Before making cannabis tincture the first time, please read these notes. Boiling alcohol releases very flammable vapors. Only make extract in well-ventilated areas. Turn on your kitchen exhaust fan or use a box fan. Never make this in a small, enclosed kitchen or you risk blowing yourself up. This recipe is safe due to the small scale, but if you are planning on doing this tincture recipe with a large quantity of boiling grain alcohol and an open-flame heat source then you’re out of your mind.
You can use a mason jar instead of pyrex, but you do risk having it crack and losing your batch. A pyrex measuring cup is a much safer bet. We found we were able to maintain a much stabler temperature using a small mason jar the first few batches but later switched to the pyrex cup to be safe. Not as easy to maintain internal temperatures due to the thicker glass, but still, a much safer option so it’s how we make our tinctures these days.
Grind the weed up to expose as much surface area as possible. Use a hand grinder, an electric spice grinder, or a blender. Making sure your weed is fairly dry helps a bit. Use good weed. Adding in kief helps boost the potency. The more plant you use, the more planty it will taste. Using trim or sugar leaves isn’t recommended for this reason. Kief and concentrates deliver a much purer tasting product. BHO tincture is also more pleasant tasting than flower-based variants.
You definitely need to use a candy thermometer to monitor and maintain the right temperature in the double boiler. Maintaining the correct temperature is essential to make green dragon tincture. Alcohol will boil off around 170 F degrees, you’ll notice it gently rolls or releases smaller bubbles compared to boiling water. You’ll likely need to turn down your burner to a low setting once the water initially boils. Keep adjusting the heat to try and maintain 170 F degrees. If it gets too low, bring it up to a boil and just add another minute or two to the cooking time.
When the boiling time finishes you’ll be left with a fraction of the original amount of alcohol, likely less than 1 ounce. If so, add plan Everclear to bring the total volume up to 1 oz. This will help you dose THC content accurately using an eyedropper. Or you could add your tincture directly to a quantity of flavored alcohol such as peppermint brandy or other strong-flavored liquors so that you can bring it to a party to do shots. Be careful about overdoing it, start with a small quantity the first time and take more the next time if need be. Never say “it’s been an hour and I barely feel it, lets take a double dose” or you may pay a steep price for your boldness.
Make sure the water level in your pot stays higher than the level of the weed and alcohol in the pyrex cup. But not too high so splashing water gets in the weed/alcohol mash.
This recipe uses 4 grams of high-quality marijuana flower, similar to the 1/8 ounce amount called for on the original Master Wu recipe forum. You could also scale up the recipe; for example, if you want to make a tincture using an ounce of cannabis flower if you scale up the alcohol accordingly. Using weed flower means the final tincture will have a green “planty” taste that will overpower light beverage or food recipes. Mixing them in strong drinks such as 4-6 oz of a strong, hoppy beer is a great way to consume them. The cloudy effect of the tincture added to the beer is a cool start to your journey.
- Master Wu’s Green Dragon Tincture recipe (can be consumed right away)
- Cold extract cannabis tincture in the freezer (takes a few months to brew)
- Quick extract method (not recommended)