How To Make Cannabis Tinctures

Cindy Lou December 20, 2011 152
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


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

    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?

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

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

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

    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.

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

    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!

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

    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 -

      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?

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

    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

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

    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.

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

    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?

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

    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.

  10. alice April 21, 2014 at 2:57 pm -

    I read ALL of the comments and didnt see an answer to my question so I’ll ask (doesn’t look like rambo is responding anymore but maybe someone else knows). I’m going to use everclear and let the alcohol evaporate…will it still burn if placed under the tongue? Looking at the question in black and white it now seems like a dumb question…lol. I’m guessing/hoping no. Thanks for any help.

  11. Cristy April 23, 2014 at 6:45 pm -

    What is the shelf life of the tincture?

  12. Ken April 26, 2014 at 7:32 pm -

    Alice…if you let all the ever clear evaporate you’ll be left with a horrible sludgy mess. What I do is use Bacardi 151 mixed one to one with ever clear. Bake the herb gently at about 230F for ten minutes. Crush into a fine powder. I use a half pint canning jar for the whole process. I smash it up in the jar with a small spoon. I use 5 grams of bud to 4 ounces of booze. I let it soak until it begins to turn green. Run it thru a coffee filter into another small jar. Place jar in a pot with about 3 inches of water and get it boiling full bore and make sure to turn on the fan above the stove. After about 7-10 minutes most of the alcohol will have boiled off but there’s still enough in there to keep the resins dissolved. Still burns a little but not as bad as ever clear and now the solution has been concentrated. I get enough to fill a 50 millilitre dropper vial. 2mls pretty much levels anyone….enjoy :-)

  13. Ken April 26, 2014 at 7:37 pm -

    Christy I’m pretty sure that because there is alcohol in it it should be well preserved for quite some time. Just keep it in a cool dark spot I bet it would be good for years.

  14. ellen April 28, 2014 at 10:05 am -

    Anyone try vinegar instead of alcohol yet? I hear vinegar is a solvent for tinctures, but not sure how well it will work with cannabis. Anyone try it yet?

  15. lisa May 4, 2014 at 5:03 pm -

    I’ve been using the slow cooker method to make vegetable tincture. My question is, how many times can I make tincture from the same leaf? So far I’ve been using it only 4 times with each time letting it steep longer. Also, is there anything i can do with the leaf once I’m done? Smoke or make wax out of it? I tried using the herb once in cupcakes but I need the medicinal properties from it and in that form it had too many of the hallucinogenic properties. Thanks.

  16. Smokey May 26, 2014 at 7:58 pm -

    To Renee, you were trying to cure a cancer.
    We use a plant that can cure caner, all natural and grows in the hills here. You may find it where you live perhaps, it is a weeping pittosporum or commonly know here in oz as Gumbi Gumbi. Check it out, it save lives. I have seen personally seen it cure prostate and an inoperable brain tumor it seems to get results fairly quickly. Can be used as tea or the dried powder in capsules.
    Cheers Smokey

  17. Lambert the Old June 2, 2014 at 3:28 pm -

    Could you use the tincture in a asthma nebulizer?

  18. Pat June 9, 2014 at 10:52 am -

    I am going to try and make a tincture using Everclear,can someone give me a simple recipe for a first time? I have seen so many not sure which one to try
    Thanks Pat

  19. big tater June 11, 2014 at 12:17 pm -

    Good news everyone!
    I created the tincture as described above using 1/8th an ounce of medical grade cannabis… it made 2 ounces exactly. The prescribed dosage above was a good idea, the first 3 drops after a 10 minute wait inspired a second dose(5 drops) which was way plentiful for my ailment. since i was more interested in the relief from arthritic and degenerative pain i only baked the cannabis for 30 minutes leaving a mix level of thc & thca. I recommend this recipe to everyone as a good base to adjust from to fit your personal needs.

  20. Pat June 12, 2014 at 5:54 pm -

    Hello, I was wondering if someone can tell me what strain of MMJ to use for back pain as Im new to this and have no idea,this is for making a tincture.
    Thanks in advance. Pat

    • big tater July 13, 2014 at 5:03 pm -

      Pat, I used a purple kush. I also read some forums that suggest a plant hi in CBD’s called Harlequin has the lowest count of thc & thca’s. I made my tincture high in thca for the inflamation around my spine… low head buzz great back relief! You may need a harlequin strand for the neural pain blockers. I also desire neural relief. I am creating a new batch for this purpose with a 60/40 sativa/indica hybrid I came across relying mostly on the cbd’s than the thca. Hopefully a result in a reduction in neural pain and a mild sedative affect.

  21. big tater July 13, 2014 at 5:05 pm -

    BTW… this new recipe uses the glycerin medium to carry the medication.

  22. martin July 13, 2014 at 10:59 pm -

    why cant you use isopropyl alcohol? I can’t get Everclear here in ontario

    • refchef July 17, 2014 at 10:33 am -

      OMG!!! You CANNOT ingest isopropyl alcohol!! Should say so on the bottle. Use 151 rum.

  23. What August 19, 2014 at 5:27 pm -

    Weird that nobody has commented on this. You are giving instructions on how to make a sublingual tincture. you even comment that “only a few drops” would be needed. Then you proceed to give instructions involving FIVE HUNDRED ML’s of ALCOHOL. 100% of the people here are looking for a *tincture* … not a thirst quenching drink. Tinctures always come in 1ml dropper bottles. 1 ml. Not 500 … Because of this discrepancy I am at a loss as to how to proceed. I am confounded as to why you’re giving tincture instructions that result in an entire coke bottle worth of liquid. Pretty certain you can’t fit that under your tongue.

    • Rambo August 24, 2014 at 9:27 am -

      The process for making a large batch is the same as making a small one. Just scale up or down.