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Cannabis Tincture

Although Healing Cannabis Edibles describes how to infuse Cannabis in all all kinds of oils and butters and honeys and fats for cooking, one of the easiest, and some say the most efficient delivery of this medicine is through a tincture. This week I have been doing some research and I have learned a number of new things (for me) about this process.

Making a tincture is extracting the medicinal constituents of a plant with alcohol. It not only draws out the active components but also preserves them. The trick is to get a high alcohol content. I use vodka but if you can't find one with at least 80 proof, many people use brandy.

I was inspired recently after listening to an online talk by herbalist Tammi Sweet who also has a master's degree in neurobiology and endocrinology. She said that the best medicine for chronic conditions is in tincture form.

The dose? Start with one drop every six to eight hours and see how you feel. If you don't feel the effects, then take two drops and wait. Helpful tip: put the drops in water as it is straight alcohol.

The strain? She recommends 1:1 ration of CBD: THC for all conditions EXCEPT seizures, which is 18:1 CBD: THC.

It is not difficult to prepare. You can find recipes for tinctures in Healing Cannabis Edibles on pages 70, 95 and 96. These combine other healing herbs for specific conditions into the tincture.

Here's a simplified version:

Once you have activated the Cannabis by heating it (P. 38), making a tincture can be as simple as putting the plant in a large jar, covering it with alcohol and then doing the herbalist dance of shake and pray. What I have always done is the traditional method of making tincture: keep the mixture in a cupboard for one to two months to benefit from the full lunar cycle, shaking occasionally. That was the only instruction I had ever read or learned in classes about making tinctures.Tammi writes that it only takes one hour for the cannabinoid extraction. A whole new perspective on this process.

Then what? Well, after either a lunar cycle or one hour (imagine that), strain out the plant material (compost or use in hot chocolate - if you want that recipe, email me). Let it sit overnight and the next day strain through a coffee filter to remove any remaining tiny bits. Store in a dropper bottle and use over the next year.


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