A few drops of cannabis tincture in your morning coffee or lunch-time glass of iced tea will provide mild but effective pain relief for hours. For myself, it’s a good daytime method of controlling my chronic back pain. I love my chocolate chocolate chip marijuana-infused cookies, but I do try to keep an eye on the amount of butter, sugar and flour I eat each day. I prefer to use the alcohol-based tincture in the afternoon, and save the cookies for after dinner.
Why is it referred to as “Golden Dragon” tincture? The Golden Dragon is the stuff of legends. Once sold in U.S. drug stores before marijuana was made illegal, it is a good solution for mild dosing when you are busy during the day with tasks that require clarity and motivation, because it is easy to titrate, one drop at a time. It is made with decarboxylated marijuana, which gives the finished product its goldish-greenish color. Now you can make your own, at home.
Most afternoons, I put several drops of medical marijuana tincture into an empty gelatin capsule, in effect making my own cannabis pills (zero calories). You can buy bags of empty high-quality gelatin capsules on Amazon, or in many other places. But use your imagination – you can put the Golden Dragon cannabis tincture in just about anything. Mix a few drops into your cream cheese, the next time you have a bagel! You can also put a drop or two underneath your tongue, for sublingual application, which gives fast calorie-free pain relief without going through the stomach, etc.
You can buy the glass dropper bottles, along with the tiny funnels that fit the glass dropper bottles, on Amazon, or in many other places. You will need at least one glass bottle, possibly two, for this recipe, and at least one funnel. Like the capsules, they are not expensive.
This recipe uses 3.5 – 4.0 grams of medical marijuana. I don’t recommend using more cannabis more than this, especially in the beginning. First, it is much safer to work in small batches; just like when you are cooking with wine, grain alcohol is flammable. Second, the finished product lasts a very long time. Consider that there are up to 10 drops in a single dose, and about 70 drops of alcohol tincture in one teaspoonful.
Here’s what you will need:
a 6-quart or 8-quart pot
a 12 oz. Mason jar
Everclear 151 proof grain alcohol, available in any liquor store
1/2 tsp. honey
marijuana, 3.5 grams to 4 grams, chopped and decarboxylated
glass measuring cup with pouring spout
glass bottle with dropper
single cup coffee drip filter, lined with filter paper
First, decarboxylate your medical marijuana. Please don’t skip this step.
While your marijuana is in the oven, you can turn your attention to heating the water on the stove to the correct temperature. It should be 170 degrees, not hotter; use a meat thermometer to be sure.
The level of water in the pot should rise up to the same level as the marijuana in the Mason jar (i.e., if the jar is three inches full of marijuana, then the pot should be three inches full of water). Four grams of chopped and decarboxylated weed will fill a 12-oz. Mason jar about one-third full. The easiest way to do this is to place the empty Mason jar in the pot, fill the pot with enough water to come up to one-third of the Mason jar, and then remove the empty Mason jar.
Place the pot on the stove. Turn the heat to the lowest setting – if your stove has a simmer burner, now would be the time to use it. Leave it for about 30 minutes to come to the correct temperature; check from time to time to be sure it does not go over 170 degrees.
When the water has reached 170 degrees and the marijuana has finished decarboxylating in the oven, you are ready to proceed.
Remove the marijuana from the oven. Working over a plate or piece of foil or waxed paper (in case of spills), carefully fold up the parchment paper or foil into a “tube” and place one end in the Mason jar. Tap on the “tube” until all of the marijuana has fallen into the jar.
Pour in enough Everclear alcohol to cover the marijuana completely, but not more. There is no advantage to adding more alcohol than you need; actually, the less you use, the more concentrated the effects will be.
Safety notes: Everclear is highly flammable. Just as when you cook with wine or brandy, it can catch fire if you are not careful. Make sure you have the lid to the pot nearby, in case you quickly need to cover a flareup.
Carefully place the Mason jar into the water-filled pot; do not cover the jar or the pot. Allow the water to heat the Mason jar for 20 minutes; set your cell phone timer, not the stove/oven timer. Do not stir or swirl the contents of the jar, do not adjust the burner’s heat up or down. The idea is that you don’t want to do anything that could cause an accidental spark. You can (and should) check the temperature of the water at least once during the 20 minutes, but be careful not to actually touch the jar with the meat thermometer.
When 20 minutes have passed, remove the Mason jar from the water bath, placing it on the counter far away from the stove, and THEN turn off the heat (not the other way around). This avoids an accidental spark. Once the heat is off, return the jar to the pot and let it cool down, uncovered, still on the same back burner. This will help evaporate some of the alcohol. The alcohol has done its job at this point and now, the less alcohol there is, the better.
Once the Mason jar has cooled
and the alcohol has somewhat evaporated, strain the contents: place the single coffee cup drip filter over
a measuring cup; place the measuring cup in a large bowl, just in case of an
accidental spill. Place a paper filter
in the coffee cup drip filter, and pour the contents of the Mason jar through
the filter, into the measuring cup.
When it has drained through, use a small spoon to press the filter, making make sure that every drop has been pressed through. Discard the filter. Let the contents sit uncovered in the measuring cup for 45 minutes to an hour, so some of the alcohol can evaporate.
Add 1/2 tsp. of honey, stirring until dissolved. Or, you can experiment: some recipes use Amaretto or other flavored liqueurs, or peppermint, etc. If you are going to take the tincture a few drops at a time beneath your tongue, you will need to flavor the tincture with something to improve the bitter flavor.
Time to get the Golden Dragon into the bottle: the precious golden-greenish liquid can be poured carefully and slowly into a dropper bottle, using the tiny funnel which fits these little bottles. Fit the dropper into the bottle and tighten it well, to keep it fresh. The Golden Dragon can be stored indefinitely in a cool, dark place.
Before you put it away, put a few drops in a cup of tea, and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. You’ve come a long way from smoking pot in that little pipe you bought, back in the beginning. Good job.