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. You can expect to use approximately one gram of marijuana per one fluid ounce of ethyl alcohol. 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.