Marijuana offers relief to patients with a wide variety of ailments. Marijuana’s most prized medicinal qualities are probably appetite stimulation and pain relief. One big problem, though, is route of administration. Traditionally, marijuana has been smoke in pipes or cigarettes. Modern alternatives include vaporization and synthetic medications. Another great alternative, both low-cost and efficient, is the cannabis tincture.

A tincture is a concentrated extraction of active chemicals. This can entail processes requiring lab equipment and titration, or can be as simple as awater soak. It all depends on the chemical.Cannabis is not water-soluble, and this fact determines the method to produce cannabis tincture. In order to optimally extract active chemicals (known as cannabinoids), a non-polar medium is needed. Pure grain alcohol is definitely the most common choice. A newer option is vegetable glycerin. PGA provides simple, easy results, but is obviously very alcoholic. If you cannot consume alcohol, vegetable glycerin may be a better choice.

Whichever medium you choose, the process is about the same. What you’re trying to do is soak cannabis in the non-polar fluid long enough that all the cannabinoids are released from the plant matter and soaked into the medium.

First, select plant matter to use. Using flowers and trim leaf material will produce high-quality tincture (as would kief). Stems and waste leaves are usable for a lower-quality tincture.

Ground or chop the material into a coarse powder. Choose a sterile, non-plastic container (glass jars work great) and fill it 1/2 to 3/4 full with plant matter. Pour the PGA into the jar until it’s full, then seal it tightly.

Store the tincture in a dark, cool area for a few weeks. If glycerin is used, the process takes closer to two months. Shake it everyday and check the process. The tincture is complete when the plant matter is no longer vivid green but instead a dull dark green or brown. (This color will be similar to cannabis after it is used in a vaporizer.)

Once the cannabis is brown, simply strain off the liquid into another clean glass container. The tincture is done!

Once the tincture is complete, administer it sub-lingually (under the tongue) using a sterile glass dropper. Dose can vary depending on patient, tincture preparation, and cannabis strain. Start with a drop or two.

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