Tinctures are a fast and convenient way to get your daily dose of cannabis medicine. Unlike smoking or edibles, tinctures provide reliable, consistent dosing and effects that come on quickly. When made with glycerine as the active solvent, cannabis tinctures provide an alternative to alcohol-based versions for those who prefer to avoid alcohol. In this post, we’ll walk through the simple process of creating your own potent glycerine cannabis tincture at home.
Glycerine, also known as glycerol, is a plant-based oil that concentrates the medicinal compounds in cannabis including THC, CBD, and terpenes. It has a neutral flavor that won’t overpower the herbal taste like alcohol can. Glycerine delivers cannabinoids into the bloodstream efficiently when placed under the tongue. Effects kick in within 15-30 minutes and last several hours. Glycerine is safe, non-toxic, and won’t degrade the plant compounds during extraction. For patients who can’t consume alcohol for health or religious reasons, glycerine makes an excellent alternative solvent.
Choosing Your Strain
You can make glycerine tincture from either trim and shake or buds, but high quality buds will produce the most potent concentration. Using cured and dried material is preferred. The strain you select depends on your desired medicinal effects. Strains high in THC will provide more pronounced psychoactive effects for issues like pain and insomnia. High CBD strains offer clear-headed relief for things like anxiety, inflammation, and seizures without significant intoxication. For a balanced effect, try a 1:1 THC:CBD strain.
- Food grade glycerine
- High proof grain alcohol (optional)
- Cannabis material
- Glass jar with airtight lid
- Slow cooker or rice cooker
- Wooden spoon
- Food thermometer
- Fine mesh strainer
- Eyedropper bottles
Step 1 – Decarboxylate Your Cannabis
Decarboxylation activates the compounds in cannabis by removing the carboxylic acid group from THC-A and CBD-A. This converts the cannabinoids into the medicinally potent form that provides effects. To decarboxylate, break up the cannabis into small pieces and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Bake at 230°F for 1-1 1⁄2 hours until lightly toasted and brittle.
Step 2 – Simmer the Glycerine Mixture
Place your toasted cannabis into the mason jar, filling it about 2⁄3 full. Pour in enough food grade glycerine to fully cover and saturate the plant material, about 1 inch above the cannabis. Some recipes also call for adding a small amount of high proof alcohol (at least 90% like Everclear) at a 1:4 ratio to glycerine. This isn’t strictly necessary but it helps extract additional compounds.
Seal the mason jar tightly. Place the sealed jar in a slow cooker or rice cooker filled with enough water to submerge the bottom of the jar. Bring the water to a simmer with the cooker on low. Gently heat the glycerine mixture, keeping the temperature around 180-200°F. Do not allow it to boil or overheat! Simmer the mixture for 4-6 hours to fully extract the cannabinoids and terpenes into the glycerine. Shake the jar every 30 minutes.
Step 3 – Strain the Plant Matter
Once you’ve simmered the cannabis for 4-6 hours, turn off the slow cooker and allow the glycerine mixture to cool slightly so you can handle it safely. Strain the liquid first through cheesecloth to remove any large particles. Then pour the glycerine tincture through a fine mesh strainer or reusable coffee filter to remove all plant material and sediment. Press down on the strainer to squeeze out all remaining glycerine. Discard the strained plant debris.
Step 4 – Reduce and Decant
Return the filtered glycerine tincture to the glass jar. For maximum potency, you can gently simmer it again uncovered until reduced by half. This concentrates the active ingredients by removing excess water. Allow the reduced glycerine to cool to room temperature. Funnel the finished glycerine tincture into amber dropper bottles for convenient use and light protection. Clearly label each bottle with the strain and total cannabinoid content if available.
Dosing Your Glycerine Tincture
The best method for consuming a glycerine tincture is sublingually, by placing drops under the tongue. Dose each new batch carefully at first to determine potency and ideal serving size for your needs. Expect the effects to onset within 15-30 minutes. Glycerine takes slightly longer than alcohol to activate but provides long lasting relief. Consume 1-5ml at a time, increasing slowly to achieve the desired therapeutic benefits without unwanted side effects. The glycerine keeps for at least a year stored in a cool, dark place.
- Track total cannabis weight and glycerine amounts to calculate potency
- Shake the jar frequently during the extraction process
- Wash all equipment with warm soapy water after use
- Don’t heat higher than 200°F to preserve cannabinoids
- Add honey, spices, peppermint, or citrus oils for flavor
Making your own cannabis glycerine tincture at home enables you to control the strain, potency, and additions like flavors or essential oils. Plus you can avoid any additives found in commercial tinctures. Just a few inexpensive ingredients and steps provide the ultimate customizable remedy for sublingual cannabis relief at your fingertips. The therapeutic properties of cannabis combine with the versatility of glycerine for a soothing, fast-acting, and non-intoxicating infusion.
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