Here is the very successful result of a considerable amount of research into the elusive and magical Green Dragon.
This is a simple and efficient 4 Step process.
1/8oz high quality cannabis
2 oz Bacardi Rum – 151 proof
1. Chop cannabis very fine (coffee grinder works great)
2. Place in a shallow pan (pie pan with aluminum foil works great) and bake at 325°F for 4-5 minutes.
3. Remove from oven and place cannabis and place in 2 oz of rum (use a small wide mouth mason jar)
4. Simmer in a water bath for 20 minutes. Maintain temperature of the rum/cannabis mixture between 150°F – 165°F.
5. Strain the mixture and store.
One eyedropper is very nice. Two puts you in space. But you should self-titrate. Effects take about 1.5 hours to begin (at least in myself) and lasted for 5 hours (1 dropper) to 7-8 hours (2 droppers).
Process details—references and rationalizations:
1. Chop the cannabis—more surface area gives means a faster and more efficient extraction.
2. Bake the cannabis.
In whole-plant cannabis, THC content is expressed as THCA (tetrahydrocannabolic acid) prior to decarboxylation into THC, which takes place when cannabis is heated during cooking, and smoked or vaporized ingestion. THCA is a mild analgesic and anti-inflammatory but does not have good affinity with our CB1 receptors, so in order to make a THC-rich tincture that has many of the same therapeutic effects as smoked ingestion (including rapid absorption, quick relief and ease of self-titration), we must convert the THCA in the plant matter into THC prior to extracting it through an alcohol soak. (from Vancouver Island Compassion Society http://thevics.com/cannamist.htm)
THC vaporizes at about 380°F. We want to heat the cannabis to convert THCA to THC, but keep the temperature under 380°F. That is why 325°F is used. Between four and five minutes your oven (and house) will start to smell very strong. This is the time to remove the cannabis from the oven.
Notice also that there is considerable misinformation regarding heating the cannabis. It is true that you don't have to heat it to extract both THC and THCA, but the amount of THC in whole plant preparations is relatively small compared to after decarboxylation of the THCA. So if you want to maximize the strength of your tincture you must heat the cannabis prior to extraction.
3. Use the highest proof alcohol available. In my area this was Bacardi 151. The more alcohol the more efficient the extraction will be.
4. Simmer the mixture.
This is one of the areas that seems to be most debated. Many recipes call for placing the cannabis (unbaked of course) into the alcohol and waiting 2 – 6 weeks. The main concern with heating the alcohol is that it is “explosive” (not exactly true...it is however flammable).
The purpose of the simmering is to heat the alcohol mixture to improve extraction rates and efficiencies. Heating during extraction increases the motion of the molecules (basic physics/chemistry) and drastically decreases extraction times. The boiling point of pure ethanol is 173°F (78°C). We will use the water bath to heat the rum/cannabis mixture to just below the boiling point of ethanol.
Heating the alcohol mixture can be done very safely using a hot water bath. You will need an accurate candy or quick read thermometer. Place about 1 inch of water in a wide, vertical-edged pan (9” wide x 3” high). Bring the water to a low simmer. The rum/cannabis mixture should be in a small (1 pint) mason jar. Do NOT cover the jar.
Put the thermometer into the mason jar and place into the simmering water bath. Bring the temperature of the rum/cannabis mixture to about 165°F (I maintain it between 150°F and 165°F). You want the alcohol mixture to be just barely moving (not boiling, but showing active convection within the mixture). If the mixture starts to bubble too much, just turn down the water bath.
You should have the oven fan on high. You will notice that any alcohol fumes are mixed with water vapor from the water bath and vented out the fan. This combined with the fact that you are trying not to boil the ethanol makes the process quite safe.
5. Strain, titrate, and store.
When you are finished with the extraction you will be left with about 1oz of green dragon tincture. Note that one ounce of the alcohol has evaporated.
Now you should test your eyedropper. In my test 34 full droppers equaled one ounce of liquid (this is a little less than one gram of liquid per dropperful as 29g equals 1ounce).
The liquid should be dark green and smell like cannabis.
Everybody is probably different. It takes me 1.5 hours to feel the effects of eating cannabis. Similarly this tincture also takes 1.5 hours to take effect.
I had tried a tincture someone had made using the cold extraction method with the same amount of cannabis and found that 5 droppers did pretty much nothing.
Using my Green Dragon technique I find that one dropper will bring effects on in 1.5 hours and last 5 hours with 1.5 hours of lingering aftereffects.
Two droppers gave me a "spiritual dose" (as strong as any brownie I ever had). Effects lasted 7-8 hours with lingering effects for 2 more hours.
This means that 1/8oz of good cannabis yields about 30-34 doses of tincture (1 dropperful is really all I need). And is much more pleasant than smoking (which really is bad for you and your lungs and the reason I've stopped smoking entirely).
This link might be helpful.
Metric Conversion: http://www.worldwidemetric.com/metcal.htm
Enjoy and let me know of your success and/or questions.