Alcohol Free Medical Cannabis Tincture

The following recipe came in on my Medical Cannabis news feed this morning – it’s for an alcohol free marijuana tincture; a brilliant alternative for those who for one reason or another can’t take alcohol. Many herbal tinctures are made using alcohol extraction and they are generally effective; however, there are potential hazards, the major one being using heat with a flammable material.

A bit of information about vegetable glycerine before we start wouldn’t go amiss:

You may know vegetable glycerin better as vegetable glycerol; a substance in very wide use within the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. It is also used to sweeten and moisten low-carbohydrate foods. Its syrupy consistency and the fact that it doesn’t freeze make it useful for storage of sensitive laboratory matter.

The one disadvantage of a glycerin extraction compared to an alcohol extraction is in shelf-life; your alcohol free marijuana tincture will have a much shorter one. The answer to this, of course, is not to make so much…

Recipe for Alcohol Free Cannabis Tincture

With thanks to Papa Kief – Collective Consultant and Cannabis Activist

Ingredients (Variable in increments of 8.5ml glycerin per gram)

  • 1/8 oz well ground high quality cannabis
  • 1/8 cup food grade Vegetable Glycerin (commonly found at drugstores and pharmacies)


  • Cheesecloth
  • A glass jar and lid
  • A glass dropper bottle (for dosing)
  • Large pot
  • Oven Mitts


  • Grind the cannabis as finely as possible and place it in the glass jar
  • Pour over the Glycerin and stir it all in
  • Seal the jar.
  • Heat the pot of water to a simmer and place the jar into the center. The level of the water should be about the same level as the contents of the jar. This will make sure the jar does not float and fall.
  • Let the mixture cook for 6 hours or you can do it longer shaking the contents of the jar often and adding water to the pot as needed to maintain a level of boiling water.
  • Once this is done, pour your mixture through cheesecloth into a bowl. After you have poured it through, squeeze the excess from the cheesecloth careful not to break it.

David Briggs suggests using gloves for this, saying, “I didn’t and I will assure you, this stuff can go through your skin and make you Super Stoned.”

Glycerin Cannabis Tincture – Effects

The result should be a dark green viscous fluid, half-a-teaspoonful of which Briggs suggests is equivalent to 3 marinol pills.

Briggs’ ‘tester’ reported the effects of glycerin tincture versus Marinol as follows:

My buddy who has a prescription for and takes marinol on a daily basis came by and bottomed up a 1/2 teaspoon.

  • 5 minutes in he said he felt it in his face, pulling a smile and relaxed eyebrows
  • 15 minutes in he said that it is the equivalent to 3 marinol pills, he usually only takes two
  • 30 minutes in he said that he could feel it and it was much more rounded or complete than he experienced with Marinol, he said it felt like an edible but in a very manageable dose
  • 1 hour later he wanted to know how I made the stuff
  • 3 hours later he said he still felt good but the effects were beginning to become less noticeable
  • 5 hours later he said the effects were gone and he felt great, not too tired and not weird.

What to do with the remaining cannabis?

Briggs cooked the left-over plant material in butter for a couple of hours and made some mac and cheese, which he says made him extremely high. This is something he wants to test further however.

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  1. Thanks for sharing the good word on cannabis tincture for those interested in alcohol and burn free sublingual dosing methodologies. I have put up many more recipes, feel free to share some more. My most recent was a Canna-Clam Chowder.. MMMMmmmm so good! Cheers

  2. Tammy – could you let me know how you make your tincture? Thanks, Sue

  3. I totally agree with Tamara!! I love making amber shatter. dont forget to decarboxilate it between the 230-240F range when you purge.

    • could you rephrase this into plain english for someone who is new to the use of medical cannibis please.

  4. As an herbalist and someone who makes tinctures ( with & without cannabis)there are a few things I want to cover on this.

    With out alcohol this is not a tincture. Also make sure patients understand there is NO high with this process. Glycerin CAN NOT extract oils & resins as well as alcohol. Also the THCA can not be coverted to THC with this method so there is no high to speak of.

    The glycerin extraction can not provide the THC just THCA no high. We have found alcohol method to be the only wayt to get the full extraction of THC & CBD’s. The Cannabis Glycerin extracts may help with anit inflammatory but i use a cold alcohol extraction for this and get amazing results…I have spent more than a year trying to educate people that you can get a high (simular to edibles) from tinctures!

    • I am looking for a potent sativa in liquid form that i can place under my tongue to obtain the benefits, but I do not want the high, I am an old woman and it makes me dizzy. Since i live alone, I’m afraid of falling. I know very little about all this. What do you suggest?

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