That said, the weed-to-alcohol ratio doesn’t have to be exact. After you’ve mixed the ingredients in a jar, screw the lid on, shake it vigorously for a minute or two, then store the concoction in your freezer. Don’t worry, the jar won’t break or shatter due to the expansion that occurs when liquids solidify.
Alcohol has a much lower freezing point than water and will remain in the liquid state throughout this process. Once or twice a day for those five days, take the jar out of the freezer and give it a good shake. Over time, you’ll see the plant matter start to dissolve. After roughly five days of storage in the freezer and multiple shakes every day, you’ve reached the end of the process. Now just strain the tincture through a cheesecloth, metal tea strainer, or silk screen into a bowl. Dispose of the leftover solid plant material, and pour the liquid tincture into a small, dark dropper bottle or two. The warm or traditional method of making tinctures is identical to the cold method but without the freezer. Mix the ingredients in a mason jar the same as you did in the cold method.
Then just leave the mason jar filled with weed and alcohol in a cool, dry place out of the sun for 30 to 60 days. After those 30 to 60 days have elapsed, separate the solid material from the liquid by straining and then distribute the tincture into dropper bottles. Yes, this method does take substantially longer than the cold method and the hot method, but it doesn’t require any interaction on your part after the jar has been sealed. The saying, “Make on the new moon; strain on the full moon,” is why some people call tinctures the moonshine of marijuana. If you choose this method, we suggest starting a new batch every two to four weeks. Depending on how much you make at one time, staggering the brew times will ensure that you have one tincture approaching readiness while you consume the other. That way, you’re never without enough tincture to get you through the month. The hot method, or Green Dragon method, is the quickest way to whip up a batch of cannabis tincture. It does require a bit of extra equipment and constant vigilance (so you don’t set the alcohol on fire), but you’ll reduce the brew time considerably. To begin, chop your cannabis flower up as finely as you can. Place it on a cookie sheet in the oven at 325°F for about five minutes, or until your entire home begins to smell like weed. Mix your baked bud with high proof alcohol in a mason jar just like you did in the cold and warm methods. Place the opened mason jar in a pan and add about one inch of water around the mason jar. Don’t put any water in the mason jar or you’ll ruin your tincture. Bring the water to a boil and then simmer the uncovered mason jar until the temp reaches 165°F. Obviously, then, you’ll need a candy or cooking thermometer for this method. The alcohol/weed mixture shouldn’t boil at 165°F, so you don’t have to worry about that. If the alcohol does boil, the temperature is too high. Just turn down the heat of the water bath and continue. Additionally, it’s a good idea to keep the kitchen fan on to remove any combustible alcohol fumes. At the very least, make sure that you are in a well-ventilated area so those fumes don’t collect and ignite. When your brew has reached 165°F, remove the jar from the water bath using pot holders (it will be hot!), and set it aside to cool. When the jar is cool enough to handle with your bare hands, strain the tincture into a new bowl to separate the leftover plant matter from the liquid. Let the liquid cool some more and then distribute it into dropper bottles. You can also invest in a custom Magical Butter cannabis processor to make hot-method tinctures.
Simply place the weed and alcohol in the Magical Butter machine, push the tincture button, and your tincture will be ready to strain with a custom Magical Butter bag in 4 hours. This removes the danger of combustion and the constant vigilance but significantly lengthens the brew time. Lastly, you can combine 5.5 grams of baked, decarboxylated cannabis with 2 ounces of high USP Food-grade glycerine into a sealable mason jar and then let it cook on top of a washcloth in a few inches of water in a crockpot on the low setting for 18-24 hours.
Let the mixture cool for about 20 minutes, then strain over a cheesecloth and use your dropper to transfer over to a tincture bottle. Tinctures were an effective time-honored weed tradition in this country and across the globe long before prohibition made it harder for us to get our medicine. They’re making a comeback in the modern cannabis community because of how much more effective they are than edibles in terms of providing adequate, titrated doses of cannabis for new patients.