Learn about Marijuana Tinctures

Learn about Marijuana Tinctures

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A tincture is an alcohol based form of cannabis extract. It is usually mixed with alcohol, glycerin solution, and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil. Tinctures were the first known form of commercialized medical marijuana. They are typically packaged in small glass bottles and are administered by taking drops under the tongue. Tinctures are also commonly referred to as "green" or "golden" dragon. Tinctures have been around from as early as the 19th century for medicinal purposes. They can also be added to food or water, taken recreationally or used topically. In fact, for some people, tinctures are the preferred method of cannabis consumption because it's easy to dose and foregoes having to smoke anything. Tinctures might sound intimidating but they are a great administration method for beginners and advanced consumers alike.


Tinctures can be administered straight under the tongue or added to food or drink and are absorbed almost instantaneously into the blood stream. Tincture dosages are easy to measure. Typically, new users will 1 ml and see how they feel. If they are happy with the effects, they found their dosage, if not, they can ante up the dosage the following days until they find a feeling they are satisfied with. It's for this reason, tinctures provide benefit for people who practice micro-dosing. Store bought tinctures are classified by their cannabis concentration and have a long shelf life if stored in cool dark places. It is recommended you pay attention to the concentration and dose accordingly to avoid an uncomfortable high.

Tinctures are different than oil in that oils are made by extracting resin from flower, where as, tinctures are obtained by mixing decarboylated cannabis with alcohol. Each extract has their own unique pros and cons and it would be hasty to say that one is better than the other. For starters, cannabis has a higher concentration in its oil state than its flower state. you can ingest it, vaporize it, or apply it topically. Tinctures concentration may vary depending on how it was made and it can only be ingested or applied topically. Tinctures are easy to make, basic recipes can be done by any level cannabis user with household objects. Moreover, they have a longer shelf like but they take a long time to be ready for consumption. Making oils are more complex, for this reason, people typically opt into buying them already made. It takes much longer to feel the effects from oil than tinctures but oils are more consistent in strength and potency. Finally, tinctures typically have 1 or 2 calories were oil can contain several calories depending on what you bake it into. In that case, tinctures may be preferred for any calorie counters.

Tinctures can be infused into any kind of food and even enhance the taste. Juice, ice-cream, soup, jell-o, potatoes, sauces are all examples of food product tinctures will work well in. Although, depending on what you have on hand to use for equipment, time, and level of tolerance, you might prefer using some recipes over others.

How to Make Your Own Marijuana Tincture

Making tinctures doesn't require you to have any special knowledge or high-end cooking equipment. It is relatively mess free and cost-effective, if you are wiling to spend on the right alcohol. Any beginner can make tinctures as all you need is: a jar, alcohol, a strainer and cannabis. Depending on your available time, equipment, and risk tolerance, you'll prefer some recipes over others. We've provided a list of easy to make recipes that should be able to give you everything you're looking for. The process is tried and trued and it just depends on what best suits you.

Tincture in glass jar

Traditional Green Dragon:

Green dragon is the most standard tincture recipe and probably the one you've heard of before. That said it's also the easiest to make.

First, you'll want to decarboxylate your cannabis or extract. If you plan on just using bud, make sure it is ground to a fine consistency.

Mix your bud or extract into a glass container with a high-proof alcohol. Most people opt into using Everclear. Seal the jar and leave for the alcohol to absorb the cannabis for about a week in a cool dark place. You'll want to make sure you're revisiting at least once a day to give the jar a good shake.

Once the waiting period has passed, use a fine filter to remove any plant matter from the solvent, and use no more than 1 ml doses to asses the potency. There are many factors that can affect the potency so it's best to start with small controlled doses.

Master Wu's Green Dragon is similar to traditional green dragon with the exception being rather than waiting the week long mixing period, the mixture is simmered over heat. The instructions are all the same up until you add your extract or fine grind to the alcohol. You then simmer the jar in a water bath or 20 mins at 170°F. Following that you strain the mixture and so. New developments in tincture have also brought forth "Modern Green Dragon." Again, here you are following the same instructions as the other green dragon recipes. Once you have mixed your extract or flower to the alcohol solvent, shake for three minutes, strain then store. A lot of people, including myself, have had great results using Modern Green Dragon.

Marijuana Tincture Dosage

In most cases, people apply tinctures by administering a few drops beneath their tongue. This is the quickest way for the THC to be absorbed into you blood stream. You can also apply the tincture to food, or ingest orally but it will take longer for your liver to process.

man administering tincture

When administered under your tongue, the tincture takes about 15-45 minutes before it starts kicking in. You will peak after about 90 mins and the length of the high depends on the concentration and dosage. The length of high induced by tinctures falls in a nice medium between, smoking cannabis and ingesting it through edibles. Tinctures have been around for a long time and there is no sign of them going away anytime soon. Tinctures can be administered through direct ingestion or sublingualy (under your tongue). They are mobile in the sense that you can take them with you wherever and the you don't have to commit as much time to the effects as you do edibles.