Friday, March 24, 2023

Cookin' With Grass: Ride the Green Dragon

A DIY Guide to Making Cannabis Tincture


One of the great things about New Mexico’s cannabis laws is that adults are now allowed to make their own marijuana extracts at home. It’s a real DIY revolution for pot users.

Making marijuana tincture is surprisingly easy, although it does require some attention due to the dangers associated with handling volatile substances. Make sure to be extra careful while making your cannabis creations and stay away from heat and open flames while working with flammable ingredients. That means no smoking or vaping while you make tinctures!

What You’ll Need

  • Jar
  • At least ¼ ounce of cannabis plant matter
  • At least 6 ounces of high-proof alcohol
  • Baking sheet
  • Aluminum foil
  • Sieve
  • Coffee filter

Your choice of cannabis and alcohol will greatly influence the quality of your tincture, so be aware of the ingredients that you’re using. When it comes to the cannabis, you’re free to use whatever strain or potency level that you like. You can even save your discarded stems and upcycle those (although your tincture will end up being fairly weak).

Your choice of alcohol is much more limited. You will need high-proof, food-grade alcohol—the highest proof you can get your hands on. Everclear is a popular brand with many DIY tincture makers, but there’s even “420” branded tincture alcohol out there these days made specifically for this purpose. In New Mexico, you can purchase it at 190-proof, which is preferable. Just make sure you get the highest proof available.

This stuff is technically made for human consumption, but people used to use it to clean machine parts—so keep that in mind while handling it. They don’t sell it in grocery stores, so you’ll have to head to your local liquor store to find it. Considering how volatile it is, be very careful while handling it and never store it near a heat source or an open flame.

How to Make the Tincture

Start by activating your cannabis through decarboxylation. This step is absolutely vital as without it, the THCA will never convert to THC. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, just know that it won’t get you high.

Grind the flower down as much as you can, then spread it out on a baking pan covered with aluminum foil. Bake at 245ºF for 20 to 30 minutes.

Now place the activated cannabis into the jar and pour the alcohol in. You’ll find the right sweet spot as you experiment, but try starting with around three ounces of alcohol for each ¼ ounce of marijuana.

Cap the jar up tight, store it in a dark cool place and make sure to give it a good shake every morning. After about a week, use a sieve and a coffee filter to separate the plant matter and voila! You’ve made your own tincture!

Keep in mind that you won’t be sending your tincture off to get tested, and determining just how strong it is will mean treating yourself like a lab rat. Be extra careful with dosing the first few times.


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