Homemade tinctures could be a pantry staple for anyone who cooks with cannabis

click to enlarge Homemade tinctures could be a pantry staple for anyone who cooks with cannabis
Will Maupin photo
Turn flower into liquid.

Cannabis tinctures are a tried-and-true method of consumption, hailed for their versatility and ease. They're also a piece of cake to make at home.

Some recipes call for long soak times — sometimes up to months, which are commonly known as "green dragon" as the longer soak time allows for more plant compounds to be absorbed into the tincture, including the chlorophyll which gives cannabis its green color. Shorter "quick wash extraction" methods, like the recipe below, are commonly known as "golden dragon" as they extract the fun compounds like THC and CBD, but not the green color of the plant matter.

If you're making a tincture to use medicinally, a longer soak time method would be preferable. Quick wash methods, on the other hand, are ideal for use in edibles as they produce intoxication but add far less plant-like cannabis flavor to the final product. Tinctures can also be consumed directly, either swallowed like a traditional edible or held under the tongue for a much faster onset of effects.


8 grams cannabis
6 ounces food-grade alcohol, 190 proof or above
Sealable glass jars
Coffee filter


Finely chop the cannabis.

Open the windows, all of them, because this step will stink up the place: Lay cannabis flat on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and heat in a preheated oven at 220 F for 20 minutes.

Transfer cannabis to a glass jar, seal and place in the freezer. In another jar, do the same with the alcohol. Freeze both for at least four hours. (Freezing helps keep unwanted compounds, like chlorophyll, from being absorbed into the alcohol.)

Pour alcohol into the jar with the cannabis and shake for one minute. Hold the jar in a kitchen rag to prevent your body heat from warming the mixture. Return to freezer for five minutes, agitating slightly every minute or so.

Strain mixture through cheesecloth into a separate glass to remove large cannabis pieces. Then strain through a coffee filter into a separate glass to remove smaller pieces.

Cover with a fresh piece of cheesecloth to prevent contaminants from entering while allowing airflow for evaporation. Leave out in a well-ventilated space until reduced by half (or more, to taste) to dampen the alcohol flavor and burn. Depending on conditions, this could take up to a day.

Once reduced to desired level, store in a sealable glass jar (ideally an amber-colored dropper bottle) in a cool, dry place for up to three years. ♦

When producing edibles at home for personal use, be careful. The potency may vary.

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