Cannabis tinctures are discreet and potent products. As an alternative to an alcohol-based tincture, a glycerin-based cannabis tincture allows patients to experience the therapeutic power of cannabis without ingesting any alcohol in the process.
What Is Vegetable Glycerin?
Vegetable glycerin, also known as vegetable glycerine or glycerol, is a colorless and odorless liquid usually made from coconut, palm, or soybean oils. Unlike the bitter and harsh taste of an alcohol tincture, vegetable glycerin has a mild and sweet taste with a syrupy consistency.
Vegetable glycerin is a popular ingredient in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products and has many other uses. Vegetable glycerin may provide numerous health benefits, including better skin, constipation relief, and better hydration.
Alcohol vs. Vegetable Glycerin Tincture
Some users may be unable to or don’t want to use high-proof alcohol as a cannabis trichome solvent. Vegetable glycerin has a milder and slightly sweet taste compared to alcohol-based tinctures’ bitter and harsh taste.
Generally, alcohol is a better solvent and preservative compared to glycerin. Alcohol-based tinctures will have a longer shelf life, about 3 to 5 years, compared to glycerin tinctures which may be good for 1 to 2 years.
What You Need to Make a Glycerin Cannabis Tincture
Making tinctures using glycerin as a solvent is easy if you have the right ingredients and supplies. The tools needed to make glycerin tinctures are the same as when making alcohol-based tinctures.
Here’s everything you need to make a glycerin tincture at home:
- Dried plant material
- Mason jar
- Food-grade vegetable glycerin
- Crockpot (optional)
- Cheesecloth or other straining material
- Large bowl
- Silicone spatula
- Latex gloves
- Oven mitts
- Dropper bottles
- Oven-proof dish
- Oven thermometer (optional)
How to Make a Glycerin-Based Cannabis Tincture
With all your materials (listed above) in hand, you can start making your glycerin-based cannabis tincture with these step-by-step instructions:
- Preheat the oven to 212º F (100º C). Wait until the oven completely warms up.
- Cut the cleaned and sorted cannabis into pea-sized pieces. The idea is to expose the plant’s surface area to heat as much as possible without removing the bud’s trichomes.
- Place the prepared cannabis in an oven-safe dish, ideally with a transparent cover. Spread the material around evenly.
- Place an oven thermometer on top of the bud and cover the oven-proof baking dish.
- Place the baking dish in the preheated oven. Check on the cannabis every 10 minutes to check when the thermometer reaches 212º F.
- When you reach 212º F, heat the dish for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Ensure there are no temperature fluctuations throughout the process.
- After 1 hour and 20 minutes, turn the oven off and use the oven mitts to remove the baking dish from the oven.
- Allow the dish to cool for half an hour before removing the cover.
- Place the prepared plant matter in a Mason jar.
- Cover the cannabis with food-grade liquid vegetable glycerin.
- Let the mixture sit for at least 60 days, shaking every day.
- To speed up the infusion process, you can place the jar in a water-filled crockpot to heat it gently, shaking it every hour. In this case, your infusion can be ready in a day or two.
- Line a strainer with four layers of cheesecloth and place it on top of a large container or bowl.
- Wear latex or rubber gloves to protect your hands.
- Pour the cannabis mixture into the lined strainer. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for the liquid to strain through.
- Fold the plant material into the cheesecloth and gently squeeze the remaining liquid into the strainer. Set aside.
- Allow another 10 to 15 minutes for the liquid to strain through. Discard any liquid that doesn’t go through the filter.
- Transfer the oil to a 4-ounce Boston round bottle or Mason jar. The oil can be stored at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or the freezer.
How Long Does It Take to Make a Cannabis Tincture?
Making a cannabis-infused tincture using glycerin at home does not take much time but requires a long soaking process.
- Preparing the dried material and decarboxylating it can take about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- The infusion process takes at least 60 days with daily shaking or 1 to 2 days if using a crockpot to speed up the process.
- The filtration process takes about 40 minutes or so.
How to Consume Cannabis Tincture
Cannabis glycerin tinctures are discreet and versatile infused products that can be used in several different ways. Tinctures can be taken under the tongue or consumed with food or beverages. This makes it an ideal consumption method for many users.
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One of the most popular delivery methods is through sublingual absorption (under the tongue), allowing compounds to quickly absorb through the blood vessels and reach the brain in a matter of minutes, providing 2 to 3 hours of effects.
Another way to enjoy cannabis tinctures is by adding them to your food or drink. When ingesting cannabis tinctures orally, they must go through the digestive system to metabolize, which can take 60 to 90 minutes for the effects to kick in but produce effects that can last up to 8 hours.
Benefits of Cannabis Tinctures
Easy to Precisely Dose
Cannabis tinctures are easier to dose precisely. Dropper bottles have droppers that include milliliter measurements, showing you how much liquid you’re taking.
Good for First-Timers
Tinctures are great for first-time users who want to find the smallest dose needed to provide their desired effects without any side effects.
Discreet Delivery Method
Tinctures are odorless and easy to carry around in an opaque dropper bottle, making them ideal for discreet consumption.
Compared to edibles, cannabis tinctures are low in calories. Edibles contain significantly higher amounts of calories.
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Compared to edibles, cannabis tinctures have faster-acting effects. Sublingual absorption delivers effects within 10 to 15 minutes.
Long Shelf Life
If stored in a dry, cool, and dark place, tinctures can be stored for 1 to 2 years without losing much potency. The shelf life of tinctures is longer than most other infused products.
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