Cannabis tinctures offer a quick and discreet way to consume cannabis. Tinctures are like small bottles of cannabis-infused alcohol, except they’re not designed to get you drunk. Many cannabis connoisseurs consider cannabis tinctures the “happy medium” between smoking and edibles because they’re smokeless, easy to dose, and you can make them at home.
Tinctures vs. Traditional Edibles
Although cannabis tinctures are an edible form of marijuana, they work a bit differently than pot brownies or THC gummies. You can feel the effects of a tincture within 15 minutes of ingestion. In contrast, traditional edibles can take an hour (or longer) to take effect. The sublingual tissue underneath your tongue gives the cannabinoids direct access to your bloodstream. With that being said, tinctures tend to lose their effect quicker than edible baked goods.
You take tinctures using an eyedropper, so they’re easy to dose, meaning you won’t be left guessing how much is too much. (This is a big plus for those who are new to cannabis or sensitive to the mind-altering effects of THC.)
Benefits of Cannabis Tinctures
One of the most apparent benefits of cannabis tinctures is their ease of use. Still, the benefits of tinctures go far beyond convenience.
- Precise dosing: Thanks to drop-by-drop dosing, you’ll never have to worry about getting “too high.”
- Low-calorie: If you can’t have THC-infused treats due to a medical condition or dietary restriction, tinctures offer a tremendous low-cal alternative.
- Discreet: Tinctures are smokeless (almost odorless) and come in small, portable bottles that you can easily fit in your pocket or purse. Just squeeze a drop or two underneath your tongue, and you’re good to go.
- Fast-acting: If taken sublingually, tinctures are fast-acting. You can usually feel the effects within 15-30 minutes.
- Long shelf life: Tinctures can stay fresh for years if kept in a cool, dark place.
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How to Make Cannabis Tinctures at Home
Not all tinctures are made the same. Even so, the list of base ingredients is pretty short. Here’s what you’ll need to make a basic cannabis tincture:
- 1 cookie sheet (you can also use aluminum foil or a glass baking dish)
- 1 glass jar
- 1 glass tincture bottle with eyedropper
- 1 small kitchen funnel
- 1 strainer (you can use a coffee filter)
- Cannabis (about an eighth)
- High-proof, food-grade alcohol (Everclear should work)
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients and supplies, making the tincture is easy.
- Step 1: Decarboxylate your cannabis. You can do this by breaking it up and popping it in the oven at 230 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Note: If you’re using flower, be sure to grind it beforehand. You’ll want it to be super-fine.)
- Step 2: Once your cannabis cools down, place it in a glass jar. Then, add your Everclear (or whatever alcohol you choose). Be sure to submerge the cannabis completely.
- Step 3: Seal the jar and store it in a cool, dark place. For the best results, this mixture should sit for 21 days. If you can’t wait, shake the jar for three minutes and move on to the next step.
- Step 4: Once the 21-day period is up, you’ll need to strain the cannabis-alcohol mixture. You can use a coffee filter and a small kitchen funnel to do this. Strain the mixture into your tincture bottle, and leave room for the eyedropper.
Remember, not all tinctures are created equally, and there are hundreds of recipes out there to experiment with. The above steps will yield one bottle of basic cannabis tincture.
The Bottom Line
Cannabis tinctures are perfect for people who are new to consuming cannabis. With just a few ingredients, you can have a bottle of your own within 30 minutes to an hour. Cannabis tinctures also have a long shelf life, meaning you can make a batch and be set for years to come.