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Gallagher 6ced096bc457d4b73fb4cad0e562e72d533a64a0a1a6bfd78ac0630ccedc3343

Seeing through the smoke


Christopher Gallagher

You should totally use your cannabis to make tincture. Here’s a recipe

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Illustration by David Holub/DGO; image via Shutterstock
Ar 170719599
Illustration by David Holub/DGO; image via Shutterstock

Cannabis tincture aka Nectar of the Gods aka Happy Juice aka YumYum aka Gimme Some More aka The Pathway to a Lovely Day aka What the Pharmaceutical Industry Wishes They Could Have Created. To my mind, it is more than a lovely verdant liquid with more nicknames than a member of the Wu Tang Clan, it is the single most useful and versatile preparation of our green amiga available out there. I have no idea how it has stayed so under the radar, but, then again, I suppose that’s part of what makes the coolest stuff the coolest stuff.

The basics of tincture: It is another extraction, very similar in process and result to the extractions for oil and butter that we have been examining here for the past several weeks, the difference being that tincture is 100 percent ready and good to go all by itself. Just prep it, throw a little vial or bottle in your pocket for the road, and enjoy the mellow waves that will slowly roll over you all day and night (and into the next morning if that’s how you roll). Tincture is designed for sublingual application, which means that it is absorbed directly into the tissues under your tongue—a few drops, about a quarter hour, breathe, smile. But there are reports online (from some of the usual suspects, I’m certain) of its efficacy as an additive to smoked bud, in bowls, joints, and blunts.

My basic recipe for glycerin tincture is very simple and involves basic ratios and a bit of heat. It’s the primary one I recommend due to its deliciousness, though I will also give a quick recipe for an alcohol-based version that delivers the same end results after a strong blast of heat straight to your face.

Ingredients4 parts vegetable glycerin

1 part blackberry brandy

5 parts water (which will be boiled off after allowing the other ingredients to steep together)

Enough decarboxylated cannabis to fill the glycerin/brandy mixture before adding the water

My secret ingredient – 1 can of Mountain Dew Throwback (because the stuff they use to make cake frosting just isn’t quite sweet enough).

DirectionsMix ingredients in a pan (note the level before adding water and soda). Bring it up to a low boil; lower heat so that the boil is no longer rolling but there are still bubbles being produced; stir occasionally. When the mixture boils back down to the level in the pan before the addition of the water and the soda, remove it from heat – this should take about two hours; if it is much quicker than that, you did not lower the heat enough, but, fear not, simply add some water to lengthen the process. Strain through cheesecloth, squeezing out all the liquid from the cannabis residue and you are good to go.

To make a simple alcohol tincture without heat, pour a quart of high proof alcohol (90 proof and above will work, but 151 or grain will work better) into a mason jar, fill the jar with your weed, and shake it vigorously for about five minutes. Repeat this process every few hours for two days, strain through cheesecloth, and there it is—a tincture that will make your face explode for the first two minutes after ingestion, but will treat you wonderfully for the few hours following.

These tinctures are best stored in dark colored bottles to slow degradation and can be fortified with an addition of keif or oil, should you decide you would like a more potent version.

If there is one thing I would strongly recommend you use your cannabis crop for, it is glycerin tincture; I hope you follow this advice and I hope it brings you many smiles.

Christopher Gallagher lives with his wife and their four dogs and two horses. Life is pretty darn good. Contact him at chrstphrgallagher@gmail.com.