Weed tinctures, otherwise known as the “green dragon” are a liquid concentration of cannabis consumed in alcohol. Tinctures have had their moment in the US but eventually fizzled out following the prohibition of cannabis in the States. This means they are no more as popular as the smoking of marijuana.
Weed tinctures are simply a liquid concentration of cannabis with essentially a leaked concentration of cannabinoids and THC. This concentrate is dropped into alcohol and consumed that way. But tinctures can also be incorporated into all sorts of meals – soups, juices, etc. Because of its concentration, tinctures get you high much faster than any other form of its consumption.
But there’s more to tinctures than just getting you high. For starters, tinctures are a smokeless way to consume cannabis. What’s more, they are better for medicinal purposes than other forms of consumption and leave you with its effect much faster. The effect from cannabis tinctures also last longer than that from smoking or vaping your cannabis but is shorter than its effect when taking in an edible.
Tinctures are great. The medicinal use of tinctures is an indication that tinctures can be used by anyone – a die-hard addict or a newbie. They are a wonderful way of ingesting marijuana without having its smell all over you. Except the bottle is open, you don’t even perceive cannabis around a tincture bottle. So it keeps things discrete, and allows you ingest it even at the office without worrying about its smell.
The use of tinctures medicinally means that you can always walk into a medical marijuana outlet, with your card, and pick one up. However, even with your medical marijuana card a purchase from a medical store can always bring you in close proximity with the law. And tinctures are easy to make. This is what makes most tincture users stick to cooking their own tincture. Like the tincture itself, the cooking process won’t fill your kitchen with its smell.
Cannabis Tinctures vs. Edibles vs. Smoking
Edibles are lovely. Having cannabis in your oil, or butter, or anywhere else has emerged as a great substitute to smoking. It’s smokeless, can be consumed anywhere, and is great for pain. Sadly, it is also hard to control just how much cannabis you would be ingesting at a sitting. Therefore, while cannabis edibles allow for socializing and for discrete use, you could go haywire after consumption due to overdoes.
While smoking is about the best way cannabis lovers love to ingest, it does burn off some of its medicinal value. Some of the compounds that give cannabis its usefulness are volatile and can go up in smoke once you light it up, literally.
Tinctures combine the best part of both consumption forms. It is discrete, even as it maintains its medicinal value. Because its dosage can be controlled, tinctures can be regulated so that you do not get high while using it outside. Its effect also comes to you much faster so you do not have to sit about wondering whether you are high, stoned, or still very clear headed. They can also last for many years when made and are a good option for those watching their weight/health from edibles.
How to Make Weed Tinctures
Tinctures are a great DIY project. It is easy to make and does not require so much from you – alcohol of 90% strength or more (Everclear, Moonshone, Vegetable Glycerine, Brandy, or Vodka), a jar with a lid, your cannabis, a strainer, and a bottle with an eyedropper.
- Weigh the amount of weed you want to use and cut it out to dry.
- Create an oz. of tincture by pouring at least one gram of weed into 35 mL of alcohol base.
- Put the weed and your high-proof alcohol of choice (preferably Everclear) into your glass jar and leave to soak.
- Close the jar and let the mixture soak for a few weeks. How long you choose to leave it depends on what works for you. Be sure to gently shake the mixture once a day.
- If unsure how long you want to soak it, you can always strain out just 1 mL to test for potency.
- When you are done with soaking, filter with a strainer to remove all remnant plants. Pour the liquid into the dropper bottle.
Master Wu’s Tincture Recipe
This recipe is added for good measure. Here, Master Wu provides a method of preparing the green dragon that wouldn’t require soaking for weeks. The one catch is that it’s usually lighter than the traditionally prepared tincture. Still, it’s worth a shot if you need your tincture ASAP.
- Decarboxylate your cannabis by following the first step above.
- Mix in a mason jar with high-proof alcohol.
- Cook the jar in a water bath of 170 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 20 minutes.
- Strain for plant extracts and store the liquid into the dropper bottle.
Should I Decarboxylate My Weed?
The simple answer, yes! While some are used to making their edibles or tinctures with fresh cannabis, it is not the best. If you wish to get a high THC and cannabinoid content from your tinctures, you have to decarboxylate your cannabis plant. You can do this traditionally by drying out in the sun, or you can use available decarboxylation tools. Regardless, be sure to decarboxylate before use.
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In 1850, cannabis was added to the United States pharmacopoeia. It was commonly used to treat injured soldiers during the Civil War. Not long after, cannabis Indica tincture was a household drug. Apothecaries made their own varieties until the pharmaceutical industry emerged and cannabis tinctures began to be branded.