Throughout the history of medical cannabis, tinctures have been the most commonly used form of marijuana medication. Today, cannabis tinctures are sometimes underrated, but they’re easy to use and can provide an accurate dosage.
What Is a Cannabis Tincture?
Tinctures are alcohol-based cannabis extracts. When stored properly in a cool, dark place, marijuana tinctures have a long shelf life. Tinctures are discreet and can be taken sublingually or mixed into food or drinks; this allows medical patients to take their medication in any situation while still maintaining their privacy.
In addition, cannabis tinctures are a great smoke-free option. In recent years, they’ve become a common form of medication for children with epilepsy or for the elderly who can’t smoke. Marijuana tinctures are easy to make and customize based on your needs.
Following is an easy how-to for a tincture incorporating cannabis that's high in cannabidiol (CBD). CBD, which has little to no psychoactivity, has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties—folks who use CBD regularly have found relief from a wide range of ailments including migraine pain, muscle spasms and tremors, arthritis and anxiety. Of course, you can use any marijuana you like when making your homemade cannabis tincture.
Supplies for a High-CBD Cannabis Tincture
- 1 oz high-CBD marijuana such as ACDC or Harlequin
- high-proof alcohol (such as Everclear)
- a coffee filter
- 1 airtight quart mason jar
How to Make a Marijuana-Infused Tincture
- Choose your marijuana strain: We recommend a low-THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), high-CBD strain that you can use during the day or night.
- If you’re starting with raw marijuana, you have to decarboxylate the cannabis in order to transform the CBDA to CBD.* (If you're starting with cured marijuana, skip this step.)
- Mix the marijuana with high-proof alcohol in the jar. You can choose the ratio of your choice depending on how strong you’d like your cannabis tincture to be.
- Close the jar and place the mixture in a cool, dark place. Let it sit for 2–3 weeks, shaking the container once a day.
- Once ready, filter the marijuana tincture through a coffee filter and place into another jar or a dropper bottle for easy use.
- Store the cannabis tincture in a cool, dark place.
*To decarboxylate your cannabis, you’ll need to do the following: First, set your oven to 245 degrees F while you finely grind the cannabis. You can use a finer, hand-held cheese grinder. Spread the ground marijuana on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and then bake for 60–90 minutes. You’ll know when your CBD has been decarboxylated, because your cannabis will be dry, which will make it crumble easily, and it will be darker than what you started out with. Once you take the cannabis out of the oven, allow it to cool before proceeding.
Find the Right Cannabis Strain for You
The process of making your own cannabis tincture can become very personalized. With some trial, you’ll be able to find the perfect marijuana tincture for you. This tincture recipe can be used with any strain of marijuana, and you can also decide what strength is right for you. If taken sublingually, you should feel the effects of the tincture between 15–45 minutes.
Interested in asking a question about cannabis tinctures? Go to HelloMD's Answers page where you can connect with a health practitioner or well-informed member of our community who will respond to your queries.