How to Make an Alcohol Free Cannabis Tincture




About: we're a couple of medical cannabis farmers that believe in responsible and educated use of cannabis for all! we hope our instructables will teach you useful skills that you can use to grow, process, and medi...

A glycerin tincture is a cost effective and safe way to medicate with cannabis. It's alcohol free, which is great for those who are sensitive to it. It's also entirely customizable, just like cannabis coconut oil. You can choose to use only sativa strains for daytime medication, high CBD strains for mood improvement, or indica strains for help with sleeping or pain relief.

The dosing for tinctures is a little more all over the place because chances are you'll be mixing several different strains and cuts of cannabis to make it or not be entirely sure of the THC content of everything going in. It'll take a bit of experimenting to figure out the best dose for you and your tolerance.

This tincture will take at least 60 days to finish but it takes very little effort during that time.

We found out about these tinctures originally from Subcool and MzJill - if you'd like to learn more about them, please click through and read the whole High Times article. There's a lot of argument about this method in the comments, but I think it's great.

Step 1: Tools + Ingredients


  • food-safe vegetable glycerin
  • decarboxylated sugar trim, kief, buds - even hash!


In this tincture, we used homegrown Cheesequake. We chose to grow Cheesequake because it's a very good indica - not a super hard hitter, but very relaxing and it has a good effect on my mood. We used hash (3-4 grams), bud and some trim.

Sadly we weren't thinking about posting instructables when we started this tincture so we don't have photos of the dried material that went in. Instead, here's a nice photo of some vegetable glycerin and some beautiful Doctor Who buds.

Step 2: Prep Work

It's always a good idea to decarboxylate beforehand, so click here to learn about that. Decarbing will keep you safe and make your tincture more potent.

Subcool ground his cannabis quite fine his tincture and we did not (just a chunky grind), but go with whatever you think is best.

You'll also want to sanitize a large glass jar (we have a quart size mason jar for this) and any measuring or funneling equipment.

Because this tincture will be taken orally it's very important to be careful about sanitation! You never want to make yourself or someone else sick.

Step 3: Combine and Let Sit

Fill the jar at least 3/4 off the way to the top with your decarboxylated cannabis. Don't pack it in, just let it settle naturally.

Once it's in, pour vegetable glycerin over the top until the cannabis is entirely covered.

Step 4: What to Do During the 60 Day Waiting Period

While you don't need to do much, it's a good idea to at least rotate the jar once a day if you remember.

We flipped the jar every now and then so it was constantly going between sitting upright or lid down.

(Full disclosure: we kinda forgot about our tincture. It was hiding in the closet. We took it more than 60 days. I don't even know how long it went!)

Step 5: Bonus Decarbing

Before you strain your tincture you can do one last thing: decarboxylate.

Subcool suggested doing it this way:

Put the whole mason jar, lid and all, into the oven and set it to 170 F. Once the oven is preheated, set a timer for 45 minutes and let the tincture warm up. (I personally think the temp here is too long and the time is too short - but since it's already decarbed I'm not too worried.)

Once it's up, turn off the oven and let the jar hang out until it's cool to the touch. (I don't recommend taking it out of the oven until it's cool - setting it on too-cool a surface could cause the glass to crack.)

If you're worried about your jar breaking, I'd say it might be best to pour the tincture into a small crock pot or pan on low heat and heat it that way.

Step 6: Straining

Using a canning strainer stand and bag is one of the simplest ways to do this. Just set up your stand and attach the straining bag firmly with a couple knots - it will be weighted down by the tincture and you don't want it to fall into the bowl below.

Pour the entire contents of the jar into the strainer bag and let it sit overnight if you can. It will take a long time to drip through!

Either wrap around the bottom vessel with plastic wrap to keep it free from debris or place it in a clean, cool place where it won't get knocked over.

Step 7: Storage + Use

Vegetable glycerin has a shelf life of 14-24 months, so I expect to store this for at least a year easily! We ended up with about 12 oz of tincture. We're keeping it in the fridge.

To use, simply take a bit orally. You can take it straight OR add it to tea, coffee, or whatever else you're drinking. The vegetable glycerin gives it a crazy sweet taste, so it works well in drinks and smoothies. :)

I take my tinctures straight and so does my mom - she uses a tincture daily to help with pain from a hip replacement, and I use mine for anxiety for the most part.

Remember to try it out the first time when you don't have anywhere to be for a while! I started with about half a dropper and worked my way up to 1-2 droppers. I've seen other folks reporting they take up to 2 tablespoons a day!

The strength of your tincture will really all depend on what you put in, so remember to keep playing around with your dose until you find one that works for you. :)



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24 Discussions


2 years ago

We've been making glycerin canna tincture for over two years. We fill quart mason jar with weed, pour glycerin over it screw lid on. Put into crock pot half full of water. Medium heat 24-48 hours. Shake every 4-6 hours. Add water as needed to the Crock-Pot.Strain through cheesecloth. No refrigeration, and we have used it in vape pens. We use it in all kinds of food. We have made bread, pizza ask kinds of food.

1 reply

Question 1 year ago on Introduction

I've heard Karo Syrup can be substituted for vegetable glycerin, is this true?


1 year ago

Do you have to use buds or can you use just the leaves ?


2 years ago

Can I buy a 1/2 gram of let's say Harlequin from a dispensary and make CBD tinctures from that?


2 years ago

I did make some already, waited the 60 days etc... it works well for me.. my question is do I HAVE TO refridgerate and how long can you keep the tincture


4 years ago

Thanks so much for another great instructable, much appreciated as I'm in the same boat. Having to use extracts for pain & mood. Quick question: I can't decarboxylate where we live due to the smell. It'll alert the entire neighborhood. Can I make this tincture using my phoenix tears or CBD oil, rather than dry material? I'm assuming I can & that it'll save me several steps but just concerned as I haven't done it before with this specific herb.

3 replies

Reply 3 years ago

I have just tried decarboxylating using a sous vide method where you boil it in a vacuum sealed bag for 1 our 40 minutes. This prevents the smell from getting out. Do a search on it, there are a couple of you tube videos on how to do it.


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

That's actually a great idea because I know sometimes those oils can be so hard to take they way they're packaged. They're so sticky! This way you can dilute it and make it a little easier. :)

I would recommend combining the veg glycerin and tears/oil in a small pan or crockpot and warming them up until they combine. You could even put them in a small measuring cup or bowl in a hot water bath - you just want them to warm up and so they can mix.

The one caveat here is to make sure you do this in a way that there are no open flames around the process. Many cannabis extracts are made using extremely flammable materials so it's good to be careful.


Reply 4 years ago

Yes, I'm fed up trying to dose myself with CBD concentrate unless I'm vaping it. It's horrible stuff to work with, but still very effective. Thanks for the advice, will make tinctures of various types this weekend. You've also given a great caution that wouldn't even have occurred to me, or many other people.


4 years ago on Introduction

PSA: Check your oven temperature with an accurate oven thermometer. The control on your oven may be off by quite a bit.

2 replies

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

It'd be terrible to turn out something less that perfect, given the cost of the raw material and time/effort.


4 years ago on Introduction

could this be used in and E-Cig? my ma has one and doesnt like actually smoking the cannabis. we looked into edibles but they can be pretty pricy.

4 replies

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Most folks use food-safe propylene glycol for their vape pens, but I know some folks use veg glycerin, too. Veg glycerin will cause a lot more "smoke" when you smoke, so keep that in mind.

I would definitely be careful and buy the most expensive and food safe veg glycerin you can if you want to go that route. Anything nasty in it will end up in the vapor, so it's good to be careful.

Here's an article over it:


Reply 4 years ago

it may work considering that vg is one of the ingredients in ejuice


Reply 4 years ago

Cool thank you! We will try it out and let you know.