The Tincture Trick Part II: A Pressing Issue
I may have said "Making Cannabis Tincture is Easy"......
But I never said pressing it was. Once your tincture is done macerating you will find that you have a bit of a mess on your hands. Cannabis tincture tends to be dark green in color with a slightly sticky consistency that likes to stain things like counter tops and cute new cloths. But never fear!
I'm going to tell you all about the easiest DIY solution I've found for pressing and storing herbal tincture at home
first you're going to need To collect A few odds and ends:
A vice press
I said 'odds' didn't I? You can pick a vice press up at your local hardware store. Make sure it is a larger size but easy to hold in one hand.
Two metal canisters that fit inside of one another (stainless steel)
You can find these in most department stores. They're used for things like flour, sugar, and coffee. The goal is for one container to fit inside of another with about a half an inch to spare.
Your mesh strainer
The one we talked about in the Gadget Guide.
A mason jar and lid
Any old mason jar will do. I like to use old spaghetti sauce jars with the labels removed. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
A label and pin
Always label your tinctures with the strain name, date, and any special info you want to remember.
Organic cotton or a nut milk bag both work perfectly.
Let's be real here, pick one that you don't mind getting a little gunky or potentially turning green.
Step One: PREPARATION
There is a simple order of operations you'll want to follow: Take your bowl and place it in the bottom of your kitchen sink or in the bottom of a nice big stockpot. Over the bowl you will rest your mesh strainer so that the bowl collects all of the liquid. Place some cheesecloth or a neatly folded nut milk bag inside of the strainer for an extra layer of filtration. You could use coffee filters in a pinch but I prefer a nice re-usable fabric.
Step Two: The Messy Bit
Now you can get down to the messy business. Take your two stack-able containers and set them apart from one another. Dump the contents of your cannabis maceration jar into the larger of the two containers.
Step Three: Getting Serious
The first thing you're going to want to do after you've transferred the contents of your maceration jar to your large container is pour off the top layer of excess liquid. Just tilt the it over your pre-lined strainer until you begin to see plant material accumulate on your cheesecloth. Then you can place your small stack-able container inside of the large container.
Step Four: The Main Squeeze
Now it's time to bust out the heavy artillery. Carefully slip the stacked jars inside of your vice press and slowly turn the screw. Once you are nice and snug you can tilt the entire thing over the strainer making sure to keep the flow directly over your lined strainer. The idea is to coax out the excess liquid without over squeezing the plant material. If you go too far you will start to see a very dark green color. That's a good signal to let go.
you officially have tincture
From here there are any number of things you can do. I like to keep my tincture in clearly labeled mason jars. I store these in a cool dark area of my medicine studio but a bedroom or root closet will work just as well. If you choose to pour your tincture into dropper bottles you'll want a small metal funnel. Here are a few helpful tips for tincture storage:
Do not set the glass dropper down
The glass dropper inside of your tincture bottle is the vehicle for your medicine. When you set it down on a tabletop or dirty surface you risk contaminating your tincture with weird floatys or breaking the delicate dropper glass.
Do not touch the glass dropper to your mouth
Not only is it unhygienic but it it's not all that pleasant. I am personally a fan of the slightly bitter flavor but it's certainly an acquired taste. To start off I highly recommend putting a few drops into your favorite citrus juice or cocktail.
Store your tinctures in amber bottles
Just like cannabis flower, you'll want to keep your tincture away from UV light which may cause the constituents within to degrade. Amber and cobalt colored bottles can provide some protection from the daylight. Once I've used over half of my mason jar I divide my tinctures into 1 oz amber glass bottles for continued storage.
Always label and keep your tincture in a cool dark place
Don't forget to label your tinctures! You'll find that you end up with favorites and you'll want to identify them easily. You also don't want to run the risk of taking a heavy indica on a complicatedly busy day. Happens to the best of us but it can be easily avoided. I pick up blank address stickers at the local office supply store. I find that they are the perfect fit for most tincture bottles and 10 ml roll on's for topical liniment.
remember, Responsibility is both smart and sexy.
You can always take more but you can never take less. Start with just a couple of drops at a time to see how your body reacts and give yourself at least 30 minuets in between dosage increase.
Up Next: Green Goddess Lemonade
I'm Mary J Poppins, herbalist, cannabis connoisseur and founder of the Sativa Science Club. Keep an eye on my blog Cannabis for Curious Creatures for nifty new products reviews, DIY tutorials, and scientific insights.