By Luke Sumpter

Cannabis glycerin (or glycerine) tinctures are easy to make, discreet to take, and a good alternative to those made using alcohol. Find out their unique benefits, how to make them, and how best to put glycerin tinctures to use.

Can You Make Cannabis Tincture With Glycerin?

Yes! Glycerin works as an effective solvent for making cannabis tinctures. By definition, solvents have the ability to extract other substances. Glycerin, like alcohol and vinegar, is able to extract the valuable compounds found in cannabis. It pulls out cannabinoids, terpenes, and other desirable molecules, leaving the bulk of unwanted components and plant matter behind.

As well as working as an effective solvent itself, glycerin has advantages over other solvents that make it a firm favourite among many cannabis extract makers. Continue reading to discover exactly what glycerin is and why you should consider using it when making a cannabis tincture.

Cannabis Tincture
Cannabis Tincture

What Is Glycerin?

Before we delve any further into making cannabis tincture with vegetable glycerin, let’s review exactly what glycerin is. This compound has a simple molecular structure composed of a combination of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. The way these atoms are positioned makes glycerin hygroscopic, allowing it to attract and retain water molecules.

The chemical substance shows up all across nature, in animals, plants, and even the human body, where it contributes to metabolism and the structure of cell membranes. As a clear, odourless, and sweet-tasting liquid, vegetable glycerin has become a popular ingredient in pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. Largely extracted from soy, coconut, and palm oil, it’s also used as a popular alternative to alcohol when crafting tinctures.

Glycerin vs Alcohol Tincture

Artisans have used alcohol to make tinctures for thousands of years. So, why do some people opt for glycerin instead? Well, both of these solvents work well, but each has its own pros and cons. Check out the major differences between using glycerin and alcohol for tincture making below.

Glycerin for Tinctures

The main benefits of making cannabis tincture with glycerin include:

  • Sweetness: Glycerin has a sweet and pleasant flavour that makes it an attractive solvent when making a herbal tincture.
  • Alcohol-free: The lack of alcohol makes the ingredient more suitable for an array of users, including those with an aversion to alcohol in general.
  • Moisturising: Some people use cannabis tinctures for topical purposes. Because glycerin has moisturising properties, it works much better for this purpose than strong alcohol, which can dry out the skin.

Some of the drawbacks of using glycerin when making tinctures include:

  • Extraction time: Glycerin takes longer to sufficiently extract cannabis phytochemicals than alcohol, which makes it unsuitable in some circumstances.
  • Solubility: Glycerin has a lower solubility than alcohol, meaning it doesn’t extract some desirable plant constituents as well.

Alcohol for Tinctures

Alcohol has long served as a tincture solvent, for many reasons, including:

  • Extraction efficiency: Alcohol works exceptionally well as a solvent, enabling it to successfully extract a wide range of plant metabolites, including cannabinoids, terpenes, alkaloids, and flavonoids.
  • Extraction speed: Tinctures take some time to make, but the efficiency of alcohol as a solvent reduces the latency period.
  • Shelf life: As well as working as a solvent, alcohol serves as an effective preservative, meaning alcohol-based tinctures last much longer in storage.

Alcohol as a tincture solvent also has some disadvantages, including:

  • Flavour: Strong alcohol has a sharp taste that makes taking the tincture directly rather unpleasant.
  • User compatibility: Not everyone can consume alcohol, even in small quantities, such as for religious or medical reasons.

The Benefits of Cannabis Tinctures

You’re now aware of the benefits of glycerin when making cannabis tinctures, as well as a couple of its drawbacks. Before we delve into how to make cannabis tincture using glycerin, let’s explore the benefits of marijuana tinctures and why many weed users love them.

Cannabis Tincture Benefits


Tinctures are inherently discreet. Users can easily take a dropper bottle out of their pocket while sitting on a train, bus, or at their desk and dose themselves with cannabinoids without raising nearby eyebrows. Unlike smoking and vaping, it doesn’t leave a highly suspect aroma in the air.

Fast Onset

Swallowing cannabis tincture drops will send cannabinoids through the digestive system, meaning they’ll take some time to take effect. However, tinctures are flexible. Place a couple of drops under your tongue, and you’ll feel the effects within minutes.

Full Spectrum of Cannabis Chemicals

Unlike cannabinoid isolate products, tinctures are full-spectrum products. They contain all of the desirable compounds found within cannabis flowers, including cannabinoids and terpenes. Emerging research shows that many of these compounds work in a synergistic manner.

Low Calorie

Unlike sugar-rich edibles, a couple of drops of tincture contain almost no calories whatsoever. They’re an ideal option for anyone monitoring their caloric intake.


The craft of making tinctures spans back incredibly far into human history. Learning to make your own will help you to develop a skill that goes hand in hand with growing your own herb.

How to Make Cannabis Glycerin Tincture

And just like that, you’re practically an expert in glycerin cannabis tinctures! Now, you just need to learn how to make them! Below, discover the ingredients and equipment you’ll need, and what steps to take to end up with a potent tincture at the end of the process.


  • 14g cannabis flowers (ground or broken into smaller pieces)
  • 2 cups vegetable glycerin


  • Funnel
  • Slow cooker
  • Mason jar
  • Oven gloves
  • Dropper bottles
  • Bowl
  • Cheesecloth
  • Tea towel
  • Baking paper
  • Baking tray


Now that you have everything gathered together, follow the steps below to whip up a batch of glycerin tincture:

  1. To start, you’ll need to decarboxylate your weed to convert non-psychoactive THCA into THC. To achieve this, preheat your oven to 110°C. Line your baking tray with baking paper and spread your weed out evenly. Place the tray into the oven for 40 minutes.
  2. Remove your bud from the oven and let cool. Then, place it into the mason jar before pouring in your glycerin. Attach the lid securely and shake vigorously.
  3. Line the inside of your slow cooker with a tea towel and set it to warm. Fill it halfway with water and place the mason jar inside. Leave the mixture to gently cook away for 24 hours. Make sure to shake the jar every few hours during the daytime.
  4. After 24 hours, turn off the slow cooker. With oven gloves on, remove the mason jar and let the contents cool. Then, strain the mixture through the cheesecloth into a clean bowl. From here, use a funnel to decant your tincture into dropper bottles.


How to Use Cannabis Glycerin Tincture

Congratulations, you’ve got yourself several dropper bottles filled with cannabis-infused glycerin! But how do you go about using your stash? Check out some of the options below.

Add Glycerin Tincture to Drinks

Do you like to sip on a warm cup of tea or coffee during smoking sessions? Well, why not infuse some cannabinoids into your beverage of choice? This oral route of administration will provide a long-lasting and rather intense high.

Use Glycerin Tincture Sublingually

The sweet taste of glycerin makes tinctures ideal for sublingual use. Placing a few drops under your tongue will lead to the rapid absorption of THC and a fast-acting high that isn’t as intense as that caused by oral ingestion.

Apply Cannabis Glycerin Tincture Topically

Cannabis does much more than get a person high. Certain compounds within the plant show great promise when it comes to skin care. Alongside the moisturising effects of glycerin, cannabinoids may help to soothe the skin.

Cannabis Glycerin Tincture: FAQ

How long does cannabis glycerin tincture take to make?
Using a slow cooker, it takes just over 24 hours to make a cannabis glycerin tincture.
At what temperature do you make glycerin tincture?
Set your slow cooker to warm/slow.
How long does it take cannabis glycerin tincture to kick in?
It depends on the route of administration. Sublingually applied tincture will kick in after several minutes, whereas oral tincture can take up to 1 hour.
Is THC soluble in glycerin?
Yes, glycerin does extract THC, although not as readily as alcohol.

Make Non-Alcoholic Cannabis Tincture Today

Are you loyal to blunts? Or perhaps dedicated to space cakes? Whatever your preferred means of taking cannabis, why not try making and consuming a glycerin cannabis tincture? Whether you find yourself mostly using cannabis on the couch or while out and about, it serves as an easy and discreet way to consume THC, CBD, and an array of terpenes. Take it sublingually for rapid effects, or orally if you prefer a more intense psychoactive experience.

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