Make A Medicinal Tincture

Medicinal Marijauna TinctureA tincture is a medicinal extract in an alcohol solution.  A plant is soaked in alcohol, extracting and preserving the resins and other soluble material from the plant. Cannabis tinctures are an excellent way to utilize the plant’s medicinal ingredients, and a perfect alternative for those who find smoking difficult. Until the 1920′s, Cannabis Indica tincture was available at your neighborhood pharmacy.

The advantages of tincture and extract preparations is their ease of dispensing, consumption, and rapid absorption. Within 15 minutes of dosing the effects of the tincture are noticeable, but while the tincture comes on fast it soon flattens out, unlike the sustained effects of cooked cannabis.  Heating the potion may also increase strength, so try adding to cooking recipes by concentrating the tincture into a syrup consistency if you feel like you need to get more out of your dosage.

Making a Cannabis Tincture

How to Make a Marijuana TinctureCannabis tincture works best with a 90% pure alcohol, such as Everclear. However, pure grain alcohol can be difficult to obtain depending on where you are located. If it’s unavailable at your local liquor store, try a duty-free shop. High-proof alcohol is highly flammable so use extreme caution when evaporating.

Start by completely drying the plant, then cut it up to facilitate extracting all of the medicinal qualities. Next you will soak the cannabis in the alcohol. The recommended minimum cannabis to alcohol ratio is one gram of bud per 35ml (one fluid ounce) of alcohol. We recommend starting with this ratio and adjusting according to your individual needs. The cannabis should then soak anywhere from 1 to 10 days, again we recommend starting at the low end and adjusting depending on your needs and the potency of a particular plant.

Storing Your Homemade TinctureAfter you’ve soaked the bud for the desired time, shake, strain and filter the plant material. A blue apothecary medicine bottle with dropper is suggested for storage of the tincture. This will protect the precious mixture from degradation by light and provide you with an easy way to dispense the solution. Keep the tincture in a cool, dark place and clearly mark the bottle. Cannabis preserved in ethanol has a long shelf life. Tincture medicines do not come with an expiry date.

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5 Responses to Make A Medicinal Tincture

  1. Carissa says:

    Glycerine-based Tincture

    You need to use food grade U.S.P glycerine, this can be relatively hard to find inexpensively but a gallon lasts a LONG time.

    Glycerines have a shorter shelf life than alcohol based tinctures and while they can sit on the shelf I refrigerate mine. Vegetable glycerine has nearly no impact on blood sugar or insulin and is very low in calories (4.3 per gram). It’s sweet taste makes the tincture more palatable than the alcohol based tincture and is a suitable substitute for those concerned with alcohol consumption.

    Add the amount of cannabis that you desire for potency. I added 6 oz of roughly trimmed (finger trimmed the leaves off) cannabis to 1 gallon of glycerine. For your personal preference add more cannabis or less depending on desired potency. I blend mine, using a coffee grinder, blender or if you are lucky enough to have a Vita Mix. Make sure there is no other product matter in whatever you use. I use a clean basting brush to clean out my Vita Mix when I am done powdering my cannabis.

    Place in a crockpot on low. Some crockpot’s low settings are too high so you may not be able to use yours. A “Keep Warm” setting if you have it is the best choice. Too hot, and you are killing the properties you are trying to extract, you want the mixture to be as warm as possible without boiling, I left my tincture like this for 24 hours. I have heard people leaving the tincture from anywhere from 4-6 hours to 3 days. You can try the tincture at intervals to decide when you are done. REMEMBER that glycerine tincture retains heat VERY WELL, do not burn yourself!!

    If you do not have a crockpot you can place the herbs in a clear, sealed jar in a warm, sunny spot and accomplish the same thing over 4 weeks. Some people make their “sunshine tinctures” over 2 weeks. I do not feel that is long enough, especially in colder weather. Some leave them in the sun for up to 12 weeks. I have never seen a need to go that long myself. Shake each day to mix the herbs in.

    When ready to strain use cheesecloth and a strainer to extract the cannabis debris, the THC has been extracted and the tincture is ready to use. The best way to store is in a glass amber bottle. A good place to obtain a large bottle for the bulk of your tincture is a brewery store that has supplies to make wine or beer. I also obtained a few small amber bottles with eye droppers for convenience. It takes a lot longer to strain glycerine than it does alcohol, the tincture will drip when strained instead of flow.

    • Carissa thanks for for offering this alternative to an alcohol based tincture recipe. We are psyched to add your comment to this post and to give our patients multiple options for relief and home care!

      • Raul Duke says:

        I would like to know if anyone has tried the method WITHOUT the crock pot. The sunlight method, I guess you could call it.

        How long did you let the bud soak? How much light did you give it? How did you ingest it? If you tried it in an electronic cigarette, did it work?

        I am on day 2 of a 30 day soak of 3.6 grams of dank in maybe 1.5 – 2 ounces of glycerin. There is enough glycerin in the bottle so that the herb floats on top of about half an inch of glycerin when the bottle hasn’t been shaken in a while. A good shake seems to mix it well but it always separates a bit after 30 minutes.

        • Hello Raul Duke,

          I did some research and found an article that might be helpful with your question of how to make a cannabis tincture using glycerine and sunlight (check out the bold in the 2nd paragraph:
          extracted from: http://www.greenbridgemed.com/2009/08/29/how-to-make-cannabis-tinctures-at-home/

          Glycerine-based Tincture
          by Leanne Barron
          You need to use food grade U.S.P glycerine, this can be relatively hard to find inexpensively but a gallon lasts a LONG time.Glycerines have a shorter shelf life than alcohol based tinctures and while they can sit on the shelf I refrigerate mine. Vegetable glycerine has nearly no impact on blood sugar or insulin and is very low in calories (4.3 per gram). It’s sweet taste makes the tincture more palatable than the alcohol based tincture and is a suitable substitute for those concerned with alcohol consumption.Add the amount of cannabis that you desire for potency. I added 6 oz of roughly trimmed (finger trimmed the leaves off) cannabis to 1 gallon of glycerine. For your personal preference add more cannabis or less depending on desired potency. I blend mine, using a coffee grinder, blender or if you are lucky enough to have a Vita Mix. Make sure there is no other product matter in whatever you use. I use a clean basting brush to clean out my Vita Mix when I am done powdering my cannabis.

          Place in a crockpot on low. Some crockpot’s low settings are too high so you may not be able to use yours. A “Keep Warm” setting if you have it is the best choice. Too hot, and you are killing the properties you are trying to extract, you want the mixture to be as warm as possible without boiling, I left my tincture like this for 24 hours. I have heard people leaving the tincture from anywhere from 4-6 hours to 3 days. You can try the tincture at intervals to decide when you are done. REMEMBER that glycerine tincture retains heat VERY WELL, do not burn yourself!!
          If you do not have a crockpot you can place the herbs in a clear, sealed jar in a warm, sunny spot and accomplish the same thing over 4 weeks. Some people make their “sunshine tinctures” over 2 weeks. I do not feel that is long enough, especially in colder weather. Some leave them in the sun for up to 12 weeks. I have never seen a need to go that long myself. Shake each day to mix the herbs in.
          When ready to strain use cheesecloth and a strainer to extract the cannabis debris, the THC has been extracted and the tincture is ready to use. The best way to store is in a glass amber bottle. A good place to obtain a large bottle for the bulk of your tincture is a brewery store that has supplies to make wine or beer. I also obtained a few small amber bottles with eye droppers for convenience. It takes a lot longer to strain glycerine than it does alcohol, the tincture will drip when strained instead of flow.

          From the same website this was stated about the ingestion of a tincture:
          Excerpt from: http://www.greenbridgemed.com/2010/06/28/how-to-use-the-new-cannabis-tinctures/

          How to Use the New Cannabis Tincture
          As I have discussed in numerous blogs, tinctures are primarily absorbed through the sub-lingual veins. This makes them different than edibles, which are absorbed through the stomach and must go through hepatic metabolism which turns the cannabis molecules into much longer lasting and very, very stony medicine.

          In addition, when a patient uses a tincture in their mouth, they can enable some lung absorption by taking deep breaths in through their mouth and out through their nose. I can’t currently prove that this cannabinoid pulmonary absorption in fact takes place, but clinically the tinctures work much better when the breathing is done. So, below is my best advice when it comes to medicating with tinctures.

          1. Place the dose of tincture under your tongue.

          2. Use your tongue to gently “paint” the tincture around your inner cheeks

          3. Take ten very slow and very deep breaths: in through your mouth and out through your nose and then swallow the tincture

          Try very hard not to swallow until the ten breaths are done

          The first time you use a new tincture, be sure to be around a safe place and not plan on driving.

          Happy tincturing!!

  2. Carissa says:

    Make a Tea

    Teas (infusions and/or decoctions) have the advantage of being well assimilated, which make them easier for a weakened body to digest. Hot water releases more of the herb’s active elements. Best of all, most teas taste great. You can regularly add Spearmint and sweeten with raw honey to taste—now that’s good medicine!

    A few herbs can be offered in “whole” form. This means they have been picked, dried, and packaged as carefully as possible to maintain their original state (although some crumbling is inevitable). Most herbs are offered in a “cut” form for ease of use and packaging. Whole and cut herbs are the best forms for storage and work excellently in teas. Some herbs are ground into “powder” for use in specific applications, such as for filling capsules, seasoning food, adding to salves, etc. Powdered herbs are generally not used to make teas as it’s very difficult to strain the powder from the liquid.

    Incorporating a nutritionally rich tea into your daily routine is what we call smart! You can make a blend of herbs into a tea that is suited for your nutritional needs. If you have poor eyesight, add Bilberry leaf to your tea blend. If you tend to have high blood pressure or retain water, add Nettle leaf. If you need a “wake-up”, use Cinnamon, Cloves, and/or Ginger, like in our Rise and Shine Tea. Just remember to avoid using herbs with sedative properties in the morning, as that would be counterproductive! Teas can be made by pouring 1 cup of boiling water over 1–2 teaspoons of dried herbs. Cover and let tea steep for 5 minutes or so (roots and bark take longer). Teas can be served hot or cold, and brewed many different ways:
    •Electric percolator: This is our favorite way to brew our teas. Sometimes we brew the herbs twice using a little less water the second time. A percolator heated on the stove is also effective.
    •Pot on the stove: Place the herbs and water in a covered pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Turn burner off and remove from heat. After it steeps for a few minutes, strain and serve.
    •Pot with a strainer on the stove: Another variation of the stove method is to place a metal strainer in the pot before adding the herbs to the water. When the tea is done steeping, simply lift the strainer and the tea is ready to serve.
    •Tea pot: Bring water to a boil and pour over herbs in a tea pot. After steeping, place a small strainer over each cup as you serve it.
    •Rays of the sun: Fill a clear glass jar with herbs and water and place the jar in an area with ample sun exposure. This method works best for teas made with flowers and/or leaves rather than roots or barks. You’ll need to determine how long the jar should be exposed to the sun before your tea is ready to be strained and served.