Tinctures are liquid extracts made from cannabis that can be consumed orally or added to drinks. I made my first tincture because I couldn't find a cannabis-infused drink that was right for me. Most of the infused drinks I tried were too sweet and strong (I like my drinks on the bitter side). The only solution — learn how to infuse my own!
I really like the natural process of making tinctures. I've done a few in the past for things like cold remedies and acne medicine. I use only a half-ounce, or 14.2 grams, of decarboxylated cannabis to keep the dosage low, allowing me to enjoy more of my infused drink without being overwhelmed by the cannabis effects.
- 8 fluid ounces (about 300 milligrams) food-grade vegetable glycerin
- 0.5 ounces (14.2 grams) cannabis, decarboxylated and ground
- Mason jar
- 190 micron hash-straining bag or cheesecloth
- Rubber spatula
On average, patients benefit most from 15 to 25 milligrams, depending on their metabolism and medical conditions. Basically, everyone is unique. To find your optimal dose, start off small with one or two drops, then adjust if needed after a couple of hours.
Step 1: Decarb
The decarboxylation process allows you to convert the THCA or CBDA found in cannabis to THC or CBD. This process will make your oils, edibles, and tinctures more potent. You can decarb your flower to THC and CBD depending on the temperature and length of time. For example:
THCa –> THC 245 degrees Fahrenheit (118.3 degrees Celsius) decarbing for 60 minutes
CBDa –> CBD 245 degrees Fahrenheit (118.3 degrees Celsius) decarbing for 90 minutes
Start by preheating the oven to 245 degrees Fahrenheit, or 118.3 degrees Celsius. Break up the cannabis flowers or buds into smaller pieces with your hands or grinder. Place the broken-up cannabis pieces evenly on a baking sheet with a rim to prevent pieces from falling. Rotate the cooking pan every 15 minutes to ensure an even toast.
Step 2: Soak
Now that your cannabis is freshly ground and decarbed, fill an empty, dry mason jar with however much of the decarbed cannabis you wish to use and set aside. Make sure the mason jar is completely dry. Next, slowly pour 8 ounces, or 300 milligrams, of vegetable glycerin into the jar.
Now, here comes the hard part: Let the jar soak for around two months. That's right. Two months. Vegetable glycerin is quite thick and it takes considerable time for the cannabis to be fully absorbed into the solution.
Make sure your marinating tincture jar is stored in a dry, dim place to rest. As Gandalf famously advised Frodo, “Keep it secret, keep it safe.”
Ste 3: Two Months Later
Welcome back. A lot has happened in the last two months (Can you believe what happened in Game of Thrones?), but it's time to focus on the task at hand: Tinctures.
Over a bowl or bucket, pour the contents of the jar into a 190 micron hash straining bag or cheesecloth. Drain as much as you can. It will be messy, but worth the effort.
Pour the strained product back in a clean mason jar. The final product should be dark and viscous in consistency.
Step 4: Enjoy
Congrats! You made your own tincture. Now you'll never have the problem of your drink being too sweet, or too strong! Now you can make one that is just right for you.