As you most likely already know, cannabinoids are the psychoactive compounds that make people feel euphoria, relaxation, and other effects after consuming cannabis. The most prevalent compound is tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, which is responsible for most recreational effects felt from using the leafy green substance. Other cannabinoids include cannabidiol, also known as CBD, which provides a myriad of health benefits to users, including pain relief, reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, and even helping people with ADHD pay attention.
The vast majority of people simply smoke cannabis as their chosen method of consumption. While eating uncooked marijuana doesn’t do anything for the human brain, eating cooked foods with cannabis infused in them is the second-most popular method of consumption.
We’re all familiar with the infamous pot brownies, though gummy candies seem to be the most popular type of cannabis-laced food. Tinctures, a form of cannabis that is consumed by mouth, are also quite popular.
Rather than eating a full serving or two of a sugar-packed baked good like brownies or cookies, munching down on a few pieces of gummy candy, or otherwise eating solid food, tinctures require nothing more than a few drops of cannabis-infused alcohol placed into the mouth and washed down with food or liquid.
If you’re reading this article, you most likely don’t know what a weed tincture is. Perhaps you’re familiar with tinctures already but simply don’t know what they’re made up of, how they’re manufactured, or anything else about them. Either way, this guide will sharpen your understanding of cannabis tinctures, how they’re made, how to use them, and provide you with answers to frequently asked questions about these tinctures.
So, what exactly is a cannabis tincture?
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the go-to for all things related to words, defines tincture as follows:
- a solution of a medicinal substance in an alcoholic solvent.
The word “tincture,” when used in conversation, doesn’t necessarily mean the substance in question has medicinal properties. People use cannabis tinctures for both recreational and medicinal purposes, after all. Alcohol is infused with all kinds of substances to form tinctures.
Here’s the point – just because you hear the word tincture, it doesn’t mean cannabis is involved. However, cannabis tinctures are among the most popular types of tinctures across the globe.
Alcohol infused with cannabinoids is also called green dragon or golden dragon. If you hear either of these terms, you can be confident that marijuana is involved.
A brief history of cannabis tinctures
Cannabis, as you almost certainly already know, has been used by humans for thousands of years. It’s not immediately clear when the first known use of cannabis-infused tinctures dates back to, though it is known that tinctures were the most popular preparation of cannabis here in the United States before cannabis was federally outlawed in 1937 by the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937.
How are cannabis tinctures consumed?
Virtually all tinctures will come with instructions for use. If purchased from regulated stores, bottles of cannabis tincture are required to be labeled by potency. Further, they’re also supposed to have instructions for use on those same bottles.
Tinctures are most often placed under the tongue – this method of use is known as sublingual administration, a term that comes from the practice of medicine – to increase the rate of absorption. However, they can also be swallowed, though the effects of such tinctures will undoubtedly take significantly longer to kick in than when used sublingually.
Cannabis tinctures almost always have pipettes or droppers attached to the lid. These droppers will usually be marked by the milliliter for ease of dosing. Most trusted sources and experienced cannabis users recommend taking only one milliliter of cannabis tincture at first, though every tincture is likely to have a different potency.
Make sure to take note of how much THC and CBD is in the tincture you’ve got your hands on. Beginners, including regular cannabis users who aren’t well-versed in the use of tinctures, shouldn’t stray above two milligrams of THC or five milligrams of CBD as a general rule of thumb.
Make sure to measure your doses volumetrically before consuming any so-called green dragon, though another general rule of thumb states that a drop of tincture is roughly 0.05 milliliters, which is equivalent to one-twentieth of a milliliter.
Tinctures can also readily be used to cook with
If you’ve taken notes, you already know that unheated cannabis isn’t psychoactive in the human brain. However, cannabis tinctures are, in fact, ready to be consumed by humans who are seeking psychoactive effects. Since tinctures are so potent, drops of cannabis-infused alcohol can be dropped into uncooked food items like milkshakes or juices without affecting their taste. Tinctures can also be cooked with.
Here’s how to create cannabis tinctures
First, you need to heat your marijuana. This causes the chemical reaction of decarboxylation. When it comes to cannabis, decarboxylation makes THC and CBD psychologically active in the human brain.
Next, combine as much decarboxylated marijuana with high-proof alcohol like Everclear in a sealed glass jar. Leave it sealed for at least a month, though make sure to shake it once every day to make way for maximum extraction of cannabinoids. After the month has elapsed, strain the cannabis flower out of the solution and enjoy!