How To Make Cannabis Tinctures

Cindy Lou December 20, 2011 118
How To Make Cannabis Tinctures

For the times when whipping up a batch of marijuana brownies is inconvenient, a few drops of this cannabis tincture under the tongue or in a glass of water is a quick and effective alternative. Though alcohol based, you will not be taking any shots. This fast acting tincture packs a punch.

Kitchen Tools

Estimating Dosage

Just 5 to 10 drops on the tongue or in a glass of water will do the trick every time. Be sure to test each batch of fresh cannabis tincture just a few drops at a time until you are familiar with the potency. Remember that any substance enters the bloodstream more slowly through the mucous membranes than through the lungs. Ultimately the potency will depend on the cannabinoid density of the marijuana you use to make the tincture. Cannabis tinctures can be made from leaf, trichome rich trim or manicure, buds of any quality, as well as kief and hash.  If you are trying to maintain a consistent strength over time with different types of marijuana, have the crew at SC Laboratories check out your cannabis first. They can test the level of cannabinoid present so you know what you are working with.

Use the following estimated amounts of cannabis for each pint or 500 ml of distilled spirit.

  • Leaf – 3 to 4 ounces
  • Trim – 2 ounce
  • Trim Smoke and Bud – 1 to 1 1/2 ounces
  • Kief and Hash – 6 to 8 grams

Instructions

  1. Measure the amount of cannabis you plan to use and grind it with the blender, coffee grinder, or Cuisinart to about the size desirable to roll a joint with. Shoot for pieces not more then about 3 mm but certainly not a powder either.
  2. Decarboxylate the cannabis. If you are unfamiliar with this, here is an article on decarboxylating to help you figure it out.
  3. Add the cannabis to the quart sized canning jar and pour a of pint of vodka over it.
  4. Seal the lid tight and shake the jar a few times then place it in the freezer. Once or twice a day remove the jar and shake vigorously for a few seconds before returning it the the freezer.
  5. After about 5 days most of the cannabinoids should have dissolved into the alcohol. Set up the cheese cloth over your strainer and place the strainer over the quart sized measuring cup. Remove the jar from the freezer and carefully poor the contents over the cheese cloth to strain out the plant matter.
  6. Once the alcohol has passed through the cheese cloth into the measuring cup, fold the edges of the cloth around the marijuana and twist the cloth to remove any further alcohol.
  7. Use the small funnel to fill your dropper bottles with the cannabis tincture. If further filtration is needed, you can place a coffee filter in the funnel to catch any plant matter that managed to pass through the cheese cloth.
  8. Filled tincture bottles should be kept in a cool dark location.

Alternative Method

I usually use Belvedere Vodka because I usually have it on had, but in a perfect world I would use Everclear for my cannabis tinctures because of the high alcohol content. In reality, it doesn’t matter as long as you use a liquor that is at least 80 proof–40% alcohol. The higher the alcohol content, the faster the cannabinoids will be extracted.

If for some reason the freezer is not available, the same method can be used to make tinctures in the refrigerator or another cool dark place. You will need to wait a month instead of five days, still shaking the jar once a day.

 

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118 Comments »

  1. Rambo January 10, 2012 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    If you swallow tinctures they are absorbed through the GI tract and processed by the liver over the course of an hour or two. If taken under the tongue, absorption is through the arterial blood and completed in seconds. It can be difficult for some people not to swallow it while waiting for it to be absorbed. I haven’t experimented with it yet, but a pump style mister may fix this problem.

    • Sanka July 20, 2013 at 11:49 am - Reply

      Ive heard using glycerin can take up to 30 days if its in the freezer does it take less time, 5 days like this method maybe? And if u can explain the difference between glycerin based or alcohol based tinctures

      • Rambo July 20, 2013 at 7:23 pm - Reply

        I personally have never made tinctures with glycerin because I think it tastes horrible. I suppose glycerin might take longer but I have no idea.

        • Spain September 21, 2013 at 2:51 am - Reply

          This is a good question but I believe the glycerin would freeze. The fridge may work though.

      • GERARD BARBIER January 18, 2014 at 11:57 am - Reply

        It actually takes about 60 days if you use vegetable glycerine (don’t buy the soap kind)
        You cannot put the glycerine in the freezer, it is so thick it will thicken out and will never absorb the cannabis, the fridge won’t do either.
        60 days and you turn the jar around during 5 mns each day.
        Same process strain with cheese cloth or similar.

    • Don Johnson April 9, 2014 at 12:58 pm - Reply

      Great article, but I have a few questions. 1) For scaling it down, if I want to fill two 30mL tincture bottles, I would only use around two grams of bud, correct? 2) After I decarboxylate the bud, could I freeze it overnight then to break down the cell walls and then just store it at room temperature and it would be ready in 5 days?
      Thanks in advance!

  2. Robotboy March 5, 2012 at 11:37 pm - Reply

    Man i have some absinthe, u think it will work or do I need vodka…it’s 70% alcohol

    • Rambo March 6, 2012 at 7:31 am - Reply

      I’ve never tried to make a tincture from Absinthe but there is no reason it shouldn’t work. It may take a bit longer because of the lower alcohol percentage makes it a less effective solvent, but it will still work.

  3. nix March 8, 2012 at 6:53 am - Reply

    If your absinthe is 70% alcohol then it’s 140 proof, (1.75x the alcohol content of 80 proof vodka) and will do well for making tinctures. I’ve only used it with the fridge method as opposed to freezing, but it was quite enjoyable. I definitely suggest taking it in the ‘traditional style’ with a cube of sugar involved but skipping the whole ‘lighting the absinthe mixture on fire’ step; the sugar will get it to your brain even faster, if that’s what you’re aiming for.

    • Rambo March 8, 2012 at 7:49 am - Reply

      Good point, I mistakenly thought Robotboy had said 70 proof absinthe. If in fact it is 70% and not 70 proof, then it should work very well.

  4. bob March 8, 2012 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    Why does it need to go into the freezer. Wouldn’t the cannabinoids dissolve faster at room temperature due to higher kinetic energy of the molecules?

    • Rambo June 22, 2012 at 11:20 am - Reply

      Here is the skinny on making tinctures in the freezer. Dried cannabis contains about 7-12% water content locked in the plants cells. When frozen, this water expands and burst the cell walls of the plant material. This allows the alcohol to come in contact with more of the plant oils locked inside and hence makes a stronger tinctures. Like the article says, this is not necessary but makes a strong tincture with a quicker extraction rate.

      • men August 25, 2012 at 9:52 am - Reply

        This has to be said: high proof liquors won’t freeze into a rock. They will just become more oily.

        • Rambo August 26, 2012 at 4:18 pm - Reply

          That is why I store my Grey Goose in the freezer.

  5. Gerald March 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm - Reply

    Hear, hear bob, I too am curious as to how colder temps lead to faster extraction.
    Another question I have: If you’re using fresh product, you will end up extracting a majority of the THC as THCA. As this is a rather polar molecule, you absorb it many fold less readily than decarboxylated THC (which is why we smoke/vaporize/bake our product). Would it not be wise to add a step of decarboxylation to increase potency? I can’t imagine the cold temperatures aid in decarboxylation. Or does the liver ALSO convert THCA into our wonderfully nonpolar THC?

    • Rambo June 22, 2012 at 11:24 am - Reply

      Gerald, You are correct. Fresh cannabis contains mostly THCA the acid form of THC. THCA has medicinal properties as well, but won’t necessarily get you high. For those who want the psychoactive effects of the cannabis as well, the cannabis should be decarboxylated before it is soaked. I too feel that this should have been mentioned in Cindy’s article. I will be writing an article on decarboxylating cannabis and will add a link to her article in a few days. Thanks for pointing out this omission.

      • grandadubs March 24, 2014 at 2:52 pm - Reply

        so if i didnot heaat up my bud first did i just wast all that weed? or can i heat the finished product?

  6. Madmiah August 22, 2012 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    After reading both this article and the decarboxylating one I noticed that the kief moisture content was zero both before and after decarboxylating. So my question is would putting the mixture in the freezer still really do anything since there is no moisture to expand and burst?

    • Rambo August 22, 2012 at 3:48 pm - Reply

      I honestly have no idea. I suppose if someone was curious enough they could do side by sides tests both in the freezer and at room temperature and have the extract tested at the lap to find out. On the other hand, unless you freezer is packed to the brim, that kind of seems like frivolous test.

  7. BailysFromAShoe October 16, 2012 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    This is a fantastic posting and a really interesting extraction method, particularly if you consider that the active ingredient keeps more than one delivery method (GI and Bloodstream). I was wondering 4 things: (1) did you use all the leaf, trim, bud, kief and hash listed for the 500ml or just one? (2) Would higher grade cannabis make up for shortcomings or unavailability of some ingredients? (3) What does it taste like? I’m considering doing it with corn whiskey which clocks in around 50% alcohol, but I’d love to try it with something already flavored with a high alcohol content like green Chartreuse. So (4) if the alcohol is already infused with flavors from the distilling process, is there a chance of reaching saturation causing the THC to not get fully absorbed?

    • Rambo October 16, 2012 at 4:18 pm - Reply

      Glad you enjoyed the article. Let me see if I can answer your questions.
      1. You can use any form of cannabis that you have access to, but for this recipe only one form was used. I personally prefer using kief because it makes it easy for me to calculate doses. Trim however works just fine and its a better use of waist product.
      2. I think the answer to questions 1 also answers questions 2. Use what you have. You don’t need high quality for this recipe.
      3. Generally it tastes like shit.
      4. Rather then using a flavored alcohol which is often lower in alcohol content. Use something like high proof and then water it down with something that tastes better. Triple sec adds a nice flavor.

  8. JerryM November 7, 2012 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    Rambo:
    i am confused about the need to keep the fermenting/dissolving tincture mixture in the freezer (making some now so timely topic). i am no chemist but know that MOST reactions involving dissolving someting with a chemical always happen better, more efficiently when the chemical is warm or even hot. e.g. vinegar dissolves calcium, we’ve all seen the bubbles!.However, if you HEAT UP the vinegar and pour it over the calcium the reaction quickens and the dissolving process accelerates a lot. Why would dissolving THC resin from cannabis be any different. .

    • Rambo November 7, 2012 at 8:53 pm - Reply

      I believe it works better because the remaining water inside the plant cells expands when it freezes and bursts the cell walls. This exposes more of the plant material to the the alcohol. I’m not a chemist either, but if you warm up alcohol it evaporates or probably explode if sealed without the proper equipment. My experience has been that freezing works faster, but maybe I’ll do a side by side experiment and we’ll get the final verdict.

      • phase May 12, 2013 at 4:32 am - Reply

        If the logic is that water trapped within the cells freezing and expanding cracks open the plant matter to aid in absorption, then why not just put the plant matter in the freezer for a couple of hours prior to starting the extraction process? I don’t see how it would magically restore itself after defrosting anyway, so then what is the use to keeping the mixture in the freezer during extraction…? That only slows down molecular motions and hence the rate of extraction. This would allow the extraction to take place at room temperature or even applying heat (as 99% of the other recipes advise you to do, since applying heat speeds up the reaction)… Makes more sense to me than putting the bunch in the freezer and claiming it will take more time to do an extraction outside of the freezer, that’s just non-science to the max… What also strikes me is that, when making iso hash, every extraction cycle is completed within seconds, minutes at most. So why do all these tincture recipes call for days, weeks to even months, unless heat is applied?

  9. JerryM November 9, 2012 at 4:01 am - Reply

    Rambo: thanks for the response. i agree that IF the herb had any moisture in it the freezing would do as you said. IF however, you followed step 2 and Decarboxylated the cannabis first (240 degree oven for 60 minutes), like I did in following the instructions, then there would not be any moisture in the herb. I think that the side-by-side test, one in and one not in the freezer, would determine the issue, if you had access to a testing facility(which i do not).

    I am in day 4 today, so will know before the weekend is out as to quality and potency of my test batch of the tincture. Was trying to decide if leaving it out on the counter for the last day would help potency or not. Do you ever leave the final post-filtered tincture on the count top without a lid on it to let some of the grain alcohol evaporate and hence strengthen the remaining tincture? Thanks for your help. JM

    • Rambo November 9, 2012 at 7:30 am - Reply

      You can evaporate off some of the alcohol to increase potency. In fact some people will evaporate off all of the alcohol which leaves behind a hash oil like residue. As a general rule, keep the tincture in a dark area or dark brown glass bottles. Sunlight will begin to break down the cannabinoids are terpines same as any other herbal tincture. When I get some time, I think I may conduct the temperature experiment as get a final answer to your question

  10. Sean November 10, 2012 at 10:06 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this great info! There is a lot of misinformation on the inter-webs about how to make tincture. I am starting this process tonight and will use the freezer method however I am also contemplating letting it sit out at room temp for a couple days as well just to cover all the bases. Thanks again! I hope my extraction turns out really good as I am using some killer buds.

  11. JerryM November 12, 2012 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    Rambo, et al: So i got to day 5, filtered and squeezed out all extra tincture form the cheesecloth. Put cheesecloth and herb out to dry. Set open container on countertop for 1 1/2 days to evaporate off some of the grain alcohol. Using 5-6 drops of tincure did not have the effects I was expecting. Decided to see if the dried herb contained any remaining cannabonoids (berfore i threw it out), so smoked some. Still got quite a buzz, so decided that there was still a lot of the desired oils, etc. remaining in the herb, so i gound it up finer than before with my fingers (original grind was though grinder) and put it back into the tincture to steep a lillte more (that was on Sunday evening). SO, i think that (as Sean pointed out) there is a lot of misinformation and in my opinion “uneducated and untried assumptions” about this process on the net. I would bet that if I did it both ways, (i have read, freeze it, counter-top it, etc.), that the counter-top approach, covered and shaken regularly would yield a stronger tincure than the frozen approach did. Again, I was amazed that one toke of the dried post-fermented herb would still be able to do what it did, hence, a lot of the cannbinoids remained in the herb, AFTER doing the decarb. process in the oven for an hour, then following the freezer method for 5 full days and a lot of shakin’. WIll keep all posted over next couple of days. I also look forward to Rambo’s side-by-side tests of freezer vs. counter top. Recall that I posted before that I knew of NOTHING that dissolved in ANY liquid when it was at 0 deg. F. I hope to have more “effective” results over the next few days, But your (Rambo’s) side-by-side test results will be interesting to see, since my approach was bastardized by using both methods. BTW, I was using Locally grown, dense, top buds from Tangerine Dream (Cannabis cup winner last year). Real good, but not great stuff to start with. Later R & S.

    • Rambo November 12, 2012 at 5:04 pm - Reply

      Interesting findings. May I ask how much cannabis by weight you added to how much alcohol? From that I should be able to guess at the required dosage based on 100% extraction. Obviously you are not reaching 100% extraction if you can smoke it and still get a solid buzz but at least it’s a place to start. I will work on the experiment as soon as I have some time. This is a pretty busy time of year.

      • S. Renee July 31, 2013 at 4:42 pm - Reply

        High, thank you for all the info. I want to make a safe efficient (no waste) edible so that I may heal a tumor . My goal is not to get high. I could use coconut oil or vodka. What is the best recipe? Also , i have read so many different times and temperatures when oven decarboxilizing. 170 – 300 f , and 10 to 50 minutes , what is right? I am afraid i will ruin it by burning it up in the oven before I get started. I don’t drink alcohol so , if i use vodka , I will have to evaporate off as much as i can. I don’t smoke or drink, just trying to cure cancer. Thanks for your help.

        • Rambo July 31, 2013 at 7:15 pm - Reply

          This should answer you questions on decarboxylating.
          http://www.marijuanagrowershq.com/decarboxylating-cannabis-turning-thca-into-thc/

          • Kx ray September 28, 2013 at 2:44 pm -

            I have tested many decarbing temps. This one changes 95% thca to thc, confirmed lab results. I made it into canola oil and then made candy. wow! Super strong!

            60 minutes at 240degrees, ground herb spread thinly over parchment paper. Parchment paper assures even temperature under the herb.

            Don’t open your oven. You need a constant temperature.
            If your temp in your oven fluctuates, get an oven thermometer. It’s perfect, just don’t go over 240 at all.

  12. Shumus December 14, 2012 at 7:04 pm - Reply

    Is there an issue if my weed has been in the freezer already?

    • Rambo December 18, 2012 at 4:55 pm - Reply

      Nope. No problem at all

  13. Brooke January 5, 2013 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    Ok, I gave it a whirl using all trim which I threw in a blender after being in the over for 50 min at 240 degrees. I shaved some time off because it had already been dried out for a day or two after trimming. As much as I tried to not blend it to an almost powder it happened anyway. Regardless I had almost 2 ozs of ground up trim that I mixed with 500 ml of Absolute vodka and let it sit in the freezer for about 6 days. I have strained it through a comparable cloth to cheese cloth and proceeded to “ingest” 1/2 ml….and am very disappointed :( Not sure what I did wrong but I suspect I did not have enough trim.

    • Rambo January 6, 2013 at 10:45 am - Reply

      Lets look at the math. We don’t know the potency of your trim, but lets say it tests at about 5% THC. 2 Oz is 56 grams so it would contain about 2.8 grams of actual THC or 2800 mg. Assuming you got 100% of the THC out of the trim, which you probably did not, then your vodka would contain 5.6 mg of THC per 1 ml of vodka. You consumed only 1/2 ml so probably no more than 2.8 mg of THC. A normal dose of THC for your standard edible is between 20 and 100 mg. It sounds to me like a standard small dose of your extract would be about 5 -10 ml of the vodka. Give that a shot and let me know hot it works for you.

  14. Brooke January 9, 2013 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    I have tested it on two different people. Subject A has a card and consumes multiple times a day, he said he felt it. Subject B rarely uses and he said he never felt it. Isn’t that odd? I will take a dose at the amount of your suggestion and let you know what happens.

  15. Jimmellow January 15, 2013 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    I noticed you said you used kief to make your Tinctures
    I use bubble bags and put my frozen trim into 60 micron bubble bag then I add dry ice and shake. Its amazing at the amount of kief you get off the trimmings. my question is do you Decarboxylate the kief? have you ever tried cooking the alcohol down and putting the oil into capsules? One of my buddies does this and said it will sit you down with a smile. Also have you ever used glycerin to make the Tincture? I saw a recipe for that, you have to let it sit for a couple months but said it was better than alcohol. Thaks for the post and if you have never tried using dry ice to extract kief, you should try it, you will be amazed. Do a you tube search and watch what you get from the dry ice.

    • Rambo January 21, 2013 at 9:42 pm - Reply

      I have used bubble bags before but I’ve found its a lot more work. great product but not my thing. I do decarb the kief and you would need to decarb the bubble has for tinctures as well. If you strain out the kief after you let it soak, then evaporate off the alcohol you are left with a nice oil but any impurities from the alcohol will be left behind same as with butane. This is why the pro’s are now using CO2. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, glycerin works but I can’t stand the taste.

  16. Traveler Two January 25, 2013 at 11:28 am - Reply

    Biochemistry has always amazed me and bursting the cell walls by freezing the internal water content to expose more to the solvent is new to me. I want to incorporate this ‘freezing step’ to acquire a better extraction; but, I like being able to use my tincture without having to wait 5 days or more. I use 151 Rum (1gm:1oz ratio) after grinding, decarbing and put the mason jar with ground, decarbed bud & rum into a water bath, & reduce the mixed volume, at 170 degrees F, by 1/2. Question: How can I incorporate a freezing step into my current process?

    • phase May 12, 2013 at 4:46 am - Reply

      Just consider it a separate step: put your herb in the freezer for a couple of hours prior to starting the extraction process. Once the water has frozen (= expanded), the damage to the plant matter is done, and it won’t be undone by defrosting it, so there you have it. Keeping the mixture in the freezer during extraction certainly won’t speed up the process, ask any chemist…

  17. Traveler Two January 25, 2013 at 11:45 am - Reply

    I use the water bath method with 151 rum. No waiting for me! After reading your post, I want to expose my product to the freezer for a better extraction; but, not for 5 days or more! How can I get the best of both? Rambo, can you teach us how to get maximum extraction with freezing & use the water bath to make a tincture?

  18. jimbob February 23, 2013 at 4:06 pm - Reply

    There is no scientific reason to wait five days. After approximately 30 minutes you will be pulling across NOTHING but chlorophyll and other plant based nasty shit. That’s the problem with these word of mouth recipes, they are always WRONG.

    • Rambo March 3, 2013 at 9:22 pm - Reply

      JimBob – We welcome the science on this page, bring it if you have the data. Plant based nasty shit doesn’t found very scientific though. If you are talking about terpines and flavinoids, I think many of us would like as much of those as possible in our tinctures. I promise a side by side experiment with multiple wait times both chilled and at room temperature. I honestly don’t know the science behind it but I am very curious. Experiment with article to follow… sooner or later.

  19. Famished Cook March 10, 2013 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    I have to say it is wonderful to see the science Rambo and am looking Forward to seeing your tests. I would think that freezing it, then thawing it would allow better cell penetration seeing as the ice crystals would melt . (my two cents)

    Rambo, the science is very refreshing. this and the decarb article are among the best I’ve seen. More please!

    One thing I haven’t seen much mention of by those having problems is going to straight grain or higher alcohol like Ever Clear. I know it made a big difference in the tests I did.

    So, freeze, thaw, grind, decarb, soak room temp? (1g per 1oz for 5 days) This is the method I use, except the “freeze”. 1-2ml dose works wonders very quickly.

    Note: I like to drink it with another alcohol to expidite absorption. (Swag on that one) thoughts?

  20. Distorted Elk April 1, 2013 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    Hi there,

    Love the straight forward directions and excellent follow up to questions…thanks very muchly;)!

    I’ll be finishing my fifth day in the freezer in a few hours and will be straining soon.

    I used 14g of grinded Green Alien (Hybrid %80 Sativa %20 Indica) with 250 ml of Bacardi’s 151 rum after decarbing the herb in the oven (covered with tin foil) at @240F for 1h 15min (15min to compensate for electric stove variance etc).

    This was the first time I’ve decarbed, so I was a little nervous taking it out of the foil/oven etc, as it was all brown. There wasn’t much of a smell, or at least I didn’t think so…but i’m not too worried as I have a card etc.

    The rum nicely covered the herb in the mason jar.

    I shook the jar twice a day, once at noon and the other at midnite for five days (using a spoon to push the plant matter back into the rum).

    I plan to use a few coffee filters to strain the rum into a glass and then use a ‘potato ricer’ press ($10 at Superstore) to get the rest.

    I found a glass eye dropper, but not a glass bottle so i’ll probably use a small glass with and elastic band/plastic wrap covering and keep in the fridge.

    i’d like to wait until the morning for a ‘fresh test drive’ but we’ll see. i’ll keep you posted either way.

    I was unsure how you figured out the THC doseage but this strain is approx. %16 and will probably start with 5ml and try to keep it under my tongue.

    • Distorted Elk April 4, 2013 at 9:04 pm - Reply

      Well…as I wait for my previous comment approval (is why I haven’t replied/updated etc), here’s what’s new:

      1) 151 rum can burn under your tonque, lol, so be careful

      2) i’ll probably try 10 ml but perhaps in some tea

      I sampled some right after I cleaned up etc, and was a pretty cool ride;) next time i’ll probably try an Indica stain like either a Purple or perhaps a Burmese Kush.

    • Rambo April 9, 2013 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      Sounds like you are off to a good start. If it tests at 16% THC then you know that 100 grams of the cannabis will produce 16 grams of pure THC if you get 100% extractions rates. 16 grams = 16000 mg. We know a dose is about 40-100 mg for most people. So 14 grams should produce close to 2.24 grams of THC or 2240 mg or about 22 strong doses.

  21. Dawn Anderson April 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    Rambo, very interesting information. I am not a smoker but was searching the internet for a tincture that could be secretly given to my 90 yr old grandmother. LOL She has recently moved in with my 70 yr old parents and is anorexic and very depressed. The dr’s have tried to put her on antidepressants, but she refuses. it is taking it’s toll on my parents and I was just entertaining the thought of slipping her some happy juice. I know you cannot condone this behavior, but if I were to get my hands on some weed to do this, what kind would I need that would produce a happier feeling for her and do you think it would work?

    • Rambo April 9, 2013 at 10:03 pm - Reply

      I do not condone slipping anyone drugs regardless of how much you may think they might help. Cannabis does not just make you hungry and feel good. It also makes you very high. This would probably be a very frightening and uncomfortable experience for someone who is not expecting it. It would probably lead to a trip to the emergency room and numerous tests all for nothing. caring for the elderly can certainly be a lot of work and can be a substantial drain both mentally, physically and emotionally. Maybe you and your parents should be the ones to experiment with using cannabis for stress relief.

      • Wendy August 25, 2013 at 7:25 am - Reply

        Nicely said. Never give anyone drugs with out them knowing it. That was a stupid thought.

  22. Joystik April 16, 2013 at 6:01 am - Reply

    I never knew about the freezing thing. I heard of it a few times but nobody explained that freezing your weed mix will break the cell walls to absorb more oil. I only heard that freezing it will absorb less chlorophyll.

    I understand that decarbing is a step before mixing your weed with alcohol (or glycerin in my case) but I would still put the mix on a low source of heat (under 200 F) for about 30 minutes to an hour, mostly so that straining will be easier.

    • Rambo April 17, 2013 at 8:30 pm - Reply

      alcohol even at room temperature will evaporate. At 200F it will all cook off pretty quick

  23. Matt April 23, 2013 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    @Rambo

    I read a majority of the comments and find it hard to believe that people were not getting the same results as me.

    The procedure I have followed now a dozen times with outstanding replicated results is…

    (1) coffee grind an 1/8th of bud (i have used from chronic to mids with same expectation of results – one is more potent that the either duh)

    (2) decarboxylate at 240 degrees from 40 minutes to 60 minutes (if its super dry the lower control limit, if more wet, then do the upper control limit)

    (3) split the 1/8th into 2 piles

    (4) add each pile to a 4oz jelly jar and fill to the brim with 151 proof (that is the highest i can get here)

    (5) now the debate about length of time.. for the first 6 batches so 12 jars I did the first jar for 5 days and the second at 10 days and can say that 5 is perfect. Im not sure about less time because as your instructions originally said i think for 5… so I have never gone less.

    I just want to say thank you! I have peaked on this stuff at times for 12 + hours :)

    also…

    for those who don’t to do this method (which i don’t understand because it is impossible to mess up…) look into making what is known as the green dragon. It requires boiling the alcohol + decarboxylate micture for two hours and is a pain in the ass)

  24. Ben May 1, 2013 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    I got excited and did a small amount before i read the whole article and did do the decarb step, is there a way to make this process happen once its finished

    • Rambo May 1, 2013 at 10:48 pm - Reply

      Allow the alcohol to evaporate off so you are left with a tar like hash, then heat to decarb, then add the alcohol back in to make a tincture.

  25. kilner May 3, 2013 at 11:37 pm - Reply

    Rambo, what about leaving the cannabis/alcohol mixture in a blender glass and blending instead of shaking, that should remove any THC as well as any doubt about if you have extracted all the THC.

    • Rambo May 4, 2013 at 8:39 pm - Reply

      This is an interesting idea. I suppose it would work just fine. Make sure the lid seals tight though or the alcohol will evaporate.

  26. Mekiel May 19, 2013 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    Great read! Looking forward to trying this out. I’ve been reading a lot recently on thca & cbd/cbda. I’ve stopped getting high since March, but am thinking about growing a high cbd strain to juice, as from what I’ve read, the thca & cbda present before drying/decarbing won’t get me high and will have positive anti inflammation/cancer effects. I’m wondering if the alcohol will extract the acids from fresh buds to give a potent tonic without the high. Any thoughts?

    • Rambo May 22, 2013 at 11:30 pm - Reply

      YES, you can make tinctures/tonics by extracting THCA/CBDA from cannabis that has not been decarboxylated. You won’t feel a high but you may feel medicinal benefit over time.

  27. Cinta May 24, 2013 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    How do you make a tincture that would contain all the medicinal qualities without the high effects? I’m not interested in getting high.

    • Rambo June 10, 2013 at 11:12 am - Reply

      I can’t say that it would have all of the same medicinal affects, but you may find some benefits from a cannabis tincture that has not been decarboxylated. You won’t feel high but can still enjoy the plants anti-inflammatory properties, as well as anti-proliferative (inhibiting the cell-growth in tumors/ cancer cells,) as well as anti-spasmodic (suppresses muscle-spasms.)

  28. Mysfyt June 1, 2013 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    I do not have the means to heat my headies before putting them in the timcture (I live in an apartment building with a state trooper below me, so smell is a huge issue.) Because I can’t smoke or cook with it, I opted for a tincture. I am using it to help with extreme back pain from herniated disc and pinched nerve.

    I didn’t heat before adding it to 80-proof whiskey. It’s been “brewing” in a jar in the closet for 6 days.
    I tried a few drops under tongue tonight and it didn’t do anything.

    Without heating it, am I wasting my time? Or if I leave it for a much longer time, will it finally hreak down on its own?

    Thanks from a newbie! (This is the furst time I’ve had weed in 20+ years. I feel like a teen again. Lol

    • Rambo June 10, 2013 at 10:58 am - Reply

      It will not decarboxylate on its own in the alcohol. You will need to heat it to create the chemical reaction. This can be done in the alcohol but you’ll need to be careful. Heat will evaporate the alchol and produce flammable fumes so only do this is a well ventilated area with no open flames. Consider a double boiler or similar method.

  29. Joujou August 2, 2013 at 11:43 am - Reply

    Your article is very good! I was asking my self: should i put the buds in the freezer before or after the decarboxilation ?

  30. david August 18, 2013 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    Absinthe works but the wormwood doesnt react well with mj in my humble opinion now the american absinthe that is without thujo or whatever it is they banned here , might work ok

  31. JhnnycakesDrop August 25, 2013 at 4:52 am - Reply

    As someone who doesn’t drink, i always use glycerin. : add ground plant material, keep on a constant heat of just below 100 celsius, stir or shake frequently, and you can alternate between freezing and heating to maximise potency the longer the better but i say 12 hrs minimum, i let mine steep for several days. Even though glycerin on its own is not nice I personally love the taste of glycerin tincture, tastes like the bud i put into it, and nothing more, except with a sugar-alcohol mouthfeel. Alcohol (ethanol) tinctures tend to sting/burn your mouth, and for me, aren’t enjoyable to dose with.

  32. JohnnycakesDrop August 25, 2013 at 4:53 am - Reply

    I love this website by the way, so nicely laid out, easy to use with tons of good info.

  33. viv August 28, 2013 at 8:31 am - Reply

    So if I am wanting the healing properties but no high (sorry hate the feeling of being doped up) would I just skip the whole decarboxylate step all together? I suffer from chronic pain with Loeys-dietz syndrome. I need pain relief but because of other health problems I can’t take most anti inflammatory pain relievers because risk of bleeding.

    • Rambo September 3, 2013 at 12:33 pm - Reply

      You may get some medicinal effect from THCA alone but most of the pain relieving effects are from THC, at least to my knowledge. Give it a try and see how it works for you.

  34. JD August 29, 2013 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    I could read these Rambo threads all day! Great info.
    My dispensary sells hash oil that is flavored , If I did the high proof liqour soak then let alcohol evaporate off. Would it then be hash oil? and how do people flavor their oils or tinctures? Also the whole purpose of the hash oil for me is my electronic cigarette ,load it with hash oil and on my happy way i go.So since my main purpose is to vape it in an ecig which method would be better glycern or alcohol? Is the glycern less harsh, which would be better for the ecig? Could I just mix food grade glycern with ground up bud and put in double boiler? Any ideas would be great!

    • Rambo September 3, 2013 at 12:27 pm - Reply

      You can make it with alcohol then evaporate it off to leave behind has oil. You won’t have much luck evaporating glycerin. As for flavoring… Never seen that before and would avoid adding anything to the cannabis. It likely is some kind of artificial flavoring.

  35. Matt September 1, 2013 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    Curious what your thoughts on reducing the tincture and removing the Alcohol is. I am making up a batch now and planning on reducing my 95% alcohol (yes, everclear) down to 5% water and oil. The plan was to either add it to cooking, or to use it as part of a e-liquid mixture for a e-Puffer electronic cigarette.

    What are you thoughts on this? Would the reduction be necessary? I don’t want a huge alcohol hit with this and would rather it be clean of it. But will that work as well?

    • Rambo September 3, 2013 at 12:23 pm - Reply

      just evaporate out the alcohol and the water and you will be left with hash oil.

  36. Victor R September 4, 2013 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    I’m working through this process, and i’m very excited to test the results. One question I have is about taking it sublingual. I have heard that the effect and speed of effects is much better when taken sublingual versus drinking it. I’m using the 95% everclear and I have many reservations about putting it under my tongue. Does anyone have any info on drinking it vs letting it get absorbed under the tongue? Also, if taken sublingual, how do you avoid the alcohol burn?

    • Rambo October 2, 2013 at 9:18 pm - Reply

      yes it will burn but it will take effect much faster sublingualy

  37. STEPH September 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    hello I was just given some fresh trim. do I let it dry completely the decarb, then make the tincture. my hopes are to make hard candy, and get “high”

    • Rambo October 2, 2013 at 9:01 pm - Reply

      Sure. Let it dry, then decarb or dry in the oven. either way

  38. Howard,gravity September 13, 2013 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    I see one small idea here.

    If you want to know how you are doing on your extraction process (for non oil extraction) just smoke or eat some of the left over waste. If you get as high as you did before the extraction you might want to use a different process. At least it is a testing process we all can do for free. If you decarb and leach the thc out of you weed you should be able to tell it when you smoke it.

    Also it seems to me all that waste product has the same basic thc content as the tincture. Make some high fiber brownies?

    • Deb February 21, 2014 at 10:21 pm - Reply

      If you smoke the leftovers from the tincture to test it, aren’t you also smoking the alcohol that went into making it?

  39. me October 8, 2013 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    You guys understand that cooling it makes it take longer, try dissolving salt in ice water than in hot water, thc dissolves in alcohol instantly hence why oil is only in the alcohol for about 60 seconds. One day is plenty long enough for tincture.

  40. BCK October 10, 2013 at 9:53 am - Reply

    One question. Does it make any difference if the cannabis prepared for tincture (ground up) is decarbox’d before or after the grinding? It would seem like it would take less time exposed to the heat if the weed was spread out unground v/s ground as it is less dense.

    • Rambo October 21, 2013 at 12:50 pm - Reply

      grind first for even heat

  41. Marlon October 20, 2013 at 7:12 am - Reply

    Everclear all the way, because of the alcohol %

  42. tk October 27, 2013 at 12:01 am - Reply

    Can this tincture be smoked in an e-cig? Or should I use the glycerin method?

  43. Doremi October 27, 2013 at 9:42 am - Reply

    I’ve heard that tincture made with Everclear tastes horrible and burns like hell. Has anyone tried to flavor their tincture with food quality extracts such as vanilla, lemon, almond etc.?

    • fifra November 14, 2013 at 4:27 pm - Reply

      Personally I think the Everclear tincture tastes good. I make my tinctures strong enough that one dose is about a dropperful, and then I mix that into another drink like iced tea. The amount of alcohol in a dropperful is too small to taste when it’s mixed in a drink. It does give your drink a marijuana taste, but I find it enjoyable.

      FYI everyone, Everclear is not intended to be consumed unmixed (it says so on the bottle I have) and it can burn your mouth and throat very unpleasantly. If you want to use the tincture sublingually, I’d recommend making it as strong as possible so you don’t have to put much Everclear in your mouth. Flavor extracts might make it taste better but they won’t help the burn at all.

  44. jusme October 29, 2013 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    My first experiment. 1 oz good shake (i do not have easy access) ground in coffee grinder, then put in jar with about 1 cup, maybe bit more ever clear alcohol. Intention was to shake it daily for a month or so. Looking for pain relief without the high. After reading all this wonderful info, i feel i haven’t a clue. Now i think i hear it said it will not deal with pain, only inflammation.
    - Second one, 2 oz same stuff with 28 oz coconut oil. Ground it up. Put it in toaster oven at 250 for 15 minutes. But opened it all the time because it was smoking. Cooked it over low heat, under 200 except for 5 minutes it boiled, for 1 1/2 hrs. Cooled to room temp for 24hrs. Heated again about 190 degrees for 2 hrs. Cooled room temp for 24 hrs. Today cooked for 4 hrs at 190. Was going to room temp for 2 days then strain and use small amounts as i’m lightweight. Altho i wanted to make cookies. I have no idea how to tell how strong any of this stuff will be. Or if i have done too much to it, thinking it would increase potency when maybe it would ruin it. I would really appreciate feedback. I have no one to share this experience with. I will let you know how they turn out.

  45. Holly November 6, 2013 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    I just finished up, it’s day 5 , I’m so excited. I’ve been told this will really help me sleep. I have insomnia so bad, I haven’t slept in a week. I don’t smoke haven’t since 1975, have done some eatables and got so stoned I couldn’t walk! Hope this just puts me down and doesn’t get me stoned out of my mind. I’ll let you know what happens. I’m a little scared.

    • tweety April 7, 2014 at 11:53 am - Reply

      Holly, I am curious as to how that worked out for you. I am not a smoker and I just mixed up a tincture with the intent to help me with insomnia. I am not interested in getting high, just want a sedative effect. Anybody else can help with this, it would be appreciated.

  46. Doc November 10, 2013 at 12:04 am - Reply

    My last tincture was mind blowing. 1Gm bud:1oz ETOH. Grind and decarb bud. 250°/20° then add to ninja crockpot. I use 15-30 gm batches. Set ninja to 200° outsude and away from flame…. let it go for an hour after you see boiling, uncovered. Filter after an hour, return filtered solution to ninja. Reduce until boiling at 200° has stopped. This indicates the ETOH is mostly cooked off. At this point I either draw the oil into syringes to make capsules, or depending how i filter it, I may add three parts vegetable glycerine to make a sublingual tincture, or a liquid for e cigarettes that is quite discreet. Either way, the end result is quite potent, and as long as the temp is kept low during the process, you will get RSO, or a good tincture.

  47. Rockin EZ November 15, 2013 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    Using the great info on this page I tried this to make tincture for my cat with cancer.

    1. Good bud – 3 grams ground in pot grinder
    2. Heat in oven as described above. Hand grind to fine powder.
    3. Take an airline size bottle of vodka, remove a little and put the bud powder in the bottle and seal and shake.
    4. Put in freezer for at least a week. 2 is better – shake a lot.

    It works great, and allows me to create small batches of tincture for a pet with cancer. I can rotate batches and keep them longer in the freezer.

    I reduce the alcohol by evaporation and mix it with oily fish. It gave him an appetite and he obviously feels better. He spends a lot of time on our laps purring.
    If I am going out I wanna go out stoned. Apparently the cat feels the same.

    Thanks for the info. It works for more than people.

    • joe March 19, 2014 at 9:10 pm - Reply

      might help cure him. i watch a you tube video where a bunch of people who said they were doctors were making the exact same stuff you are, and claimed a 30% success rate in tumor shrinkage. go kitty.

  48. Jack November 22, 2013 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    Im interested in starting to try this and i like the idea of using smaller mixeres rather than testing it out with ounces. I figured if i start of with lots of different alcohols and mixtures to find what would suit me best the. i could look at larger batches that i know i will like. Im not looking for the medical proporties as much as id like to get really high in areas where a quick couple drops will go unnoticed comepared to me blazing down a blunt. So the question is mainly about the ratio of bud to alcohol. So for a very potent minimum amount of drops what would be the best approach? Say i wanted to use an 1/8 follow the steps that were already laided out ( dont really care to join the freever vs counter argue enough input on that as it is) how much of that 1/8 should contribute to one dose for a prett decent high? I know i can evaporate the alcohol off to make it more and more potent. To sum this up im looking for a good starting point using an 1/8 of good ground bud and how many ounces of 100 proof vodka to use to make a strong starting point to where i need 5-8 drops to get pretty high.

  49. Curly December 22, 2013 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    I have read this article and found it useful. I am just starting this project and I am curious to wether anyone has tried to evaporate the alcohol off some. If you have does that make the tincture a bit more oil like than a straight liquid.

    • joe March 19, 2014 at 9:14 pm - Reply

      alcohol evaps at 144, thc at 250 f or so. so use a slow cooker on low and let alcohol simmer off. don’t let it dry out though, will burn your thc out of it. and don’t have any open flames, ect. alcohol vapor is explosive!

  50. E-Cig Smoker January 1, 2014 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    I would like to use the the tincture in my E-Cig.
    will I be able to reduce the pint of alcohol down to 2oz and keep the same potency?
    if so How DO I?
    Thanks

  51. Xerokaos January 19, 2014 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    Hey Rambo,

    I’d like to start off by saying thank you!!!! This is a really easy tincture to make. Decarboxylation I would have never thought about! Here is my question can I add some other herbs to the tincture, possibly Mint to change the flavor and add the health benefits that mint has to offer?

  52. Gram Vicky January 22, 2014 at 12:16 am - Reply

    I want to use Kief with honey. No alcohol. Has anyone tried this?

  53. Curious Creator January 23, 2014 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    GREAT THREAD. I have a few hopefully easy to answer questions though.
    1.)As the tincture sits for a few days is it appropriate to add more decarboxilated trim day by day to the batch? Can it negatively affect it in any way?
    2.) What is the difference between this “tincture” and the “Green Dragon” recipe?
    3.) Would putting non-decarbed trim into the alcohol, and heating it after placing it in the alcohol make a more potent tincture? My logic in thinking this being that the heat will take away some alcohol all the while converting that THCA.
    I read about 90% of the comments so i hope i didnt ask a question already asked.

  54. Greg February 6, 2014 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    Hi,
    Tried this the other day, good result.
    3.2 grams Sour Diesel, dried, powdered.
    Heat 1/2 fl. oz. vegetable glycerin to 375 F, stir in herb in small (1/8 tsp.) increments. Will foam up a bit.
    Stir for another 5 minutes after last herb added.
    Herb should be getting dark.
    Strain WHILE STILL HOT through 70 micron stainless steel mesh.
    Take solids from strainer, mix into another 1/2 fl. oz. glycerin at 375 F.
    Cook, repeat straining.
    Combine liquids, allow to cool; dark brown-orange milky looking product.
    MUCH thicker that pure glycerin.
    1 eyedropper is usually enough for relaxing, two is fun. Three? Don’t go to work.
    Theory sez THC ‘vapes at 370 F, catch vapors in a liquid. Seems to work!
    Liquid ‘vape!

  55. Dave February 28, 2014 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    I started a batch of tincture before I knew about decarbing. 12g ground bud in 10oz everclear has been in for two days. I was planing on double boiling and reducing by 25-30%. Should I strain out the material, dry it and decarb it in the oven or will it decarb at 175 or so while reducing the alcohol?

    • Dave March 2, 2014 at 9:49 pm - Reply

      Setup double boiler on Saturday and had bud/alcohol at 200deg for 30 minutes – tried 1.5ml, not much effect. Going to let it sit another week and see if it improves. Is 200 for 30min long enough to decarb and will it work in alcohol?

  56. Archie Peters March 2, 2014 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    Vodka with decard bud in and out of the freezer being all shooked up – I’ll report on results.
    Meantime want to tell you my edibles experience:
    I’ve been smoking for nigh on 40 years, so thought I was quite the experienced toker.
    Anyway – purchased a Volcano vaporiser, to reduce my combustion usage. After pushing each load through the vape a few times, I would collect the ‘waste’, thinking it was exhausted.
    After a few weeks I had about half a cup of ‘spent’ weed – or at least I thought it was spent. Big mistake.
    Knowing I was having a massage in a couple of hours, I made a pancake and dumped the weed into it. I then ate it.
    Took a while, but during the massage, I felt it coming on…. and on….. and on…. and on. I had to tell the masseuse to stop when it became too weird. She left.
    What followed was many hours of hell.
    I kept on thinking….. c’mon man, you’re a seasoned smoker – this is just dope. It was horrible – the worst aspect was not being able to control my thoughts – eventually I ended up sitting on my bed with the light on, repeating a mantra – something like – you’re safe, in your room, this will pass!
    Started at 6pm – felt normal again at around 3am!!
    Moral of the story – BE CAREFUL with edibles. Reading the comments above, it seems the main problem is lack of potency. How I wished that was my problem during that horrible experience!
    By the way, I was later told that high vit-C doses can mitigate the overdose effect.
    Love and peace to all
    Archie

  57. joe March 19, 2014 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    a point about freezing. I don’t see any higher thc in freezing, and thats not really the purpose of it. I use ever clear, for maximum effect, and soak for at least ten days.
    The alcohol is a polarized detergent, that melts or whatever the thc. the 5% water in the ever clear is an oppositely polarized detergent, which works on the chlorophyll and plant matter.
    so if you want clear, better tasting honey looking tincture, freeze everything. if you want stronger, better medicating tincture, let it sit, room temp. it should look dark green and taste like ass when your done.
    ps, also i decarboxolate after the aging process, i don’t recommend it for newbies cuz it can be dangerous if you don’t mind your highly flammable alcohol, but it makes the best stuff. good luck all, and no comments plz. if anyone feels like critiquing me, plz control the urge. good day.

  58. Jane Lyndon March 28, 2014 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    I want to make a cannabis oil for my brother who has cancer. He cannot take anything by mouth and is fed via gastric feeding tube. He will be taking the oil as a cancer treatment as opposed to a pain or nausea reliever or a mood altering substance i have high cbd content buds. If i make the oil, can it be blended with the liquid food he takes via feeding tube?

  59. Ken April 11, 2014 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    Ok so let me get this straight. I just read this ENTIRE thread here. I was given some tincture but have no idea how it was made beside the fact that ever clear was used. And yes it was fairly potent. I’m going to do my own batch in a couple days here. I’m going to decarb my buds as this seems to increase potency. One thing I did know however from my oil making days is that very little contact time is required (at least when making oil as too much contact made the oil green and unfit for consumption) I’m going to use 151 as a minimum base. Was thinking I could possibly slowly freeze the booze with dry ice in a cooler to separate to ethanol from the useless sugars and water in the 151. I have seen vodka freeze and separate in extreme cold weather so this may be crazy enough to work. I’ll keep you all posted on my results I’m thinking that too much contact time will create a green unpleasant tasting product. I know when I used to brew oil from ISO my pre-cook liquid was always a light colour the finished product looked like dark honey.

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