Tinctures, what are they and how are they made?

Published Jan 29, 2019 02:17 p.m. ET

What is a tincture?

 Cannabis tinctures are glycosides, alkaloids, minerals, and oils from a plant that are extracted with a solvent. Generally, an alcohol solvent base is used. Tinctures are meant to be taken a few drops at a time either orally or topically.  Weed tinctures cannot be smoked and are intended as a replacement for other methods of ingestion. Today tinctures come in a wide variety of different strengths and contain a heavily condensed amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Users of tinctures will get the same effects as they would from smoking a bud, just in a more condensed form.

How to make cannabis tinctures

Tinctures are extracted most often, using an alcohol-based solvent. This is because cannabis will not release all the medicinal qualities to a solvent that is less potent.

The plant matter, bud, or leaf trimmings are soaked in the solvent for extended periods of time. To ensure that all the chemical benefits of the plant are thoroughly extracted. The most commonly used ratio of herbs to alcohol for those making their own is one-part plant and two parts alcohol. Larger companies that mass produce tinctures will go as high as one part plant matter and four parts alcohol, essentially watering down the end product. Their end goal is quantity, and not necessarily quality.

The next step is to filter the plant matter from the solvent. Once all plant matter is filtered out, the tincture is ready for oral use. At this point companies will test the end products strength, and then label accordingly. For topical only oils, a carrier like coconutoil is added. For THC tincture there is an added step called decarboxylation, and it requires heating the oil to 170 degrees Fahrenheit for a minimum of 20 minutes. Thisactivates the psychoactive benefits of the THC.

Medical benefits of tinctures and what they can be used to treat

Tinctures offer surprisingly fast acting benefits, that can last for extended periods of time. They can be used orally for a perfectly measured dose, or topically for more direct treatment of specific pain points and inflammation. In the days before prohibition, tinctures were the most commonly used method of ingesting THC and CBD for medicinal use.

CBC tincture benefits- CBD tinctures are not psychoactive and are most commonly used to treat medical conditions for those who want the benefits without the “high.” CBD tinctures are most frequently used relieve pain, assist with sleep, increase appetite, boost the immune system, and decrease inflammation. CBD tincture is most commonly recommended to patients seeking relief from, sleep apnea, multiple sclerosis, almost every form of cancer, anxiety, depression, nausea, and more. Recent studies show CBD oil may even help to treat skin conditions like acne due to its ability to reduce inflammation. It does come with a side effect though. CBD tincture does alter liver function, which can interfere with many different prescribed medications. If you are currently taking any prescribed medication, it is essential that you speak with your doctor or healthcare provider to ensure you aren't putting yourself at risk by choosing this method.

THC tincture benefits- THC tincture AKA THC liquid, offers many of the same benefits, with the addition of the euphoric effect. THC tincture is more frequently used for recreational use but can also give added benefits to those using medically for pain relief from, non-migraine headaches, neuropathy, spasticity, and joint pain.


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