Tinctures are concentrated liquid extracts of herbal material typically made by soaking herbs and plant parts usually in a mixture of alcohol and water for a certain period of time to extract the bioactive compounds. These liquid extracts have been used for thousands of years as they represent an efficient way of receiving beneficial properties of herbs and plants.
In this case, we will be talking about how to make a CBD tincture from a CBD-rich strain of Cannabis sativa or industrial hemp and how to use a CBD tincture.
A very important point that one should be aware of is the level of cannabinoids CBD and THC in the strain because those levels determine the legality of the product. Remember, the maximum amount of THC by dry weight is 0.3% in the USA and 0.2% in the EU (with some exceptions).
How to make CBD tincture
Making a CBD tincture is a simple process. There are many ways you can make a CBD tincture and you should opt for the one that’s most convenient for you and your kitchen/circumstances.
Here we’ll talk about the most commonly used and proven method of preparing a homemade CBD tincture that can be consumed right away.
It’s important to note that making CBD tinctures does produce strong and characteristic smells, especially during the decarboxylation step. Therefore, you must take into account all the related circumstances and laws about cannabis that apply in your country.
The process of creating homemade CBD tinctures breaks down as follows:
chop, bake, mix, simmer, strain, and store.
Now, let’s get into more detail about each of these steps.
- Chop your CBD-rich hemp
Use a coffee grinder or scissors to cut 1/8 oz/3.5 g of the material into fine pieces. In this way, you will ensure a more efficient extraction of the non-psychoactive CBD.
- Bake the material
Use a pan and baking paper/parchment and spread the herbal material evenly. Preheat the oven to 325°F/162°C and put the baking pan in the oven for 5 minutes. This step will produce strong cannabis smells.
The process of heating the plant material is also known as decarboxylation and is a necessary step for getting the most out of your CBD-rich hemp. The heat helps CBDA or cannabidiolic acid (one of the many compounds of hemp) to convert to CBD over time ensuring you get the most CBD for your buck.
- Mix the material with high proof alcohol
Use an air-tight glass container/jar and put the baked material inside. Add 2 oz/60 mL of high proof alcohol (vodka, rum) and give it a good shake. It is VERY IMPORTANT to use something like a spirit with a high content of alcohol and NOT medicinal alcohol, as medicinal or rubbing alcohol can be harmful to human health if ingested.
- Simmer the jar in a water bath
Some recipes don’t include this step, however, simmering the CBD-infusion improves the CBD extraction rates.
For this step, you will need a hot water bath and a thermometer. Use a cooking pot and add 1 inch/2.5 cm of water and bring it to a low simmer. Put a metal grid on the bottom of the cooking pot so that the jar doesn’t have direct contact with the burner, open the jar and put the thermometer inside it. Bring the alcohol mixture to 170°F/76°C, which is just below the boiling point of alcohol, and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
This will make the CBD tincture slightly more concentrated and contribute to its potency so you’ll notice a change in color. During this step, around 1 oz of alcohol will vaporize and you will get around 1 oz of the concentrated CBD-rich liquid.
- Strain the alcohol mixture
Once it cools down, use a coffee filter or a very fine strainer to filter the mixture.
- Store the CBD tincture
The best containers for storing your homemade CBD tincture are amber-glass dropper bottles. Store the air-tight container with your tincture in a dark and cool place.
These tinctures have a long shelf-life because of the alcohol that preserves both the compounds and the entire tincture.
How to use CBD tincture
If you’re wondering how to use a CBD tincture in the best way, the golden rule of consuming tinctures and other CBD-related products is to start with a small dose and be patient and wait for the effects to kick in. Otherwise, you risk using an unnecessarily big dose which could cause the opposite effects to those you wanted to achieve, plus, it’s a waste of your money and time.
The absorption time differs from person to person and other factors such as empty/full stomach, body constitution, and absorption rates. So, test your homemade tinctures gradually to get the most out of the product.
The best thing about this consumption method is the ability to self-regulate the dose.
There are three ways you can use a CBD tincture:
- You can put it under your tongue – sublingually. This method allows the body to absorb the CBD most quickly.
- You can mix it with a bit of water and swallow it. The absorption, in this case, takes a bit more time as the body absorbs it through the digestive system.
- You can add it to foods and drinks. The absorption rate is similar to the previous one as many factors impact it when you take the CBD tincture with food and/or drink.
This way of receiving CBD has several other advantages as well. For instance, it is a smokeless consumption method for those who don’t prefer to vape CBD.
As they don’t have any smell, tinctures are much more discreet and you can take CBD in practically any situation and maintain your privacy.
Finally, looking at its caloric value, they most definitely have a lower amount of calories than homemade CBD-enriched edibles like butter or oil-based cookies or brownies.
Have you ever made a CBD tincture? Is your process different? We’d love to hear about your CBD experience and knowledge in the comments below!