What Are Medical Marijuana Tinctures, and How Do I Make Them?

Medical marijuana tinctures are probably the least controversial way to consume cannabis. They are also the most underrated of all the cannabis products because they are not as fun to take compared to smoking marijuana in a joint. Nonetheless, they are nothing new, despite how new they might be to so many marijuana consumers. Tinctures were actually the main form of medical marijuana until it was banned in 1937. They are an ideal method for both recreational and medical users, especially for children or people with respiratory problems.

Medical marijuana tinctures are a liquid concentration of cannabis where the THC and cannabinoids are extracted and dispersed into alcohol. In the past, tinctures were the most common form of marijuana medication used. Today, tinctures are not as popular, but they are simple to use and can provide an accurate dosage. They are discreet and can be taken on their own or combined with food or drinks, which allows medical patients to take their medication anywhere while still maintaining their privacy.

Medical marijuana tinctures are easy and inexpensive to make, and you can customize the recipe to suit your needs. Below are three methods that will allow you to produce tinctures in as little as an hour. Firstly, you will need the following:

  • Herb grinder or food processor
  • Glass/ceramic bowl
  • Mesh strainer
  • Cheesecloth
  • Kitchen scale
  • Canning jar with lid
  • Tincture bottles with droppers
  • 1 ounce of buds per quart of alcohol
  • The highest proof alcohol you can find

    Method 1: The OG Method

    MMJ Recs - kitchen

    Medical marijuana tinctures are easy and inexpensive to make.

  1. Thoroughly dry and grind 4 grams of bud.
  2. Bake the cannabis at 240 degrees in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes to decarboxylase it. This is to create the psychoactive compounds in the weed.
  3. Immerse the cannabis into 2 ounces of high-proof alcohol in a canning jar, stir and cover tightly so that the evaporating alcohol does not escape.
  4. Let sit 2 to 3 hours in a cool, dark place. The longer it sits, the more effective it will become.
  5. Stir the brew again, then strain through a cheesecloth, collecting the liquid tincture in a bowl.
  6. Pour the liquid through the cheesecloth a second time, then bottle the tincture in opaque bottles as soon as possible to avoid exposing it to light.

Method 2: The Cold Brew Method

MMJ Recs - freezer

Freezing the cannabis maintains the integrity of the cannabinoids and increases the tincture effectiveness.

This cold brew method of creating medical marijuana tinctures freezes the plant matter to maintain the integrity of the cannabinoids and increases the tincture effectiveness. It takes longer to produce the tinctures, and this method works best if you use high-quality cannabis.

  1. Put your well-dried and decarboxylase buds into a freezer bag, and place them in the freezer for a couple hours. Put your bottle of alcohol in there, too, as both plant matter and alcohol must be kept as cold as possible during this process.
  2. Once the buds are frozen, take them out of the freezer and grind them into rough chunks using an herb grinder or food processor.
  3. Combine 1 ounce of ground plant matter with 1 quart of alcohol in a sufficiently large mason jar.
  4. Close the jar, and shake vigorously for at least 5 minutes before putting the jar back into the freezer.
  5. Every few hours over the next 48, pull the jar out the freezer and give it a shake.
  6. After 2 days, strain out the plant matter from the cold liquid tincture through a piece of cheesecloth and save it for use.
  7. Pour the resulting tincture through a coffee filter to remove any fine particles, and bottle the tincture in opaque bottles as soon as possible to avoid exposing it to light.

Method 3: The Warm Brew Method

  1. Mix the cannabis and alcohol in a 1-quart mason jar. Cover tightly, and shake well.
  2. Completely cover the jar to block out all light, which can cause the tincture to go bad.
  3. Place the covered jar in a warm, dry place for 30 to 60 days. The longer you wait, the more potent the tincture will be.
  4. When ready to process, strain the mixture through a double-thick piece of cheesecloth over a mesh strainer into a bowl. The mixture should be dark green.
  5. Transfer the alcohol tincture into opaque bottles, and keep in the refrigerator.

Overall, not only are medical marijuana tinctures a great smoke-free option, but also, they are an ideal method for children or for the elderly who cannot smoke. Tinctures are also a lower calorie alternative to edibles such as brownies and cookies, and they also have a long shelf life when stored properly in a cool, dark place.

Once you have made your tinctures, to use, simply apply drops of the solution under your tongue. The main advantage of this method is that the medicine is absorbed through into the body’s main blood supply to the tongue. The euphoric effects of a medical marijuana tinctures will start to become apparent slightly slower than they would if you were smoking but significantly quicker than they would from an edible. You’ll experience the effects of two to three drops under your tongue in around 15 minutes. Enjoy!