Maybe smoking or vaping marijuana isn’t your thing, and cannabis edibles seem too hard to control. Why not try a marijuana tincture, the old-school way your great-grandpappy consumed medical marijuana before the United States’ reefer madness spoiled all his fun. Marijuana-infused alcohol, usually dispensed via an eyedropper, is discreet, easy to titrate, low in calories and boasts a long shelf life. Tinctures can also be added to all sorts of foods to make every meal a bit special.
Best of all, while a nickname like “green dragon” might suggest this is dangerous stuff, making a marijuana tincture at home is fairly easy – just as long as you’re comfortable (read: safe) with the three main ingredients: marijuana, high-proof alcohol and heat.
So come on, Mr. Wizard, here’s one chemistry lesson, courtesy of Gizmodo, that will pay off big time. (Once you master this method, there are other DIY tincture recipes to try out.)
–4 grams of bud and/or trim
-Grinder or food processor
-90-proof alcohol (or higher)
-2 canning jars with lids
-Opaque tincture bottles with eyedroppers
- Finely grind 4 grams of cannabis in an herb grinder or food processor.
- Finely spread the results in an oven-safe dish that’s been lined with parchment paper.
- Place the dish in an oven that’s been preheated to 240 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes. This will decarboxylate the marijuana, meaning it will turn the plant’s non-psychoactive THCA into psychoactive THC – the same thing that happens when you smoke it.
- Pour the results into a canning jar filled with two ounces of high-proof alcohol, stir it up and tightly screw on the lid.
- Let the jar sit for three hours in a dark, cool area. Watch your potion magically turn green!
- Pour the mixture through two layers of cheese cloth into a second jar. Then repeat the process, pouring the liquid through another double layer of cheese cloth back into the first jar. By this point, most of the plant matter should be filtered out.
- Store the results in opaque or tinted tincture bottles.
You’re good to go! Give your tincture a test run by placing a 1mL drop under your tongue, remembering that it can take an hour or longer to feel the full effects. If that’s not enough, add a second drop, etc. But please, for the love of God, no matter how high you get, don’t confuse your tincture with your contact lens solution. That’s one experiment that won’t end with happy results.