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Cannabis Tinctures

Cannabis Tinctures

Posted by CANNASaver on Friday, 26 February 2021 in Canna Blog

Marijuana is a wonder plant. Yes, it’s great for smoking. But it can be used in a variety of other ways – from concentrates to edibles.

Somewhere along the line, some genius created cannabis tinctures.

cannabis tinctures

What is A Cannabis Tincture?

A tincture is a medication made by dissolving cannabis in alcohol. Alcohol is used as a solvent to extract the cannabinoids – like THC and CBD – to create an alcohol-based cannabis product.

Tinctures are similar to marijuana oils in that the cannabinoids and terpenes are extracted to make the end product stronger. Where it differs, though, is in the final product.

Marijuana and hash oils don’t contain any alcohol – in tinctures, it’s one of the main ingredients.

Tinctures are often found in small, dropper-capped bottles for easy dosing. Typically the tincture will be taken sublingually, or under the tongue. Tinctures contain all of the terpenes, cannabinoids, and trichomes that give weed its trademark psychoactive effects.

Tinctures have a long shelf life given their alcohol content and storage process. Combined with the ease of consumption, tinctures used to be a primary way to use marijuana.

 Because of the ease of making and ingesting, tinctures are now being considered as a good entry point for new marijuana users.

The History of Cannabis Tinctures

The use of tinctures is not a new development. The science behind it isn’t new technology either. A tincture itself doesn’t need to contain cannabis, just alcohol. The use of tinctures can date all the way back to the ancient Egyptians.

Up until the marijuana prohibition of the 1930s, cannabis tinctures were available even in American pharmacies. They were the main form of cannabis medicine up to that point. It earned the nickname ‘the moonshine of marijuana’ for its use of alcohol. Cannabis tinctures were even found in the United States Pharmacopeia.

 Tinctures were easy to make and safe to digest, so they were popular until outlawed. Now, with marijuana legalization happening across the US, tinctures have made a comeback.

How Tinctures Are Made

The process of making a cannabis tincture is quite simple when compared to other products such as rosin or moon rocks. 

Alcohol is a solvent – a substance which other materials dissolve in to make a solution. In this case:

·         Alcohol = solvent

·         Marijuana = other materials

·         Cannabis tincture = solution

Almost any part of the plant that contains cannabinoids are terpenes can be used to make a cannabis tincture. Some products use kief, others use trim. Naturally, the strength of the marijuana that goes in affects the strength of the tincture that comes out.

Alcohol content also has an effect on the end product. High-proof alcohol will extract more cannabinoids and terpenes than a low-proof one.

DIY cannabis tinctures

Types of Cannabis Tinctures

For the most part, cannabis tinctures are consumed sublingually, or under the tongue. Since the tinctures typically come with a dropper similar to eye drops, the process is quick and easy. While underneath the tongue, the tincture is dissolved and ingested through osmosis. The cannabinoids are then absorbed through osmosis directly into the bloodstream.

This process generally doesn’t take that long for one to feel the effects – somewhere between fifteen and forty-five minutes. If swallowed instead, the process can take up to about two hours.

Tinctures can also be orally ingested, but the results vary greatly from sublingual consumption. Think of oral ingestion like taking an edible – the effects take a long time, the dosage is hard to perfect, and you may take too much before you realize it.

You can also take tinctures topically, like a lotion. The cannabinoids are absorbed through the skin through osmosis. Topically taking a tincture is good for general pain relief, such as a bruise. The cannabis tincture can also be mixed with cannabis lotion for a stronger effect.

Though there are other ways to consume tinctures, sublingually remains the most popular. 

The Benefits of Cannabis Tinctures

Tinctures are certainly among the most uncommon ways to consume marijuana. In fact, they’re probably behind everything else.

But that doesn’t mean tinctures are worthless. Many cannabis enthusiasts think that tinctures are the most underrated way to use marijuana.

If you’re on the fence about trying tinctures, consider these benefits:

·         Ease of Consumption: No smoking, no eating, just a drop or two under the tongue. Boom, you’re done. Smoking is fun, but it can harm the lungs. Edibles are great, but they take longer to set in. Tinctures are as easy as they come.

·         Potency: Tinctures can also be pretty strong. Because of the way they’re created, cannabis tinctures are packed to the brim with cannabinoids and terpenes.

·         Dosage Control: A huge and often overlooked benefit of tinctures. There’s no better way to control exactly how much marijuana you’re ingesting. With tinctures, you can measure that down to the milliliter.

·         Discretion: There’s no worrying about getting caught taking a tincture – the process is over and done with in seconds.

·         Shelf-Life: Tinctures will last significantly longer than flower or other marijuana products.

·         Health Considerations: Tinctures have fewer calories than edibles. You also don’t need to inhale smoke and harm the lungs to take a tincture.

using cannabis tinctures

THC vs CBD Tinctures

Obviously, what you put into the tincture is what you get out of it. A tincture made from marijuana with a high THC content will act differently than one made with a high CBD content.

THC tinctures will get you high. THC is the cannabinoid that gives weed its trademark psychoactive effects. They offer the same benefits as CBD tinctures, but they also produce a high.

CBD tinctures are usually derived from hemp, not marijuana. These products have all the positive effects of THC tinctures – minus the high. A CBD tincture is used specifically for medicinal purposes. 

How To Make a Cannabis Tincture

Yes, you can make cannabis tinctures at home – and it’s easier than you think.

You’ll need high-proof alcohol, cannabis flower, a mason jar, and some coffee filters. Keep in mind this process takes time – so if you’re in a hurry, grab some from your dispensary.

First, you’ll need to decarboxylate the marijuana. This simply means heating it up so the THCA turns into THC. If you skip this step, the tincture won’t produce a very strong high.

 After decarboxylation, combine the flower and alcohol in the mason jar. Once closed, give it a good shake.

After that, store for about three weeks, making sure to shake it once a day. Once the time is up, strain the liquid through a coffee filter to catch the loose cannabis.

And that’s that. You’ve just made a cannabis tincture at home.

Congrats! 

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I don't even know where to begin with this review. I am that in LOVE with this unit.

This is beyond "so easy a Squirrel can do it". Heck, even a Sloth could handle it just as easily too. The set up, processing and even the clean up is simple, fast and easy to do. No worries about finding the clean-up chore to be such an ordeal that your brain switches to procrastination mode.

Pros:

  • Easy to use - Temp and time presets is what I used for all of my tincture batches.
  • Clean up takes under 5 minutes.
  • Doesn't take up a lot of counter space.
  • Lots of color choices.
  • A ton of accessories you can buy to make edibles (which I did not purchase, yet)

Cons:

  • Leaks a little while infusing and when you release the reservoir to clean.
  • Marijuana smell is present, not as bad as it would be with other methods, but you can still smell it.
  • Nothing to compress all the oil out of the flower.

Levo 2 Oil Infuser - Used with Permission by LEVO

Why You NEED This Machine:

I think we can all agree, while smoking herb has a lot of benefits, it also has some health risks too. Especially if you are like me and have COPD. With smoking the relief is instant and strain-specific. This isn't the case with most edibles, tablets or tinctures you buy pre-made.

Frankly when I started thinking about what products I wanted to review, I really had my doubts about tinctures. I had tried tinctures from several of my dispensaries and the results were too unpredictable. So I gave up and switched to dry-herb vaping instead.

Honestly I almost lost hope at doing any edibles at all.

I knew one of the biggest problems with dispensary-purchased tinctures is that they weren't typically strain-specific. For whatever reason most of them tasted absolutely horrible as well. There also seemed to be differences in the amount of time it would take for the effects to kick in per batch, probably due to the non-specific strains used.

With the Levo you are in control of what strains you put in. For me, the only time I might make tinctures that are not strain specific would be when using the stock of kief that I've been carefully saving. Honestly, I'm torn on whether to use my kief this way, totally conflicted. I love combining my flower, concentrate and kief in my DaVinci stainless steel .3g pods when I need extra pain relief. It's my lazy Squirrel "moonrocks" (technically I guess I should call them "moonpods").

After trying strain-specific tinctures I am completely and totally sold on the idea of using tinctures over smoke.

In the last 3 days I have used my vaporizer only once. It was only because I needed immediate relief verses 10-20 minutes of waiting for a tincture to kick in.

Levo 2 Oil Infuser - Used with Permission by LEVO

In A Nutshell:

The Levo, IMHO is a must have for any cannabis user.  Having strain-specific tinctures is extremely beneficial since different strains treat different problems. Different strains also have different onset times. If a strain is a creeper when smoked, it will most likely be a creeper in a tincture as well.

You can use different oils depending on your taste preference. You can even use butter if you want to bake edibles instead of making just tinctures. Just make sure if you are making tinctures, you don't buy the wrong oil.

I sent my son, Thing 1 out to the store to get coconut oil and he came back with organic raw coconut oil, which was solid. It will turn liquid if stored above 76°. What you need to buy if making tinctures is fractionated coconut oil. I prefer this oil because it doesn't have much taste. Other oils people recommend (but I haven't tried yet) are sunflower and hemp oil.

Personally, I think hemp oil would make it taste more suitable for a goat--but that's just me--while Sunflower would probably add pleasant taste to the tinctures. A nice roasted flavor that might help mask the weed taste.

I would also suggest getting some flavor extracts and play with your tincture taste. Just remember this will change the strength of your tinctures just a tad depending on how much flavoring you add to your mix. Which I add after the infusion process.

Levo 2 - Automatic Oil Infuser - Used with Permission from LEVO

Tested Strains:

For this review I made two different tinctures. First I used Chocolatina because that is what our dispensary had in shake. Shake is cheaper than flower and I was afraid that I would honestly screw up my first batch. I also made sure to get a strain I wouldn't weep over screwing up. I am not a sativa lover so the fact the dispensary only had this strain available as shake was fine with me.

This strain is a bit of a creeper for me when I have smoked it in the past. It effected me the same way as a tincture too. Silly Squirrel here decided to take another dose instead of patiently waiting. Needless to say, it was an entertaining evening for all, well for me anyways.

Once I realized this made tinctures Squirrel-proof, I grabbed my beloved Pop Rocks strain and went to work. 3 hours later, liquid gold was ready for consuming.

Tincture Details:

I went ahead and procured some fractionated coconut oil. I also wanted my tinctures to be strong so I adjusted my recipe accordingly. The more oil you use the less THC in your dose.

I like doing batches of 5g. I believe the flower container can hold up to 10g. For 5g of flower I used 1/4 cup of Coconut oil.

First process is to decarb. You do not put your oil in the reservoir yet. This is a 30 minute process with an added 10 minute "preheat."

After you hear the beep, it's time to add the oil and switch to infuse. This is a 2-hour process. Keep a small bowl under the spout in case of oil leakage--which my unit had a little issue with. One 1/2 cup of oil (8 Tbsp) produces just over 6 Tbsp of tincture:

  • My Chocolatina at 25% THC produced a Tincture with 630mg of THC (1Tbsp ≈ 104mg)
  • 5g of Pop Rocks at 26% THC produced a Tincture with 655mg of THC. (1Tbsp ≈ 108mg)

To figure out your dosage you don't have to be good with math. All you need to do is download a wonderful app from Sugar Leaf Media called THC Calculator. This is available on Android and iPhone. I was honestly debating whether to share this app information or not. I really just wanted ya'll to assume that I am incredibly smart and good with math. But my conscience got the better of me.

Would I Change Anything:

Two things. I would add a weed press to squeeze all the oil out of the flower.

I had a hard time finding the hole to get the flexible reservoir "straw" inserted so the reservoir could snap into place. This though could honestly just be me getting old, IDK?

Let me end in saying this, the last 3 days my stomach has been the happiest, warmest tummy ever. I don't know if it's the combination of the coconut oil and THC that is helping to coat and soothe? But I have not had this level of stomach pain relief ever. 

The Levo Oil Cannabutter Machine, hands down, earns the very rare, very exceptional Wacky Racky seal of approval

*Photos used with permission by LEVO. Find more reviews at wackyracky.com

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