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Tinctures: Using Alcohol and Glycerin Based

Discussion in 'Incredible, Edible Herb' started by Horticulturist, May 1, 2009.

  1. Over the past 6 months, I've researched and developed alcohol based tinctures to treat people with insomnia and pain related ailments. I've refined the process of preparation and extraction to a point that really translates the % of THC, CDB and CBN very well. At this point, I know I'm not wasting as much as when I started. I've made 50 or 60 small batches and about 5 or so larger batches using an ounce or more. Perhaps I will take the time to document all of my research one day for others as there is no comprehensive guide about this subject that I know of.

    Recently, I've been very interested in developing a glycerin based tincture for people that don't like the idea of consuming even trace amounts of high proof ethanol or have problems metabolizing medication that way. I've read just about everything you can find within the first 20 results on google (yes including that 50+ page thread on that other message forum that features campy adverts with buds slathered all over naked boobs and butts). From what I found, there's a few different techniques that are commonly talked about - slow cooking, isomerization (?) with BHO, fresh ground buds / mixing with a jar / waiting for months. They all probably get the job done just fine depending on what your goals are. So I decided to just cook up my own batch using only a few modifications from my alcohol based technique; substituting alcohol with a 100% glycerin product I found at a pharmacy.

    The first try I cooked up a small 8th using a strain that I really enjoy called MK Ultra. Since I have an alcohol equivalent to compare it to, there is a loose standard that I can reference to gauge how effective my process is. After some effort and a little patience, I ended up with a thick dark sludge that really goops up my dropper. Since I'm a good guinea pig for the first batch, I tried my first dose @ 1 ml a few hours before bed the other night in some tea. It wasn't bad tasting at all. Within the first few minutes I started to feel it take affect. Within 10 minutes, I felt pretty damn stoned.

    It's a bit premature but compared to my alcohol based, MK Ultra tincture, the glycerin based tincture took hold in about half the time, was easily way more intense however it fell flat quite quickly. I did sleep well and didn't wake up like when I don't dose so I can say it was effective, at least for my own sleep issue.

    Could anyone who has experimented with both glycerin and alcohol based tinctures comment on their experience with glycerin based tinctures and their differences? I know glycerin tinctures can be taken sublingually (under the tongue). Is that more ideal?Thanks!!!
  2. #2 countzer0, May 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2009
    I prefer a glycerin tincture myself. The only way to get it as potent as i like however it to start with hash or BHO/ISO extract as you can get more THC into the same volume of glycerin this way. You could always do multiple runs, ie use however much you can fit in the glycerin, then filter, then do it again with fresh herb and the same glycerin. For insomnia i recomend using vape leftovers as they usually have a good amount of the couch lock still in them, or you could pre-heat your weed in the oven at 275 for about 10 minutes.

    Glycerin does come on faster but take longer to get the thc into it. How did you do your extraction with time or heat? I recommend both .

    I do it in a mason jar with the lid on loosely and use a coffe warmer on it for a few hours daily with some good shaking in-between over a period of about 5 days. I have tried longer but it didnt seem to get much more potent.

    I usually throw some lemon zest in the mix as it greatly adds to the flavor.

    You can cut your glycerin tincture with propylene glycol or grain alcohol and use it in an atomizer type device such as an e-cig / e-cigar or medical nebulizer.
  3. 275 for 10 minutes should decarboxylate approx ~40% CDB and ~60-75% THC. CBDA takes a bit longer to convert so it's usually a good idea to go a bit higher (Ideally 284 for 30 minutes has a ~97% effeciency on CBDa -> CBD with 100% THCa->THC, however only ~6% THC lost to CBN). Decarboxylation efficiency is a tough thing to guage without knowing what's in the plant. I've found it's easiest to choose strains that are mostly dominant with one or the other and adjust the temperature / duration for the best results. You can always mix after. A simple guideline that's easy to use for 50/50 strains is to heat grounds @ 248 for 1 hour for a balanced conversion (~97% CBDa->CBD, ~99% THCa->THC with only a tiny bit of THC->CBN conversion). Of course there's allot to be said about THC reactivity to air during this process so, wrapping it tight in tinfoil is fine or if you have a clay pot with a cover you can use, it helps.

    I usually don't strain or boil anything with alcohol tinctures. After the heat process, I just toss it in some warm 94% ethanol (home distilled) and it's practically ready to use in 30 minutes without much trouble. The active ingrediants just need to disolve but a good high proof alcohol can do that pretty fast. If you decarboxylate correctly, you can just eat the grounds if you wanted to but it wouldn't taste very good and it would be hard to accurately dose. You're right about lemon. Lemon, honey + a few ml = not bad.

    How thick is the BHO and can it be mixed easily when a modest amount of heat is applied ? I suppose you could get a good ounce or two of leaves, buds, whatever, grind it up, decarboxylate, extract with butane (wait for it boil off) then figure out how to easily mix with the glycerin. Sounds pretty interesting.

    Thanks for sharing :)
  4. hi everyone
    i have been looking for a glycerin tincture recipe for months but sofar no luck. i really want one that is quick and uses heat.
    can someone give me any recipes they have for tinture be in alcohol or glycerin.

    anything will help.
  5. #5 Horticulturist, May 4, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2009
    Hi rocknroller.

    After some recent attempts, I've found that glycerin tinctures seem to have a very responsive affect but don't seem to last as long as alcohol. The feedback I get from the people I help seems to be the same. Personally, I like them both equally and generally they are good for different purposes. The alcohol tinctures are slightly more work but the THC and CBD content can be transfered out of the plant and consumed the same day with good results. The last glycerin tincture last night was not bad an hour after I pulled it out of the oven and was even better today. Glycerin isn't as good of a solvent as alcohol is for sure but it will work given a little patience.

    Briefly, this how I make glycerin based tincture (adjust the quatities for your own propotion)-

    • 1/8th oz of semi-finely ground cannabis (slightly more granular then you would grind coffee)
    • 4-5 oz of glycerin


    1. Preheat oven to 120f with pyrex measuring cup containing glycerin. After it's been heated, it will be less dense and more fluid.
    2. Remove pyrex cup from oven once fluid and stir in ground plant matter.
    3. Heat oven to 248f immediately after you pull the cup of glycerin out.
    4. Cover cup with tinfoil. Wait for most of the grounds to leave the top of the glycerin.
    5. After the grounds settle a bit, your oven should be nice and ready. It's not super important so don't wait forever.
    6. Cook the pyrex cup for for exactly 50 minutes.
    7. After 50 minutes, let it set for about 10 minutes and stir. Use a little cool water on the sides of the cup to cool the contents down so you can pour it into, ideally, a dark amber bottle or jar.

    It's usually get's better after a day or two but it should be useful the day you cook it up. Glycerin will take a while to extract the THC and CBD out. Personally, I wouldn't bother straining anything out as more and more of the active ingredients will continue to dissolve into the glycerin. The majority of what you want should extract within the first few days. The stuff that doesn't dissolve, your body will metabolize it anyway and you will get the effect (just not as fast).

    One special note I should mention is that overcooking will degrade THC content. Longer cooking times are great for high CBD rich Indica's but is completely unnecessary and will produce much higher % of cannabinol which has the potential to make you feel wrecked (in a bad way).

    For storing, use something like an amber bottle or a food grade container that won't allow much light to touch your tincture. Store in a dark place like a cupboard for the best shelf life.
  6. #6 countzer0, May 4, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2009
    If you give it enough heat/time, the glycerin will extract as much as the alcohol, and i find the body takes the glycerin tincture in quicker. My method is in the post above...

    Once warm as you pointed out the glycerin is more like liquid and at that point the bho will dissolve pretty easily. I still find it takes a day of two for it to evenly disperse if your using larger amounds of solvent. Thats why i typically use about 2oz of mids to yield a few grams of BHO then melt that into about 2 tablespoons of glycerin. The BHO will easily dissolve and disperse in that little amount within hours.

    Im not a huge fan of the effects of full CBDA conversion (but to each his own) . I usually vape at a low temp as well. Although i can see where these would be preferable if you have a big problem sleeping.
  7. I made a glycerin based tincture using my leftover vaped leaf - it came out great, and I'm going to make another one very soon.

    The first batch I used vegetable based glycerin, about 6 oz worth - filled up a mason jar with that and about an ounce of poo (29 grams or so). Sealed it up and put it in the closet...I turned it once or twice a day for the next 3 months.

    When it was done, I strained out the liquid using cheese cloth, mixed in a little kaluha flavored coffee syrup (no alcohol) and bottled it. Two droppers were a nice dose.
  8. How much of the THC is absorbed by the alcohol and glycerin? Does anyone know if there difference in the amount absorbed between the two?
  9. Hey WildWill, I got a bunch of poo myself and would like to make something useful out of it. I got more like 40 grams of poo so should I use a little more glycerin or could I still make it work? Is it important to mix it up or if I let it be for a few months would that be alright?
  10. There shouldn't be any difference between the two as far as I know. I don't drink alcohol anymore (for medical reasons), so an alcohol based tincture isn't really much help to me

    I would think 40 grams should be more than enough. Since my post above I've made another batch, half of the material was poo and the other half was left overs from roaches, if I had to guess I'd say there were about 50 grams or so of material. I put them all in with about 18 oz of glycerin, into a crock pot that I left overnight on low. By morning I had a tincture...and it's stronger than my last batch. Not as tasty but stronger.
  11. is it possible to add this tincture to bud and let it dry allowing the bud to become stronger? or is this only possible with the alcohol due to the ethanol evaporating at room temp.
  12. sorry to bring a dead thread to life but should i decarb the bud before i put it in the glycerin
  13. can anyone tell me if it is possible to decarb cannabis by putting ground cannabis and glycerin in a crock pot and heating it?
  14. I will be publishing a comprehensive guide in the near future on my website. I've made thousands of batches over the years but essentially, this what it's about:

    * Freeze your buds for an hour or two
    * Grind them finely using a coffee grinder
    * Tap the grounds onto some tinfoil
    * Spread the grounds evenly -- no higher than approx 4mm
    * Fold the tinfoil over 3-4 times to keep the air off your grounds

    * Throw it in a pre-heated oven (see approx cook times from previous post as a guideline)
    * Warm a portion of glycerin until it stirs easily before your baking is done (pyrex cup for smaller batches. Pyrex bowl for bigger batches.)
    * Remove your tinfoil package with hot grounds from the oven
    * Scrape your grounds from the tinfoil into your glycerin as soon as possible (it's easier to scrape while it's warm)
    * Stir for a few minutes
    * Enjoy

    I wouldn't bother straining the grounds as they're still useful. My general rule is 1/8oz of grounds per 150ml of glycerin (or alcohol) as a starting point. One caveat with glycerin is that if taken straight, it will make you shit like crazy if you eat too much of it so it's preferable to make it as potent as possible so you can avoid this undesired effect by using less glycerin and more grounds.

    I hope that's helpful.

  15. The short answer is yes, probably. Since glycerin is not a lipid it doesnt protect the cannabinoids and since its an alcohol it should dissolve the THC the same as alcohol (on a molecular level) and also allow for decarbing with heat like extract in alcohol or water does. This does not work on fat.

    I've also never done a glycerin extract but thats what I would expect and have heard from people who make glycerin tinctures. Your best bet in my opinion would be to go ahead and decarb beforehand at least for a half an hour which is very conservative.
  16. Thank you Horticulturist this is very helpful, I have just one question. When you say "Fold the tinfoil over 3-4 times to keep the air off your grounds" is this just making a tinfoil envelope?

    As for TheOracle I know the basic science of decarboxylation its just hard to find a good method that has been tested for quality. It would be great but I don't think anyone has done this, if some has decarboxylated with many methods and then taken the decarboxylated cannabis to a lab for THC content testing.
  17. I have been working on developing tinctures and tried a few methods using high proof alcohol (85%) and glycerine, I've found the best results from using a mix. My current methodology is as follows:

    Using 1g, which provides approx. 5 doses
    Decarb at 310F for 20 minutes in sealed container (I use a mason jar)
    Add glycerine (10ml), water (10ml) and alcohol (10ml)
    Use a slow cooker on the keep warm setting to heat for 15 hours

    I know a lot of people have cooked for far longer, but I have reduced the time to 12-15 hours to account for the fact I am only cooking 1g-3g at a time.
    The alcohol I am using is lemon extract.
    I am using water to provide the extra Hydrogen bonds needed
    I am using a glycerine/Alcohol mix to prevent burning the tongue
    Each does takes approx. 45 mins for effects to become apparent, peaking between 90-120 minutes, and subsiding completely around 240 mins (4 hours)

    The results have been great, however the time it takes for effects to be felt is about 45 minutes. This would indicate it is being absorbed in the gut, rather than underneath the tongue.

    Does anyone have any idea of how to solve this? Ideally I want the quickest absorption time possible, 15 mins is obviously possible but I am struggling to get this! Searched through forums and sites a lot (I've been playing with this for over a year now), but happy to look at any links anyone has!

    Interested in hearing any other methods, although please provide details (eg weights and any evidence you have), I have tried a lot of different methods including using N02 to force out active components, happy to share if anyone wants advice!

  18. I usually use EverClear and cannabis. If I use 10grams of cannabis I will use 10 oz of EverClear .. Shake it for 5 mins. Put away in a dark, dry cabinet in my case the kitchen cabinet for up to a month shake ever day. Read everything on the subject and weed out what you think is wrong or just don't want to do. Only way to learn ...trial and error!

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