Cannabis alcohol tincture is the name given to an alcohol infusion of cannabis. They have been made for hundreds of years and were one of the earliest forms of medicinal cannabis preparations.
Cannabis alcohol tincture, also known as green or golden dragon, are alcohol based cannabis extracts, essentially marijuana infused alcohol.
In fact, cannabis alcohol tincture were the main form of cannabis medicine until the United States enacted cannabis prohibition
The best tinctures are made from concentrated cannabinoid oil but if you do not have enough plant material to make a batch of oil then this simple method by José T. Gállego explains the process.
It is easy to prepare a tincture or an oil from cannabis, that concentrates the active compounds of the plant. You need decarboxylated marijuana and ethyl alcohol of 96-99% (preferably Everclear), a glass that can be closed (e.g. jam jar), a coffee filter, a deep plate and a bottle with a dropper for storage and administration.
Gállego’s cannabis alcohol tincture
• Reduce the cannabis to small pieces and put it into the glass.
• Cover it with alcohol.
• Keep it in a dark and cool place for about a week.
• Shake it every day.
• Filter it using a coffee filter.
• Press the last drops of alcohol out of the plant material.
You may repeat this process several times, at least once, better twice. You may again put the cannabis into the glass and cover it with alcohol. Finally, put all the alcohol (it will have a green colour) into a deep plate.
Keep it in a tempered and ventilated place so that some of the alcohol will be evaporated increasing the cannabinoids concentration of the tincture. This may take ten days. When enough alcohol is evaporated pour the extract into the bottle with the dropper.
The cannabis alcohol tincture can be used directly, or dissolved in a drink or food, or vaporized. To vaporize the tincture a commercial vaporizer or the old silver paper system can be used.
Form a teaspoon out of silver paper, put some drops of the tincture on it, carefully heat it until the alcohol starts to evaporate – then inhale it using a small tube such as the body of a ball point pen. (Gállego JT: Tintura de cannabis. Canamo, No 46, July 2001:76-77).
Otherwise, increase to 2 ml the next day and so on until you find the dosage volume you are happy with. This method of administration is called self-titration, which basically means you take as much of the medicine as required and you feel comfortable with.
According to The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook, tinctures will last for many years when stored in a cool, dark place. The extended shelf life allows you to make larger quantities of tinctures at once.
Master Wu’s cannabis alcohol tincture
Master Wu’s recipe differs from the traditional method in that it uses heat to speed up the extraction and concentration process. Unlike the traditional method, this tincture is ready as soon as it is strained and has cooled.
• Decarboxylate your flower or extract (if you’re using flower, grind it to a fine consistency)
• Mix your flower or extract in a mason jar with high-proof alcohol (preferably Everclear)
• Simmer the jar in a water bath for 20 minutes at 76°C
• Strain the mixture and store in a cool dark place
Standardized cannabis tincture
This is marketed in many countries around the World as Sativex, but unlike previous medical tinctures produced before prohibition that utilized a full cannabinoid profile from the cannabis plant,
Sativex only contains THC and CBD which is not the best way to treat any medical conditions as the patient is denied the full spectrum of cannabinoids that research has shown work in synergy with each other.
To produce a standardized tincture you must have access to a high quality oil made with a solvent extraction method previously shown, which has been HPLC tested.
High-performance liquid chromatography.
(HPLC; formerly referred to as high-pressure liquid chromatography), is a technique in analytical chemistry used to separate, identify, and quantify each component in a mixture.
It relies on pumps to pass a pressurized liquid solvent containing the sample mixture through a column filled with a solid adsorbent material.
Each component in the sample interacts slightly differently with the adsorbent material, causing different flow rates for the different components and leading to the separation of the components as they flow out the column.
Such a report allows you to determine the cannabinoid profile and therefore produce standardized preparations.
If you are purchasing any medicinal oil from a reputable source it will come with a full HPLC test. Contact us for more information on HPLC testing.
Two versions of cannabis alcohol tincture
A 10ml version made to either of the above recipes from a 1:1 medical cannabis strain will cost under $10.00..
Shark Shock from the CBD crew has exactly the same profile of THC and CBD, however, contains the full profile of beneficial cannabinoids.
In making this medicinal tincture, patients commit a criminal offence in most countries. When you compare the costs of these two medicines, of which the recipes above,
if made correctly with tested oil from a medicinal strain, are arguably the more effective – as they contain the full spectrum of cannabinoids in their profile – you do question who the criminals really are.
Glycerine cannabis tincture
For recovering alcoholics or people who wish to avoid alcohol, glycerin is an ideal alternative to traditional alcohol based tinctures.
For best results use 1/2 gallon (64 fl oz) of Food Grade Glycerin
- (4 oz) of trim (or 2 ounces of quality bud)
- Set your crock pot to the lowest setting, this will usually be the ‘warm’ setting.
- Grind up your decarboxylated cannabis as finely as possible.
- Add it to the glycerin in the crock pot.
- Let it sit for 12 – 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Use a cafetière to filter the mixture, due to the density of the glycerine you will need to depress the plunger very slowly.
- Glycerine based cannabis tinctures will not store as well as those made from alcohol therefore it is recommended that tinctures are stored in a refrigerator.
Tincture is an alcoholic extract of cannabis. Tincture is consumed orally, but can be applied to the skin.
Nabiximols (Sativex) is a pharmaceutical oral spray and is essentially the same although it is made from THC and CBD extracted in a laboratory and does not contain the full spectrum of cannabinoids.
If you need any advice or help please use the contact form provided. We try to answer all emails within 24 hours and are happy to help and advise on all aspects of medical marijuana treatments in complete confidence.