Before cannabis prohibition tinctures were the most common way of buying and consuming marijuana in America. Recently, they’ve been making a comeback. Commercially prepared tinctures are now available in dispensaries in many states. Tinctures are discreet to use and are quite easy to make at home. A tincture is a concentrated extract of any herb in liquid—usually alcohol, sometimes glycerin—that is taken by mouth as a drop on or under the tongue.
Alcohol is used to separate the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other essential oils from the marijuana plant material and acts as a preservative. In herbal medicine, tinctures are commonly 25% alcohol, which is achieved by diluting the mixture with water. People who do not want to consume alcohol may opt for glycerin-based tinctures. Methods of making alcohol tinctures of marijuana vary from extremely simple and low tech to complex distillation apparatuses that produce highly purified cannabis oil. The easiest way to make tinctures is an alcohol soak.
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All that’s required is a bottle of 100 proof or higher drinking alcohol and cannabis leaf, trim, bud, or kief. Add the cannabis to the liquor, let it soak for at least a week, then strain (or not) and enjoy. 148 BEYOND BUDS CHOOSING THE ALCOHOL No matter what type of marijuana is going into the tincture, starting with a quality solvent is important. The purist grade alcohol is USP medical-grade 190- or 200-proof neutral grain spirits.
It is available from laboratory supply companies. More commonly available is 190-proof Everclear brand alcohol, which can be found at liquor stores in 40 of the 50 states. Note that Everclear is marketed in two strengths: 150 proof (75% alcohol) and 190 proof (95% alcohol). Get the 190. Sale of Everclear 190 is banned in California, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New York, Nevada, Ohio, and Washington.
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An alternative high-proof option that is available in some of those states and online is an extremely pure form of Polish vodka called Spirytus that comes in at 192 proof, or a percent purer than Everclear. Polmos Spirytus, Spirytus Rektyfikowany, and Baks Spirytus are some of the brands that can be found in the United States. If these purified options are unavailable or you are interested in a little flavor, other high-proof liquors can be used, such as Bacardi 151-proof rum. There are a number of brands of 100–120-proof vodkas and rums that can be used
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