Citation: Draco. "Awakening the Green Dragon: experience with Cannabis with Alcohol (ID 50235)". Erowid.org. Apr 29, 2008. erowid.org/exp/50235
I have been using cannabis pretty regularly now for some years now, and have always been interested in experimenting with new preparation methods. I've smoked it, I've vaporized it, I've eaten it, I've made hash and honey oil, all with success. So recently I tried something new to me: making green dragon, a cannabis tincture made with grain alcohol.
I was in possession of 1/4 oz of medium quality bud--fine for smoking, but dry and a little crumbly, not as good as the dark dank nugs I'm used to smoking. I ground the bud in an herb grinder, the kind you can get from a head shop for rolling joints or vaporizing, and put it in a bottle of Everclear 151 proof grain alcohol (the highest proof Everclear sold in my fair state). I found that, despite the directions I had to the contrary, I didn't need to drain any of the alcohol off to make the bud fit. The bud soaked up the liquid quickly and the liquid level didn't even reach the very top of the bottle.
I let the mixture solvate in a dark place for about three weeks, checking on it and shaking it occasionally. The liquid turned pale green mere hours after the mixing and reached its peak color less than a week into the process, but I let it continue to sit for a few weeks more: better stoned than sorry. Afterwards, I strained the liquid through the kief screen in the bottom of my grinder to remove the plant material. I recommend using a very fine screen like this to do your straining. I tried a standard kitchen strainer first, but was left with too much crud, and didn't want to use a coffee filter for fear of leaving too much of the good stuff soaked into the filter. I know it wouldn't be much, but this wasn't a cheap project and wanted to get every last drop out of it.
The result was a pale to medium green liquid with a minimum of solids in it. I was originally worried that it might not be strong enough given that 1) the amount of bud I used was on the lower end of the suggested range I had read in the directions, and 2) I was using 151 proof alcohol rather than 190 proof, meaning there was less solvent per volume than the recipe suggested. My fears, it turns out, were without basis.
One night my roommate and some friends decided it was time to try it. I mixed two ounces of the green dragon with lemon lime soda and cranberry juice. It tasted really interesting, like cannabis but not like the cannabis in cookies or brownies often tastes. I've found that in food the cannabis taste is something that I want to cover up, it can taste a little burnt, kind of like licking the bottom of a bowl. In the drink it was much fresher and more inviting. I began sipping the drink and, about halfway through it (15 minutes or so) I started to notice the primary effects. My stomach was completely empty, though, so this may be faster than should generally be expected. By the time I was finished the effects were in full force.
It was the level of high that comes with eating brownies or doing deep bong hits: very strong with a high body component. The effects of the alcohol were much less pronounced than the effects of the cannabis, but were pleasant enough--enough to take the 'edge' off an intense high, but not enough to make me feel noticeably drunk or queasy. The proportions of THC and alcohol seemed just about right to me: it's easy enough to throw in a little vodka or have another drink, but it would be unfortunate if you didn't have the option of feeling the special effects of the green dragon without getting completely drunk.
We tried watching a movie, but I completely lacked the ability to focus on the plot and had no idea what was goin on most of the time. As I said, I'm pretty experienced with cannabis. I tend to have a good deal of mental control when I smoke, so this was unusual for me. My thoughts meandered and became very confused but playful, all more so than when I normally smoke.
I can't give a very accurate timeline because I went to sleep about three hours after beginning to imbibe, but I was still very much in the plateau portion of the experience then. It was definitely a longer experience than smoking, but I can't say with certainty how it compares with other methods of ingestion. Considering my state of mind going to bed, I would guess the total time would be comparable to or slightly less than eating brownies.
For all of those out there looking for something new and interesting to do with cannabis, I recommend trying green dragon. It tastes great, works great, and makes a great conversation piece.
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