When someone first gave me a THC tincture to try, I was at the first legal High Times Cannabis Cup in Denver in 2013. I had just finished making my first cookbook and didn't know how to make a THC tincture, but after I felt the effects, I knew I had to come up with a cannabis tincture recipe as soon as I got home.
This was back in the day – when the internet was low on cannabis recipes you could trust – so I experimented for years to make the best THC tincture recipe I possibly could.
It took me longer than that to learn how to use a THC tincture effectively for my chronic pain without my anxiety flaring up, or getting a bad case of the munchies.
So today, not only are we going to cover how to make a THC tincture, but we're also going to talk about how to use a THC tincture to get all of the benefits this cannabis recipe has to offer.
What is a THC Tincture?
A THC tincture is a cannabis-infused alcohol* that's dominant in THC.
Cannabis resin loves alcohol (and fat), so infusing alcohol with high THC cannabis is an efficient way to get the most out of your medicine.
*When you buy a tincture in a dispensary, it may not be alcohol-based. Many companies are selling MCT oil cannabis tinctures, that are packaged and used the same way as traditional tinctures, without the alcohol (see below for a non-alcoholic MCT tincture recipe).
THC tincture benefits
Cannabis tinctures are gaining in popularity for many reasons: they're discreet, don't smell, and are very portable. Here's a list of cannabis tincture benefits:
1. Cannabis Tinctures are Easy to Dose
The effects don't last as long as edibles but last longer than smoking, so it's easy to find a dose that works for you. Great for beginners or for anyone wanting to explore more controlled dosing.
2. THC Tinctures are Fast-Acting
When used sublingually (held under the tongue), tinctures can come into full effect in 15-30 minutes.
3. Cannabis Tincture Recipes are Easy to Make
You don't need to be a chemistry major to make homemade tinctures. It's a simple 3 step process that takes less than a couple of hours. All you need is a mason jar, alcohol, or MCT Oil and plant material.
4. Cannabis Tinctures are Endlessly Customizable
Want to make a CBD THC tincture? Go for it.
What if you want to add other herbs to complement “the herb”?
Do it! Once you know the basics, you can use the ingredients and cannabinoids that work best for you.
5. Cannabis tinctures can save you money
Like all things on this blog, my goal is always to help folks save money and get healthier by using methods that work. My hope is that you'll be using those savings to invest in higher quality, organic, and local ingredients (when possible), or to nab cool tools that make your journey with cannabis easier and more fun.
Because you're not lighting your plant material on fire, lower doses go further. And because cannabis tinctures are so easy to make, you can save a lot compared to the cost of THC tinctures at dispensaries.
For a deeper explanation, check out this post: 5 Benefits of Cannabis Tinctures
Can you smoke THC tincture?
Is this a crazy question? Yes.
Do we get asked about stuff like this? Also, yes.
The answer to “can you smoke a THC tincture?” is no. Please do not try to set cannabis in alcohol on fire and inhale it. Just, please no.
How to use a THC Tincture
Now that you know that smoking a THC tincture isn't a good idea, how do you use it?
The most efficient and effective way to use a cannabis tincture is sublingually.
To take a THC tincture sublingually, you put the desired amount of drops under your tongue and hold it there.
When taken sublingually, THC tinctures can come into full effect in 15-30 minutes.
After that time period passes, you'll have a good idea if you're getting the effects you want or if more is necessary.
You can step up gradually from there or use less for the next dose.
If you swallow your cannabis tincture right away it can take as long to come on as a regular edible, so be patient.
I typically swallow my THC tincture after holding it in my mouth to get the benefit of longer duration. Some people prefer to spit their cannabis tincture out after holding it under their tongue for a set amount of time. Experiment and find what works best for you.
THC Cannabis Tincture Recipe
1. Fill a quart jar with:
- 1 oz (28g) decarboxylated cannabis* (Sign up and get the lifetime access to the free edibles dosage calculator first, do the dosage math, and adjust the amount of plant material and alcohol to get your desired strength)
- 2 Cups Everclear, Moonshine, Vodka, or Brandy
3. Cover with a lid and shake vigorously. Place in a dark cupboard or in a paper bag on a shelf.
4. Shake the mixture vigorously again before straining. If steeping for longer, shake every couple of days.
5. Steep for anywhere from 2 days to several months. Test periodically to determine if the tincture is at your desired strength.**
6. Strain out plant material. Save the “raffinate” for a rainy day.
7. Pour into dropper bottles.
8. Make sure to calculate your dosage and label your finished product.
**Note on steeping length: Some people say that longer tinctures are better and more medicinal, but new research is showing that you don't need to leave your tincture for weeks or months on end to extract most of the cannabinoids from your plant material. If you come across any data that shows optimal steeping length or method, feel free to drop it in the comments below and let the community know 🙂
Non-alcoholic THC Tincture Recipe
While technically not a cannabis tincture, this “tincture” has many of the same benefits without the alcohol.
1. Fill your crockpot about halfway with water (or just enough to cover the herb).
2. Fill a mason jar with:
- 1 cup of organic MCT oil
- anywhere from 3.5-7g decarboxylated cannabis (depending on the density and dosage of your plant material) with at least enough oil to cover the cannabis completely
- 1 teaspoon – 1 Tablespoon sunflower lecithin
3. Cover with lid. Alternatively, cut a piece of foil to cover the jar opening. Seal with the ring. Poke a thermometer through the foil so you can regulate the temperature.
4. Place the mason jar in the crockpot and put the crockpot on high.
5. Burp the jar and shake vigorously after about a half hour to make sure that there’s not too much pressure building up. If you get a lot of pressure on the first burp, make sure to burp the jar often.
6. Strain (save material for making High Chai).
What's your favorite way to make and take THC tinctures? Let us know in the comments below and don't hesitate to reach out to [email protected] We're here to help!
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