Until the reefer madness rhetoric began and prohibition reared its ugly head, tinctures were the most popular form of cannabis consumption in North America. And for good reason, too. Tinctures are a discreet and convenient way to consume cannabis. Today, cannabis tinctures are regaining popularity, mainly because they’re a smokeless consumption method—plus, they’re easy to make at home.
Because of its high alcohol content and purity, Everclear grain alcohol has been a staple within the cannabis community for years. The odorless, flavorless and colorless nature of this premier, high-proof grain alcohol is perfect for creating a wide range of cannabis products, including cocktails, edibles, infusions and tinctures.
Cannabis tinctures are traditionally made with food-grade, high-proof grain alcohol to remove terpenes and cannabinoids from the plant’s foliage. With a concentration of 95% alcohol by volume (190 proof) and 75.5% (151 proof), Everclear is one of the best choices for making tinctures. That’s because the higher the alcohol percentage, the more effectively it dissolves the plant’s compounds—resulting in a more efficacious end product.
The Benefits of Using Cannabis Tinctures
There are a suite of benefits to using tinctures over other forms of ingestion. Don’t like vaping or smoking cannabis? No problem! Simply add your tincture to gummies, juice, soup, sauces and dressings. Tinctures can also be used in a variety of cannabis cocktails. So, if you’re watching your sugar levels, try adding them to your smoothies and other healthy snacks.
Worried about the risk of overconsumption? Or perhaps you’ve had a bad experience with edibles in the past and you’re looking for a more precise way to medicate? Rather than playing the waiting game, tinctures, allow you to accurately measure your dosage and consume a few drops at a time until the desired results are achieved. Cannabis tinctures also have a faster onset, meaning you may feel the effects in a matter of minutes. Compare this to an hour or more for most weed edibles! When tinctures are sublingually dosed—that is, placed under the tongue—cannabinoids travel directly into the bloodstream through the highly permeable tissue membranes under the tongue, rather than having to go through the digestive process.
How to Make Cannabis Tinctures Using Everclear Grain Alcohol
Cannabis tinctures can be made in a variety of ways, from relatively straightforward and low-tech to elaborate distillation facilities that yield highly refined cannabis oil. When it comes to making tinctures at home, an alcohol soak is the simplest approach.
Some debate exists around the best way to make cannabis tinctures. The traditional method of using heat to evaporate off the excess alcohol was the tried-and-true method for years—but the dangers of heating alcohol, including the risk of explosion and the risk of inhaling alcohol fumes, make it an extremely risky option. Fortunately, recent scientific testing reveals that the practice of heating alcohol during extraction is unnecessary, and it’s possible to eliminate that step when making cannabis tinctures.
Additionally, depending on your desired results, you may or may not want to decarb your cannabis before soaking it in Everclear. Decarbing may be skipped if you have a low tolerance level, or are primarily searching for other benefits from your herb. Ed Rosenthal, “The Guru of Ganja,” has an easy-to-follow technique for making tinctures. He recommends using ten fluid ounces of alcohol for every ounce of herb.
Dosing With Tinctures
Whether you’re a recreational or medical user, tinctures are an excellent ingestion method for those seeking smokeless ways to consume the herb.
To get the most out of tinctures, hold them beneath your tongue for 30 seconds, preferably while rubbing them into the tissue. While the effects of sublingual cannabis tinctures are more immediate, they don’t last as long as those of edible baked items. However, The effects do seem to last longer than vaping or smoking. If your tolerance is low or you’re unsure how much you can handle, start with a drop or two of tincture and wait 1-1.5 hours to see how it affects you.
Everclear grain alcohol is available nationwide so wherever you are, you can get creative making your own cannabis tinctures. The possibilities are endless!
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