Tinctures have been around for thousands of years, and they consist in a plant infusion in a liquid—usually alcohol—where the plant steeps in for days, weeks, and sometimes even months. Tinctures have been used to administer a wide range of herbal medications all around the world. Easy to use, they last for an extended period, and doses can be administered with unerring accuracy.
How to Make Cannabis Tincture
Cannabis tinctures consist in steeping cannabis in alcohol. Cured cannabis must be added at an approximate ratio of 25 grams for every 1 litre of food grade alcohol at 40°C. To make the tincture, first place the flower in a glass jar and fill it up with alcohol until cannabis is submerged. Then seal the jar and store it in a dark place from 30 to 40 days, shaking it once a day or at least once every four days. Once the mixture has steeped enough, strain it and your cannabis tincture will be ready. Before bottling, let some alcohol evaporate in a well-aired room—because alcohol fumes are flammable—to reduce its concentration. The more alcohol evaporates, the stronger the tincture, since this will result in a higher cannabinoid concentration and dosing will require less drops. When tincture has halved in volume, it is now ready to use. If alcohol completely evaporates, you will be left with a mass that looks like pure oil concentrate.
Ways of Using Tincture, Medical Potency, and Effects
Tincture’s potency is generally specified on its label as milligrams CBD per millilitre—usually ranging from 10 to 20 mg/mL. Mother tincture can be taken in many ways: orally, sublingually, on the back of the tongue, diluted in food or drinks, and in capsules.
Its flavour is similar to that of other strong medical herbs, which is usually described as bitter and spicy. If you wish to appreciate its flavour, it is advisable to directly apply tincture on the tongue. In the case of alcohol-based CBD tinctures with unpleasant flavours, tincture should be diluted in 30 mL of any kind of bitter and sour juice, such as grapefruit, lemon, orange, or blueberry. Another option is to add tincture to hot water or boiled tea, so that a little amount of alcohol (not all of it) evaporates; add tincture a few minutes before taking your tea. Tincture can also be mixed with solid foods such as apple sauce, bread, pudding, or soup.
Once taken, an oral dose of cannabis tincture usually takes between fifteen to sixty minutes to produce effects. These are long-term effects, lasting from six to eight hours. Alcohol-based tincture is more easily absorbed into the bloodstream than oil-based infusions, and—as is the case with any kind of edible—faster and stronger effects are experienced if taken on an empty stomach. Finally, it is worth noting that alcohol-based tincture reaches a shelf life of five years.