Wouldn’t it be great if you could relieve most symptoms with a single substance? If, instead of having to take Oxycodone for pain management, Emend for nausea, and Xanax for anxiety, you could just take one medication without having to worry about adverse interactions between drugs or overdose?

Well, that substance exists. And in an unprecedented act of rebellion, it grows out of the ground—not in a laboratory. So what is it?! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope. It’s CBD Tincture.

What is CBD?

THC produces that euphoric sensation, but this article is about another fantastic cannabinoid: CBD (cannabidiol), a non-psychoactive chemical compound of the cannabis plant lauded for its many therapeutic uses.

cbd tinctureCBD, one of the 85 cannabinoids (active compounds responsible for producing the effects cannabis has on the body) works by interacting with a person’s endocannabinoid system.

The endogenous cannabinoid system is comprised of endocannabinoids and their receptors, which are located in the immune cells, connective tissues, glands, organs, and brain, and its purpose is to maintain the body’s homeostasis.  CBD stimulates endocannabinoid receptors in a way that induces the therapeutic effects researchers are vigorously investigating.

Cannabis strains high in CBD, such as Sour Tsunami, are good candidates when looking for a source of CBD.

The Benefits of Cannabidiol

It has anti-anxiety properties. Social anxiety disorder (SAD) induces intense feelings of fear, anxiety, self-doubt, and humiliation in response to ordinary daily activities such as answering a telephone or speaking to a stranger.  SAD affects approximately 15 million—6.8%—Americans who typically deal with the symptoms of the mental condition for ten years before seeking professional treatment.

One study found that CBD helped reduce symptoms in patients with SAD.  While THC creates psychoactive effects in users, CBD works to mitigate those effects and calm consumers. CBD consumption prior to public speaking decreased anxiety and negative self-evaluation in SAD patients, demonstrating its promise as a viable therapeutic alternative to Pills, pharmaceutical drugspharmaceuticals, which only lead 30% of SAD patients to full recovery and come with a host of side effects.

It has antipsychotic properties. Despite what opponents to cannabis use argue, cannabis does not cause schizophrenia, especially if that mental condition is not in the consumer’s family history. Schizophrenia, a chronic mental disorder, causes severely confused thinking, hallucinations, and delusions.

Research suggests that CBD has antipsychotic effects that are especially beneficial for patients demonstrating chronic symptoms. More importantly, CBD causes significantly less side effects than the pharmaceutical options commonly prescribed to treat the condition.

It suppresses the proliferation of breast cancer cells. The reactivated ID-1 gene, a protein activated during embryonic development but shut off afterward, plays a major role in cultivating and metastasizing malignant breast cancer cells.

A 2007 study concluded that CBD has the ability to reduce ID-1 expression, suppressing aggressive tumor growth.  This research represents the possibility of moving away from toxic and painful chemotherapy toward the non-toxic therapy CBD offers.

It reduces nausea, especially as a result of chemotherapy. One of the many adverse reactions to chemo includes nausea and vomiting.  An array of evidence indicates that both THC and CBD interactions with the endocannabinoid system have the ability to regulate that severely uncomfortable and sometimes debilitating side effect.

CBD indirectly activates somatodendritic 5-HT receptors in the dorsal raphe nucleus, receptors known for their antiemetic (anti-nausea) effects.

In addition to these benefits, research on CBD strongly suggests that it’s consumption helps to reduce insomnia, epilepsy, inflammation, prion accumulation, and even the progression of diabetes.

What’s a Tincture?

Tinctures, herb extracts soaked in alcohol, are one of the most effective ways to take herbal medicines. To make a tincture, the desired herb is soaked in a high proof alcohol and then stored for up to several years.

Tinctures have numerous benefits. First, the high alcohol concentration intensifies the herb’s effects and expedites the absorption of its chemicals into the body.  This is particularly true if the tincture is taken sublingually (beneath the tongue). Because it must travel through the digestive system, the effects of the herb will take a longer time to manifest if taken orally.

The arteries beneath the tongue absorb tinctures into the blood stream quite quickly, and users can expect to feel results in 15 to 45 minutes

Tinctures are also a low calorie, smoke-free alternative. The potency of a tincture generally means that a consumer would only need to take two to three teaspoons of the substance a day.

Finally, the alcohol functions as a preservative, so, unlike other methods of consuming herbs, tinctures usually have a multi-year long shelf life.

To make a CBD tincture, you will need the following ingredients and materials:

  • 1 gram of a high percentage CBD strain. The surest way to obtain product with high levels of CBD is to check with the budtender and review the results of the dispensary’s lab testing.  While a quick internet search will give you the typical results for specific strains, there are always exceptions.
  • 1 ounce of strong alcohol, preferably Everclear 160 or 190, but strong rum or vodka are also acceptable options. Do not use rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol.
  • 2 mason jars
  • 1-2 coffee filters
  • an eye dropper

In order to convert the inactive THC-A and CBD-A to the active THC and CBD, you must decarboxylate the plant material. To do this, you must place your raw weed in a covered casserole dish and bake it at 245˚F for 90 minutes. The plant material will darken and easily crumble.

Place the crumbled (but not powdered) decarbed cannabis into the mason jar along with the alcohol. Freeze the concoction for an hour.

Shake the liquid for 1-3 mincbd tincturesutes, and then use the coffee filters to strain the liquid into the clean mason jar.  Wash out the first mason jar, then strain the liquid again.

Store the tincture in the mason jar, and place it in a cool, dark place.

To consume the tincture, use an eyedropper and administer a small amount of the liquid sublingually

CBD is an incredibly versatile cannabinoid with an array of therapeutic uses. A CBD tincture is a smoke-free and efficient way to harness the non-toxic, non-pharmaceutical power of the cannabinoid.

Dianna Benjamin

About the author: Dianna Benjamin is a freelance writer, teacher, wife, and mom horrified and fascinated by social justice and our inability--yet constant pursuit--to get it right.