With cannabidiol (CBD) becoming federally legal thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, there’s been a lot of talk about how to get this miracle molecule into your body.
There’s smoking, vaping, edibles, skin rubs, and… tinctures. Just between us, tinctures are the best way — no other form of taking CBD provides results nearly as quickly. Additionally, tinctures have the highest bioavailability, which is a fancy way of saying the amount of CBD that actually enters your bloodstream versus simply passing through you.
Now you can enjoy your own homemade CBD tincture using nothing more than basic kitchen supplies and your own hemp buds.
What is a Tincture?
Tinctures have been around for centuries. A tincture is a liquid held under the tongue for several seconds to a minute, where the substances suspended within it are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. This occurs because the area under the tongue has an unusually large amount of blood vessels close to the surface, where CBD and medicines can easily pass through both the thin membrane of the tongue and the cell walls.
Before marijuana and cannabis were outlawed in the early twentieth century, alcohol-based tinctures were the number one way to ingest them. Cannabis tinctures were produced by companies like Bayer, Eli Lilly, and Parke-Davis to treat a range of conditions like migraine, delirium, nausea, spasms, and epilepsy.
Tinctures fell out of favor around 1910, when the Mexican Revolution was underway. Mexicans who fled the war brought along dried cannabis flowers, which they smoked and named “marijuana.”
Today, tinctures are making a comeback for several reasons.
Research is shedding an increasing amount of light on CBD’s medicinal benefits. You don’t have to smoke anything to get your CBD. Tinctures are affordable, they’re safe, and they’re totally non-synthetic. And what’s more, you can make them right at home.
How to Make Your Own Alcohol-Based Cannabis Tincture
To start off, you’re going to need your own hemp flowers. You can buy hemp flowers from various places around the country. What’s important to note here is that legal hemp strains produce plant matter with no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC — the psychoactive part of marijuana).
Because of this, hemp CBD tinctures will not get you high or impair your ability to drive or focus. That makes it a safe project to try on your own.
Step 1: Decarboxylation
Before you begin making your actual tincture, you have to perform a chemical process known as decarboxylation. The CBD naturally present in hemp flowers is not in the form of CBD — it’s in the form of CBDa, a slightly different but inactive form. CBDa has a very low bioavailability, so taking it would not give you any of the desired effects.
CBD Tincture Ingridients
To perform the decarboxylation process, you’ll need the following supplies:
- Prep Time 20 Minutes
- Cook Time 40 Minutes
- Total Time 60 Minutes
- Serves 1-20 People
- Baking sheet with parchment paper
- Mesh strainer
- ¼ oz. of hemp buds
- Everclear alcohol (or another high-proof spirit)
- Lidded Mason jar
- 1 oz. glass bottle with an included dropper lid
- Start by preheating your oven to 240 degrees Fahrenheit. This low temperature is what’s needed to convert CBDa to CBD. During the preheating phase, use your fingers or a coffee grinder to break the hemp flowers apart into shreds.
- Place the shredded flowers on the parchment paper-covered baking sheet and put it in the oven for 40 minutes to an hour. The goal is for the flowers to turn a light shade of golden brown — they should not burn or become crispy.
- Remove the baking sheet and let everything cool to room temperature.
Step 2: Making the Tincture
The next steps are as follows:
- Place the dried hemp flowers in the glass jar and fill it to the top with Everclear.
- Put the lid on and shake it.
- Place this glass jar in a cool location away from sunlight (a closet works well) to let the alcohol extract the cannabinoids from the hemp. Give the bottle a shake every few days to make sure the hemp flowers don’t float to the surface.
- After 3 to 4 weeks, take a mesh strainer and cover it in cheesecloth. Pour the jar’s contents through the cloth to catch the plant material.
- The liquid is your finished tincture. Pour it into a dropper jar. Start with a few drops under your tongue until you find the amount that works for you.
- The rest of the tincture will stay preserved for years.
The liquid is your finished tincture. Pour it into a dropper jar. Start with a few drops under your tongue until you find the amount that works for you.
The rest of the tincture will stay preserved for years.
You can also mix a couple of drops of your tincture into drinks — particularly if Everclear is too strong for your taste.
The Different Uses of CBD Tinctures
To get the fullest use of your CBD tinctures, it’s worth knowing all the ways they can be useful. You can apply CBD directly to your skin for skin care and moisturization or use it as an oil for massage.
There are multiple uses of CBD oil for self-care, ranging from treating various symptoms to sleep irregularities and beyond. Athletes find CBD tinctures particularly useful to keep aches and pain at bay.
Before you embark on any CBD usage, though, be sure to consult our CBD dose calculator.