Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tincture Tutorial

Ingredients for Cannabis Tincture
Getting ready to make tincture
Tinctures are such a versatile way to use medical marijuana. Dispensaries here in Washington State carry various flavors, strengths and strain types to treat a variety of medical issues. Tinctures work in 3 ways in that they can be used under the tongue for fast action, swallowed for an edible effect or even used topically for relief without any psycotropic effect. Tinctures allow for discreet options for patients looking to medicate in public or private. *Please note that under Washington State law 69.51a "it shall be a class 3 civil infraction to use or display medical cannabis in a manner or place which is in open view of the general public" so do so only at your own risk

I use tincture as a base for many of the medical marijuana recipes that I'm planning toshare with you, like my Tincture Teddies so I thought I'd better rewind and give you the basics. So here's my method to make your basic cannabis tincture with alcohol. You'll be surprised at the ease and effectiveness of this medicine.

What you will need:
  • Everclear or some other high proof alcohol. The higher proof the better to capture the Cannabinoids in your plant material
  • Dry medical marijuana. For a more well rounded tincture I like to use a mix of ground bud, sugar leaf and fan leaf. This allows you to extract not only THC which is most prevalent in the bud, but also CBD and other Cannabinoids which can be found in higher concentrations in the leaf material. See my notes at the end of the blog for choosing which marijuana strain to use for your tinctures
  • A resealable glass jar
  • Labels!
Step 1:
Rough chop your material. Do not grind it too fine or your final tincture will be cloudy. Place the ground marijuana on a cookie sheet in a thin layer and bake in a 250 degree oven for 30 minutes. This will decarboxylate the marijuana activating the medication so that your body can process it. This is the most important step in this recipe. Here's a short video by Dr. Frankel which explains how decarboxylating works on a chemical level and why this step is so important in making edible marijuana medicines.

Step 2:
Once your marijuana has cooled, place your resealable jar. Now add enough of the alcohol to cover your plant matter. Seal the jar and label with strain name, today's date and any other information about your stain. Place sealed jar in a dark warm place for 1 month. I store mine in the back of the cupboard above my stove.

Step 3:
Wait. This is the hardest part, but trust me it will be well worth it! I like to check on my tincture once a week and give it a little shake. If you are in great need, you can sample the tincture at 2 weeks, but allowing it to go the full month in a dry warm cupboard allows for the fullest extraction and the most potency.

Step 4:
Remove the tincture from the cupboard and strain out the plant material. I pour mine through one of those gold reusable coffee filters. Put the liquid tincture back into a resealable jar and store in a dark cupboard, fridge or freezer. I keep one in the freezer for making cold drinks and another in the cupboard.

Step 5:
Sample your product to determine your dosing. Each and every tincture you make will be different depending on the marijuana used to make it. This is why it is so important to label your tincture with the strain information. I don't know about you, but after 1 month I'm not going to remember the qualities of the marijuana I put in the jar.

  • Sub-lingual use: To determine your dosing for sub-lingual, start with a 1/4-1/2 teaspoon. Hold it under your tongue and allow it to absorb. You should feel the full effect within 5-10 minutes. this will be pretty hot in your mouth.You may want to add a flavoring agent. I find that mint and cinnamon essential oils work well to make it more palatable.
  • Edible use: To determine your best dosing for using your tincture as an edible medication occasional users should start with 1 teaspoon of tincture and regular users and those with higher tolerances will want to start with aobut 1 Tablespoon. You can drink this plain or add it to the beverage of your choosing. You should start to feel the full effect of this medication in about 30-45 minutes and the medicating effect lasts for hours for most people. Note the effects and adjust your dosing as neccessary.
Notes on choosing marijuana strains for your tincture:
When choosing which strain marijuana to use for your tincture you will want to consider the overall effect and medical qualities of the marijuana. If you have a particular strain that you like to smoke or vaporize you'll notice the same kind of medicating qualities in a tincture made from that strain.

Using an indica dominant strain will make a stonier final product (think: evening relaxation, couch-lock, nap, pain relief, anxiety relief, muscle relaxation, movie night, and overall stoniness).

Using a sativa dominant strain will make a more energetic tincture (think: active schedule, upbeat, energetic, motivated, productive, pain relief, depression relief, mood elevation, social time and an overall feeling of highness).

You may like to have couple of tinctures on hand so you can use whichever one is most compatible with your symptoms and schedule.

When I'm fighting pain and anxiety I use the indica tincture as I've found that for me the energetic sativa can increase my anxiety levels. When I'm fighting pain with depression or a busy schedule and long to do list I like to use the sativa tincture. It allows me to stay motivated while relieving my pain. You'll need to experiment and determine what works best for your body chemistry and individual likes and needs.

Cannabis Tincture
My OG Kush Tincture
Notes on how to use your tincture:
Like I said at the beginning, tinctures are so versatile Here are just a few ways to administer your tincture medication.

  1. Place tincture in a medicine dropper bottle. When needed simply drop under tongue and allow to absorb
  2. Add tincture to ANY beverage. Use it in your morning coffee, your juice, water, tea, hot chocolate, cocktail, or whatever
  3. Take your tincture straight by the spoonful
  4. Add tincture to recipes to make an easy medible
  5. Add tincture to dressings & sauces
  6. Place flavored tincture in a micro spray bottle & use like a breath spray
  7. Use tincture topically for pain, inflammation and skin irritations
  8. Add tincture to your favorite lotions for an instant topical medication
  9. Add honey to make a medicated syrup that can be taken like cough syrup
  10. Use tincture to make my Tincture Teddies & stay tuned to You Me & MaryJane or subscribe by email at the top of this page for more medical marijuana recipes to come.
Hope you will find this tincture tutorial useful and helpful for treating yourself.

Be Well!


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