Newbies to the cannabis space often encounter hurdles when picking the best cannabis formulation to use. Whether there is a “best cannabis formulation” is debatable, but different factors make some formulations more appealing than the rest. Cannabis tinctures are ideal when you are starting out because they are easy to use, easy to dose and easy to store. The best part is that you can DIY some amazing cannabis tincture at home, I will be sharing a beginner recipe at the end of this article.
Here’s why Cannabis Tinctures Are Ideal For Beginners
Tinctures are cannabis extracts that are dissolved in ethanol to form a greenish brown viscous liquid. In some quarters, they are referred to as “green dragon.” Green dragon often evokes the feeling of ruthlessness or savageness packed in a bottle, which is not far from the truth. THC loaded tinctures can have high potency that will knock you completely, but this is not always the case.
- Easy to dose
Cannabis tinctures are easy to dose by using a dropper. Since the tincture is a viscous liquid, you can easily monitor the number of drops that you are using drop by drop. This is not possible with cannabis concentrates, flowers and edibles.
Tinctures can also help you find the minimum effective dose for you. By starting from the lowest possible amount, you can titrate upwards until you get the dose that elicits the desired effects in your body.
- Easy to administer
Cannabis tinctures do not require any fancy equipment to use. You just need a dark-colored bottle for storage and a dropper for administration. Tinctures are easy to consume sublingually and even children can do this without hassle. It takes a short time to consume and requires no prior preparation. Beginners will find it easy to get started on this cannabis formulation.
- Discrete method
Cannabis tinctures are usually stored in bottles that resemble medicine bottles. Since they do not require any fancy equipment or procedures to administer, they offer maximum discretion.
- Fast absorption
The region below the tongue (sublingual) is well supplied with blood vessels. When tinctures are consumed sublingually, they go directly to the bloodstream as they bypass the digestive system. This means that you will begin to feel the effects soon after you take the tincture.
- Low Calorie
Tinctures have low calories because they have no other added ingredients. Cannabis edibles are high calorie because they are usually infused in high-calorie foods. Tinctures give you a discrete way of consuming your cannabis that does not involve taking in extra calories.
- Keep for long
Once made, tinctures can keep for years. However, you need to store tinctures in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight.
Now that you know the benefits of cannabis tinctures, you can proceed to prepare some to use at home.
A Simple Recipe For Cannabis Tincture
This is what you will need
- A mason jar
- High-proof alcohol (such as ever clear)
- A strainer
- Cured cannabis buds
- Dark-colored glass dropper for storage
- Oven and baking sheet for decarboxylation
- Decarboxylate the buds in an oven for 45 minutes, at 220F. This process allows the cannabinoid acids to be converted into their active forms. THCA and CBDA are converted into THC and CBD respectively.
- Remove from the oven and allow cooling
- Put the cannabis in a grinder and grind to a fine consistency. This increases the surface area for the alcohol to act on
- Removed the cannabis from the grinder and place in the mason jar
- Pour the alcohol into the jar to a level where the cannabis is fully immersed. The alcohol extracts the cannabinoids from the plant material. Shake the jar and then let it sit in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Continue shaking the jar daily for a few minutes each day, this allows the cannabinoids to spread evenly within the mixture.
- After two weeks, strain out your extract and keep the liquid. That is your cannabis tincture!
How long will cannabis tincture keep?
Cannabis tinctures can keep for years if they are properly stored. An old stash of weed was recently discovered in tombs in the Tupman basin when tested, the weed had significant amounts of THC. Ideally, weed should not go stale, but over time it may lose potency, taste, flavor, and nutrients.
If you want your tincture to keep, you need to store it away from direct sunlight. As much as this will not cause the tincture to go stale, it will make the weed lose potency. THC is not stable for long, and it easily breaks down to CBN.
Humidity is another reason why weed goes stale. Make sure to store the tincture in an airtight dropper bottle.
The recommended storage time for weed is 6- 24 months, by then you should have gotten round to making a fresh preparation with greater oomph
- Wikipedia: Decarboxylation. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decarboxylation
- NCBI (1993): Bypassing the first-pass effect for the therapeutic use of cannabinoids. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8383856
- NCBI (2010): Temperature Stability and Bioadhesive Properties of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Incorporated Hydroxypropylcellulose Polymer Matrix Systems. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2921171/