A Guide to THC and CBD Tinctures
What is a tincture?
Cannabis tinctures are glycosides, alkaloids, minerals and oils from a plant that are extracted with a solvent. In this case, generally, an alcohol solvent base is used. Weed tinctures cannot be smoked and are intended as a replacement for other methods of ingestion. They are meant to be taken a few drops at a time, either orally or topically.
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, but just in a more condensed form.
Benefits of using cannabis tincture
Tinctures offer 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 due to all the different ways that tincture can be taken when compared to most other marijuana products.
What is CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the primary cannabinoids that can be found in the cannabis plant as it nears full maturity. It is non-psychoactive and most often ingested as a medicine, health-boosting supplement, or as a tool to enhance the effects of THC.
Is CBD tincture the same as CBD oil?
Though some consumers might refer to cannabis oil products as tinctures, oil does not include alcohol as a base, so they are not anywhere close to being the same thing. The only similarity between the two products is in how they are made, as with both, the base ingredient is used as a solvent to extract the cannabinoids.
How does CBD tincture work?
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 to 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 tinctures 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.
How to make CBD tincture
To make CBD tinctures you will need a bottle of the highest-grade alcohol that you can find and a fair amount of dry cannabis that comes from a strain that is high in CBD. For some, hemp bud flowers are more accessible and suit this requirement better than recreational weed options that have only trace levels of CBD and high quantities of the psychoactive element THC. The plant matter is soaked in the alcohol, aged to perfection, then strained long after the precious cannabinoids are extracted.
How to use CBD tincture
CBD tinctures are typically used for medicinal purposes as they do not offer recreational benefits, and they are ideal for treating a wide range of medical conditions and symptoms. Some consumers enjoy the boost in the immune system and other benefits that come from introducing such a powerful anti-inflammatory to the system.
How to take CBD tincture
CBD tinctures are meant to be taken orally or applied topically, so they can be consumed pure, but some have trouble with the strong alcohol taste. One small dose up to 3 times a day is generally the recommended dosage routine for CBD tinctures and products that are infused with them.
How long does CBD tincture last?
The effects of CBD tincture are slow in nature, which is why, for many consumers, a single dose is often enough to treat problematic symptoms for up to 24 hours. CBD, unlike THC, lingers within the fatty tissues for prolonged periods of time, so the benefits of one dose can continue to take effect for quite a while after it has been ingested.
How long does it stay in your system?
CBD is a cannabinoid that hasn’t been highly researched until recently, and its potential to stick around has yet to be accurately measured. Luckily, this isn’t a problem for anyone who is concerned about the potential of failing a drug test, as most standardized tests for cannabis are looking for a protein created after the processing of THC. CBD interacts slightly differently in the body, and a single dose can still remain detectable in your system for up to 3 months afterward.
What is THC?
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive element that is produced by cannabis plants, and its effects can be intense, instant, and euphoric. THC is typically utilized for recreational purposes but also plays a significant role in pain relief for patients across the globe.
How does THC tincture work?
THC tincture, also known as, THC liquid, offers many of the same benefits as CBD, 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 it medically for pain relief from, non-migraine headaches, neuropathy, spasticity, joint pain, and more. This combination is intoxicating as it results in what is often called crossfading, where the effects of the THC are enhanced by the presence of the alcohol.
How to make THC tincture
THC tincture is made the same way the CBD tinctures are, with one major difference being, the plant materials used to infuse it must be high in THC. They may also contain some CBD, but the potent and highly sought-after ingredient in this situation is found among recreational cannabis strains. The THC laden buds are then soaked in alcohol and strained before the product is suitable for ingestion.
How to use THC tincture
THC tinctures are generally used for recreational purposes, and this fast-acting product is ideal for situations where immediate relief is needed. THC tincture can be taken regularly in scheduled doses as a form of treatment for a medical condition or symptom, or it can be enjoyed as a fun substance of choice in higher quantities.
The best way to use THC tincture will depend on the results that you seek, so for more intense sensations, larger doses are recommended, but to start, it’s always a good idea to test a small amount like a teaspoon and wait a few moments for it to kick in. That allows the consumer time to assess the effects and make a safe decision on whether or not more might be beneficial or enjoyable.
How long does it take to work?
THC tinctures take effect relatively quickly, and this effect is believed to be helped along by the addition of alcohol, which increases the absorption rate of cannabinoids like THC. This is the reason why the results from this potent cannabinoid can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to kick in, which is slightly shorter than the average for edibles, but higher than that of smoking.
How long does it stay in the system?
Despite its fast-acting nature, its effects can linger for the same length of time as other edibles and oral options, which is up to 12 hours, as that is how long it takes for the cannabinoid to get processed within the stomach, so it’s a good idea to wait that long between doses.
How to take THC tincture
THC tincture can be mixed into fancy cocktails to mask the undeniable taste or watered down with your favorite juice or edibles recipe. The adjustment is as easy as adding a small amount in place of water in dessert recipes or experimenting with nearly any other kind of dish that requires moisture to prepare. You might be surprised to find all the neat edibles that you can create using THC tinctures.
Cannabis tincture recipe
This cannabis tincture recipe is perfect no matter which kind you prefer, just ensure that you start out with the right base ingredient. There is currently no way to separate cannabinoids from one another, so it is important to avoid strains with THC if you do not want to experience any of the psychoactive effects.
- 7 grams of cannabis or hemp buds or leaves (more or less)
- 1 bottle of high-proof alcohol (enough to cover the bud grind)
- Cookie sheet
- Parchment paper
- Sealable mason jar
Before you can begin to make a cannabis tincture, you will need to decarboxylate the plant matter to activate and essentially loosen the compounds you are about to extract. To do this, preheat an oven to 320°F, and while you wait, place a single layer of parchment paper over a cookie sheet.
Grind your cannabis and spread it evenly over the parchment paper. Be sure to keep it away from any exposed metal edges, or it could burn. Once the oven is ready and has preheated, bake the bud grind for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove the cookie sheet from the oven and place it somewhere away from the stove to cool.
Gather the decarboxylated bud in the center of the parchment paper and twist it into a funnel. This will make it easier to dump it into a resealable mason jar. Once the ground bud is in the jar, give it a few taps so that it settles to the bottom.
Now you can add a bottle of either food grade vegetable glycerin or the highest proof alcohol you can find. Vodka can make an excellent alternative that is easy to find. Pour the solution of your choice into the jar and fill it almost to the top leaving at least ½ inch of empty space, while also making sure that the bud grind is completely submerged.
Seal the lid of the jar and give it a good shake for 2-5 minutes before storing it in a cool dark place. It takes at least 6 weeks for the extraction to complete, so it is not recommended to use it before then.
Once you are ready to use your freshly made pure cannabis tincture, you will need to filter out any excess plant material. This can be done with cheesecloth, a coffee filter, or a fine mesh screen. Filter the liquid through one of them into a spouted measuring cup or bowl. The spout can be a time saver and help to avoid messes when you transfer the tincture into its final containers for use.
If the tincture isn’t completely clear, you may want to filter it one more time before pouring it into dropper bottles for storage. Always keep tincture in a cool dark place. Like with any medicine, its contents can and will degrade over time, and that process is hastened when cannabis tincture is exposed to too much light or heat.