There are a whole host of CBD products on the market, and when it comes to offering a quick and easy way to ingest CBD, CBD tinctures are an excellent option.Â
Read on to learn about CBD tinctures and how you can make your own at home.
A CBD tincture is a liquid extract of the cannabis plant, that is taken orally as an herbal preparation to relieve chronic pain, balance mood and assist with sleep (1). CBD tincture contains cannabidiol (CBD), along with a host of other active constituents of the cannabis plant, such as cannabinoids, alkaloids, glycosides, minerals, phytonutrients and terpenes.Â
CBD tinctures are most commonly made from the industrial hemp plant, a strain of cannabis that has been bred to contain less than 0.3% THC. However, CBD tinctures can also be made from low-THC strains of the marijuana plant.Â
For many who suffer from chronic pain, tinctures are a preferred method of CBD ingestion because of the ease of use, long shelf life and speed of delivery. CBD tinctures are administered sublingually, by taking a small dose of the extract under the tongue. The CBD is absorbed promptly by the mucous membrane in the mouth into the bloodstream, delivering relief within 15 minutes.Â
CBD tinctures are easy to make at homeâyou wonât need a chemistry degree to make your own. Read on to learn just how easy it is to make your own CBD tincture. But first, letâs take a look at some of the distinctions between store-bought and homemade CBD tinctures.Â
A commercial CBD tincture is an herbal cannabis preparation that is manufactured by a commercial producer for public sale. Commercial CBD tinctures commonly contain CBD oil extracted from the hemp or marijuana plant via commercial extraction methods and must comply with strict standards for quality, efficacy, purity, and labeling.Â
A homemade CBD tincture is a CBD-infused herbal preparation that you can make yourself at home by dissolving plant materialâsuch as the flower, leaves and stem of the hemp plantâinto a liquid solvent, such as high-proof alcohol, or a non-alcoholic carrier liquid, such as coconut oil, olive oil or vegetable glycerine.Â
When it comes to choosing between homemade versus commercial CBD oil tinctures, it is essential to note which route works better for your lifestyle. Commercial products offer convenience and purity, while DIY tinctures provide full control over potency and ingredients.Â Â
The significant difference between homemade versus commercial is purity. A commercial CBD oil tincture is more thoroughly filtered than a homemade concoction. Commercial producers are required to meet strict standards for purity and utilize sophisticated filtration processes to thoroughly remove solvent and contaminants from the cannabis extract.Â
With a homemade CBD tincture, you have the freedom to select the type of cannabis you wish to extract your CBD fromâif youâd prefer to avoid THC, you can use industrial hemp. If youâre in a legal state and arenât averse to the effects of THC, then you can make your extract from a high-CBD strain of marijuana.Â
You also have the choice of liquids to extract your CBD into. If you wish to go the traditional route, then you can select a quality, high-proof alcohol. If you are sensitive to alcohol and would prefer a non-alcoholic tincture, then you can make your CBD tincture using vegetable oil or vegetable glycerine as the solvent.Â
While itâs easy and convenient to purchase a CBD tincture online or from a store, making your own CBD tincture at home allows you to have full control over the concentration of CBD. By tweaking the amount of plant matter, or experimenting with different strains of cannabis, you can create your own signature CBD tincture with a potency thatâs perfect for you.
Making your own CBD tinctures at home is pretty easy, but before you get started, youâll need to decide on the method thatâs right for you.Â
The first thing to consider when deciding on your preferred method is the solvent.
Traditionally, herbal tinctures are made with alcohol. Using alcohol as the solvent produces a potent CBD extract that is very quickly absorbed by the body when taken sublingually (under the tongue).Â Â
While the amount of alcohol you will consume when taking an alcohol-based CBD tincture is minimal, it still needs to be metabolized by the body. If you have a sensitivity to alcohol, or you dislike the flavor or mouthfeel of alcohol, you should consider non-alcoholic methods for making CBD tincture.
If youâd prefer to use a non-alcoholic base for your tincture, or find high-grade alcohol hard to source, then vegetable oil method is a popular alternative. This method is simple and accessible, as it uses ingredients that youâre likely to already have in your pantry, such as coconut, olive or sunflower oil.
CBD tinctures made from vegetable oil are ideal to add to food and drink. If youâre interested in making your own CBD edibles, then the vegetable oil method may be the best match for you.Â
Vegetable glycerin is a clear liquid commonly derived from soy, palm and coconuts. Its lipid structure makes it an ideal solvent to replace alcohol because the cannabinoids attach to the lipids during extraction.Â
Keep in mind that CBD tinctures made with vegetable glycerinâalso known as glycerites (2)â tend to be lower in potency than alcohol-based CBD tinctures, but theyâre a great alternative for people who prefer to avoid alcohol.Â
Steeping describes the process of dissolving the plant extract into the solvent. That may sound complicated, but steeping is a fairly simple and familiar process. If youâve ever made a cup of tea, youâll understand that the tea leaves need to steep in water for a period of time for the flavors and tannins of the tea to infuse into the water.Â
There are two methods of steeping. The first is the traditional method of maceration. The second is the more modern method of percolation.Â
The decision between maceration and percolation depends on one important factor: time.Â
Maceration is the most traditional method of making a tincture and is ideal for beginners. Simply add plant material and solvent to an airtight jar, and leave to steep in a cool, dark place.
Youâll require patience with this method, as it takes at least six weeks for the CBD and phytonutrients of the cannabis plant to dissolve into your chosen solvent.Â
If youâd prefer to speed up the extraction process, you can use the percolation method. As with maceration, plant matter and solvent are added to an air-tight jar. But instead of leaving your jar on a shelf to steep for a lengthy period, the jar is instead placed into a water bath and brought to simmer.Â
While percolation is a bit more complex than maceration, and requires some extra utensils, this method is an ideal way to cut down the steeping time if you need your CBD tincture in a hurry.Â Â
Now that youâve decided on your preferred solvent and extraction method, itâs time to select your ingredients.Â
The first and most important ingredient that youâll need to make a CBD tincture is cannabis.
CBD tincture can be made from the flower, leaf and stem of the cannabis plant. It is common to make CBD tinctures from âtrimâ or âshake,â which is the surplus cannabis left over after harvesting the flower. Trim can be used alone or combined with flower as an affordable option.Â
As noted earlier, CBD tincture can be made from either industrial hemp or high-CBD strains of marijuana, which are different types of Cannabis plants.Â
We recommend using industrial hemp for your homemade CBD tincture. This is because industrial hemp contains a high concentration of CBD, and less than 0.3% THC, so it wonât get you high or have any unwanted psychoactive effects.Â
If you donât mind the effects of THC, and youâre located in a state where cannabis is legal, you may choose to make your homemade CBD tincture from marijuana. We recommend a high-CBD, low-THC strain of marijuana, such as Ringoâs Gift, Harlequin, or ACDC. This will limit the effect of the THC, and maximize the effect of CBD, while taking advantage of the âentourage effectâ, which describes the synergistic relationship between these two cannabinoids.Â
The next ingredient youâll need is your solvent. As we discussed earlier, the solvent is the liquid component of your tincture, and is what the CBD is extracted into.
You can choose between alcohol, vegetable oil, or glycerin as your solvent.Â
For alcohol-based tinctures, youâll need a high-proof alcohol that is 60-70% ethyl alcohol or ethanol. Everclear is a recommended source because of its high alcohol content, as is 151 Rum. You want to make sure that you are using food-safe alcohol that is not denatured.Â
Vegetable oil is probably the easiest solvent to source, as well as the most cost-effective. A wide range of vegetable oils can be purchased from the grocery storeâin fact, you may already have the perfect vegetable oil in your pantry, ready to be made into a CBD tincture.Â
Not all vegetable oils are made equal when it comes to tinctures. Hereâs what we recommend:
Itâs important to note that not all glycerin is appropriate for human consumption. For a glycerin-based CBD tincture, be sure to purchase food-grade vegetable glycerin from a trusted, sustainable source.
What makes it so easy to make CBD tinctures at home is the fact that the tools and supplies required are regular household items.Â
Hereâs what youâll need to make a tincture via the traditional maceration method:
If youâre making your tincture using the percolator method, youâll also need:
Before you start infusing, youâll need to decarb your cannabis. Donât worryâthis is a simple step that you can do in your kitchen.
Decarboxylation is the process of heating your cannabis at a specific temperature to activate the cannabinoids. In the case of CBD, decarboxylation (decarbing for short) transforms the inactive CBD-A cannabinoid of raw cannabis into active CBD.Â
Now that youâve chosen your method and have your tools and ingredients assembled, youâre ready to make your own homemade CBD tincture!
Here are three simple recipes to get you started.Â
Note: Safety is advised when heating alcohol. As alcohol is highly flammable, it can be dangerous to use near an open flame. Always use caution when heating alcohol.Â
Tinctures have a long shelf life and can last for years when stored in a cool, dark location.Â
Serving sizes for CBD tinctures vary based on the individual. As with all CBD, we advise to start low and go slow. Start with 1ml of tincture, and increase as needed.
There you have it! Youâre now armed with the basic know-how to make your own CBD tincture. If you feel confident enough, itâs time to make your first tincture. If youâd like just a bit more info before getting started, follow our blog for the latest in CBD informationâincluding how to make CBD oil and how to make your own CBD edibles. Not feeling up to making your own tincture just yet? Weâve got a range of ready-made commercial tinctures on offer!Â
Historically, CBD tinctures have been made using the traditional maceration method with an alcohol solvent. However, the ease of using tools and ingredients that you already have in your kitchen, and the time saved in waiting for the tincture to infuse, makes the percolation method using common vegetable oils an increasingly popular method.Â
Traditional maceration using a common vegetable oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil, is the easiest method of making CBD tinctures.
While all of the methods detailed above are reliable as long as the instructions are followed correctly, the most reliable method is, of course, to buy a commercially-made CBD tincture.