Simple Steps for a Vegetable Glycerin Tincture
As all cannabis enthusiasts know, end products come in many forms, from dried flower for smoking and vaping to dabbing concentrates and tasty edibles. The ways in which we can consume our cannabis continue to grow.
Personally (as an illegal medical marijuana patient in Utah), I had made, enjoyed, and shared edibles for the better part of 40 years, starting with butter and moving on to oils. However, upon moving to a “legal” state last summer, I was able to discover my now favorite method, which is making tincture with vegetable glycerin. I now prefer my tincture for a variety of reasons, including how easy it is to use, from sublingual consumption to beverage integration.
I see tinctures as the future of edibles.
I somehow developed a weird eating disorder after the age of 50 and found myself unable to eat any solid food for days at a time. I was lucky on some days to get a glass of juice or a cup of tea and keep it down. It was during this time that I discovered the joys of food-grade vegetable glycerin (VG) as a conduit for my cannabis.
VG is an inherently sweet, thick liquid comprised of 99.7% fatty esters made from either palm or coconut oil, while the remaining 0.3% is water. You can find it available online. It is, in my opinion, a better option to make medicine with than alcohol as I no longer choose to have alcohol in my home. It also offers the benefit of not blowing your house up, as the recipe I am about to share is made in a slow cooker. IMPORTANT NOTE: ALWAYS USE FOOD GRADE VEGETABLE GLYCERIN WHEN MAKING EDIBLES. Learn about the different types here.
For this article, I created a batch of VG with heady trim I bought at Vincere’s Compassion Club, about a half gallon of USP Kosher Vegetable Glycerin that I bought for $13.99, a packet of cheesecloth, clips, and a slow cooker.
As with any edible, I begin with decarboxylation of my trim (baked on a foil lined sheet tray at 220° F for 52 minutes) until nice and toasty. If you are unfamiliar with the decarbing process, simply put, it increases the potency of your medicine, adds that all-important Delta 9 to your THC, and brings out other terpenes. I never make an edible without decarbing first. NEVER.
As with any recipe, start with gathering your supplies. You will need:
One slow cooker with a warm setting
One package of cheesecloth
Clips to hold cheesecloth
Bowl with pourable spout
Decarbed trim or flower
For this example, I used approximately ⅓ pound of trim with ½ gallon of vegetable glycerin. After decarbing, add your trim/flower to a slow cooker and cover with vegetable glycerin. Stir well to incorporate, set on low.
Let the mixture come to temperature (you should now have brown color liquid, and the smell will begin to permeate the air), turn the slow cooker to warm, and let the mixture continue to cook for 12-24 hours, stirring well occasionally, to loosen up those terpenes. Turn off the slow cooker and let cool to room temperature. You will be handling the materials, so grab a pair of non-powdered gloves if sticky hands are not your favorite thing.
Once the tincture has cooled, line spouted bowl with several layers of cheesecloth, securing with clips. Slowly spoon contents from your slow cooker in bowl. I wouldn’t pour it, because it’s too precious to waste if it spills. Gather a good amount and wrap the cheesecloth around the top, straining the tincture from the cloth slowly.
This process may need to be repeated, depending on the
amount of material you are working with. When I wring it out, I only put in as much as I can hold in both of my hands. Be patient, take your time, and wring every single drop of medicine out. As far as I can tell, the material and cheesecloth can not be recycled or used again, so I take care to discard it securely, away from pets and children.
Storing the finished tincture in glass jars will help protect the product from environmental degradation.
Once you have all of the material wrung out, pour your tincture into canning jars, taking care to use new lids and rims for food safety. They seal, but not exactly like when canning food. The little button on top won’t pop – you aren’t actually sealing the jar in a warm bath. Store in a safe, dark cupboard, and they will stay good for several weeks, ensuring you have your own, homemade medicine on hand at all times.
I find 2 tablespoons in the morning mixed with orange juice or tea is sufficient to control my pain and other issues for the entire day, while my adult daughter (who is new to using THC for seizures and headaches) puts a teaspoon in a cup of tea at bedtime. Her sleep has improved and her seizures have decreased. Need I say more?
Make it easy – make your own!