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You have probably heard the name green dragon, and perhaps you pictured a greenish and viscous liquid that had the potential to knock out your senses with the taste of one drop. If this is the case, then you are not far away from the truth.
Cannabis tinctures, commonly referred to as the green dragon, have been in use both for medical and recreational use for many years. They are adored for their ease of use and convenience, especially when you learn how to DIY some for yourself. This is what I am about to teach you.
What you will need to get started.
For starters, all you need is a sizeable jar, alcohol, a strainer, and your cannabis extract. Make sure you also have a good working surface and ample time in your hands; this is not a process to rush through as you do not want to compromise on potency and flavor.
This is how to make cannabis tinctures at home:
- Take out your dried cannabis flowers and put them in a grinder. Grind to a fine consistency but not into powder form. This increases the surface area for the alcohol to work on.
- Mix your flower extract with high proof alcohol (such as Everclear) to extract the cannabinoids from the mixture.
- Decarboxylate the cannabis mixture by heating it up to a maximum temperature of 170 degrees Farenheit for 20 minutes. This breaks down the acidic forms of the cannabinoids. THCA is converted into THC while CBDA is converted into CBD.
- Close the jar and store it in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight for two weeks. Each day shake the jar for one minute to allow the cannabinoids to evenly spread out in the mixture.
- After two weeks, strain out your extract and keep the liquid. That is your green dragon!
A more modern recipe that you can try out is this one:
You will need the following: 1 ounce of kief, grinder, baking tray, Ever clear alcohol, mason jar and a strainer.
- Grind your kief (1 ounce) to a fine consistency. Put it in a zip lock bag and then place the bag in the freezer for one hour. This helps the THC to retain its structure.
- Spread the grounded kief in a baking tray and cover with foil. The foil helps in preserving the terpenes and cannabinoids.
- Place in a pre heated oven at 235 Farenheit for one hour. This is to decarboxylate the cannabis.
- After the decarboxylation, it is time to extract the THC from the mixture.
- Let the pan first cool before you pour out the contents into a mason jar and then add the alcohol to cover the heated kief. The higher the alcohol concentration the greater the ability to extract THC.
- Put the mason jar in the fridge for between two weeks to one month.
- Shake the jar each day for one minute to allow the THC and other cannabinoids to spread out evenly in the mixture.
- After the time has elapsed, remove the jar from the fridge and use our strainer to sieve the contents.
- You can add natural flavors of your choice to mask off the earthy cannabis taste.
- Discard the solid extracts and store the murky liquid that you have created in a translucent jar.
- Store the jar in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight.
In this recipe, the cooler temperatures help to preserve the original structures of the cannabinoids in weed. It may also slow the extraction process. This is why you are given up to one month for this recipe. But using a solvent with high alcohol content such as Ever clear alcohol helps in speeding up the extraction process of cannabinoids.
How to take your tincture
Now that you have made your tincture, first give yourself a pat on the back! There are different ways to consume your tincture. The first is placing a few drops beneath the tongue. This region is well supplied with blood vessels and you will begin feeling the effects of the tincture almost immediately. Also, taking the tincture sublingually will bypass the first pass effect, so you will have more THC in circulation.
If you want to be more adventurous, you can add your tincture to salads, drinks, and baked treats. Just keep in mind that the boiling point of THC is 240F, so do not go above this temperature when preparing your cannabis edibles.
How long will this keep?
Ideally, weed does not go stale if stored in optimal conditions. Optimal conditions include cool temperatures away from moisture and direct sunlight. But the recommended storage time for cannabis products is 6 months to a maximum of two years. To be on the safe side, just prepare enough tincture to last you for six months. After all, making cannabis tincture is a pretty straightforward process.
- Wikipedia: Decarboxylation. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decarboxylation
- NCBI (1993): Bypassing the first-pass effect for the therapeutic use of cannabinoids. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8383856
- Inverse (2016): how to tell if your stash has gone stale. Retrieved from https://www.inverse.com/article/22626-how-to-tell-if-weed-marijuana-pot-bad-stale