A weed tincture is a cannabis extract in which decarboxylated cannabis is dissolved in high percentage alcohol, which extracts the terpenes and cannabinoids to make for a potent form of consuming cannabis. They come in airtight, dark glass bottles with droppers that allow you to dose with precision and keep out excess heat and light, which are known to deteriorate cannabinoids.
Since they’re a liquid form of cannabis, you are intended to digest rather than smoke tinctures, but they are unlike many other edibles in that the effects occur shortly after it is consumed. This is because you apply the tincture directly under your tongue and it gets immediately absorbed into your bloodstream. Your body absorbs the cannabinoids and terpenes faster than pretty much any other methods, so you’ll start to feel the effects within fifteen minutes. For the safest, most pleasurable high, start off slow and apply more as desired.
How To Use Weed Tincture
Today, tinctures are not one of the more popular ways to consume cannabis, but before prohibition, they were the most common form of medical cannabis in the United States. They were typically used as a form of pain relief, alleviating symptoms associated with tetanus, gout, tonsillitis, alcoholism, menstrual cramps, cholera, and arthritis.
Whether you smoke cannabis for medical purposes or just recreationally, tinctures are best for people who want a user-friendly way to have extreme control over their dose. You intake the cannabis by placing a few drops under your tongue, so it’s pretty easy to learn how much is the perfect dose for your preferences. Just like you probably know how many beers or glasses of wine is too much for you, cannabis tinctures make it easy to keep your usage within your tolerance levels. Since it’s so fast-acting, it’s pretty easy to decipher if you need another dose or not.
Though the sublingual method is the most common and fast-acting, you can also add it to your food or drink. This is best for users who don’t want to be overwhelmed by the cannabis flavor.
Tinctures can also be applied topically to injuries. THCA and CBDA, the acidic, carboxylated versions of the more commonly known THC and CBD, have been said to help heal sprains and bruises. People have also cited tinctures as a useful remedy for chronic skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Before using a tincture or any other topical version of cannabis to heal an ailment, consult your doctor and make sure that there aren’t any chemicals in the tincture, weed cream, THC lotion, CBD salve, or other cannabis-based skin care product that will irritate your condition further.
How to Make A Cannabis Tincture
Cannabis tinctures are available at a lost of dispensaries, but if you want to get your DIY on, making your own can be a fun experiment. Here is a step by step process for whipping up the perfectly potent batch of tincture.
- You’ll first need to add heat to your cannabis in order to convert the non-psychoactive THCA into psychoactive THC. This process is called decarboxylation, and you can do it easily at home by finely grinding your cannabis, spreading a thin layer of a piece of parchment paper on a baking tray, and baking it at 220-235 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-45 minutes.
- In a jar, submerge the activated cannabis in high proof alcohol like Everclear.
- Allow the cannabis to soak in the alcohol for one or two weeks, shaking it once a day. Though not required, keeping the jar in the freezer helps keep unwanted chemicals like chlorophyll from being a part of the final product.
- Strain the contents of the jar through a cheesecloth and into another glass container. Try to squeeze out all the liquid you can without getting any flower in the new jar.
- Now you’re ready to dose! Funnel the liquid into a dark glass bottle whose lid serves as a dropper. If you made a lot tincture, you can store it in a mason jar, just make sure your storage method keeps it as resistant as possible to air, heat, and light.
Depending on what you’re using the tincture for, you may want to explore variations of the recipe to find one that works best for your symptoms or desires. Tinctures are by definition made with alcohol, but cannabis can also be absorbed within olive oil, MCT oil, or glycerin to create a cannabis-based elixir that addresses specific health issues.
Why Use Tinctures?
Whether you take the DIY route or just pick up a few vials at the store, tinctures provide a useful alternative for people with aversions to certain aspects of smoking cannabis:
- It’s more discreet, as it doesn’t reek and is easily transportable.
- Unlike special brownies, tinctures are an extremely low-calorie edible. We can’t, however, promise you won’t get munchies that make up for some of those.
- Smoking weed is not even close to as harmful as smoking tobacco and if you use a vape rather than a joint, bowl, or bong, you don’t inhale any carcinogens. Still, heavy smoking can still have some gradual negative effects on the respiratory system, and tinctures allow you to bypass this risk with ease.
- Again, using tinctures allows you to absorb the terpenes and cannabinoids extremely quickly and have maximum control over your dosage.
There are a lot of experienced smokers who have no idea what a tincture is, because modern cannabis culture just doesn’t talk about them as much. They may not be as high-tech and glamorous as all the new vapes and gadgets at your local smoke shop, but if you have a particular aversion to the typical inhalation methods, tinctures may be something to try!