What Are They, How to Make Them, and How to Use Them

What Are They, How to Make Them, and How to Use Them


"The try to make a big deal out of it (tinctures), lab tested this, quality control that, bla, bla.  All you need is good booze and good weed and you can make the best of tinctures." - Johnny Rodriguez


What is a Cannabis Tincture?

If you soak cannabis in hard liquor for a while, you've made yourself a cannabis tincture.  These are the earliest and perhaps best form of cannabis based medicines in America.  


cannabis tincture old days

Cannabis tinctures are alcohol-based cannabis extracts - essentially, infused alcohol. In fact, tinctures were the main form of cannabis medicine until the United States enacted cannabis prohibition. With a name like “green or golden dragon,” you might think these tinctures are for the hard core, but they’re actually a great entry point for both recreational and medical users.  Stronger tinctures can be delivered sublingually (under the tongue) for immediate medicinal effect and the alcoholic effects are negligible.

"People don't take advantage of tinctures.  A quart bottle of a 10% CBD, THC, essential oil in 90% grain alcohol should be the mainstay of a survival package.  One ml contains 100 mg of active ingredients, enough for a family of four, no less, no more." - Johnny Rodriguez


How to Dose and Use Cannabis Tinctures

Cannabis tincture bottles

Tincture dosages are easy to measure, which to say in medical speak, self-titrate. A good dose to start with can be 1mL under the tongue. If you are not a regular cannabis user, you'll want to keep track of your dosage.  These days, the medical trend is toward starting with smaller doses and to work up.  You want to start with only 2 mg of THC or 5 mg of CBD.   1 drop = about 0.05 mL or 1/20 of a mL.  If your tincture has 20 mg of THC per ml, then one drop will have 1 mg.  So to get a 2 ml dose, you would take 2 drops.  


"Ever heard of green dragon? she could drink it like a beer, but get high instead of drunk!
She's not much of a beer girl, more the whiskey type.
Think red wine, with a twist."


Making Kief by Hand - Old-school


Now, the effects of this lower dosage can be subtle, or a new user might feel a little funny, dizzy or slightly disoriented.  However, this stage will pass, and it takes the body about 2 weeks to adjust.  And it will adjust.  In Fact, the cells grow more receptors (in response to smaller doses) and uptake the cannabinoids more effectively.  


"Tinctures can be added discreetly to coffee, beer, wine, cocktails, and to great effect.  Remember that CBD and terpenes are the key to the elite experience.  Look for the subtle and sustainable, the tranquil and the cool." - Johnny Rodriguez


This means you must wait 2 weeks before increasing the dosage. Keep working upward until your symptoms are most effectively dealt with.  This process is called finding the minimum effective dosage.  Tinctures with THC and CBD in them tend to work much better than THC alone.  In the manufacture process, the terpenes can be lost as well, so adding back cannabis essential oils into a tincture is a really good idea.

Tinctures last for many years when stored in a cool, dark location in a glass - tinted container, when stored in concentrated alcohol.  To make a tincture simply soak finely ground cannabis in  grain alcohol (ethanol), 95% which equals 190 proof.  You could just put weed directly into whiskey,

Homemade cannabis tincture in a mason jar with alcohol, a strainer, and bud. That’s all you need!  


How much, what form, how to start, what about vapes and edibles, what ater they all about?


Green Dragon Tincture Formulation

Grind bud (cannabis flower) in a coffee grinder.
Decarboxylate flower by placing in an oven at 235 deg F, or 115 deg C.
Mix flower in a mason jar with high-proof alcohol (Everclear is good).

Shake for 2 minutes.
Close the jar and let it sit at room temperature for a few weeks, shake 2 minutes once a day.
After two weeks, filter alcohol by pouring the mixture through a coffee filter.

Veterans can start with a dose of 1 mL to assess potency.
Calculation of dose, the extraction efficiency is 90%.  Example: 10 grams of marijuana with 20% THC in it has 2 grams or 2000 mg total THC.  If 1 liter (or 1000 ml) is used to extract the 10 grams of marijuana, then 2000 mg is divided by the 1000 ml total volume = 2 mg / ml..  


Cannabis Tincture FAQs

Can I put weed directly into my alcohol mixture?  

Yes, but finely ground cannabis works better and the cannabinoids, the active ingredients of THC, CBD, etc. go into solution more efficiently and quickly.

How do I take my tincture?
Tinctures are taken by putting a few drops under the tongue (sublingually) where the arterial

blood supply rapidly transports THC to the liver, where it converts into a derivative of THC that is slightly different in psychoactivity as compared to smoked THC.  


Can I add a tincture to my food.

Yes, you can add a tincture to any food or beverage to create an edible.  


liver thc metabolism


How fast is the onset?
When dosing a tincture sublingually, the effects start in ten minutes and reach a peak at around sixty to ninety minutes.



My girlfriend can't smoke because of sinus issues, and even if she could, she wouldn't, but she likes to get high. Edibles are cool sometimes, but it takes them a long time to hit, and sometimes, we just wanna come home from work, get high and play super Mario. A friend suggested we make a tincture by soaking a quantity of weed in alcohol for a while, and then add a few drops to some tea. Does anyone have experience with this? is it, in fact, the fast actin' Tinactin?

MMJDOCTORONLINE Notes: In 2018, medical marijuana patients are tax exempt and will save up to 25% of the value (maybe more) of their marijuana purchases.  That could add up to $80 per ounce.  Thanks to the California Medical Board, the process of getting an online recommendation for medical marijuana is easy.  Our process takes only a few minutes, where you note your conditions and symptoms and a medical doctor evaluates the information, and your approval as a legal patient can take place within minutes.   We also provide Cannabis ID, and grower permits.  Documents are used at dispensaries and online delivery services within Cali and in some areas of Nevada.

Sweet! this is perfect. thanks man.

This tincture recipe could be a lot better. It's missing the part about heating the bud to decarboxylate it. Also, it takes seconds, not days, for alcohol to extract THC.

Alcohols are great at extracting THC but not that great at getting THC into the bloodstream. After the alcohol soon evaporates, the THC has a hard time by itself getting through your skin. It needs a carrier oil which the body can move around easily. Without it you get a green tongue of slow moving naked THC. I use tiny bit of peanut butter or olive oil as a carrier and it starts to work before I'm done eating it. With the olive oil, I rub it anywhere on my skin and the high seems to emanate from that spot.

This is interesting, the idea of a topical application of THC is both strange and appealing. Does it have an anesthetic effect? All of the conventional wisdom I've read admonishes days, sometimes even weeks of soaking in alcohol, which did seem strange to me. There's a lot of conflicting information on the temperatures and times to effectively decarboxylate the weed, any advice?



tequila and cannabis

Little old ladies in Mexico have been using bottles of tequila with cannabis buds stuffed in. They dribble out a little onto their arthritic hands and rub for relief.

Decarboxylation takes place at 250 deg F (no higher) after 10-30 minutes, depending on the buds' water content. I shoot for 30 minutes so it dries the bud for crumbling into a fine powder. I read everything the internet has to offer on decarbing cannabis, and it works the way I do it.

When you extract into alcohol you only have to watch when it turns from clear to green. This happens within a minute or two and signifies all the THC is in the alcohol.

If all this sounds too complicated, try hot milk and steep a tea bag of crumbled buds in it for 15 minutes. The teabag can be just a twisted up coffee filter or a tea strainer. Milk (whole milk and 2%) has fats, which dissolve the THC. Making a batch of hot chocolate this way is the best.

Wow, thanks for sharing the bounty of your research!


The various apparatus involved in THC distillate manufacture.


dmso and cannabis oil

I think honey oil dissolved in DMSO would work. As for times and temps, one research paper i read a few years back used 10 minutes @ 180F.

The idea of a topical application of THC is both strange and appealing

The Bible has a passage where God gives Moses the recipe for holy anointing oil. It consists of olive oil, two types of cinnamon, myrrh and kaneh-bosm. Myrrh is a tree sap used for lots of skin ailments back in the day. Cinnamon helps things pass through the skin. And kaneh-bosm as translated and confirmed to be cannabis flowers by Hebrew University in 1980. Six pounds of cannabis were used per gallon or so of olive oil. See Exodus 30:23

The holy anointing oil used in the Bible was curing the sick in their bodies and minds. I don't subscribe to the Bible, but I have made this oil and it works so well people are asking me to make it for them. For myself and my girlfriend's mother who has severe rheumatoid arthritis where no other medication helped as well as the oil. I've done all the math to see how concentrated this oil is and it's so much more potent than anything available today. Somehow, back then, they knew that cinnamon was a skin permeation enhancer and that olive oil was a good carrier oil. No wonder they called it a miracle. we're gonna have to start a band...

Try a Green Dragon tincture. The traditional way takes weeks to make, whereas this only takes about an hour and is just as effective.

How about a vaporizer instead?

I can verify this works. We turned about an 1/8th into about 35 ml. 2-3 ml made for an interesting high. Different from edibles and vape.

This is the recipe I use (but I up the dosage since my tolerance is too high). I'm not down with the soak for a month method - strips too much unwanted stuff and takes too long.

Yeah, definitely think about investing in a vape. It gets you high as fuck and is really smooth on the lungs. If not, just eat some brownies on the way home from work.


medical marijuana patient



I am a medical patient who makes and consumes an average of 3 bottles of cannabis tincture per month for pain. This tincture is sufficient to put a non-consumer to sleep at the 1 oz serving level. A normal pain management dose is 1/2 oz. Recreational doses and your personal mileage may vary.

  • 125 gm decarboxylated cannabis shake

  • 750 ml 190 proof alcohol (Everclear, Clear Springs, etc.)

  • 250 ml filtered water


Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil, add the cannabis, remove heat and set aside until cool. This will fix any remaining chlorophyll and provides a cleaner taste. Remove the water by filtration with a nylon bag or cheesecloth. If you wish and you trust the grower's sanitation, this can be consumed as tea. I usually just just run it through a coffee filter, return the solids to the product and discard the liquid. Place the resulting ball of cannabis in a wide mouth gallon jar with the water and alcohol. Steep for 10 days, shaking daily. I have tested this step and have found this to be the effective point of diminishing returns for time/strength.


  • Enough filtered water to make 2.25 L total (about 1250 ml)

  • 225 gm sugar

  • Cinnamon oil to taste (best flavor to cover cannabis, mint works well also)

Filter product through a nylon bag or cheesecloth into a gallon jug. Wash the cannabis ball and equipment with the remaining water to end with a collected total of 2.25 Liters. Allow to settle for at least a day. Put 75 gm sugar in each of 3 750 ml bottles along with cinnamon oil. decant the product from the gallon jug into the bottles, leaving the debris in the jug. Cap and shake the bottles frequently until the sugar is suspended. This tincture is stable when stored away for heat and light with a shelf life of 2~4 years.

  • 1 Lb unsalted butter

  • 1 quart water


Take the ball of cannabis and spread out in a well ventilated area to evaporate the alcohol. Once it is dry, place in a crock pot with 1 pound unsalted butter and a quart of water. Cook on the high setting for about 4 hours. Filter the solids out with a nylon bag or cheesecloth into a bowl or pan. Place in the refrigerator to let the butter separate and solidify. Expect about 7/8 Lb (14 oz) return. This is a very good green butter for cooking. This butter has a shelf life of 90 days.


  • 2.25 L = 2250 mL

Enough filtered water to make a total of 2.25 L. In other words, about an additional 1250 ml beyond that presently in the cannabis ball. The rate of recovery from the vegetable matter is approximate and therefore we will adjust at this point back to the standard amount. Is that clearer?

The best way I have found of doing it is by first processing into a honey oil, then mixing that with an alcohol.

Make some butane honey oil first, then mix that honey oil in some really strong alcohol, like Everclear or something similar. Then you can mix that with whatever you want and can adjust the dosage appropriately.

This way, you won't end up with all the extra crap that the alcohol will also dissolve (or dissolve into), like chlorophylls and water, which make it taste really bad.

I helped a friend of mine do it this way, and he mixes small batches into vodka and puts it into a small spray bottle and sprays it under his tongue. He says it works great.

The best for drip bottle oral consumption is an olive oil infusion.

Infuse the olive oil with some potent buds that you've soaked in water beforehand (the THC is not water soluble and the water will get rid of most of the bad tasting stuff). After it has sat for about a day, remove the buds and add fresh ground cinnamon, vanilla, some lemon and orange zest (extract might work). Leave it for another day, then strain it through a coffee filter (it helps if you warm up the oil before straightening it) and put the resulting oil in a drip bottle.

I have both this cinnamon oil and some ethanol tincture next to me, and the alcohol burns like hell when you drip it under your tongue. Then your mouth tastes like damp reefer for a few hours and your breath reeks of weed. I like the alcohol tincture for some things (making THC guacamole...) but for on-the-go, wherever-you-happen-to-be drip-bottle-goodness, it's hard to beat the cinnamon drops.

You can also do this with glycerin, but you may have better luck flavoring it with something like agave or maple syrup if you go that route. It makes it delicious in oatmeal that way, and the glycerin kinda sticks more in your mouth so the cinnamon can start to burn.

It takes maybe a minute to feel it, but it also may be that the cinnamon burns under your tongue for about a minute and you just don't notice the drug's effects over that until then. Yupp...

As far as the resin glands falling off, by this point I've already rubbed, shaked and kiefed whatever plant material is going in the infusion, so I'm not too worried about it. If you don't intend to cook with the kief or hash powder (or smoke it for anybody else), then you could absolutely just put it in the infusion with the rest of it. I suppose if you just wanted it to be easy, then pre-fill a suitably large container with warm-but-not-nearly-hot water, then gently lower the plant material into the water, let it sit, and then gently pull it out. If you see any powder left at the bottom of the glass or whatever, I guess you could siphon off the water until you're close to sucking up powder, then just dump it all in a separate container of olive oil and stir it until most of the powder is dissolved, then let the water and oil separate. (note: never tried any of this, but AFAIK it should work fine)

The strength is entirely up to you and your plants. If you like it strong and you have strong plants, use what you think seems like a lot. If you like it strong and you have weak brick-weeds, you'll need many times more. On the other hand, for casual users of cannabis, a more mild infusion that that be taken in 3-4 drop doses (as opposed to one or less with a stronger mix) will be much more pleasant, and you'll avoid the "head-rush" sort of feeling of getting too much at once.


The stuff I have now will get me reasonably high from baseline with about 5-6 drops in the morning. I usually have about half that, and smoke or vape, or eat some edibles. Mostly because the drops don't seem to last as long as a big ass cookie or lollipop. For pain management, I need much more, so I plan to mix up a stronger batch pretty much just for that purpose.

" If you soak it into water won't the THC still fall off the buds? and just collect at the bottom, just as if you're holding a nug with your fingers and the THC just sticks to your fingers??"

No, not at all.

You can water cure weed, by soaking it in water for a week or so right after harvest, and then dry it normally and it will be ready to smoke right away. When you dry it immediately after harvest, the weed has to cure for a few weeks.


The first step is to probably rethink the video game issue, but aside from that, planning is a useful step in life. sometimes you can write things on a list! pencil is a good start, and also paper. then, like, a day before, write down 'put weed in a jar with grain' -- yes, waiting is required, but think of it this way, you also have to wait a different amount of time in between lighting a bowl and smoking. however, your most salient point was the bit about foot powder -- that speeds up the green dragon's feet so he can run faster. hope this helps. xoxox

THC is oil soluble so I am not sure how well that is going to work "infusing" with alcohol. What about vaporizing? I know it is expensive, but there is no smoke or harsh chemicals involved.

Alcohol extracts the cannabinoids from the plant. As does fat and oils.

I am definitely not an expert by any means, always trying to learn. You are definitely correct according to this video -

I would classify this organization as 'professional' as they come, which is great for the cause.

You might be able to dissolve the THC in vegetable glycerin. I've never tried it though.

Glycerin (Glycerol) is an alcohol, and is water soluble. So you would in effect get the same thing as using Ethanol or Methanol.

You could try marijuana suppositories!


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