You’ll feel the effects of two to three drops under your tongue within about 15 minutes. This is why tinctures are infinitely superior to edibles in terms of the process of trial and error by which you determine the right amount of cannabis that your unique endocannabinoid system requires in order to feel optimal. The more scientific name for this “try-and-see” practice is titration . You’ll often hear this term bandied around by those in the know because it’s easier to say than, “the process of trial and error by which you determine the right amount of cannabis that your unique endocannabinoid system requires in order to feel optimal.” See what we mean? Why say 26 words when you can say just one and mean the same thing?
Start using the word titration now so you at least sound like you know what you’re talking about. When administering these drops of canna-goodness, it’s important to remember NOT to swallow your tincture if you want the full benefits of sublingual absorption. You can , of course, swallow your tincture, or even add it to tea , juice or food like many patients do. However, the delta-9-THC in your tincture will transform into 11-Hydroxy-THC when it passes through the liver of your gastrointestinal tract. And depending on your metabolism, this can take up to two hours or more to occur. That means that you’ll have to wait at least two hours to feel the effects. On top of that, they might be slightly different because of the presence of 11-Hydroxy-THC.
According to The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), ingested 11-Hydroxy-THC can be felt up to four to five times stronger than inhaled Delta-9-THC. Cavanaugh, Ph.D., it can take four to 10 times as much oral cannabis in order to feel the same effects. So again, remember not to swallow or the tincture will most likely take much longer to be effective. Just let the tincture solution dissolve under your tongue for about 30 seconds. It’s also important to remember that you are also consuming alcohol — albeit a tiny amount — when you administer a tincture. In addition to that alcohol, your tincture will likely contain about 60% THC . The combination of alcohol and THC can pack a hefty punch, so start slow with your tincture titration. Get a feel for the potency of your medication and then gradually increase your dosage. We suggest starting with two or three drops at a time. Err on the side of caution and start with two drops (or less) if you’re new to cannabis consumption. After you administer your drops, wait at least an hour and a half before consuming more. This gives the chemicals in the tincture time to spread throughout your body and gives your body time to fully process the cannabinoids. After an hour and a half, you should know for sure how the amount of tincture you took will impact your body and mind. Until you gain some experience with tincture titration, we recommend waiting another hour and a half before trying another does. This will give your body time to flush its system so you’re not stacking new THC (or CBD) on top of old THC. A small bottle of about 100 drops of marijuana tincture typically costs $20. If you take two drops at a time, that equates to 50 doses. At three drops, the total doses goes down to about 33. That said, for the price you pay and the total amount of tincture you can squeeze out of the bottle, you’ll only be paying $0.40 to $0.60 per dose. That’s awesome when you consider that your average, run-of-the-mill joint costs between $3.50 and $5.00. Plus, tinctures can be made at home, and you can make fairly large batches on a relatively small budget if you learn the basics of homemade brewing. As mentioned, you can make marijuana tinctures out of grain alcohol or glycerin, but high-proof alcohol like Everclear is the most common solvent and is the easiest to use. Tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ) exists as tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) until it is decarboxylated, usually with heat. The nice thing about the extraction process is that the alcohol bath dissolves the THCA, decarboxylates it into THC , and preserves the resultant material so that it won’t spoil.
Alcohol does all three of these things at the same time…all without heat. So now that we’ve discussed the basic science behind the tincture and we’ve seen how easy they are to take and to make, let’s get specific with some easy, do-it-yourself recipes for making delicious cannabis-infused tinctures. In this section, we’ll focus on the three basic methods for making marijuana tincture: So grab some ganja and a bottle of your favorite high-proof alcohol and let’s get started! The cold method is the easiest way to brew marijuana tinctures because it doesn’t involve any cooking. All you have to do is mix the ingredients together and set it aside to brew.
First, simply break your cannabis up into some smaller pieces and place it in a glass mason jar. You can use as much or as little marijuana as you like to strain into your tincture. Fresh, moist weed just doesn’t make for good tinctures. The next step is to pour in enough ethyl alcohol to keep the plant material covered. We suggest Everclear, but you can use other high-proof alcohols if you prefer.