Have you heard of “green” or a “golden dragon?” If so, you know what a tincture is – any may not even know it. The above are common names for alcohol-based cannabis extracts.

However, tinctures aren’t just used with cannabis. You can create a tincture with any herb – dried or fresh.  

If you are interested in learning more about what is a tincture, what they do, and what benefits they offer, keep reading. Here you can find all that information and more.

The Tincture Explained  

The tincture is a simple mixture of herbs and alcohol. It’s made by soaking a chosen herb (such as cannabis) and other parts of a plant in alcohol for several weeks. The soaking process extracts the constituents present.

Using alcohol is an accepted method because it’s food grade and extracts the constituents.  After several weeks have passed, the mixture is strained, and the herbs and plant parts removed. The liquid remaining has the concentrated herb in it, creating the tincture.

Composition of Tinctures

A tincture is made from one plant or from a combination of plants. Dried or fresh leaves, berries, flowers, bark, and roots may be used for making tinctures. The part of the plant used depends on the plant species.

You can purchase tinctures in health food stores, some grocery and drug stores, and from online suppliers. They are usually taken orally, but some are only designed to be used externally.

What to Know About Making a Tincture

To make a tincture, you need to follow the steps here. Separate the plant parts and gather the ones needed. You can chop the herbs coarsely before putting them in a glass jar.

Fill the jar with alcohol and put a lid on tightly. Let the herbs and alcohol sit for several weeks, during which you should shake it periodically. If the alcohol level falls, you can top it off.

After several weeks have passed, remove the plant material and put the remaining liquid in a small bottle. For easy use, make sure the bottle has a dropper top.

If you are using dried herbs for your tincture, the most common ratio is one-part dried plant material to four parts liquid. For fresh herbs, it’s one-part plant material to one-part liquid.

Alcohol Options

Usually, the alcohol used depends on the herbs. Herbs with water (called soluble constituents) are better extracted using a higher alcohol percentage. Other types of constituents are only extracted using higher levels of alcohol.

The typical commercial tincture is going to use pure alcohol solvents. These are usually made from grape cane, corn, or wheat and 190 proof, or more.  Some herbalists make a tincture in smaller batches using 80 to 100 proof vodka.

The Tincture Bottle

The most common tincture bottle is a sterilized, dark, amber glass bottle. The darkness of the glass protects the mixture from UV light. Always use a glass dropper and bottle, not plastic, as this may interact with the alcohol you used.  

Remember, tinctures are concentrated. As a result, you need to use the dropper to get the proper dosage. If you are making tinctures yourself, be sure to add a label to the bottle. Information to include on this label is:

  • The common and Latin name (if appropriate)
  • The part of the plant used (dried vs. fresh)
  • Batch number
  • Type of alcohol and percentage
  • Plant source
  • Special instructions
  • Date

With this information, you can keep track of all the tinctures you have. It also outlines how the tincture should be used, like this helpful post does for CBD tinctures.

Common Types of Tinctures

As mentioned above, virtually any herb can be used for making a tincture. Some of the most common tinctures used today are found here.

CBD (Cannabis) Tinctures

CBD tinctures, called CBD oil, are very common. Many believe these tinctures help alleviate menstrual pain, anxiety, seizures, and migraines.

Echinacea Tincture

Echinacea is still one of the most used herbs today among older adults. They are commonly used to fight cold and flu symptoms.

Tincture of Benzoin

This is a common component found in first aid kits and is one tincture that is only used topically. Benzoin is a hard resin that’s produced by trees and the tincture is often used to keep first aid bandages and closure strips remain in position. It’s also believed it helps to protect the skin from a contact allergy and reduces irritation.

The Basics of Tincture Dosage

When it comes to tincture dosage, there’s no black and white answer. The dosage is unique for each person.

For cannabis tinctures, for example, it’s best to start small and remember, with these, less is more. Also, don’t use the “dropper-full” method. Instead, measure out the precise amount you take.

Once you have taken a dose, stop. Wait for at least an hour to see what you feel like. If the effects are non-existent or mild, you can increase your dosage.

Now You Know the Answer to What is a Tincture?

As you can see, the question to “What is a tincture?” isn’t very complex. A tincture can be a valuable mixture used for an array of purposes.

While you can make your own tinctures at home, use caution. There are some issues that may arise if you don’t do this properly.

If you found the information here interesting and helpful, be sure to check out some of our other blogs. Our goal is to provide readers with the most accurate and up-to-date information available on a wide array of topics.

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