I had no plans to try marijuana when I retired at age 62. Although I have a friend who uses it, I thought pot made him lazy. I was experiencing post-mastectomy pain and decided to get a medical marijuana card and purchase some cannabis-infused tea. The tea worked fabulously, and I started using cannabis in a sensible and mindful way on a regular basis.
Cannabis did NOT make me less productive – it turns out my friend was just lazy to begin with.
The first product I tried was Kikoko Sympa-Tea. I reviewed it here. Kikoko is a simple and delicious way to enjoy the benefits of cannabis, especially if you are new to marijuana. Still, you don’t always want tea, and I wondered if there were less expensive ways to get roughly the same effect.
For background, you can read my post introducing tincture, which is usually an alcohol-based extract. Most people put it under the tongue for immediate effect or in a beverage for slower onset. If you only use a little, you’re not going to feel much onset, and that’s the idea. Just a pleasant feeling that for me, eases pain and inflammation, quiets anxiety and lifts my mood.
Truth: I didn’t think I was depressed … maybe sort of bummed for no good reason. Although I felt good, I used to wonder what would make me crazy happy. It turns out small daily doses of cannabis washes away the negativity and leaves me feeling exceedingly happy for no good reason.
I learned that true happiness is a state of mind and not about what you have, where you travel or what you achieve. Some people come by inner happiness naturally, but those of us with baggage might need something like cannabis to unclutter our complex emotions and reveal the joy that lies within.
Most dispensaries sell tincture. A typical ½ ounce bottle runs about $45. My suggestion is to buy some and see how it works before purchasing a larger quantity of pot to make your own tincture at home.
An ounce of weed can run $350, but I did the math, and my DIY tincture is $1.71 per dose as opposed to dispensary tincture, which rolls in at $7.50 per dose.
I like to putter in the kitchen, but to make tincture, you are dealing with alcohol and open flame, and my retirement plans do not include burning down the house. I purchased a Magical Butter machine, which makes all this simple. It’s now selling for about $175 (look for online discount coupon codes). I did not include this one-time cost in my financial analysis. I also did not include the cost of the bottles, which were $10.99.
The hardest part was figuring out which strain of marijuana to use. I already had CBD Shark, which according to Leafly, “Offers an equal ratio of THC and CBD, a cannabinoid combination that helps patients treat an array of symptoms like pain, anxiety and inflammation without the overly intoxicating effects induced by many high-THC strains.” I bought more CBD Shark.
The recipe is spelled out in the Magical Butter owner’s manual, so I’ll just give you a general idea of what happens in case you want to try it or run screaming from the room.
First, you cook whole buds in the oven for a bit. I used a Corning casserole dish with a glass cover, and there were no odors in the house. The reasons for cooking it are complicated. It’s called decarboxylation, and I don’t really get it. I just do what I’m told. Then you add the buds and Everclear grain alcohol to the machine. There will be Everclear left over, so save it for next time or take it with you to the toga party.
The owner’s manual has instructions for temperature and timing — basically you push two buttons and let it go. The machine lights up (in a festive way) and makes crazy noises, but you don’t have to watch it every second. I just let it do its thing on the kitchen counter for several hours while I did stuff around the house.
When it’s done, strain it through a filter that comes with the machine and put it in dark glass bottles. I bought these on Amazon. It’s best kept in the fridge.
That’s it! You can also use the machine to make infused oils and butters and even chocolate, but I haven’t tried those yet.
Start slowly, perhaps just three drops in a beverage of your choice. Add another drop the next day, and the next day until you find your sweet spot. My daily dose is one dropperful in a little lemon-ginger shooter.
While not everyone who reads this will jump up and buy a bottle of cannabis tincture, I hope you will keep an open mind about mindful use for older adults trying to live happy and healthy lives. Do you have a loved one who might benefit from cannabis?