Dragon Extractions for Tinctures

Discussion in 'Cooking With Cannabis' started by PsychedelicSam, Jun 18, 2013.


    PsychedelicSam Well-Known Member

    Introduction to Dragon Extracts

    This is going to be a thread that encompasses making various tinctures and will provide a comprehensive look at the flexibility of what's generally called a Green or Gold Dragon, but which I just call "Dragon". This will be a different twist on the other GD methods out there. The process is relatively quick and easy while at the same time being incredibly effective. I use a process that doesn't require you to cook your reefer and it doesn't have to sit for a month or more. The only heat used in this process is for decarb if needed and for evaporation of the alcohol for potency. Start to finish takes about 3 days for 6-8 drop dosing, depending on the quality of the reefer.

    I will post the basic recipe with pictures, decarb criteria, strain selection, a hash/kief version, avb version as well as a 151 version. Also in the near future will be a sister thread featuring Dragon extractions for edibles.


    First I want to point out a few things about alcohol, decarbing and strains, things that I have learned along the way. These are things that can make or break your tincture or your perception of your tincture.

    • Alcohol: This recipe is specifically designed for 95% Grain Alcohol (Everclear, Spirytus, etc.). 151 or other lower proofs can be used but with less spectacular results, at least from a concentration perspective. If lower proofs are used, it can still be effective but will take a higher dose due to dilution and larger doses of alcohol may have a combined effect with the cannabis. With 151 you can reach a point in the evaporation of the alcohol for concentration at which the alcohol evaporates faster than the water in the alcohol, which leaves you with a layer of thc oil separated from the excess water and sugars. There is a way to salvage it but it will never get to the concentration level of the 190. With 80 proof liquors like vodka or rum or tequila, you won't consider concentrating it at all but instead you'll have an "aperitif" or specialized cocktail. There is a way to get a highly concentrated 151 tincture without reduction and that will be covered in the hash/kief tincture section.
    • Strains: If you are a person who has started our lifestyle only using cannabis that's recently been harvested and grown locally, you are going to be more satisfied using an Indica dominant strain of cannabis, especially if you consider the body buzz to be of utmost importance. However, if you're one of the vast majority who've only had access to imported cannabis like baled mids or even brickweed, then this doesn't apply to you since you are familiar with the effects of Sativas already. Depending on the quality of the bud, you may have to concentrate it more to get the desired effect. Unless you're a Sativa gourmet, I still recommend an Indica hybrid as the first batch so that you can feel the body effects. First impressions mean a lot.
    • Decarb: You do not have to decarb for an alcohol tincture, but is recommended if the conditions are right. Decarbing or not will affect the properties of your cannabis but not the potency. Decarbing is also really only relevant to freshly harvested cannabis and not last year's brickweed or mids. For our purposes here, we will call freshly harvested and cured cannabis "dank", no matter the strain. Dank reefer should be decarbed unless you have need of the more energetic, cerebral and anti-spasmodic properties derived from the THCA and CBDA. Whether it be fan leaf, trim or buds, decarb your dank. If you are using imported cannabis or even dank, but from last year's harvest, you do not need to decarb to get the full psychoactive effects. That process has already taken place naturally while warehoused. This is a mistake that many people make. They will run a full decarb process on their older pot and then when the try the tincture, it works but puts them to sleep, over and over again. That's because by decarbing already decarbed reefer, you're deteriorating your psychoactives into cbn. For my last few batches I have been using dank trim, but it's last year's harvest and is very, very dry. I don't decarb it but yet I still get a very psychoactive tincture with the full properties of the strains. However, if you need knockout drops or more pain relief than what you would normally have, then decarb would be necessary.

    I know that many of you will question what I've just written, especially decarb, but these are definitive things that I have learned and have documented. They are not things I have read but rather actual projects set up to get first hand knowledge. :peace:

    Next up will be the equipment list.

    PsychedelicSam Well-Known Member

    Equipment List.

    First and foremost, a freezer. If you don't have access to a freezer, this ain't for you.
    2 half pint sealable glass jars, Mason/Kerr/whatever, jars with lids

    Cheesecloth or other bulk filtering material such as silkscreen, clean white t-shirt, pantyhose, etc.

    coffee filters.

    Potato ricer or other press. You can also use a wooden spoon handle if needed.

    Double boiler set up near ventilation and away from any flames. This could include a crockpot or saucepan or electric rice cooker with a stainless steel bowl that fits in the opening or setting your jar in a hot water bath. This step can easily be modified for various scenarios.

    A couple of midsize glass or ceramic bowls (preferably) to use as catch basins.

    A glass measuring cup probably would come in handy.

    And that's it. Simple so far, heh? It doesn't get any harder.

    PsychedelicSam Well-Known Member

    Psam's Basic Dragon Tincture Recipe
    Bake 7g herbs @ 220F for 25-30 minutes or (less heat for convection and or metal pan). This is variable dependent on the dryness of the reefer and other factors described earlier. If using seeded pot, cleaned weight should equal 7 grams.

    Place the decarbed 7g herbs in sealed Mason jar into the freezer for 24 hours.
    Also place a pint of Everclear or other 190+ proof alcohol in freezer for 24 hours.

    After 24 hours add 105ml/3.5fl oz of alcohol to Mason jar with herbals.

    Shake aggressively for 15 minutes.
    Place back in freezer for at least 4 hours and shake again for 15 minutes.

    1. Cheesecloth. Cut your cheesecloth large enough that you can fold it a couple of times finishing with a square about an inch larger than the mouth of your jar. Take the lid off the jar and take the middle out, just leaving the ring. Place the cheesecloth over the top of the jar and screw the lid ring over it tightly. Take a bowl big enough to hold the liquid and turn the jar upside down over it. That will strain the plant material from the
    alcohol without making a mess. You may have to shake it a bit but with just 7 grams it shouldn't be too bad.

    * Don't worry about pressing the material just yet. When it's pretty dry, take off the ring, remove the cheesecloth, put the center back in the lid, seal the lid and put it back in the freezer for 24 yours. You should also have your fresh
    alcohol in the freezer too. You'll go back and do the 24 hour combine and shake and the next one again, a second run.

    2. Paper Coffee Filter. After straining out the cannabis, take another mason jar without the lid and stick a paper coffee filter into the top. Push the filter into the jar far enough to form a cup and screw the cap ring over it or use a rubber band to secure it to the jar. This will be the slowest part of the process. Pour your Dragon into the filter until it's full. Keep filling it until it all filters through. Since you've only got about 3 ounces, it shouldn't be too bad. You will have to move the jar around to find fresh spots in the filters. Those husks really gum it up but it's worth the time. You'll get a nice clear Dragon of various tints depending on the reefer . Of course, you can always filter it again if you're a perfectionist, but I usually reserve another filtering session at the very end of the process.

    3. Now that the filtering is finished, put the lid back on and seal it. Set it aside in a dark cupboard until the second run is complete.

    4. Follow all the same steps for the 2nd run. Freeze reefer and
    alcohol separately for 24 hours then combine and shake for 15 minutes, put mix back in the freezer for 4 hours, then shake, shake, shake for 15 minutes.

    5. If you have a press, place a square of cheesecloth or other material over your press, being sure to allow enough on each side to fold over the ball. After you’ve strained the
    weed, you can dispose of the leftovers as you see fit. If you don't have a press, cut the cheesecloth large enough so that you can pull the corners together and use a wooden spoon handle to wrap them around and then twist. You don't have to squeeze like crazy because the alcohol drains well.

    6. Repeat step 2 as stated above.

    Now we’re ready for the main event, concentrating the extraction by reduction of the

    1. Set up your double boiler configuration away from flame or other open heat sources. Use a fan for
    ventilation. If using an electric range, be sure your vent fan is on high. The more ventilation the better. While there won’t be the concentration of vapors there would be for larger quantities, there’s still enough to cause a flash fire if not careful.

    2. Have the heat source for your double boilers at a level that causes a gentle boil in the water. If you’re using a crockpot where the water may not boil, just put it as high as you can. If you use an electric rice cooker that only has one
    temperature, just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t go beyond the desired level. If you don’t have a double boiler set up, air evaporation will work, just slower. Instead of a bowl chamber, you can place your jar with the lid off in the hot water bath.

    * If at all possible, your upper chamber(bowl) of the double bowler should fit snuggly in the lower portion a few inches above the water line. This is to prevent loss of steam and therefore water. If it’s a loose fit, keep an eye on the water level and add more as needed.

    3. Measure your combined haul from both runs. If you don’t have a measuring device, you can mark a spot halfway down your jar and use that as your
    guide. As your tincture reduces, you can keep track of the level easier.

    4. Add your dilute Dragon to the upper chamber and reduce it by half.
    Alcohol boils at a much lower temperature than water and thus will not damage the thc. Depending on your heat source, your solution may bubble a little bit, a rolling boil, or just swirls. What you want at minimum are the swirls. That shows there is action.

    5. Finally, this recipe is designed to give you approximately 3 fluid ounces of concentrated Dragon
    tincture. So for the last step, reduce your solution by half, or down to our goal volume, which should be about 3 fl.oz for this size batch, and bottle it. It is now officially ready to sample. As if you haven’t been as it was going along. The final tincture has an approximate 2.3g per fluid ounce potency level which gives you a tincture measured in drops and not milliliters.

    And there you have it. I've tried to make the actual steps as simple yet concise as possible. And as stated previously, this recipe is pretty much designed for the novice, the beginner. It does not require a lot of marijuana that could be lost, anything is possible so it could happen. I don't advocate making this or any other cannabis product for the
    first time with your emergency stash. You don't have to have expensive pot or even buds. I want everyone to be comfortable within themselves with trying this.

    This recipe can be halved easily without losing too much of your solution to the filtering. Later I will add pictorials for each stage with each stage having it's own pictorial.

    Let me know if something is confusing or just plain wrong and I'll get it cleared up.

    PsychedelicSam Well-Known Member

    Dragon Recipe....Phase 1

    This is the start of a picture tutorial of each step, and then some, of this recipe. I'm using the exact steps laid out here for a 7g batch of Dragon. There will be a new post for each stage so that the pictures don't get too confusing. Also, the pictures shown here show a larger volume of Everclear than I now use. I initially used 150ml/5fl oz of alcohol to be sure that I covered the plant material and a bit more. It has now evolved to the current 3.5oz/105ml. But that's why it looks like a lot of liquid and if using a bulkier base, like fan leaves, a little extra alcohol may be needed for coverage.

    First is prep through the first shake :

    1) Tools and ingredients, 7g Blue Widow sugar trim in plate.
    Recipe batch Ingredients.jpg

    2) 7g after decarb Recipe batch 7g post decarb.jpg

    4) 7g pre-freeze
    Recipe batch 7g prefreeze.jpg

    5) 7g & Everclear after 24 hour freeze, ready to shake Recipe batch 7g 1st shake.jpg

    6) After first 15 minute shake. Note the layer of trichome husks. Recipe batch 1st shake, 1st run.jpg

    7) Place the jar back in the freezer for 4 hours. [​IMG]

    PsychedelicSam Well-Known Member

    Dragon Recipe....Phase 2

    We covered through the first shake on the previous post. This will take us through the 2nd shake, strain and filtering.

    1) 7g after 4 hours back in the freezer and the 2nd shake
    Recipe batch 7g 2nd shake.jpg

    2, 3, 4) Straining the 1st run plant material. Recipe batch 7g strain3 1st run.jpg Recipe batch 7g strain2 1st run.jpg Recipe batch 1st run strain1.jpg

    5) Leave reefer in the jar and place back in the freezer for another 24 hours as well as the remainder of the alcohol, separately. Recipe batch 7g Back in freezer.jpg

    6. 7) Filter using a paper coffee filter (very slow) Recipe batch 7g filter1.jpg Recipe batch 7g filter2.jpg

    8) Alcohol extraction solution after final filter before reduction. Place in a dark spot until 2nd run is ready. Recipe batch 7g 1st run final.jpg

    9) These are trichome husks that are filtered out during the process. These are still moist but when dry it looks just like some blonde kief. There's nothing left in those because the thc oil has been stripped from them. Trichome husks.jpg

    This marks the end of the first run. There is one more run processed just like this one. The next post will cover the first part of the second run. Stay tuned.

    PsychedelicSam Well-Known Member

    Dragon Recipe....Phase 3

    We've already c
    overed the complete first run and this post will deal with the 24 hour freeze, mix and first shake of the 2nd run, kind of. This is exactly the same as the first run minus the decarb so the only pictures enclosed here shows the solution after the first shake before placing back in the freezer for another 4 hours

    I'm giving this a separate post just to separate the actions. Everything is the same.

    Just to be sure, these are the steps.

    1) After 24 hours separately in the freezer, combine the 7g of cannabis from the 1st run with 3.5 fluid ounces of fresh alcohol and shake for 15 minutes.
    2) Place the jar back in the freezer for another 4 hours.

    Let me address something at this point because it will come up before long. Yes, you can leave it longer than 4 hours on both runs. It will basically just pull out more chlorophyll and other plant compounds. With me, a lot of times that 4 hours will come late at night, so instead of trying to do the strain afterwards when I'm really tired or stoned, I'll leave it until morning then shake it and strain. That will be covered in the last phase. [​IMG]

    Alcohol solution after 1st shake of 2nd run. Recipe batch 7g 2nd run 1st shake.jpg

    Again, please realize that the fluid level in these jars is not quite representative of the guide. Your 3.5 fluid ounces of alcohol will not be the same level as seen in the pictures. These each have 5oz plus the displacement from the cannabis and was from the original recipe which has since evolved. I seldom make a batch this small so I haven't had a chance to create new pictures. The last time my camera was broken.

    PsychedelicSam Well-Known Member

    Dragon Recipe....4th Phase

    This is going to cover the final strain and filtering as well as the reduction to the final strength. I have only included pictures for the straining process since the final 2 filters are the same as the 1st run.

    1) Set-up to strain and press plant material before final 2 filters.
    Recipe batch 7g final strain and squeeze.jpg

    2) Filtered product of each run with the first run on the left. There is more liquid in the second run because I left the plant material wet which added the extra volume. Recipe batch 7g ready for reduction.jpg

    3) Total solution from both runs Recipe batch 7g final prereduction total.jpg

    4) My reduction set up . You can't see but a fan and the exhaust fan and a/c fan are on also. Away from all flame and other open heat sources. This is a rice cooker, but a crockpot or pan of any size will work as your double boiler. You can set the jar inside it directly or use a bowl placed over the opening. setup.jpg

    5) Reduced by 50%. Recipe batch 7g final reduction by half.jpg

    6) Net final results of your Green/Gold Dragon: 4fl oz Potency of 1.75g/fl oz. For 2.0g/fl oz, reduce to 3.5 fl oz and for 2.3g/fl oz, reduce to 3 fl oz. Of course, results will revolve around the type of material you use. I have different volumes here in case you wish to use a little more alcohol to make up for filter absorption and spillage. For this guide we're shooting for the last potency listed there, 2.3g/fl oz (approximately). Recipe batch 7g 2nd run final.jpg


    PsychedelicSam Well-Known Member

    151 Dragon Tincture

    This is a guide for a concentrated 151 Dragon Tincture using 151 rum and 1.2g of dry icehash. I thought I had 2 grams but I was wrong, but this is sufficient.

    I've put these into the freezer for 24 hours and then I combined them and shook for about 10-15 minutes. I used 1 fluid ounce of 151 and that should give me about a 4g/oz ratio (I got 7g from an ounce of trim, making it 4g reefer per g of kief, more or less). 151 kief1.jpg

    1) After 24 hours separately in the freezer, I added 1 fluid ounce of 151 rum. 151 kief2.jpg

    2) After tightening the cap of the jar, I shook the jar vigorously for about 15 minutes and let it settle. 151 kief3.jpg

    3) It may be ready now but it will be better later, so I'm placing it back in the freezer for a few more hours, shaking occasionally. I tested that evening before bed and then again in the morning. But that night before bed I put 8 drops in some tea and a couple of drops under my tongue to see how much it would burn and how it tasted. There was very little burn and guess what? It tasted like rum, no weed taste at all. And I was able to feel those two drops sublingually. Because it was late, I was already loaded up with my slumber dosages but it definitely made it's presence known and I slept better than usual.

    When I took it out of the freezer it was very dark, much darker than the picture after the initial shake. I'll have a picture of it later after I filter it. So I put 8 drops in my coffee in the morning for wake and bake and didn't have to wait long for the results. Ten minutes later I was starting to feel it and within 20 minutes I had a good buzz going. This was my titration point, the lowest dosage that can provide significant effects. I may be able to go down to 6 but I feel that 8 was the tipping point. I'm not saying that 8 is a recreational dose. It's more of a medical dose, for those who want some relief for what ails them but needs to be fairly functional.

    I discovered later that going up in dosage is quite the experience. Because my pain was so severe, I decided to do more. This time I wanted to see how the sublingual burn would be with a larger dose and I wanted to explore the upper titration point so I used about 15 drops. I put it under my tongue, expecting to need a drink quickly, but was pleasantly suprised. It burned a little but was a sweeter rum taste and I was able to keep it there for several minutes. Well, it knocked me for a loop and was a little too heavy for a recreational use unless you want to nod out. I really had to fight off the nod, but then it just stuck around, helping my pain and definitely my head. [​IMG]

    I do not recommend making large amounts of this but an ounce or two using some kief/hash will last you quite a while and it's so easy to make that you don't need to ever run out. Substitute 151 Everclear or vodka for a change of taste.

    PsychedelicSam Well-Known Member

    151 Dragon Tincture....Final Update and Thoughts

    151 filter1.jpg

    I can now say that this experience has been a success. I've been pleased with the results the previous 2 days of testing but it just wasn't quite what I was looking for. Oh, don't get me wrong. Both the 8 and 10 drop doses were good and lasted quite a while and when teamed with a bowl later produced a mind numbing experience. I made some cookie brownies last night and got my measurements, normally an automatic action, completely screwed up by mixing up ounces and tablespoons. Recipe needed tablespoons and I used ounce instead (of infused butter and oil) so I had to improvise. Fortunately they still came out well, but the point is how stoned I was doing it.

    But this is a thread geared towards the recreational user who wants the big punch and damn the torpedoes and I hadn't gotten that result yet from this particular product. I knew it was there, hidden within that 151 rum but I just had to coax it out. Well, I caught it, one hell of a buzz, that is. 12 drops was the magic number. This was the first time that it just sat me back in the chair and said, "stay there" and then proceeded to roll those waves of euphoria over my brain. Pain melted but who cared by that time. 4 hours later, I had a smoke got triple effects from it and I am on a roll for quite some time. This is the point I was seeking for this tutorial.

    I'm going to show you a couple of tips I mentioned earlier for filtering your Dragon without losing half of it to the filter absorption. If you have only an ounce of tincture you can't afford to waste it.

    In the opening photo you see that I am using a small wire mesh strainer and a coffee filter that I cut down to fit the strainer so that there'd be no excess filter to absorb the solution. You'll also notice a shot glass with a small amount of liquor in it.

    A) Dip the paper coffee filter into the shot glass of 151 until it is completely soaked, squeeze out the excess and place it in your strainer. 151 filter2.jpg

    Pour your 151 Dragon through the filter and let it drain. You can see how the wet filter has prevented the tincture to be absorbed beyond the fill line like you'd ordinarily see with a dry filter and the larger that filter, the more of your precious solution is going to be lost. With a dry filter you would have seen the dark green of the Dragon just roll up the filter. Here there is very little. 151 filter3.jpg

    This is a very important point for small quantities. The small filter and pre-wetting are key to your overall Dragon experience because the added efficiency of this process is one of it's draws, but if you lose half of it, what good is that? Here's a couple of more pictures from after the filter, one wet, the other dry, and how white the filters still are except where the solution drained, and even that is lighter than usual. I have photos of dry filter use and the absorption difference but they are of larger batches and I don't want to confuse the issue. The dried kief in the second picture looks just like it did when I put it in the alcohol but is actually quite depleted after soaking in the alcohol for 3 days in the freezer, but I mixed it into my cookie brownie mix anyway.
    151 filter7.jpg

    And here we have the final product. You can see how much it darkened since the initial shake. You would be able to use it and feel it then but I feel that the extra time, at least the extra few hours, made some difference. So 12 drops for a great recreational buzz is not too damn bad, at least in my book. Use 2g of kief/hash and it gets better. I would use a little more 151 for more than 2g for coverage. This is definitely good stuff and I'm going to keep it around. The second picture is looking from the bottom. In regular light it's a beautiful yellow gold. To paraphrase the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, this "gold" will get you through times of no real gold (money) better that real gold will get you through times with none of this "gold". Okay I know it's lame but remember, I'm stoned so i can be excused. . [​IMG]
    151 filter4.jpg 151 filter5.jpg


    Btw, here's a guide for making your own hash using a metal martini shaker and dry ice. This guide uses fan leaf but I use it for trim and popcorn buds, too. Martini Shaker Dry Ice Hash Guide.

    texin Well-Known Member

    My sister just called and need some help. I am not a tincture guy, but she is moving from Oregon to texas and needs help. This is what happened I started a tincture yesterday of 9 grams freshly decarbed, ground Lemon Drop flower + 12 oz vegetable glycerin in a double boiler. About the 8th hour of 180-190 degrees, the bottom popped off my mason jar ( I stupidly set the jar directly into the boiling water for just a sec), and all my glycerin just dispersed right into the hot salted water. I pulled the whole thing off the heat immediately, got the glass pieces out (and extra strained it for those sneaky little bastard slivers), and set my mixture on the counter for the night.
    What I ended up with is 2 qts + 1/2 cup or so of watery, weedy, chicken-stock colored "juice." It's just salty enough to taste like fritos. To see if it really is wrecked as is, I just set about 2.5 tsp under my tongue for a minute, so we'll see how it goes. I am not expecting anything, really

    PsychedelicSam Well-Known Member

    All may not be lost since it was glycerin and not alcohol. You may be able to evaporate off the excess water with slow heat. It's going to be like honey or other syrup that's thinner than desired. Admittedly, you have a lot of excess water but with patience and a steady hand on the heat you should be able to recover it without degradation. Don't let it boil for long but you'll want the heat at at least the same level as before.

    Your original ratio wouldn't have been too concentrated anyway so I can't say just how much it will take for a dose but once it gets back to 12 ounces you can check for the strength. Maybe strain off any weed material that may have made it past the glass strain while it's still so watery so that you don't lose as much glycerin.

    Good luck.

    texin Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the quick response I will let her know

    PsychedelicSam Well-Known Member

    I wish her luck. I've never quite had this particular reclamation project but it should work but it also may only be best if added to another batch. That'll be something she can determine at that time. Fortunately, water evaporates long before glycerin and doesn't affect the THC.

    texin Well-Known Member

    Thanks after reading up on glycerin I am going to make a batch and send her. She does not grow and buys from dispensary so she can not do big batches. I have a lot of trim so instead of making hash I am going to try and make her a more potent batch. Thanks again for the help!!

    PsychedelicSam Well-Known Member

    That would probably be best since you have trim to use instead of precious dispensary buds and it's just as good for this application. You want something about 1-3 grams per fluid ounce for the tincture to have a decent effect.

    StiggyPops Active Member

    Hi P Sam
    If you are ever still around give a shout out
    Miss ya Brother
    PsychedelicSam likes this.

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