Tincture of cannabis

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Tincture of cannabis, sometimes known as green dragon, is an alcoholic extract of cannabis. Cannabis tinctures are used in the production of specific extracts, like Nabiximols.


The tincture is typically made by soaking the dried flowers of the female hemp plant (marijuana) in ethanol and evaporating the solvent. The tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoids dissolve into the alcohol. Some preparations also extract some of the water-based plant products such as chlorophyll, resulting in a dark green or brown liquid. Baking or drying the cannabis to decarboxylate prior to the alcohol bath increases the amount of THC in the resulting preparation.[1][2]

Methods of use[edit]

The tincture is ordinarily consumed orally, but may also be applied to the skin.

A similar preparation called nabiximols (USAN,[3] trade name "Sativex") is a pharmaceutical preparation for administration as an oral spray.


Cannabis tincture appeared in the United States Pharmacopoeia until 1942 (Australia 1977, UK 1970s).[4] In the 20th century cannabis lost its appeal as a medicinal product, largely due to the development of apparently suitable alternatives, such as the hypodermic needle, water-soluble analgesics and synthetic hypnotics.[5] A major concern of the regulatory authorities at that time was the widespread recreational use of cannabis.[6]

The pharmacological target for cannabis, the endogenous cannabinoid system, is being researched since its discovery in the 1980s.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Grotenhermen, Franjo (2001). "FAQ: Why should cannabis products be heated before eating?". cannabis-med.org. Retrieved 16 October 2010. [unreliable source?]
  2. ^ Rosenthal, Ed (January 2, 2003). "Decarboxylation". Cannabis Culture. Retrieved 16 October 2010. [dubious ]
  3. ^ United States Adopted Names Council: Statement on a nonproprietary name[dead link]
  4. ^ David McDonald; Rhonda Moore; Jennifer Norberry; Grant Wardlaw; Nicola Ballenden (1994), "Cannabis in context: history, laws and international treaties", Legislative options for cannabis use in Australia 
  5. ^ Affidavit of Dr. Lester Grinspoon, 1997 
  6. ^ Roger Pertwee (2006), "Cannabinoid pharmacology: the first 66 years", British Journal of Pharmacology 147: 163–171, doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0706406