Everything You Need to Know About Tinctures
Have you heard of tinctures? Tinctures can be used for a range of needs, and they are more than just homeopathic remedies for the new age crowd. Best of all, when made properly, they can be highly effective, especially when it comes to treating medical ailments.
What Are Cannabis Tinctures?
Common with herbal remedies for centuries, a tincture is a topical solution made from infusing elements in alcohol. For a cannabis tincture, you soak decarboxylated cannabis in alcohol to infuse the solution. Those who want the benefits of cannabis without having to smoke or ingest edibles will find that this is a very simple and convenient method.
Commercial tinctures are variably available today in the US and not at all in Canada, and some have taken to making the solutions on their own. While these are starting to become more popular, cannabis tinctures are nothing new. In fact, as they mention on Honest Marijuana, cannabis tinctures were in use as a medicine up until 1937, at which point it was cannabis was banned by the US government.
Ethanol is the most common solvent used for tinctures, as it makes breaking down the plant matter faster and easier. It breaks down the acidic and basic components, so you can get more of the cannabinoids in the tincture, making it more effective. It is possible to use other types of solvents, such as glycerol and vinegar. However, these are not as effective at breaking down the material, so you do not get as much of the good stuff as with a topical solution.
Once the marijuana has been dissolved in the tincture, you can use a medical dropper or eyedropper to place the solution under your tongue. Make sure you allow the tincture to dissolve under the tongue – do not swallow it if you hope to get all the benefits. When dissolved properly, the arterial blood supply under your tongue rapidly absorbs the THC. When swallowed in a drink or in food, it will be absorbed slower by your liver. Due to the difference in ingesting, the onset can be anywhere from 5 minutes (when taken sublingually) or much longer like ingesting any other edible.
Why Choose Tinctures?
Since there are so many other ways of ingesting cannabis, you might be wondering why you should even bother with tinctures?
Easy to Take and Measure
Most people like that it is so easy to take. Place a couple drops of the tincture under your tongue and it is then absorbed by the body via the process of osmosis. The solution absorbs into the bloodstream rapidly, reaching the cannabinoid receptors in the brain in no time at all. Those who do not want to inhale smoke, and who do not want the scent of the marijuana to bother or alert neighbors may find this to be a perfect solution.
Of course, there may also be those who prefer not to smoke, or the physically can’t, and who still need the benefits that cannabis can provide. For those people, topical tinctures can be a blessing and provide them the relief they need from their medical conditions. With all these benefits, tinctures could be just the option you or a loved one has been hoping to find.
Long Shelf Life
According to Herblore, if stored properly, tinctures can essentially last forever. Store your tinctures in a cool, dark location. Refrigeration is not necessary.
Combining a long shelf life, with easy administration and a discrete, measured consumption method makes tinctures a suitable medicinal product. If you don’t like the taste, you can add your required dosage to any food, including a delicious power smoothie, for a low-calorie way to start the day. Really, it can be used in any recipe as a substitute for the infusion.
How do I Dose and Use Tinctures?
The dosage will depend on the potency of the tincture as well as your tolerance and desired effect.
Since tinctures are really easy to self-measure, the best way to start is with one drop under the tongue, which is usually 1 ml. If you’re unhappy with the effects or don’t feel the dosage, try two drops (2 ml) the next day. Be sure to work up slowly and over time since the effects may take a few hours to be fully felt.
How do I Make Tinctures?
Green Dragon Tincture – 4 Easy Steps
The most common and famous cannabis tincture is the Green Dragon. Here is a simple 4 step process to get to a finished product.
1. Decarboxylate your flower. When decarbing (activating through heat), be sure to grind your cannabis first.
The more cannabis you use, the more potent the tincture will be. We recommend a ratio of 0.5 grams to 1 fl ounce of alcohol.
2. Combine the decarbed marijuana in a mason jar with high-proof alcohol (preferably Everclear)
Be sure there is enough alcohol to fully cover all of the cannabis.
3. Shake thoroughly for 3 minutes.
Many people have been finding that this is enough to finish the process before straining. To be safe, you can leave it for a week or two shaking the mixture daily.
4. Strain the mixture using a cheesecloth or strainer and store.
The darker green the mixture, the more potent it will be!