How to Make Cannabis Tinctures

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Hi! Keira from Ambrosia here with an interesting and versatile recipe: Tinctures! Tinctures are liquid extracts made from cannabis that can be consumed orally or added to drinks. I made my first tincture because I couldn’t find a cannabis-infused drink that was right for me. Most of the infused drinks I tried were too sweet and strong (I like my drinks on the bitter side). The only solution — learn how to infuse my own!

I really like the natural process of making tinctures. I’ve done a few in the past for things like cold remedies and acne medicine. I use only .5oz of decarboxylated cannabis to keep the dosage low, allowing me to enjoy more of my infused drink without being overwhelmed by the cannabis effects.

Let’s prep:

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Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces vegetable glycerin (food grade)
  • 0.5 ounce decarboxylated ground cannabis

Tools:

  • Mason jar
  • 190 micro hash straining bag or cheesecloth
  • Bowl
  • Rubber Spatula

Dosage:

I use Cannatonic Flowers, which are known to have a higher CBD to THC ratio (2:1). On average, patients benefit most on 15-25 mg, depending on their metabolism and ailment. Basically, everyone is unique. To find your optimal dose, start off small with one or two drops, then adjust if needed after a couple hours.

  • 5.33% THC
  • 13.44% CBD
  • 15-25 ml (The idea here is to take the recommended amount of 15-25 ml of the actual tincture.) You would need to get the final product tested in order to know the mg per ml.
  • ½ oz of decarb in 1 cup vegetable glycerin

½ oz= 14g (1,400 mg)

Yield: 20%, 1,400 mg (.2) = 280 mg

1 cup = ~237 ml

280mg/237 ml= ~1.18mg/ml

Step 1:Decarb

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The decarboxylation process allows you to convert the THCa or CBDa found in cannabis to THC or CBD. This process will make your oils, edibles, and tinctures more potent. You can decarb your flower to THC and CBD depending on the temperature and length of time. For example:

THCa –> THC 245° F decarbing 60 minutes

CBDa –> CBD 245° F decarbing 90 minutes

Start by preheating the oven to 245° F. Break up the cannabis flowers or buds into smaller pieces with your hands or grinder. Place the broken up cannabis pieces evenly on a baking sheet with a rim to prevent pieces from falling. Rotate the cooking pan every 15 minutes to ensure an even toast.

Step 2: Soak

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Now that your cannabis is freshly ground and decarbed, fill an empty and dry mason jar with however much of the decarbed cannabis you wish to use (I used .5 ounces) and set aside. Make sure the mason jar is COMPLETELY dry! Next, slowly pour the 8 ounces of vegetable glycerin into the jar.

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Now, here comes the hard part: Let the jar soak for around two months. That’s right. Two months. Vegetable glycerin is quite thick and it takes considerable time for the cannabis to be fully absorbed into the solution.

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Make sure your marinating tincture jar is stored in a dry, dim place to rest. As Gandalf famously advised Frodo, “Keep it secret, keep it safe.”

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See you in two months, my precious. 

Step 3: …Two months later

Welcome back. A lot has happened in the last two months (Can you believe what happened in Game of Thrones?), but it’s time to focus on the task at hand: Tinctures.

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Over a bowl or bucket, pour the contents of the jar into a 190 micro hash straining bag or cheesecloth. Drain as much as you can. It will be messy, but worth the effort.

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Pour the strained product back in a clean mason jar. The final product should be dark and thick in consistency.

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Step 4: Enjoy!

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Congrats! You made your own tincture. Now you’ll never have the problem of this drink is too sweet, or This drink is too strong! Now you can make one that is JUST right.

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Make sure to come back next week when we’ll learning how to make cannabis-infused lemonade.

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Cheers!

Photos Courtesy of Stephen Panosian

About Author

Keira is a Canna-Chef and co-owner of Ambrosia Edibles and Ambrosia Topicals. During her stay in Japan, she started an all-natural DIY cosmetics blog that gained popularity domestically and internationally. She left for Oregon in 2014 to start a career as a professional baker. Within less than a year, her products could be seen in multiple stores across Southern California. Today, she spends her time creating new products for Ambrosia and putting together fun and easy recipes for Marijuana.com.

20 Comments

  1. Could you use propylene glycol instead of glycerin? It seems like due to the lower viscosity–much lower viscosity–of PG over glycerin that maybe PG will work optimally and reduce the amount of time. Maybe?

    • Keira Fae Sumimoto on

      Great point! Yes propylene glycol is a great alternative.
      PG does absorb a lot faster compared to VG, but PG may cause allergic
      Reactions such as skin irritation or rash, and/or minor throat inflammation
      Better safe then sorry. =) as for the absorption rate: with PG try 4-5 weeks instead
      of VG 8 week recommendation.

      • Your process is great and easy to follow – thank you so much for sharing. Where I am, I don’t have access to glycerine/PG/VG/pure alcohol/acetone, but I can get hold of organic coconut and olive oils. So my question is this: can I use either of these oils as my tincture base and if so, would I need to soak my ‘matter’ for the same 8 weeks, less or more? Would it be best to follow your stated steps exactly, soaking time aside, if I use one of my two chosen oils?
        Thank you very much again Keira for playing a most significant role in helping me take charge of my own condition finally (epilepsy). =)

    • Mr.phattphatt on

      Yes. I use acetone. it works fastest but is most volatile. You must have a sparkles environment , a hood, and an excellent still to recover the acetone but the oil residue is purer and ready to add to whatever medium with which you prefer to cook or ingest
      .

        • Propylene glycol is antifreeze
          Yes, it is an ingredient in many food and cosmetic products (why??) but that doesnt mean PG is safe and healthy for consumption! And acetone sounds absolutely deadly.

  2. I like the way you make your tincture will be trying this was wondering could a person put flavoring
    into this process.

    • Yes, Great question! You can add in natural herbs with the ground decarbed cannabis. I’d recommend infusing Mint, Lemon, Chamomile… etc.
      Let me know how it works out and what you infuse! =)

    • Keep your tincture stored in a cold dark place and under 77F, Cannabis grows mildew and mold between 77F and 87F, so keep your jar in a cold, dark place and it’ll last a lot longer.

  3. I do this instead:
    Take a bottle of 190 proof grain alcohol and put in the freezer for 24 hours as well as your ground up cannabis in it’s jar. When it is all frozen and cold as it can be, pour enough of the alcohol to cover the ground cannabis. Give it a shake every five minutes for an hour or so. The alcohol will dissolve most of the THC and CBD into solution. Pour the cannabis alcohol solution into a coffee filter over a clean jar and let the alcohol drain through the filter. Squeeze out all the alcohol and save. Discard the plant matter. Now you have alcohol tincture. This can be used as is or reduced by heating on an electric hotplate (outside only due to flammable fumes). You can also distill the alcohol off and save it to use again as I do. What you have left is cannabis oil. this can be used directly or added to coconut oil or butter as an oil tincture or food additive…
    Enjoy, peace,

    • Mr.phattphatt on

      Like your process. I use acetone. Immediately after decarboxylating @ 240F for 40 min. I soak the marijuana 8 hrs in anhydrous acetone one cup at a time for 3 washes that get almost all the THC then filter using a Buchner funnel with fine paper filters and a hooded recovery system that wastes almost nothing. I wash one more time with acetone to clean the last of the THC off the filter. I Put all the acetone solution into a flask and distill off the acetone at setting of 180F with a digital thermometer in solution I observe the temp until it rises above the boiling point of acetone for 5 minutes. The oil remaining in your flask may then be diluted into whatever cooking or drinking medium you prefer.

  4. When I was going to school for Herbalist… one of the first things we learned was how to make a tincture…. we used blackberry brandy unless you were abstaining from alcohol then we used glycerin…. and the longer you kept it 3-4 mo. ect. the more of the constituents of the herb were drawn out and the stronger the tincture… I would imagine you could use blackberry brandy after all it is an herb!! 😉 ps the process was the same…

    • I just made a tincture for the first time using glycerin, my question the longer it sets, the potent it will be? Is there a limit on how long it can set??

  5. Keirs Fae, My question the 8oz yield of the tincture. Is this a concentrated mix or drink like that. I thought you might mix it with something for a drink with meds in it.

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