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Cannabis Tinctures 101
Cannabis Tinctures 101
2020.05.29

Everyone talks about smoking, vaping, and even eating marijuana, but what about a cannabis tincture? This method is easy, discreet, and works nearly as fast as a few hits from a joint or vape pen. In this guide, you’ll learn what a tincture is, how to use it, and what the benefit it holds over other methods.

What is a Cannabis Tincture?

There’s nothing new about tinctures. The first way medical professionals administered cannabis before prohibition in North America was with alcohol-based extracts. In fact, the tincture is how many plant-based medicines were procured before traditional pharmaceuticals came into the picture.

A weed tincture goes further than picking the flowers from the plants, curing them, and putting them in your grinder. It provides a safe and effective way to use marijuana for recreational and medical reasons.

For dosing purposes, these come in small glass bottles, often containing 30ML, and a dropper to administer each serving. The alcohol allows the tincture to absorb through the membranes under your tongue, directly into the bloodstream. Although it’s not as fast as smoking, it will take effect in under 15 minutes.

Step-by-Step Make Your Own Weed Tincture

With time and the right tools, you can make your own. Here is a cannabis tincture recipe to help get you started. Before getting started, get together everything you need. You can use high-grade alcohol, many recommend Everclear or a plant-based oil for a safer alternative. If you choose the oil version, it will be less potent than the alcohol-based option. Never use isopropyl alcohol, this is dangerous and won’t work.

Step OneDecarboxylate your weed.

Step Two – Mix the decarboxylated flowers with the alcohol in a mason jar. Add 750ML of alcohol for every ounce of cannabis.

Step Three – Seal the jar and store it in a dark, cool location. Shake it vigorously every day for a few weeks.

Step Four – Strain the liquid from the plant matter using a coffee filter or cheesecloth.

You can speed up the process from a few weeks by shaking it repeatedly for a few days to speed-up the process.

Using Cannabis Tinctures

The key to an effective weed tincture dose is how you use it. If you want a fast onset to reduce muscle soreness or boost your appetite so you can eat, use the sublingual method. This involves using the dropper and placing the dose under your tongue. Swish it around for about five minutes, to make sure it absorbs under your tongue and into your bloodstream. Try not to eat or drink anything after taking it to give it time and not dilute the dose.

For consumers that don’t need a fast onset, you can infuse the tincture into your food or drink. However, keep in mind that cannabis oil tinctures aren’t water-soluble and may not mix for everything. The most common ways to incorporate these into a meal or snack is with,

  • Soups
  • Gelatin
  • Juice
  • Salad dressing

These are just a few options. You could also add it to your salsa or let it absorb into the bread on a sandwich.

When you don’t use it sublingually or under the tongue, the tincture acts like an edible and goes through digestion before taking effect. This process can take between 60 and 90 minutes to work, rather than the 10 to 15 minutes with the sublingual approach.

One thing to consider when using a tincture - plant matter doesn’t have a pleasant taste. Younger and older patients may have trouble tolerating the bitter flavor. If possible, these consumers should try mixing them with a meal instead. Another option is flavored THC tinctures. These are often available in natural tastes, such as mint, orange, and lemon.

How Much Should You Take?

Like all cannabis products, there is no standard, one-size-fits-all method of determining how much you should take at a time. It’s essential to remember that the tincture is a concentrated form of THC. A little goes a long way. Start off with 2.5mg to 5mg and slowly increase the dose each time until you get to the ideal spot that takes away your symptoms, with the least amount of side effects.

Benefits of Using Cannabis Tinctures

There are several benefits to using a tincture over other methods. Many medical marijuana patients shouldn’t smoke. Whether it’s due to diminished lung capacity with ongoing cancer treatments or overall health reasons, smoking cannabis several times a day for relief isn’t as safe as taking a few drops of a tincture every few hours.

Another benefit is for children and medical patients under 18 that are too young to smoke or vape. Also, they last longer, between four and six hours, depending on the potency and dose. Additionally, tinctures are more discreet to use than smoking and much easier to measure out serving sizes with the dropper.

Cannabis Tincture FAQ’s

Why choose THC tinctures over smoking weed?

Yes, research seems to support that smoking weed is less dangerous than nicotine. However, inhaling any burning particles into your lungs is damaging. Tinctures are the safest way to use cannabis.

It didn’t work, can I take more?

There are no known deaths or serious overdoses for cannabis in its long history. Most medical professionals consider it one of the safest treatments available for pain, anxiety, and even sleeping when compared to other options. So, it’s most likely safe to take more.

Before you take a second dose, make sure it’s been at least 90 minutes since the last one. If the tincture didn’t absorb properly under your tongue, it could still work through the digestion process. The body takes about 45 to 90 minutes to digest cannabis and work. This is more common with oil-based tinctures than alcohol-based ones because oil isn’t as viable.

Can I vape a cannabis tincture?

Yes and no. It depends on if it’s an oil- or alcohol-based tincture. You should NEVER try to smoke or vape any products made with high grain alcohol. The confusion often occurs because many brands label everything as “cannabis oil” But because you can make them with alcohol or carrier oil, it’s a dangerous misconception. Before placing anything in your pipe or pen, read the label and verify it was extracted using a carrier oil.

On the other hand, adding oil to your vape tank is safe. However, depending on the device you’re using, it may be too thick and clog up. In that case, you’ll want to consider a vape juice or e-liquid that uses thinning agents.

How long can you store weed tinctures?

As mentioned, one of the most significant benefits of tinctures is the ability to store it longer than flowers and edibles. Keep all cannabis products in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight to prolong shelf-life. When stored properly, a cannabis tincture can last for years. Of course, the bonus here is that you can make a large batch and put it away safely.

Have you made your own CBD or THC tinctures? Leave a comment below and tell us if you used a carrier oil or alcohol and how it turned out.

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