With the increasing popularity of CBD, it’s important that you understand how this product works. You may have heard the term “tinctures” thrown around, but what exactly are they and how do they work?
A tincture is made from the leaves, flowers or other parts of a plant. The plant material is first soaked in alcohol, which extracts the active compounds from the plant material. Alcohol has been used for thousands of years as an extractive agent, and modern science has only recently found new uses for it.
The process can be done with just about any type of plant material, including cannabis, but many people prefer a tincture made solely from hemp. Hemp contains less than 0.3% THC (the chemical responsible for producing a high), whereas marijuana can contain up to 20%, depending on how much THC is present.
Once the plant material is infused into ethanol, the liquid is allowed to sit for at least two weeks so the active compounds can fully dissolve into the solution. The time period varies depending on the plant material, but many choose to let their tinctures sit for six months before using them.
Once the mixture has sat long enough, the liquid is filtered out and then diluted in either vegetable glycerin or purified water. Both solutions are mixed together until your desired concentration is reached. Once the solution is homogenized, it is ready to be stored in a bottle for later use.
Weed tinctures come in a wide variety of concentrations, and each one will produce different results when ingested. If you’re looking for relief from pain, inflammation, anxiety or sleeplessness, you should start off by consuming a low-concentration tincture and increase the dosage slowly. This allows your body to adapt to the chemical compound and avoid overloading it with too much THC.
How to make weed tinctures
There are several ways to make a weed tincture, and most methods involve soaking the plant material in alcohol. You can purchase pre-made tinctures online, but if you want to make your own, follow these steps below. They vary slightly depending on the kind of plant material you plan on extracting, but all of them yield similar results.
1. Fill a large bowl with cold water and add some ice cubes. Place the plant material in the bowl and cover with a towel. Allow the plant material to soak in the icy water for 24 hours.
2. After soaking, remove the plant material and put it in clean jars or containers. Add the alcohol of choice to the jars so that the amount of alcohol per jar is equal to the weight of the herb being extracted.
You can use vodka, grain alcohol, Everclear, or another clear alcoholic beverage. Make sure not to add anything else to the jar besides the plant material and alcohol. When choosing brandy, try to get something like Pernod or Absinthe, rather than cheap liquor brands. These types of drinks are more potent and will give your tincture a better flavor.
3. Stir the plant material and alcohol together vigorously until every part of the plant is soaked with the alcohol. Cover with cheesecloth or a coffee filter to keep insects away.
4. Let the mixture set for at least 48 hours, but no longer than two weeks. At the end of the incubation period, strain the plant material through a fine mesh sieve. Discard the plant material left behind in the strainer.
5. Now that the plant material is strained out, you need to dilute the mixture. Either pour the contents of the jar into a measuring cup and measure out a specific volume of water based on the amount of alcohol in the original jar. Or, fill a jar halfway full with water and stir in the same ratio of plant material to alcohol. Be careful not to overfill your jar or your solution will spill over.
6. Pour the diluted solution back into the jar and stir well. Repeat this step until your desired concentration is achieved. To test the concentration, take a dropperful of the solution and place it on a white piece of paper. If the drop forms a distinct line, the solution is diluted enough. If there is no line, repeat the process until the desired result is achieved.
7. Store the tincture in a dark container, preferably glass, at room temperature. Keep your tincture refrigerated when not in use for best shelf life.
Types of weed tinctures
Tinctures can be categorized into two main groups: concentrates and drops. Concentrates include higher concentrations of cannabinoids while drops are lower. Each method of extraction yields its own strengths and benefits, so we’ve broken down each category below.
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These tinctures feature a higher level of potency than traditional drops because they are concentrated. Because the concentration is so high, it’s important to consume only small amounts because of the possibility of overdosing. As mentioned above, start off by consuming a low-concentration tincture and gradually increase the dose until you reach your desired relief.
A good example of a concentrate tincture is Charlotte’s Web, which is derived from industrial hemp. It comes in both capsules and liquids. Charlotte’s Web was developed by Rick Simpson, who also created the famous Dank Vape Pen. He claims the tincture is effective at treating a range of ailments, including PTSD, depression and chronic pain.
The tincture is available in five different concentrations: 300mg, 600mg, 900mg, 1200mg and 1800mg. The highest concentration is only available in capsule form and can be purchased from his website.
Drops are tinctures that are considered weaker versions of concentrates. Drops typically fall between 1:10 and 1:20, depending on the tincture. These tinctures are typically produced in smaller quantities than concentrates, making them more cost-effective and easier to find. However, they may lack the potency that concentrates offer.
For instance, the original PureKana tincture was originally sold in bottles containing 10ml drops. Nowadays, bottles contain 2ml drops, which makes it significantly cheaper to buy. Although the potency isn’t quite as strong, it’s still a viable option for those who need a more affordable alternative to concentrates.
Most other tinctures are sold in drops, including CBD Oil Drops by Humboldt Botanicals. Its tincture contains 0.5% CBD oil and is great for beginners who don’t know much about the product. For those who know their way around CBD products, however, you can order larger bottles of the product that contain anywhere from 5ml to 50ml of CBD oil.
Whether you decide to go with a concentrate or drop, tinctures offer a safe and effective alternative to smoking and vaping. They provide the same relief as other CBD products, without having to deal with the side effects associated with using flower or wax. In fact, you can even take a tincture orally, unlike CBD edibles, which must be consumed via food or drink.