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!

63 comments:

  1. I was wanting to make some lollipops and needed you advice. I already made the tincture with my vaped left overs (7g) and 151 Rum. When do I add the tincture to the lollipop mixture? I was wandering if i could just add an eyedropper full as I put it in the mold or do I have to add it while cooking it? Also how much of the tincture to use?

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  2. I usually make my hard candies and lollipops using decarboxylated kief because it's a lot easier to put a measured dose per candy. I've made a couple batches using alcohol tincture. I found that if you add it in at the end along with the flavoring it works best. The alcohol will evaporate and leave behind the cannabinoids in your candy.

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  3. Do you know about how much leaf you use to a 5th of alcohol, thanks great info very much appreciated!

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  4. Anon- for a fifth I estimate that you will want to put in between 40 & 50 grams of coursely ground dry decarboxylated leaf material. I generally do my tincture Meds by volume rather than weight. So I just fill a quart jar with the herb material and then our in enough alcohol to cover it. For a fifth of alcohol you will fill the quart jar to about 1 1/" below the neck then pour the fifth in seal and store in warm dark cupboard.

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  5. Better results are shown when, after you filter the plant matter from the now "medicated" Everclear, proceed to then filter the tincture through a charcoal filter to remove the harsh bi-products left over from the un-evaporated Everclear. :) --Happy J--

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    1. An interesting idea for filtering. I just wonder if it would filter out the trichomes from the tincture?

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    2. Hey any tips on how to flavor your tincture? ? Plz help

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    3. Yes. After you strain it you can add flavoring oil like they make for hard candies.

      http://lorannoils.com/

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    4. Yes. After you strain it you can add flavoring oil like they make for hard candies.

      http://lorannoils.com/

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  6. How do you make this using kief? And how many grams would you recommend?

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    1. I made a kief tincture once but I wasn't happy with the results so I am not sure what the appropriate amount of kief would be to make a good tincture.

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    2. Stumbled on this site might help for making kief tincture :). http://m.cannabissearch.com/edibles/tinctures/

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    3. A little late on this, but I recently did this. I used the decarb method from Christi here, then did 5g of decarbed kief to 150ml of everclear. Evaporated 3/4 of it and now it isn't so harsh under my tongue. I have a big tolerance (probably from daily tincture usage), and one eyedropper (1ml? not sure) is a good dose for a solid 4hrs. I think there's about 30 drops to the dropper so even 10 drops would help most people medicate nicely. The other option is to not evaporate and start your titration a little heavier, but I wouldn't recommend the sublingual route!

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    4. How do u evaporate your tincture?

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  7. Hello, I love your blog alot of great ideas. I was wondering I was always told u had to burn off the alcohol after filtering?? To use for medibles etc.

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    1. Thank you. Glad to hear you are finding my blogging useful. You can cook off the alcohol if you like. This will leave you with a dark hash product. I don't remove the alcohol from the tincture before using it for edibles but in some of my recipes, such as the cannabis sugar, the alcohol is evaporated as part of the process of making the sugar. In other recipes I use it as is with the alcohol. If you don't want to consume alcohol you might look into making a glycerine tincture instead

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  8. Could you give an idea as to the ratio of tincture to lotion if adding to lotion to use as a topical?

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  9. When I make lotions I like to use cannabis infused coconut oil rather than an alcohol based tincture because of the drying effect of the alcohol. If you want to use this tincture for lotion I would recommend evaporating about half if the alcohol out thereby condensing the cannabinoids. Then add about 1/4 cup of your condensed tincture to a 32 oz bottle of your preferred lotion. mix well with a whisk or immersion blender and shake well before each use. The alcohol tincture will thin out your lotion so start with a real creamy lotion for best results or try making it with coconut oil infusion (you can find my recipe here: http://triiiches.blogspot.com/2013/08/cannabis-infused-coconut-oil.html?showComment=1388859185366&m=1

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  10. How long does the tincture stay good when done?

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    1. Store it in a dark cupboard and it will last indefinitely.

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  11. hi christi, im diggin your blog. so i have two concerns to share with you, one every recipe i have used so far has called for only 5 mins of decarboxylate, so not to burn off all the thc/cbd. also i would recommend shaking the jars once or twice daily. (again thats what i have gotten from all the other recipes.)

    my question is what part of the plant carries the most CBD?

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  12. ok i've written this 3 times now and i dont think it publishing.

    chirsti, i really like your blog. two concerns though: every recipe i have used or researched has instructed to only decarboxylate for 5 mins at 250 (or 225) so not to burn off all the THC/CBD. also i would recommend shaking the jars onece to twice a day.

    my question to you is, what part of the plant material carries the most cbd?

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    1. Oh I forgot to address your decarb question. 5 minutes just isn't long enough to fully activate your meds. Just be sure you don't go too hot ( I go at 250). According to the link which tested each time and my own test results I would go for 20-25 minutes with kief. For bud I decarb almost 1 hour. Remeber if your not exceeding the temperature at which THC boils off you won't be hurting your potency. We just want to be sure the most THCA is converted to THC and bioavailable through the edible route.

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    2. I can't really speak to other recipes I can only speak from my own research and experience. :)

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  13. Thank you. Sorry you had to send your comment a few times. I had to set it up for approval due to Spam.

    In answer to your question I've been told that the fan leaf has a higher ratio of CBD.

    Yes you can most certainly aggitate this mixture for faster results too. I still like to do a long soak as I use mine mostly for making Cannabis sugar ao the extra chlorophyll isn't an issue for me I just want the full cannabinoid profile

    Thanks so much for following my little blog. I hope it is helpful :)

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  14. Can't you heat up the mixture to 160F and avoid the shake and store for a month? Thanks in advance

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    1. Yes you can find other methods that involve heating the mixture to speed up this process. I prefer this method over the heated but that is just my personal preference.

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  15. Hello christie! This blog post is so helpful! However I was wondering when and how much flavoring I add to my tincture so that I can use it under my tongue. Do I add oil after its bottled into tincture bottles? Or add it to the whole jar? Any info is greatly appreciated! I'm very excited to make your teddies!

    Thanks!
    Lisa

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    1. Hi Lisa! You can go either way with adding flavoring. If you add it to the whole batch it will all taste the same or add different flavoring a to different bottles for a variety.

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  16. Hi do you know of an easy way to turn tincture in to a spray similar to sativex. Im asking on begalf of a friend with ms
    Thanks wstone79@yahoo.com

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    1. Yes! Simply evaporate out some of the alcohol to concentrate the tincture and then use in a small sprayer bottle

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  17. Hey Christi,
    We love your tincture and since it's gonna be a while till we can make it back to the market that i thought that i would try to make a tincture myself... So i was hoping that maybe you had a recipe, tutorial or a link for more information for a high CBD agave tincture, the only thing she doesn't like so much about the glycerine is the texture of it and i don't want to do the alcohol bed for her except for using it in cannasugar... We're actually thinking of trying to make toffee with canna sugar or cannabutter or both... Thank you for all the wonderful advice, information and recipes, you truly are a Canna-Angel ;~}

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    1. Honestly I've never done an agave tincture so I'm not really sure. Let me do some research and see what I can find out. As for toffee, yum! I've had issues with toffee from cannabutter because it is clarified butter so all the solids and water get removed when making cannabutter. 2 ways to still make toffee with this. One would be use equal parts regular butter and cannabis butter in your recipe. The second would be to add a few tablespoons of water to the recipe. Both techniques will prevent the toffee from separating into a sugar/ butter slurry. It took me 8-10 batches of ruined toffee to find these solutions. 💚 love to you and your family! Happy new year!

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  18. Are you sure one needs to soak this for a full month?

    I heard from Rick Simpson that just a few minutes of stirring is fine?

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    1. If your going to evaporate to make RSO only a quick wash is necessary to keep the chlorophyll out and make a golden THC oil. For my tincture I like the month long soak, it will be a green concoction when finished because the chlorophyll and other cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids are pulled

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  19. When is the best time to add he tincture to your melted candy base?

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    1. If your making hard candy you'll need to let the mixture cool below 260 degrees Farenheit or you will cook off the THC

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  20. I used a tinture oil base an got nothing. I even when so far as using to pull droppers still nothing. my husband use the same stuff it was all done with a few drops. I was told that because I have a watery mouth an it was oil base it could be why it doesn't work for me is this true have you ever heard of this before? ??

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    1. Strange. A lot of effect can depend on body chemistry and individual tolerance level but I would think that if your husband was getting effect from a few drops you would have felt something with a full dropper full. Was the tuncture decarboxylated? Was it a CBD tincture? Lots of variables to give a definitive answer. Have you had this problem with other edibles or glycerin based tinctures?

      I do have one patient who never felt the effects of edibles no matter how strong we dosed them until one time when I made a regular dosed rice crispy treat for her. That kicked her butt. We never could figure out why nothing else worked. We used sugar, oil, butter glycerin infusions and even bho and decarbbed hash. But nothing metabolized for her until the rice crispy treats. I just sharing that because like I said everyone is different.

      Not very helpful but that's the only insight I have

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  21. Hey Christi,
    I was just wondering if there was a way you could explain this boiling off the alcohol at 160 degrees thing (and skipping the 1 month soak)...I'm looking to make a tincture for a spray, and id need it sooner than later. I'm assuming you that I make the tincture as described and simply after a 30min (up to several days i guess) soak n shake with 95% ethyl and then a filtering, I would heat the alcohol to 160F? and for how long? I'm looking to make about a 30ml /1oz test tincture using this method and wanted to know your input. thanks in advance for any information you have for me. (such as ideal amount of plant matter and 95% ethyl alcohol to use for that yield). I'd like it to have a similar effect profile to goldmist, sativex and many of the other "THC/CBD" breath sprays being sold online and in shops. I think that in a 10ml bottle they have ~270mg of THC and ~250mg of CBD. right now, Goldmist and another unknown, but effective brand of THC spray are out of stock and at my local shop & tho they are waiting on an order, i really need medicine in this form. thanks.

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    1. The beat source for the heated technique I could find is here: https://patients4medicalmarijuana.wordpress.com/medical-use-of-cannabis-video/marijuana-tincture/

      Scroll down to "hot method".

      Hope this is helpful. I always use a long soak method for my tinctures peraonally.

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    3. https://patients4medicalmarijuana.wordpress.com/medical-use-of-cannabis-video/marijuana-tincture/

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  22. Have you experimented at all with adding a vanilla bean or other flavoring agents while the tincture is steeping? (I'm not crazy about the taste).

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    2. Yes! You can absolutely add a vanilla bean in the steep or after straining you can add flavoring like they make for hard candies.

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    3. Yes! You can absolutely add a vanilla bean in the steep or after straining you can add flavoring like they make for hard candies.

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  24. Can u do anything with buds after or they are trash?

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    1. No. After this wxtraction the buds have given all their medicine. Tose them and enjoy their essence in your tincture

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  25. Can i warm the tincture and add warm honey to it to make it more palatable under the tongue. Im using 1oz btls. 1/2 & 1/2.....

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    1. Yes absolutely! You may want to add a bit of lecithin to emulsify the alcohol with the honey and/or shake well before each use

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    2. Right now i store my tincture in the refrigerator, is that necessary? Also, after I have my honey tincture mixed should i store that in the refrigerator? Or just keep everything in a cool dark area?

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    3. Its not neccessary to refridgerate it. Just keep it at room temperature. If you have in a clear bottle store out of light or better yet use a brown or blue glass bottle to store it.

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    4. Its not neccessary to refridgerate it. Just keep it at room temperature. If you have in a clear bottle store out of light or better yet use a brown or blue glass bottle to store it.

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  26. Another question, can i burn some of the alcohol off the tincture so i dont have to mix with honey? Would that make more of an oil?

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    1. Yes! You can cook off some. Just keep your heat around 225-250F so you dont cook off the good stuff. Also i wouldnt reduce too far or you will have a gooey hard to work with product. Maybe reduce by about 1/2 volume at most to keep it viscous

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  27. If you can't source Everclear locally there is an internet store that has 190 proof grain alcohol that ships via FedEx. Check out www.culinarysolvent.com to see their product line made specifically for cannabis tinctures.

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  28. Hi! You are so helpful, thanks for all you do!! My question is dosing strengths for labeling...I used 60g per quart with Everclear. I ended with 565 mls after straining. I want to label my 1 Oz (30mls) bottles for selling to other patients. Is there an easy method you use?

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    1. Thank you. The only way to get a potency level is with a lab test. This is problematic for folks living in states where there are no cannabis labs. Unfortunately there isnt really a way to estimate this number. My best suggestion for labeling would be to experiment with dosages. For example you could label something like "for low dose or novice users start with 1/2 dropperful under the tongue. For more experienced users use 1 full dropperful" something along those lines based on your own trials of your finished product.

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    2. Thank you. The only way to get a potency level is with a lab test. This is problematic for folks living in states where there are no cannabis labs. Unfortunately there isnt really a way to estimate this number. My best suggestion for labeling would be to experiment with dosages. For example you could label something like "for low dose or novice users start with 1/2 dropperful under the tongue. For more experienced users use 1 full dropperful" something along those lines based on your own trials of your finished product.

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  29. I have been scrolling the internet for weeks looking for a good tincture recipe...My husband has just started chemo and I wanted something to help him. As an herbalist I thought this would be a good way to tincture and you are the first one to put it a blog. Not needing to cook it down (on a gas stove) has been helpful. I have been making him cookies and brownies but the tincture will last with no fear of going bad...Can NOT thank-you enough!

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