A Deep Dive into Cannabis Tinctures: Uses, Benefits, and How to Make Your Own

Eloise Theisen

Welcome to our deep dive into cannabis tinctures! This article unravels the mystery surrounding these powerful little drops.

We’ll be looking at what these tinctures are, why people use them, and the benefits they bring. Plus, we’ll get hands-on with a simple, step-by-step guide on how you can make your own.

So, whether you’re a seasoned user or new to the world of cannabis, we’ve got something interesting for you. Let’s get started!

What Are Cannabis Tinctures?

Simply put, cannabis tinctures are alcohol-based cannabis extracts. Think of them as potent liquid forms of cannabis that are easy to consume and dose. You usually take them orally, often with a dropper, or add them to food or drinks.

In technical terms, cannabis tinctures are made by soaking cannabis flowers in alcohol to pull out beneficial compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes. The end result is a liquid that captures the plant’s benefits in an easy-to-use form.

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A Little History of Cannabis Tinctures

Believe it or not, cannabis tinctures are not new. They’ve actually been around for a long time! Before cannabis prohibition in the early 20th century, tinctures were the most common form of medical cannabis in the United States. They were widely available in pharmacies and prescribed by doctors for a variety of ailments.

With the resurgence of cannabis legalization and medical use, tinctures have made a big comeback. Today, they are a favorite among both medical and recreational users for their convenience, potency, and ease of use.

The Benefits of Cannabis Tinctures

Cannabis tinctures offer a range of benefits. Let’s dive into some of the main ones.

Medical Benefits

Firstly, the medical advantages of cannabis tinctures are significant. They’re packed with helpful cannabinoids, like THC and CBD, which have been shown to help with a number of health issues. This includes relief from pain, anxiety, and insomnia. Some research even suggests that they could help with more severe conditions like epilepsy.

A major perk of tinctures is that they allow you to reap the medicinal benefits of cannabis without the need to smoke or vaporize, which is particularly useful for those who prefer not to inhale or those with respiratory issues.

Ease of Use and Dosage Control

One of the main reasons people love cannabis tinctures is their ease of use and precision in dosage control. They usually come in a bottle with a dropper, making it super simple to administer. You can use them directly under the tongue for faster absorption or add them to your favorite food or drink.

When it comes to dosage, tinctures make it easy. Each drop contains a specific amount of cannabis, which means you can accurately measure and adjust your dose as needed. This is especially useful for medical users who need consistent, controlled doses of cannabis.

Long Shelf Life

Finally, cannabis tinctures have a long shelf life, particularly when stored correctly in a cool, dark place. The alcohol acts as a preservative, allowing the tincture to remain potent for several years.

This long shelf life, coupled with the ease of use and potent medical benefits, makes cannabis tinctures a versatile and accessible option for both new and experienced users alike. Whether for medical or recreational use, it’s easy to see why they’ve been a popular choice for centuries.

Discreet Usage

Another notable benefit of cannabis tinctures is their discretion. Tinctures don’t produce smoke or odor, unlike smoking or vaping cannabis. This makes them an excellent choice for individuals who want to consume cannabis privately. 

Whether you’re at home or on the go, you can use cannabis tinctures without drawing attention to yourself. This discretion is particularly valuable for medical cannabis users who may need to take their medicine in a variety of settings.

How Cannabis Tinctures Work in the Body

Let’s delve into how these potent liquids work their magic once they’re in our bodies.

How They Are Absorbed

When you take a cannabis tincture, it’s usually by placing a few drops under your tongue. This is known as “sublingual” administration. The mucus membranes in your mouth absorb the cannabinoids in the tincture, sending them directly into your bloodstream. This method allows the effects to kick in faster, usually within 15 to 45 minutes.

Another common way to use tinctures is by adding them to food or drink. This is called “ingestion.” When ingested, the tincture has to go through your digestive system before it enters your bloodstream. This means it can take longer for the effects to be felt, typically anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. However, the effects often last longer compared to sublingual administration.

The Effects on the Body

The effects of cannabis tinctures can vary depending on several factors, including the type of cannabis used (for example, high-THC or high-CBD), the dosage, and your individual body chemistry.

Generally, a high-THC tincture can produce effects similar to those of smoked or vaporized cannabis, like a sense of euphoria, relaxation, and altered sensory perception. However, the effects tend to be milder and more controlled due to the precision of dosing.

On the other hand, a high-CBD tincture won’t make you feel “high.” Instead, you might experience relief from pain, anxiety, or inflammation.

The Uses of Cannabis Tinctures

Cannabis tinctures are a versatile product that can be used in several ways. Let’s explore a few.

Medical Uses

Medically, cannabis tinctures can be used to alleviate a variety of symptoms. Because you can control the dosage, it’s easier to manage conditions that need consistent treatment. Conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, sleep disorders, and nausea can all be treated using cannabis tinctures.

Recreational Uses

Recreationally, cannabis tinctures are a fantastic alternative to smoking or vaping. You can get the same euphoric effects without the need to inhale smoke. Plus, with the dropper, you can easily control your experience, making it less likely to overconsume.

Use in Cooking

Cooking with cannabis tinctures is a fun and easy way to incorporate cannabis into your diet. They can be added to any recipe without changing the taste or texture of the food. Whether you’re making a salad dressing, baking cookies, or simply adding a few drops to your morning coffee, the possibilities are endless.

Keep in mind that when using a tincture in cooking, it will need to be processed through your digestive system, so it might take longer for the effects to kick in compared to the sublingual method.

How to Make Your Own Cannabis Tinctures

Creating your own cannabis tincture at home can be a fun and rewarding experience. It’s easier than you think! Here’s a simple guide to get you started.

Necessary Tools and Ingredients

Before we start, let’s gather the needed items:

  • Cannabis (7-10 grams of flower or trim)
  • High-proof alcohol (2 cups)
  • Glass jar with a lid
  • Strainer or cheesecloth
  • Amber dropper bottles
  • Oven and baking sheet
  • Grinder (optional)

Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these steps to make your tincture:

  1. Decarboxylation: Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Fahrenheit (105 Celsius). Grind your cannabis and spread it on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes, shaking the sheet every 10 minutes. This process activates the THC in the cannabis.
  2. Steeping: Place the decarboxylated cannabis in your jar and pour the alcohol over it. Make sure all the cannabis is submerged. Seal the jar and store it in a cool, dark place.
  3. Waiting: Let the mixture sit for a few weeks (at least two), shaking it every few days. The alcohol will extract the cannabinoids from the cannabis.
  4. Straining: After the waiting period, strain the mixture through your strainer or cheesecloth into another jar or bowl, separating the liquid from the plant material.
  5. Storing: Pour the liquid (your tincture) into the amber dropper bottles for easy dosing. Store in a cool, dark place.

Safety Precautions and Tips

Here are a few safety tips and tricks to keep in mind:

  • Always start with a small dose to see how the tincture affects you.
  • Never use rubbing alcohol or any non-consumable alcohol.
  • Keep your tincture out of reach of children and pets.
  • Remember, it can take up to 2 hours to feel the effects if you ingest the tincture with food or drink.

Making your own cannabis tincture can be a fun experiment and a great way to have control over your cannabis experience. Just remember, patience is key, and always consume responsibly. Enjoy your homemade cannabis tincture!

Final Thoughts

And that concludes our deep dive into cannabis tinctures! We’ve covered what they are, their historical use, the many benefits they offer, and even how to make your own.

Cannabis tinctures are a versatile and beneficial addition to any cannabis toolkit, offering an easy, precise, and smokeless way to consume cannabis. Whether you’re seeking relief from health issues or looking for a different way to experience cannabis, tinctures are a fantastic option. They’re a nod to the past and a sign of the future of cannabis. Here’s to your health and enjoyment!