or not. Depending on the results, you can either increase your dose or decrease your next dose. If you swallow the entire dose at once, the effects will take as long as a regular edible. Hence, you must place the liquid at least 30 seconds to two minutes under the tongue for faster results.
Easy to Make
You do not have to be an expert lab technician to make tinctures. With the proper ingredients and equipment, you can make your tincture in just a couple of hours. Based on your preference or purpose, you can create an alcohol tincture, glycerin tincture, or oil tincture. In this article, we will discuss how to make a potent tincture.
The basic definition of a tincture is a medicine infused into alcohol. However, if you do not want to ingest alcohol and the potent cannabinoids, you can make a non-alcoholic version. You can add other herbs into the mix to enhance the benefits of cannabis. Like terpenes, potent compounds in other herbs can encourage the entourage effect. You can add chamomile, lavender, ginger, turmeric, and other medicinal herbs or spices.
When you take tinctures sublingually, you directly deliver a potent dose of cannabinoids into your bloodstream. Most of the cannabinoids get into your system. When you smoke weed, you are incinerating most cannabinoids, and only a certain percentage of the compounds enter your system. Hence, you save money because you get the desired effect more efficiently by taking tinctures.
Aside from the efficient delivery of the cannabinoids, you can save money by making your tinctures. Also, you can make different kinds of edibles by infusing foods and beverages with a carefully measured amount. If your goal is to enjoy cannabis without spending too much, having tinctures is a great opportunity.
How to Make Cannabis Tinctures Using Alcohol
You do not need to have a full kitchen to make tinctures. All you need is a mason jar, alcohol, a filter, and cannabis. Even if you are not an expert potions master, making alcohol-based tinctures is fun and easy. The cannabis tincture recipe below is straightforward.
Alcohol Vs. Glycerin
Whenever you make tinctures, you should use high-proof alcohol. It should also be consumable, such as grain alcohol. Never use isopropyl alcohol or any alcohol that is not suitable for consumption. Some people who do not wish to ingest alcohol use vegetable glycerin, a plant-based oil, as a replacement. However, glycerin is not as effective in extracting cannabinoids. Hence, the resulting product is less potent.
There is a solution to this problem, though. Some people extract the cannabinoids using alcohol initially. Then, they let the alcohol evaporate from the tincture and introduce glycerin. The alcohol is high-proof and is highly flammable. Therefore, evaporating the alcohol with heat is a risky procedure that requires careful execution.
The Right Type of Alcohol to Use
Use food-grade high-proof alcohol to extract the cannabinoids efficiently. The high alcohol content is necessary to dissolve the cannabis resin. Most people prefer to use Everclear, a brand of pure grain alcohol used to make the Green Dragon tincture, one of the most potent alcohol tinctures you can make.
Isopropyl alcohol is rubbing alcohol and is not intended to be consumed. Always use food-grade alcohol such as ethanol (ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol). If you do not have high-proof alcohol around, you can replace it with vodka or brandy. Vodka or brandy may not extract as many cannabinoids from the plant material but are suited for producing less potent tinctures.
The Ratio of Alcohol to Flower
For microdosing, you need a 750 ml bottle of alcohol for every ounce of any of your favourite cannabis flowers. This ratio is perfect for beginners who want to start with a low dose of cannabinoids. You can increase the tincture’s potency using 500 ml of alcohol per ounce of flower. For an even stronger potency, use 250 ml of alcohol per ounce of weed.
- Grind the cannabis flower into a fine consistency and decarboxylate it.
- Place the flower into a mason jar and add the high-proof alcohol, vodka, or brandy.
- Close the jar and shake it vigorously.
- Let the jar sit for at least two days.
- You can let the tincture strain for up to two months but shake the container every couple of days.
- Before using, strain the tincture to remove the plant material. You can use a coffee filter for this purpose.
- Label the tincture properly.
How to Make Non-alcoholic Tincture
A tincture is technically made using alcohol as a solvent and base. Many people care about this definition. However, you can make a tincture by substituting alcohol with MCT oil. Today, many companies call their cannabis-infused MCT oil tinctures as long as they place them in dropper bottles.
It does not matter whether you use alcohol or MCT oil as a base. What matters is you can dose the product accurately and administer it sublingually. Remember that cannabinoids are also fat-soluble, which means they dissolve well with oil. When you infuse MCT oil with cannabis, it is technically called an infusion. Nevertheless, many people are already familiar with the term tincture so let us keep using the term to avoid confusion.
MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil comes from coconuts. It is easy for the body to digest and assimilate. As soon as it is absorbed, it gets straight to the liver for metabolism. Hence, they make a perfect carrier oil for cannabis compounds. Even people with digestive issues will not have problems absorbing MCT oil.
MCT oil is an affordable option and does not go rancid easily. Even without THC, it can easily boost your energy levels to add it to your daily diet. The oil goes straight to your liver and enhances your energy levels and metabolism for hours.
You will need:
- A Crockpot or Slow Cooker
- Pint Mason Jars
- 1 Ounce Decarbed Cannabis Flower
- 16 Ounces of MCT Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Liquid Sunflower Lecithin (optional
- Dropper bottles
- A Clean Tea Towel
- Digital thermometer
- Place the tea towel at the bottom of the slow cooker or crockpot to create a buffer between the base of the cooker and the mason jars. It will prevent the jars from cracking or moving while cooking.
- Fill the cooker with enough warm water to make a water bath. It should cover the top portion of the mason jars, at least an inch above the jar cover.
- Please turn on the cooker and set it on high. Put the digital thermometer into the water to measure the temperature. Once it reaches 185 degrees Fahrenheit, turn the cooker’s temperature to low.
- While the water is heating, decarb the cannabis flower.
- Place the MCT oil into the mason jars. If you use more than one, divide the oil evenly for each container. You can use pint-sized or half-pint-sized jars, depending on the size of your slow cooker.
- Add the sunflower lecithin to the jars as well.
- Add the decarbed flower evenly into the oil-filled mason jars and stir well. Use a clean power towel to wipe the rim of the jars and put the lid on.
- As soon as the water reaches 185 degrees, Fahrenheit puts the jars carefully into the bath and closes the crockpot. Allow the oil to be infused with cannabis for four hours.
- After four hours, remove the lid and take the jars out of the bath. Let them cool until they are easy to handle.
- Strain the infusion with a coffee filter, paper filter, or cheesecloth to separate the oil from the plant matter. You may save the leftover plant matter for future recipes.
- Place the oil in dropper bottles. A dropper bottle makes it easier to dose and administer.
- Store the cannabis-infused MCT oil in a cool, dark place. The tincture has a long shelf life.x You can store it in a refrigerator or freezer to make it last even longer.
Why You Need to Decarboxylate Flower When Making Tinctures
Raw cannabis flower contains THCA or CBDA. These cannabinoids are acid forms of THC or CBD. They are not potent yet because they have not been converted. Once you decarboxylate the flower with heat, the THCA and CBDA transform into potent THC and CBD.
If the THC and CBD in flowers are not activated, they will not produce the desired results you expect from the cannabis flower. They may provide some health benefits, but they will not produce the same result as THC and CBD.
How to Use Cannabis Tincture
Now that you have made a cannabis tincture, you should know how to use it properly to get the most out of what you made. There are several ways to use cannabis infusions or tinctures, but the most efficient way is through sublingual administration. How do you administer sublingually, and what other methods are possible?
Sublingual means under the tongue. The membranes underneath the tongue will absorb the potent cannabinoids and deliver them straight to the bloodstream. Place a few drops of the carefully measured tincture under the tongue and hold it there for around 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
It would be best to either spat the remaining liquid or swallow it. Many people prefer to swallow the remaining tincture to alleviate the delayed effect. However, some people prefer to spit it out to avoid further breakdown of cannabinoids.
When taken sublingually, you should be able to feel the effects around 15 to 30 minutes after sublingual administration. The effect should last at least two hours and up to four hours.
If you prefer to ingest the cannabis infusion like an edible, swallow a few drops and wait for at least an hour for the effects to kick in. The delayed onset is worth it if you want to experience the effects for a longer period. As soon as you ingest the tincture, it passes through the digestive system, gets absorbed, and eventually metabolized in the liver before it gets delivered into the bloodstream.
Infusing your food or beverage with cannabis tincture is an alternative way to enjoy the psychoactive effects of THC or the medical benefits of CBD. You can easily make food edibles with oil-based tinctures. Add a carefully measured amount of tincture into any food recipe of your choice and eat it. You can also add it directly to your morning coffee or beverage. You may want to use alcohol-based tincture on cocktails.
There are many recipes for cannabis edibles available online. Gummies are probably the most popular form of cannabis edibles available on the market. If you are interested in making cannabis gummies, we have a tutorial for that as well. Just click the link to learn more.
Where to Buy Cannabis Tinctures Online
Not all of us have the time or the interest to make tinctures independently. Many are simply curious about how tinctures are made and how to use them. If you are looking for a quality CBD tincture for medicinal purposes, we sell it here at The Herb Centre. You can take it sublingually, ingest it directly, or use it to infuse foods and beverages with CBD.
At The Herb Centre, we ensure that customers get the best quality THC or CBD tinctures. We also sell flowers, concentrates, vapes, topicals, mushrooms, and other highly popular products in the cannabis market. Browse through our list of products and find many other premium cannabis products.