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What Cannabis Tinctures Are and How to Make Them

Last Updated: February 28, 2023By Jason Levin


Brown oil dropper bottles for cannabis tincture against a white background.

Are you wondering what you can do with the parts of your plant that you don’t want to smoke? It’s easy, you make tinctures. This article will explain cannabis tinctures and teach you how to make them.  

Related: How To Make Strong Cannabis Oil - Ultimate Guide!

What Are Cannabis Tinctures?

In simple terms, a tincture is a medicinal substance contained within an alcoholic solvent. In simpler words, a cannabis tincture is a solution of alcohol into which weed has been infused.

Cannabis tinctures are popular for many reasons. First off, users have fewer hassles when it comes to determining the appropriate dose to consume. Also, the effects of the tincture kick in sooner than those of a cannabis edible. Lastly, tinctures allow you to use weed discreetly and safely without exposing yourself to the risks associated with smoking.

How to Make Cannabis Tinctures

The internet is awash with different ways to make weed tinctures. Each of these methods comes with varying degrees of difficulty depending on the equipment, time, and skill level of the person making the tincture. Here are three methods that we believe are easy enough for any beginner – plus, they also produce high-quality cannabis tinctures.

Feeling inspired? Grow your cannabis to make premium tinctures with a Pot for Pot's Complete Grow Kit.

Recipe #1: Using the Traditional Method to Make a Cannabis Tincture

An arrangement of light blue mason jars, which can be used for the green dragon recipe.

This traditional method is commonly known as the “green dragon recipe” and relies on just four steps to yield marijuana tinctures, as explained below.

  1. Decarboxylate your weed. Decarboxylation refers to a process by which you activate the THC in your cannabis flower. To do this, grind your cannabis until it forms a fine powder. Next, preheat your oven to a temperature ranging between 220° and 235°F, as explained here. At the end of that process, you will be ready to move on to the steps below.
  2. Get a mason jar and put the decarboxylated material or cannabis flower inside this jar. Next, pour some high-proof alcohol, such as Everclear, into the jar so that the marijuana is barely covered. Stir until you have a uniform mixture in the mason jar.
  3. Close the mason jar and leave it for several weeks. Some people even let this step last up to six months, so try different durations to help you establish which gives you the best product. Remember to shake the mason jar for a minute once each day so that the cannabinoids are spread evenly throughout the solution.
  4. Filter this solution after several weeks so that all the plant matter is removed. Store your tincture in an amber-colored bottle, so that direct light doesn’t cause it to deteriorate quickly. Your cannabis tincture is ready to use as soon as you complete the filtration process!

Recipe #2: Master Wu’s Cannabis Tincture Recipe

You may have noticed that the recipe described earlier requires you to wait a few weeks at the very least before you can use the cannabis tincture that you made. If patience isn’t your forte, or you have a medical condition that requires urgent use of a marijuana tincture, this recipe can yield a ready-to-use tincture in just a couple of hours. Follow the steps below to enjoy your tincture the same day that you prepare it.

  1. Decarboxylate your weed flower or extract, as explained earlier, so that the psychoactive compounds are available to infuse in the alcohol used to make the tincture. If you are using marijuana flower, first grind it to a fine powder before proceeding with the decarboxylation process.
  2. Mix the cannabis that you have just decarbed in a mason jar containing high-proof alcohol (Everclear is a recommended brand for this).
  3. Once the weed is adequately mixed with the high-proof alcohol, cover the mason jar and simmer it for 20 minutes in a water bath, with the temperature set to 170°F. This process of simmering will accelerate the rate at which the cannabinoids and other compounds in the weed migrate into the alcohol. This ensures that you don’t have to wait for the process to happen over several weeks or even months as the earlier recipe required.
  4.  Strain the mixture and pack it for storage in amber-colored bottles. Your cannabis tincture is now ready to be consumed!

Related: How To Make Cannabutter At Home

Recipe #3: The No-Stress Cannabis Tincture Recipe

 Jars with cannabis for preparing cannabis tincture.

If you have been keeping abreast of all the developments in the recipes recommended for making marijuana tinctures, you may have come across this particular recipe that initially appears to be too good to true, and yet lots of people swear that they have obtained satisfactory outcomes by following several simple steps. 

This method doesn’t require you to buy expensive equipment, such as what is needed for the water bath referred to in Master Wu’s recipe. At the same time, you don’t need to spend a lot of time waiting for the compounds in the weed to be extracted by the high-proof alcohol. Try out these steps for yourself and share your findings!

  1. Start by decarboxylating your weed extract or flower. As usual, grind the cannabis flower into a fine powder if this is the weed product you intend to use to make a tincture.
  2. Next, take a mason jar and mix the decarbed marijuana in high-proof alcohol, such as Everclear.
  3. Cover the mason jar and shake it vigorously for three minutes, so that the alcohol can rapidly extract all the chemical compounds in the weed.
  4. Strain or filter the mixture and pack the resultant tincture in dark-colored bottles for storage. That’s all! The cannabis tincture is ready for use literally minutes after the decarboxylation process has ended.
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We recommend trying out a few different methods until you find the method or methods that strike the balance between giving you a potent tincture while being simple and quick enough for you to prepare with ease. The beauty of trying out different methods is that you can adjust your approach, depending on the equipment you have at your disposal and how quickly you need a tincture. Plus, you’ll have plenty of weed to experiment with when you grow your plants using a Pot for Pot grow kits

Just one piece of advice: wear gloves as you strain or filter the weed/alcohol solution. Otherwise your potent mixture may absorb into your skin, thereby causing you to get high on accident. 

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Harvesting Cannabis

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