Cannabis tincture is one of the oldest forms of medicine there is. They have been used all over the world for multiple centuries. Found in China, Egypt, Europe and beyond, cannabis tinctures were even used in the middle ages as an analgesic to treat multiple ailments like toothaches.
Green dragon tincture, or golden dragon tincture, is a term referring to cannabis tinctures in general. Cannabis tinctures are liquid cannabis products made with high-proof alcohol. Tincture making is one of the most ancient cannabis processes still used today, and it’s particularly popular with medical cannabis users. Tinctures are made by soaking plant materials in alcohol to dissolve the cannabinoids and terpenes and infuse them in the liquid. Typically, cannabis tinctures are made with alcohol between 50-to-120 proof, or 25-to-60% alcohol content. The higher the proof, the better, as the higher alcohol content both more effectively dissolves the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant material and has a higher shelf life, up to 10 years. Other solvents such as vinegar or glycerin also can be used, but they’re typically less effective at removing the cannabinoids from cannabis plant matter.
While green dragon can refer generally to any type of cannabis tincture, many online sources point to Master Wu’s Green Dragon recipe — a specific tincture-making process that creates a final product in significantly less time than other methods. Many tincture recipes require weeks for the alcohol to extract cannabinoids from plant matter — Master Wu’s Green Dragon takes 20 minutes total.
What you need
To make your own green dragon tincture, assemble the following tools and ingredients:
- ⅛ ounce of cannabis flower.
- 2 ounces of high-proof alcohol, 50-to-120 proof preferred.
- An oven.
- A baking pan.
- A saucepan (Master Wu method).
- Aluminum foil.
- A Mason jar.
How to make green dragon
Green dragon is perfect for cannabis enthusiasts who are looking for ways to consume this plant without smoking it. So if you want to protect your lungs, green dragon is the way to go. Green dragon is also easy and affordable to make. While this concoction takes longer to make than cannabis-infused oil, it is less hand-on. You just forget it in a closet and come back to it later. Green dragon is also easy to dose and very discrete. Kept in a small dark-colored dropper bottle, it can follow you wherever you go.
To begin, chop your cannabis flower into very fine pieces – the smaller the better, as it makes for faster extraction. A coffee grinder usually works well to achieve this. Place the cannabis on a shallow baking pan covered with a sheet of aluminum foil and place it in the oven. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for five minutes — this decarboxylates the cannabis and turns the THCA into the active THC. Remove the cannabis from the oven and place both cannabis and alcohol inside the Mason jar.
While there are multiple ways of making green dragon, the following stoner-proof method is the easiest.
- The cannabis is first decarboxylated, then put into a jar with the alcohol.
- The jar is then left to infuse in a dark place, like a cupboard, for 2 to 3 weeks. It is also recommended to shake the jar every couple of days.
- Finally, when the tincture has taken a dark green color, the green dragon is strained through a fine sieve or through a cheesecloth to remove the plant matter.
The cannabis-infused alcohol can then be kept for a long period of time in an airtight sealed jar away from the light.
Seal the alcohol and cannabis mixture tightly and place it in a cool, dark place. Allow the mixture to sit for a few weeks, shaking once per day. After about a month, filter the plant matter using a coffee filter and strain the liquid into a storage container of your choice. You now should have one ounce of dark, brownish-green tincture that’s ready to use.
Pour the alcohol into the jar and place the lid on it. Lower the jar into a pot of shallow hot water. The water should just come part way up the side of the jar. Allow the water to simmer for 20 minutes. Use a thermometer to make sure the heat level stays at 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
After 20 minutes, remove the jar from the water bath and allow it to cool. Strain the cannabis mixture to remove the excess plant material and pour the tincture into a storage container of your choice, typically a dropper bottle. You now have one ounce of dark, brownish-green tincture that’s ready to use. A standard eyedropper transfers about 1 ml of liquid — with 29 ml per ounce, you should have about 30 ml of green dragon tincture. Tinctures can be taken sublingually, orally, or dropped into edibles of all types.
Why do people like green dragon ?
Many people prefer green dragon tinctures over other cannabis consumption methods for a variety of reasons from effectiveness to personal preference. For some, tinctures are very simple to consume and require little else in the way of effort besides filling an eyedropper with liquid. Others appreciate green dragon tinctures’ speedy nature, as effects typically begin in around 15 minutes and last for up to five hours — much faster than an edible. Because the THC is absorbed directly into your bloodstream from tissue under your tongue (as opposed to being processed by the liver and transformed into the much more potent 11-hydroxy-THC), tinctures may have fewer of the unpleasant side-effects of consuming edibles. Green dragon tinctures also are a low-calorie option compared to edibles like cookies, pastries, and other sweet treats. Compared to smoking cannabis, using a green dragon tincture also avoids the risk of inhaling toxins associated with combusting plant matter. It’s also much more discreet than smoking, as tinctures leave no odor and require zero cleanup.
How to dose cannabis tinctures
Cannabis tinctures are often portioned by milliliters. This means on average, one mL of tincture is one “portion”. This is where a dropper bottle with a 1ml pipette comes in handy. The strength of the tincture will also depend on the strength of the cannabis used in the tincture and the ratio used.
A typical dose of THC for ingestion is approximately 10mg of THC, but this varies from person to person. Take person A, per example, who is a 6 foot 5 football player who consume cannabis daily, and take person B, a 5 foot 2 spitfire of a woman who has never tried cannabis before. You can’t expect the same dose of green dragon to affect them in the same ways.
This is why I highly recommend starting low and slow. Start with a dose of 2.5 mg of THC and then increase little by little until you find your sweet spot.
I also recommend using a THC calculator to estimate the amount of THC in a tincture. They are only good as an estimate of the potency but it is still better than going in blind. Using such a tool means that you can also recreate a similar tincture in the future.
Effects: what to expect?
The effects of the tincture will depend on how you consume it. When taken sublingually, the THC will be absorbed rapidly through the blood vessels in your mouth. You should feel the first effects of the tincture between 15 to 45 minutes after ingestion. You should feel the peak of the high at around 90 minutes after dosing.
If you decide to swallow the tincture, it will be absorbed through your liver. This takes longer before the first effects are felt but the high will last longer. You can expect the same effects and onset as with a typical consumption of edibles since it is the same process.