Marijuana tincture is not new but it is definitely newly popular as a result of the increase in marijuana dispensaries that have exploded into our cities. Using marijuana in liquid form opens up the possibilities of being used by a whole new segment of society who would be averse to smoking pot. While it might not be as harmless as many of the other addictive drugs we treat, we are still concerned about the users who will become dependent and graduate to stronger substances like opioids.
Marijuana Tincture: Fact Sheet – What is Marijuana Tincture?
A tincture is traditionally a medicinal solution of an active medicine or herb and an alcohol solvent.
Marijuana tincture is simply cannabis plant material that has been soaked in a strong alcohol and strained. The resulting liquid is then ingested orally or sublingually (under the tongue) as a means of intoxication or to treat the myriad number of disorders that marijuana is currently being prescribed.
Historically, tincture of cannabis was used recreationally and as an herbal remedy alongside other tinctures, like the opiate based Laudanum and the wormwood based Absinthe.
Probably the most common tincture that most of us have seen or used is the stinging Mercurochrome which used to be sold in a small dropper bottle to treat scrapes and scratches or a tincture of Iodine which is found mostly in survival kits for emergency disinfecting of water.
In recent years, the influx in medical marijuana dispensaries has increased the need for a method of marijuana delivery that did not rely on the inhalation of smoke. One of the most popular methods has become marijuana tincture. It is a very small, discreet way for a user to administer marijuana without drawing attention or having to breathe in potential carcinogens.
What does Marijuana Tincture look like?
Marijuana Tincture is a dark green liquid, normally found in small bottles with a dropper attached, or in a pump spray bottle. It smells and tastes strongly of cannabis. Due to the high strength alcohol that is used in the process, the tincture may produce a burning sensation to the tongue.
What are the street names for Marijuana Tincture?
Marijuana tincture is most commonly referred to as simply “tincture”, but is also referred to as:
- tincture of cannabis
- liquid marijuana
- liquid THC
- green dragon
How is Marijuana Tincture made?
Marijuana tincture is made in two different ways. There is a hot method or a cold method.
The most common and traditional method is the cold method. During this process the cannabis is sealed in a jar filled with a very high proof alcohol. It is then shaken everyday and after a few weeks, the cannabinoids will have been absorbed by the alcohol and the marijuana is then strained out and discarded.
The hot method, or “green dragon” method as it is often referred, is the same basic process of using alcohol to absorb the cannabinoids. The main difference is the application of heat, normally on a stove top. Although the risk of ruining the drug and potential fire hazard of heating alcohol over flame keeps many from attempting this method, the process is much quicker (the total time is reduced to a couple hours rather than a couple weeks), and therefore it is gaining in popularity.
How is Marijuana Tincture used?
Marijuana Tincture is most commonly administered orally via a medicine dropper or pump spray. A normal dosage is around 2-3 drops or 1-2 sprays with an intoxication period of 2-4 hours, possibly longer depending on the strength of the solution. The solution is often mixed with another liquid or added to food.
A second method of delivery for the tincture is as a compress on a sore joint or muscle. Often for the alleviation of pain due to arthritis, this method will also have the side effect of staining the user’s skin the green color of the liquid.
What are Marijuana Tincture’s effects?
The effects of a marijuana tincture are the same as smoked marijuana: euphoria, confusion, slowed thinking and reaction time, impaired balance and coordination.
What are Marijuana Tincture’s dangers?
Like all cannabis related drugs, the short-term effects of tincture use include problems with
- difficulty in thinking and problem solving
- lowered inhibitions
- learning difficulties
- a lack of motivation
- a loss of coordination
Many people also experience and increased heart rate, anxiety, and panic attacks.
The long-term effects may include possible cannabis addiction. Although cannabis hasn’t been proven to be physically addictive, it can be mentally addicting and abused like any other drug. Not every person will become addicted, but some will show signs of mental addiction, including a continued use of tincture and other edible marijuana products even though the effects are having a negative effect on their lives and the lives of the people around them.