How To Make Marijuana Tincture (Decarboxylation & Alcohol Extraction of THC and CBD)


9781476121598.225x225-75[Writer Glenn Panik’s “How To Grow Cannabis At Home: A Guide To Indoor Medical Marijuana Growing”, is available on iTunes here, for the Amazon Kindle or via  Smashwords here You can also order the ‘stealth title’ of our information-packed ebook for the Kindle here.]

For a variety of reasons, cannabis consumers may prefer not to smoke (or even vaporize) their marijuana in order to consume THC/CBD. The most obvious reason might be a breathing condition, such as asthma, but others may simply not enjoy the taste or smell of marijuana smoke, or may want to avoid smoking out of consideration for a roommate, family member, or pet!

Although baked goods are an excellent alternative for those who would rather hide the taste of cannabis completely while still enjoying all the benefits of THC & CBD, your stash will have a limited shelf life when baked into brownies or oatmeal cookies. Even chocolates will only remain fresh in flavor for a few weeks (although they may still be edible).

Enter extraction. By extracting the THC & CBD from your marijuana, you can create a tincture that will hold for a relatively long time – a full year is not an unreasonable expectation of shelf life if stored properly. Store the finished extract in a brown glass (light protected) bottle, and in a cool place. The tincture can be consumed directly by diluting it in water or another beverage, such as fruit juice, or a classic ‘bhang lassi’. You can also use the tincture in baking, taking some of the guesswork out of how strong your baked goods will be. (More on this in a moment)

The biggest advantage of creating a marijuana tincture is that you can learn to control the dosage more carefully than other methods of ingesting cannabis. You may have already had the experience of baking with marijuana, and have far under- or over-estimated the amount of marijuana bud you should use in the recipe. This may have led to a bummer experience, or far more heavy a dose than you expected! Even worse, sometimes the distribution is uneven in baked goods – one cookie leaves you with little more than a dry mouth, another sends your buddy off to Jamaica on a cloud of daydreams… Not fair!

With a tincture, you can easily self-titrate (that simply means “learn the dosage that works for you by testing it on yourself”). Simply start by ingesting 5-10 drops of prepared tincture in a half of a glass of water, and determine if that is the proper level of effectiveness for you. Allow up to an hour for it to work. If not, try again the following day (if you take more directly following the first dose, you may skew your results). Tincture strengths will vary significantly based on the initial strength and quantity of the marijuana and the extraction process itself, so be cautious. Luckily, neither the quantity of alcohol nor the quantity of THC you can consume in this way are dangerous for an otherwise healthy individual, but always consult your doctor before taking any medicine at all – herbal or otherwise.

First, the shopping list:

  • 1/2 ounce dried medicinal marijuana. We don’t recommend using fresh buds, as it makes it difficult to heat properly. You can halve/double/triple/etc. the recipe if you want to make more tincture in one go. Any strain at all will work, and the extract will, naturally, reflect the THC/CBD content of the marijuana used, thereby having a similar medicinal effect as other methods of consumption.
  • A high-alcohol spirit, preferably 70% alcohol or more, and without added flavors/extracts/sugar. We suggest “Everclear”, or “Bacardi 151”, or in Europe, there are varieties of pure distilled spirits (“Primasprit”, for example) of ten used for creating traditional fruit liqueurs. Some Russian vodkas also run up to 70% alcohol. Standard vodka/rum/etc is only about 40% alcohol, and is far less effective in extracting THC/CBD, as are any spirits that already have sugar or oils in solution (Absinth comes to mind). This MUST be consumable alcohol (ethanol)!
  • An oven with a fairly accurate and reliable temperature control. Beware of old gas ovens, which often have “hot spots”!
  • An oven-safe bowl, such as Pyrex or metal, preferably with a close-fitting top to help control odor while heating the cannabis for decarboxylation.
  • A mason jar or other sealable glass container (for extraction) with at least 2 cup (1/2 liter volume). BPA-free plastic (free of Bisphenol-A) is OK, too, just don’t use a plastic container for extraction if you unsure whether it is free of BPA or not. You don’t want to extract BPA into your tincture.
  • A funnel, a square of cheesecloth, and an additional glass to strain into – for filtering the plant material from the finished tincture.
  • Dropper bottles, preferably brown glass, with enough volume to store the finished tincture.

brown glass dropper

Creating A Marijuana Tincture Using Alcohol Extraction:

In the following steps, it is important to follow the suggestions for temperature, time, and volumes closely. The process by which THCA and CBDA (relatively inactive in humans) are converted to THC and CBD (the good stuff) is known as decarboxylation, and takes place at a lower temperature than THC turns into a gas and floats up and out your window. If you raise the temperature in an attempt to speed up the process, you’ll just be doing the birds a favor, not yourself! A word of warning: The early steps – heating the cannabis – will produce a very potent marijuana odor! If discretion is your goal, then consider finding a sealable, oven-safe container in which to heat the marijuana.

  1. Finely grind the marijuana. A standard blender works fine for this, although you can chop or crumble it as you see fit.
  2. Preheat your oven to 225 F (110 C). Do NOT exceed 300 F (150 C) to prevent letting your precious THC vaporize!
  3. Place the crumbled marijuana in the oven-safe container, and bake for 45 minutes. 30 minutes will often suffice, but if the container is rather thick-walled, it will take some time to come up to temperature.
  4. Remove the container from the oven and let it cool for 1/2 hour.
  5. Next, place the “baked” (decarboxylated) marijuana into the mason jar/glass, crumbling more if necessary. Gently pour in 1 cup of 70% grain spirits, and stir thoroughly.
  6. Seal the jar and shake it. You’ll notice a change in color almost immediately, and this will develop into a deep, almost black-hued green color over the next couple of days.
  7. Shake the jar containing the alcohol/cannabis mixture several times a day for at least two days. There’s no need to wait a week or more, THC is quite soluble in alcohol. The waiting time does allow all the bits of marijuana to become saturated and the THC to go into solution.
  8. Strain the alcohol/cannabis mixture through a funnel lined with cheesecloth and into a large enough receiving jar. Ball up the cheesecloth and squeeze out more of the solution – waste not!
  9. Transfer the tincture into brown glass dropper bottles for storage and dosing. If you can’t get dropper bottles, just brown medicine glass bottles will do – the brown glass helps prevent light from degrading the tincture.
  10. Store the finished tincture in a cool place away from strong light sources for maximum shelf life.

After creating and testing your alcohol-extracted cannabis tincture, you have a convenient way of measuring and consuming the right amount of this healthful medicine in liquid form. You can also easily create an even distribution of THC/CBD in your baked goods by stirring a measured amount of the tincture into the liquid ingredients, just as you would use vanilla or rum extract/flavor in traditional baking; same methods, same recipes, new effect!

Thanks for visiting our blog – If you’re missing the most important ingredient on the list above – high quality, organically grown medical marijuana – then order Glenn Panik’s well-written for beginning growers, “How To Grow Cannabis At Home: A Guide To Indoor Medical Marijuana Growing” available on iTunes here, for the Amazon Kindle or via  Smashwords here. (Smashwords provides you with all the formats in one; Kindle, iBooks, PDF, etc.)

To get a feel for the style of the book, read more cannabis growing tips and techniques in our blog.

Additionally, this book will be of interest to you non-smokers out there!

Best Regards,

Glenn Panik

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110 responses to “How To Make Marijuana Tincture (Decarboxylation & Alcohol Extraction of THC and CBD)”

  1. Lynn Usner says :

    can you please mail me your recipe for cbd? I have niece with lennox gastaut syndrome!! we need help because pa. does not recognize her needs for this!!

    • glennpanik says :

      Hi Lynn,
      CBD (Cannabidiol) is a compound that is produced by the cannabis plant, and can’t be made with a recipe (barring a serious pharmaceutical lab), but is rather extracted from mature marijuana flowers. You have to start out with some CBD-rich marijuana buds, and follow the extraction method detailed in the article.

  2. ryan says :

    Rick simpson hemp oil made with naptha is far better than tinctures. these thc contents are super low in thc concentraition. Rick simpson oil is 95-98% decarboxylated THC

    • glennpanik says :

      Thanks for the comment. Hemp oil would certainly (and by definition) be far more concentrated than an alcohol-extraction tincture. Tinctures like this recipe have the added benefit of being made from all food-grade ingredients. I would be cautious about recommending Naptha extractions to those with limited experience – the fumes are dangerous in several ways. Tincture also has the benefit of being easy to dose, due to the lower concentration of THC/CBD/etc. Although every tincture will vary, I find a useful dose made from this recipe (of course dependent upon the strength of the cannabis used in the recipe) to be 20-30 drops. An easy dosage, using all food-grade materials and an easy-to-perform extraction. cheers, GP

    • Bill Dent says :

      No! Naptha is garbage. It is not a healthy solvent to use at all! Edible high proof alcohol is just as effective for extraction and not dangerous like Naptha or other solvents.

      • glennpanik says :

        Naptha is a known carcinogen, and although “in theory” you can evaporate it off, I doubt that the layman has the vacuum pumps etc. and proper lab conditions to eliminate something which you do NOT want to be inhaling! For home use/hobby extraction, I’ll chime in with bill and say go with Everclear, etc – a high % alcohol will do an excellent extraction job if you have properly dried, cured and decarboxylated your cannabis. Best regards, and a Happy, smiley Easter to all,


      • John Steele says :

        GP you care. JS

  3. Tom M. says :

    I misread your recipe and used 1 cup of 95% grain ethanol with about 1/5 oz high quality cannabis. What’s the best and quickest way to concentrate it?

    • glennpanik says :

      Hi Tom,
      The best way to concentrate it, and remove some of the sting of that high-proof alcohol at the same time will be to evaporate off some of the alcohol. Since alcohol evaporates at a lower temperature than water boils (your 95% pure ethanol will begin to evaporate at around 175 F/80 Celsius) you can do this without risking harm to your tincture if evaporating the alcohol out using a water bath. Just put your cannabis extract in a wide-mouthed glass jar and place this in a larger bowl or pot. Boil some water, and pour this water into the larger bowl, so that the hot water now surrounds the jar with the extract (but obviously not enough to get in and dilute it further!). Now stir the alcohol-based extract in the jar steadily to help it heat up and evaporate off some of the alcohol. I don’t suggest heating the jar of extract directly in a water bath/pot on the stove, since the glass could crack and ruin your extract. You don’t need to reduce it down to, say 1/8 cup or similar – even reducing by 1/3 or 1/2 is fine – I suggest diluting the extract with water for consumption, which doesn’t affect potency at all. Work slowly and carefully – those are precious drops! best regards, Glenn Panik

  4. Cam Earl says :

    Just read you recipe for making a tincture. You said don’t heat the MM to high or you will lose the THC. Well I just want to keep the CBD. Is it possible to do that thru heating it and keep the CBD and cook off the THC?

    • glennpanik says :

      Thanks for writing. I’ll have to look into the relative evaporation temperatures of THC vs. CBD. Both being cannabinoids, however, I am guessing that the evaporation points will be so close as to make this difficult to do without a properly equipped laboratory. Since CBD tends to moderate the effects of THC, I would instead recommend seeking out a cannabis strain that is relatively high in CBD in comparison to THC. In this way you’ll have the positive effects of CBD while not getting so many of the “high” effects that typically high THC/low CBD strains produce. Best regards, Glenn Panik

    • glennpanik says :

      I just checked up on the boiling point of THC vs. that of CBD. The interesting news is that THC boils (and therefore could be evaporated away) at 157 °C (315 °F) whereas CBD boils at 180 °C (356 °F). Now this is of course in theory, and under ideal conditions. Even if you heated your cannabis to 320 or 330°F, you might have “hot spots” in your oven as the heat kicks on and off to maintain temperature which exceed 360°F, and therefore evaporate your CBD as well! Beyond that, a lot of the vegetable matter in marijuana buds could begin to combust, or sugars caramelize, etc. as the temperature fluctuates. This would cause off flavors at the very least. Unless you have lab conditions in which to pull this off, I’d suggest you stick with a high-CBD strain, and let the CBD take care of the physiological effects of THC, as it naturally does. A strain with 3-5% CBD to 5-10% THC would be considered “high CBD”. Best regards, Glenn Panik

      • Dan says :

        Wiki says the boiling point of thc is 250c (482f). The temp you say for cbd is correct. I never bake over 315f.

  5. Mrs T says :

    I have read that it’s possible to use ethanol as a solvent to create concentrated cannabis oil by using a water distiller to reclaim the evaporated alcohol. The distiller is used instead of a rice cooker as shown in various online videos. The last part of the alcohol is evaporated off in a container on a cup heater. I believe that rinsing bud in ethanol will collect the THC crystals but how is the CBD collected?

    • glennpanik says :


      That’s correct, whether using ethanol, naptha or other solvents, the solvent can be removed (must be, in the case of naptha!) leaving the “cannabis oil” behind. I think it is a good idea to reclaim the solvents if possible. I have often seen recipes that recommend boiling away gallons of solvents outdoors to create cannabis oil – what a waste and unnecessary air pollution. By using a water distiller, you could reclaim the alcohol, but be aware of the fire hazard; the process is in effect the same as moonshining! Alcohol vapors are easily ignited and can cause a serious explosion in an enclosed space. For this reason, I recommend the fool-proof “alcohol extraction” recipe above; the alcohol itself is never heated, so there is no danger of causing a fire. If you are experienced in chemistry, or distilling, for that matter, alcohol extraction and concentration should be a breeze, and you won’t have the strange feeling of having treated a consumable with naptha!

    • Dan says :

      The CBD like THC is dissolved in the ethanol. I use a distillation column personally and not a rice cooker. I haven’t done this but I’d imagine once you have your CBD/THC ethanol solution you could then further refine it isolating just THC or CBD by something like this: you’d first have to distill off all the ethanol, maybe add a few ml of water to raise the boiling point to drive it harder. Then cut back in with a lightweight oil. CBD boils off at 356-360F I believe and THC is a lot higher. You would do the distillation process again with oil and higher temps. The CBD would come over first…keep your eye on the temp, once it’s out if range switch receivers to collect THC. This is a crude and not exact way without knowing the exact boiling points or working with pure reagents.

  6. momo says :

    I recently tried an extraction using Master Wu’s recipe here

    -and had terrible results: four dropperfuls of tincture taken in three hours with no noticeable effect. I’m frustrated about the waste of bud.

    I’m trying to make a very concentrated tincture/ extract for someone who has severe, persistent nausea- they have been unable to eat/ keep down edibles made with butter (the quantity of buttery food/ flavor of the butter is too much for them to handle), and would be unable to dose themselves with a volume of alcohol measured in “shots.” Do you think your method can produce something concentrated enough to be taken in drops, sublingually? Or is dosage on the scale of ounces? (I know it varies depending on plant material, but can you ballpark it for me?)

    • glennpanik says :

      Hi, thanks for writing.

      Try following our recipe. Do allow a bit more time in the oven, as per our instructions, just in case the evaporation of moisture from the vegetable matter prevents the mass of cannabis from reaching proper temperature for decarboxylation. It is also critical to use at least 70% ethanol or better – THC, CBD, & co. are not water soluble, and the remaining portion of consumable spirits is mostly water, which prevents the good stuff from going into solution! While the marijuana is in the alcohol, don’t forget to shake the mixture regularly. Keep it on a coutertop where you’ll remember to give it a good shake whenever you pass by. Do this for a few days to be sure, and you should have a fine tincture. Beyond this, the quality of the marijuana you use will of course make a difference, and the more potent the herb that goes in, the more potent the tincture will be.

      • Gary says :

        Following your advice i am very impressed. I habe HIV amd heart bypass / disease and pr efer not to smoke. The tincture works wonders and keeps me level 24/7

        Thanks for sharing your advice as any cannabis product or posession or use or supply is illegal in New Zealand.

    • James says :

      I tried a recipe I found using store bought moonshine. I was at the store and remembered my friend had trim. So I got some shine to try this out. I get to his house we do the who set up, find out its flavored moonshine(cranberry) so we try any way.. the recipe I found required double boil, mixing ground plant matter, moonshine, till thick about 2- 3 mins, are on, repeat method use half amount of moonshine, strain and finally put in double boil.. now this is the part we had to experiment final product was runny we let it cool.Evap some more vapor or liquid, so it started turning into like syrup but little runny.We were trying to make like wax or rosin. Well we let it sit and sit and sit, never got thick like we were expecting. He put his finger in to check the density, it was gooyish well he ended up tasting it….. and i followed right after. I’m literally 2- 4 mins we looked at each other smile and laughed…( btw the taste was sweet and smooth.) So after laughing the same time we said do you feel that.. Idk best high and quickst I ever felt….

  7. Byron G. Carter says :

    I really enjoyed reading about making a tincture out of Marijuana, I’m into herb’s. And I’m going to try to make an Herbal Marijuana Tincture. Is it possible to email the directions on making a Medicinal Marijuana Tincture, to me so I can have it at my fingertips, anytime I’m ready to make the Tincture ? … Thanks, sincerely . Byron Carter …………………….

  8. Greg Gallacci says :

    Tried this the other day, good result.
    3.2 grams Sour Diesel, dried, powdered.
    Heat 1/2 fl. oz. vegetable glycerin to 375 F, stir in herb in small (1/8 tsp.) increments. Will foam up a bit.
    Stir for another 5 minutes after last herb added.
    Herb should be getting dark.
    Strain WHILE STILL HOT through 70 micron stainless steel mesh.
    Take solids from strainer, mix into another 1/2 fl. oz. glycerin at 375 F.
    Cook, repeat straining.
    Combine liquids, allow to cool; dark brown-orange milky looking product.
    MUCH thicker that pure glycerin.
    1 eyedropper is usually enough for relaxing, two is fun. Three? Don’t go to work.
    Theory sez THC ‘vapes at 370 F, catch vapors in a liquid. Seems to work!
    Liquid ‘vape!

    • Penny Markle says :

      Greg Gallacci
      I thought THC burns off at 370 F and CBD burns off at 360 but you heat your oil to 375 F? Would that not kill all the benefits? I’m new to all this Oil, Tinctures. I’m researching as much as I can before trying any recipe.

      • glennpanik says :

        Hi – Please review step 2 in preparation:
        “Preheat your oven to 225 F (110 C). Do NOT exceed 300 F (150 C) to prevent letting your precious THC vaporize!”
        I don’t recommend 375 degrees anywhere in the article, which would, as you note, likely vaporize your hard-earned THC. Cheers, GP

  9. Danny says :

    How long should it cool/absorb before you try it?

  10. joseph Ramirez says :

    So if this extraction Is made will it work for food or can u smoke the oil ?

    • glennpanik says :

      The extraction is fine for food, just keep in mind the alcohol content if using in uncooked foods. When baking, etc. then the alcohol will evaporate!

  11. Bob says :

    Thanks for the article! Recently reading about this, I’ve noticed there is a lot of mixed information out there:

    One example they took an oz of naturally dried herb and just shook it in a 70%+ solution, for 3 minutes, then strained. Stating that this was in fact sufficient to extract what was needed – while saying decarboxlation & soaking for longer durations wasn’t needed?

    They didn’t decarboxylate, which as I understand is vital to change THCa/CBDa into THC/CBD, which can then be exctracted with a solution.

    Also, if you went thru the whole process but your tincture ended up too weak, can I confirm, but using a warm bath to get the tincture upto 80C, will evaporate the alcohol but none of the ingredients you want to keep? Therefore, by adding another step at the end to further refine the tincture you could make a more potent liquid? Or would it start to be come tar? I assume there is a middle ground.

    Is there a best practicel for getting this into your system? Under the tongue burns a little some say, but I assume its the best place due to a thinner membrane allowing it to enter the bloodstream?

    Sorry last question. I’ve heard people say they get a different feeling from tinctures vs vaporizer vs inhaling combustion. Why is that?

    I would love to never smoke it again, but am weary this method may have a lower yield & effect. But appreciate it might also be a craft that requires dedication

    • glennpanik says :

      Hi Bob,

      Glad you enjoyed the article.
      Yes, decarboxlation is important for the tincture since the human body has receptors for THC/CBD &co, and not for the THCa/CBDa as you noted. As mentioned in the article, a tried and true method is slow oven heating at the noted temperatures – never in a microwave or toaster oven, since some spot temperatures will be much higher and “smoke” your herb for you!
      If you crumble the cannabis very fine, alcohol extraction will happen quicker, but I still recommend at least an overnight soak and frequent shaking to be sure that the plant material becomes fully saturated and more THC/CBD goes into solution. Additionally, you should keep in mind that 80 proof alcohol (40% alcohol by volume) is still 60% water, and THC/CBD are NOT water soluble! So get the highest % ethanol you can find for extraction, and dilute it to a more consumable % afterwards.
      Once prepared, the tincture can be simply diluted in a glass of water and consumed – this will not make it less potent. Some people find that sublingual (under the tongue) drops with high % ethanol is uncomfortable, and could irritate the gums. The tincture can also be used in baking or (if you want to go through the trouble) evaporated off into hemp oil and vaporized, ingested, etc.
      Hope that helps!

      best regards


  12. scott says :

    I got some and it burns when I put under my tongue why is this

  13. Shesa crazyone says :

    I followed this to the letter with some high grade bud and the results were terrible. Nothing. A shot glass full and nothing, even after soaking almost a month. The heating process seems to be the tricky part because I tried this once before with just the soak, a lower grade weed, and only ten days to do it. Those results were better than these.
    Any ideas what went wrong (my oven is accurate and I only went in the 200s for 30 min)? Or know how to possibly fix after the fact?

    • glennpanik says :

      It is possible that the ‘higher grade’ weed was fresher, and therefore had a higher moisture content, which could slow the decarboxylation process (evaporation cools). ‘Cheap’ weed is often stored rather long and dry, with much of the THC/etc. already decarboxylated. It is also possible that an oven has ‘hot’ and ‘cool’ spots – if the bud was in a (relatively) cool area of the oven, it may not have properly finished. The extraction should also be done with a high % ethanol solution; standard vodka etc. has too much water by volume to properly extract the cannabinoids, which are not water soluable. Hope that helps. To ‘rescue’ your solution, you could carefully evaporate off the alcohol solution to get a sort of “hash oil”, which you can process again in cooking – baked goods are an easier way to decarboxylate since even if you hit the vaporization temperature, much will be trapped in the brownie/cake/cookie and you won’t lose the good stuff! cheers, GP

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  15. Chr says :

    If I want the tincture stronger, can I just add more cannabis in? I figure there must be an upper limit for how much THC alcohol can dissolve? If so, what is the limit?

    • glennpanik says :

      There will be a saturation point, yes, but without lab equipment, it will be hard to determine due to variables such as cannabinoid content of your marijuana and the % ethanol of the “booze you use” (Cannabinoids are not water soluable, so the water even in high-proof spirits hinders the extraction process). From there, the cannabinoid content of your bud is key; if you have a weaker strain (let’s say 7-8% as opposed to 15-20%) you can certainly add more plant material to the recipe I gave above and get a more potent tincture. I wanted to keep the article from getting too “technical” to make it more accessible, but if you want to increase the amount of cannabinoids in the tincture, then be sure you are keeping the water content of the project as low as possible. This means using well dried bud, further drying it in the baking process, and using the highest % ethyl alcohol you can find. Lab-grade ethanol would be optimal, but the fumes are quite flammable, so I can’t with a good conscience recommend it for home use. In a nutshell – for best results, watch your decarboxylation temperature, use Everclear or something similar for your solvent, and use high-grade bud; then the tincture will pack a pretty good punch! cheers, GP

      • Richard Rochon says :

        Hi, Glenn. I have been making tinctures with vegetable glycerine. Is this a good extractor, or should I use alcohol, evaporate it off and add the glycerine afterwards?

        Also, do you know of a THC/CBD home test kit that will analyze tinctures? I find lots to test herb, but not tinctures

  16. Teresa Gonzales says :

    I had an ounce of some pretty old “good” grade bud I had kept in a mason jar and in a cool dry place. I made sure the bud was NOT moldy. I understand fresh bud is not easiest to use for this process. I decided to make some tincture as suggested by my medical marijuana Dr. as we like to make tea with it and we don’t smoke that much. I guess we may be considered light weights. Generally one hit of good bud is enough for us. I ground the bud up in a coffee grinder but not too fine. I then baked it in a pie pan at 240 degrees for 50 min. with a nicely sealed foil cover. I let cool for 1/2 hour. In a one quart mason jar, I added 2 cups of 151 everclear to one oz. of the baked/ground bud and shook well. I can’t wait to see what my final product is and will let you all know. My question is, is there any way to determine the THC/CBD levels in the final product?

    • glennpanik says :

      Only a lab analysis could determine the cannabinoid content. Keep in mind, you’ll probably find the tincture unpalatable as it is, and you’ll want to dilute it before consumption. No need to drop Everclear tincture in your mouth and “deal with the burn” – just dilute with tea, water or juice as you prefer. While it’s true that THC/CBD are not water soluble, but that’s important only for the extraction. Once extracted, diluting before consumption does not affect the potency! If you feel that (as you put it) you are a cannabis ‘lightweight’, then just start with 5-10ml tincture in your mixer of choice, see how the effects are for you, and adjust as necessary.
      best regards, gp

  17. James Davis says :

    I have followed the Green Dragon recipe several times always with great results. I decarb at 325 for 5 min. Then place the plant material in a jar with PGA alcohol. I place the jar in a water bath for 20 min. I know you recommend doing it cold, and that is something I will try the next time I make it.
    After the 20 min water bath, I strain it and then place the liquid back into the water bath to concentrate it by boiling off some of the alcohol. I see that you also have mentioned concentrating the mixture. It has always turned out pretty well. However my question is this, isn’t it true that when I am concentrating it (and also as well during the initial 20 min bath), that it is continuing to decarb due to it being in the alcohol that is boiling at 178 or whatever temp it boils? So maybe i’m turning it more into CBD (which I don’t want) than would be optimal for my purposes?
    Granted, it’s not decarbing as fast as it would in an oven at 225 or 325, but still decarbing? Or am I missing something? I really appreciate any thoughts on this and thanks ahead of time.

    • glennpanik says :

      Hi James,
      Decarboxylation isn’t converting THC into CBD, but rather converting the THCA and CBDA into THC and CBD, making it more “usable” by the human body. Son no worries – you won’t harm your tincture by concentrating it, just keep an eye on it so you don’t scorch or burn any leftover plant material that might make it into the solution, which could give it an “off” taste! cheers, GP

      • James Davis says :

        I really appreciate your response. I hate to be a stick in the mud, but I am trying to become as educated as possible. I also know there is some misinformation out there and I’m just trying to sort it all out. I guess I am confused about the decarb process. I assume you are familiar with the graph located here:

        Click to access decarboxylation-graph.pdf

        In reference to that graph, the author states “When we heat cannabis to convert the THCA and CBDA into THC and CBD, we are also converting THC to CBN at a faster rate. At about 70% decarboxylation, we actually start converting THC to CBN at a faster rate than we are converting THCA to THC, so as you can see by the following graph, after about 70% decarboxylation, the levels of THC actually start to fall sharply.
        That of course means that the CBN also begins to rise and the medication is becoming more sedative.”

        So my simplistic understanding is that 1. decarb is a function of time and temperature. 2. thc production peaks at a certain point. 3. if you go too long, you start to convert the thc into cbn.
        And so, it leads me to back to wondering if there is decarb going on when you boil off the alcohol?
        If what I’m saying is true, then that would mean there would be decarb also going on during the 20 min heated alcohol extraction used in the green dragon recipe (sorry to keep referencing it, it’s just the only thing I’ve done). But that doesn’t sound correct to me, as I believe if you don’t decarb before doing the extraction the dragon doesn’t turn out right.

  18. Ben Wallace says :


    Hi, a question if I may.
    I have a reflux still with which I make alcohol from cane sugar. In Australia we can buy such a set up from a home brew shop. A single run through the still gives me about 94% pure which I dilute and put through a carbon filter. What would happen if put dried decarboxilated flowers in the wash before I distilled it? Will then cannabinoids end up in the alcohol after going through the still?

    • glennpanik says :

      I’m not familiar with a reflux still, but in any case the THC/CBD/etc will not evaporate along with alcohol in a still, but would rather be left behind. You’d be better off using the high % alcohol you get from the still to create a cannabinoid extract from your bud. 94% is nice and strong, and will be an effective solvent! cheers, GP

  19. Paige says :

    So my oven is new to me but from the 50s and of course the temps are all weird. so at 225 for 30 minutes my weed was slightly burnt. I put it in the alcohol and it’s been a week. It takes a LOT of drops to feel it, and it’s mostly just a body buzz. Very little head buzz – which I liked, but my friend feels is kind of a waste. Is there anything that could make it more potent? Do you think if I took the extra steps to make oil that it would have the same effects, but just with a different delivery method?

    • glennpanik says :

      My guess is that the temp was too high. If it was from the 50’s, it could be that the temperature indications a quite inaccurate, and a gas oven (if it is that) is more likely to have a lot of spots that are very hot – far above the set temp. If the bud looked burned, then most of the THC probably went “up in smoke” – it was vaporized before you made the infusion. Sorry to hear that! regards, gp

    • nadsdabs says :

      I do 225 for 15min…I find that it’s over done at 20min.

  20. anonymous says :

    I’ve been making herbal tinctures for years and I mistakenly thought I could follow the same process for this. I did not decarboxylate. I simply covered plant material in high proof vodka as I usually do and planned to let it sit the traditional 2-4 weeks, shaking daily. Then I started reading all this and questioned whether my tincture will do anything at all.

    I’m making it for Multiple Sclerosis, so I’d like anti-inflammatory benefits, but the good old happy feeling would be nice too.

    Do I need to scrap what I started? Or could it be salvaged? Or will my tincture work in any way?

    I appreciate the help. There’s more to this than the usual herbs I’ve worked with.
    Thank you

    • glennpanik says :

      It would be difficult to evaporate off the alcohol and then decarboxylate the remaining resin unless you have a rather large quantity of resin and the equipment to control the temperature. The tincture may not be for naught – THCA is converted to THC over time during drying (albeit more slowly than raising the temperature by properly “baking” the plant material), so if the bud you used was dried and cured for a while, the tincture may be useful. I’d try the tincture myself – can’t hurt! – and if it’s not up to snuff, then it’s probably easiest to just cut your losses and try again. Best Holiday Wishes, Glenn Panik

      • anonymous says :

        Thank you for the information!

        So, in another forum somewhere in the depths of the interwebs, I found a person who claimed that if the plant material isn’t fresh or dank(mine was quite dry buds), then she says it will work fine without the baking it, per her own experiences (though she said it’s often disputed). With that as somewhat refreshing news, I decided not to give up entirely…I dipped into the tincture after only two days (I plan to let it sit four weeks as I do with my other medicinal herbs) to test it.

        With about a 1/4 tsp in about 8 oz of tea, the effects are slow to show, but not unnoticable (what I used is “creeper” in it’s effects otherwise taken). The two day test resulted in a very potent smelling tincture, a beautiful amber/pink color (which surprised me, I expected green). The effect is mild, very sedative, more effective than valerian or chamomile would be if that’s desired. Little to no psychological effects. Focus seems to be made sharper however, which is nice. So, for what it is, as a “mistake” batch, it won’t be a loss for those benefits. I’m hoping that the full time will see a stronger effect in all realms.

        A friend tells me they think the anti-inflammatory effects would come through regardless…that I am very curious about.

        I’ll be sure to try to remember to write back in, once the full length of time is met.

        I so appreciate the feedback, and any other that may be yet to come!

  21. Connie Garcia says :

    I’m seeing ways to do this extraction with marijuana but I bought some CBD tea recently to try and one of the reviews said it was more effective when extracted with alcohol. Is the process the same with something like CBD tea? Can someone help me please? I can’t smoke anymore due to lost connections and getting busted buying from a stranger so CBD is my next option for getting the positive health benefits I got from smoking weed. When I made the tea with water I saw no positive benefits from it and would like to get the most out of my tea. I’m having trouble finding the information I need with internet searches so if someone could help me with the best way to make the most out of my tea or point me in the right direction at least I would really appreciate it.

  22. T.MacD. says :

    could the recipe for the tincture (decarboxylation & extraction) work similarly for making cannabis oil? Just modify the extraction to isopropyl alcohol and cook the solvent off?

    • glennpanik says :

      In theory that would work, but I haven’t tried it, so can’t say how efficient the extraction would be. If I were to try it, I’d take some less-than-perfect buds and trichome-rich clippings, weigh it, try a test extraction, be sure that the isopropyl alcohol is completely evaporated off, weigh the results, and see if the yield is worthwhile. Naturally, testing it for effectiveness would also be a must! cheers, GP

  23. Steve says :

    What is your experience using sugar leaf instead of bud?

    • glennpanik says :

      Well, trichomes are trichomes – the “sugar leaves” are full of the good stuff, and I keep and dry them. They are excellent for making extracts, oils, butters, etc. Most people don’t like them for smoking due to the rather “harsh” nature of leaves in comparison to buds. However, if you are vaporizing, youre not burning the leaves, so sugar leaves are also fine for vaporizing. cheers, GP

  24. Pablo says :

    my only question is how do you remove the alcohol from the tincture….

    • glennpanik says :

      Hi again Pablo,
      You *could* heat the tincture to boil off the alcohol – but one must be VERY cautious since alcohol fumes are quite flammable! I can’t recommend it for safety reasons, but if one wanted to *theoretically try* then a good method would be using an electric hotplate so there is no open flame, do it outdoors in a well ventilated area, with a fan to dissipate fumes, heating the tincture to 175 degrees Fahrenheit (boiling temp of alcohol). It would also be important to keep close watch so the liquid doesn’t evaporate off and scorch any remaining plant matter. All in theory, mind you 😉 cheers, GP

  25. Pablo says :

    I want to have pure cannabis oil with high THC no alcohol

    • glennpanik says :

      You’ll have to look into naptha extraction. It’s a bit more involved than creating a tincture, just google “THC naptha extraction”, and you’ll find info.

  26. siouxinjun says :

    How does one take the flavor out of Everclear ? It smells like a hospital. Can I use a Zerowater filter, using it five times, to remove the harsh smell/flavor ?

    • glennpanik says :

      I don’t believe that Everclear has any added aromas at all, what you dislike is the smell of ethanol (ethyl alcohol). This can’t be removed, since the alcohol is what you need for the extraction. However, after you use Everclear for the extraction, you could dilute and/or flavor the extraction to bring it down to a more palatable strength, more like a regular vodka or some kind of schnapps. Any kind of fruit or herbal ingredients won’t harm the cannabis extract, so you can be creative with it. If the Everclear is 75% ABV, then diluting it with the same volume of flavored water or juice will bring it down to 33% or so, right around the strength a schnapps. Either keep it refrigerated, or dilute with a bit less than the volume of Everclear you use, aiming for 40% alcohol or so, and it should keep well at room temperature. cheers! GP

  27. Kamil ashim says :

    Hi i wanted to know if i can apply the 240°c for 1 hour method for any quantity of bud or…. How does the timing and/or temperature would change with respect to the quantity?

  28. Jah says :

    What is the effect if I use dmso in my tincture.

  29. bd90bd says :

    I really thank you for this. I have extremly bad anxiety. I am at my highest im milligrams in prescription drugs. I hate the side effects. I am going to make this and hope all goes well. Thanks again!

  30. doug gates says :

    what about not doing the bake and just soak for weeks or ?? then put into double boiler and heat up?

    • glennpanik says :

      Key to making the extract effective is the process of turning the THCA and CBDA that naturally occurs in the plant into THC and CBD, which are the forms useful to us. For decarboxylation (the conversion process) to occur most effectively, heat is required. To quote wiki, “Heating is required because the reaction is less favorable at low temperatures”. In a double boiler, the max temperature would be limited by the liquids – to put it simply, the plant material will have to reach the temperatures noted in the article to get the most out of your bud! Hope that helps! best, GP

  31. K says :

    Dumb Question? Im a rookie. Do you mean a a half ounce as in 2 quarters or half fluid ounce

  32. TM says :

    Great info! Just found this site! Just finishing last of harvest, several pounds are near dry and reading to grind and decarb. Problem…old gas oven (we live off-grid)…was recommended to go @ 290 for 30 minutes…would I get the same effect is I played it safer…say @250 for 45 minutes? I was also thinking of putting actual soapstone ROCKS into the bottom of the oven to keep a more even heat…sound good?

    • glennpanik says :

      Beware of gas ovens! They have various hot spots, and you could wind up making a serious clam bake in your kitchen! 😉 I’d say 225-250 and a slightly longer time is a safer bet, be sure to open up now and again and move things about (with tongs and gloves of course), this will help keep air circulating and prevent scorching. If the oven is large enough, you could try using more stones, preheat the whole shebang to 290, then shut off the gas and put in the grass – it’s the gas burning that creates hot spots, as it goes on and off over the course of “cooking”. So heating the stones up to 290 and shutting down should pretty much guarantee you won’t go over 290 when the gas is off… in theory! Best wishes, GP

      • TM says :

        Yeah…gas is not my first choice, but of-grid doesn’t allow options! Thanks for the info, Glenn! My wife just ordered a set of pizza stones too! Also purchased one of those remote thermometers to stick in there as well.

  33. mark hannibal says :

    Thanks for the nice article. I decarb before I make butter, and understand why, but for whatever reason I did not decarb before I soaked my weed in alcohol. I guess I was thinking it was different. If I heat the alcohol, like you told a guy who wanted to concentrate his, might that carboxilate it? There must be a way to salvage this mixture I have ‘marinating’.

    • glennpanik says :

      Hi M,
      The decarboxilation temperature of the cannabinoids is higher than the evaporating point of alcohol, so you’ll the problem that the alcohol will continue to cool it until it’s all evaporated and the temperature can rise… Of course you can do this, and then replace the alcohol afterwards which may be worthwhile if you used a lot of expensive cannabis! However, try out the tinture, and see if it’s effective. Decarboxilation happens all the time anyway – a slow ongoing process in the buds – so perhaps if the grass wasn’t too fresh, it will be decarb’ed enough to work well for you. best wishes, GP

      • philip cammarano says :

        okay, #1 thca does convert to thc but remember thca is one of the best ever anti-inflamatory! Soooooo being a lil bit anal i decided to try something! I used 5 grams of lemon sour deisel 5 grams of kief I then w/o decrarbing the kief or the weed. I used 3 cups of everclear ina magical butter machine and i usually do a 16 to a 24 hr tincture not there 4 r 8 i need strong meds! PTSD chronic pain degenerative disc disease and horrid arthritus> Oh i need to mention before i started using cannabis for pain i was on 270 mgs of morphine and 16 mgs of dilidid daily also some anti depressants I now use only cannabis 3 mo after 25 yrs of hell! I know y’alll gonna scream about decarbing i do on butter and tinctures but i had to try this for my own peace of mind!
        Well i was overwhelmingly surprized b y the relief i got throughout the night I slept for over 6 hrs solid I got immense relief from my arthritic back and slept well! Also helped my arthritic hands neck etc! I would have to say that i now decarb half of what i use for tinctures and leave half uncarbed as that is the most relief i’ve gotten from tinctures mediables shatter etc! I will be making my own RSO and treating everything with that! FREE THE WEED, FREE THE PEOPLE!

  34. Sally says :

    My boyfriend and I made a tincture using a Magic Butter Machine. He used 10 grams of buds and about 2 and a quarter cups everclear. When I put a couple drops under my tounge all I feel is an intense burning. Neither of us experienced any effects. Did we make the tincture too weak and if so is there a way to salvage it? 10 grams is a lot to lose

    • glennpanik says :

      Did you decarboxylate the bud first? In any case, you can dilute a tincture with plain water to no ill effect. Everclear is tough stuff, so try adding 1/3 again the volume of clean H2O, and you’ll bring it down to a more palatable tincture. Try again, and titrate up to the point where you feel an effect. cheers, GP

  35. Diego Sandoval says :

    Can you decorboxylize after making the tincture by heating up the jars in a crockpot?

  36. Tincture says :

    In case people are having trouble sourcing Everclear there is an online store that sells 190 grain alcohol specifically for cannabis concentrates. It ships through FedEx right to your door.

  37. Jim Beam says :

    Question: alcohol bath versus PG/VG bath–Some sites advocate direct PG/VG bath after baking; does that adequately suspend the THC while leaving much of the veg matter behind, or does alcohol suspend the terpines and extras we want ?

  38. Jerry Whiting says :

    After decarbing raw cannabis, place it and the alcohol in the freezer. You want to isolate the water by freezing it into ice. Shake for 3-5 minutes. Do *not* soak it for days on end.

  39. joy rosenthal says :

    hi there.ive been trying to find the difference between the quick wash ethaol, vs the longer soaking method which you use here.
    could you please explain why you choose this longer soaking method?
    ive got 95% food grade ethanol, and am trying to do the bets extraction method. ive read people do quick 3 minute wash, in order to refrain from extracting chlorophy (which causes the green coloring)l and other resins that are not potent.
    they say that the quick wash method leaves the purist form of thc, and the cleanest high effect.

    i dont mind if the tincture has a green color, or planty taste. i just want the most potent and healing.
    on the other hand, if your longer soaking method, makes the overall effect more sedating, then id prefer to go wtih the 3 minute soak.
    any ideas?

  40. Mo says :

    What should the consistency of the herbs be when coming out of the oven? Should it be crispy or soft? Mine came out some what soft to the touch even a little oily. Is this the correct consistency? Or should it go back in the oven? I’ve been trying to find out and have not come across an answer.

  41. Mo says :

    What should the consistency of the herbs be when coming out of the oven? Should it be crispy or soft? Mine came out somewhat soft to the touch even a little oily. Is this the correct consistency? Or should it go back in the oven? I’ve been trying to find out and have not come across an answer.

  42. Purple Teezy says :

    I have been making tincture using this basic recipe for a few years now. One thing I’ve found is that the effects are heavily dependant on taking the tincture with food. There have even been times that I have taken the tincture on an empty stomach and not felt anything until hours later after eating a meal.

  43. zebracourage says :

    Thank you so much for this detailed tutorial. I have an MMJ card in New York, but the only allow use of wax or oil. Unfortunately, my dosage costs just short of $300/month, and being disabled in a wheelchair, I clearly do not have that cash. I’ve been considering using your method for a while. I prefer not to smoke and I can’t risk anyone smelling it as I’m in subsidized housing.
    My biggest concern is rendering the weed ineffective by overheating. How worried should I really be that I’ll essentially destroy an ounce out of my clear inexperience?

    • glennpanik says :

      Overheating is a possibility, especially if you have a gas stove or an electric without circulation mode – hot spots can build up and reach the point where you evaporate of the cannabinoids. Keep the cannabis spread out evenly, and as far from the oven heating eements (whether gas or electric) this probably means centered in the oven. Stick to the recommended temperature, and keep an eye on things! cheers, GP

  44. Andy says :

    Can you recommend an oven safe sealable container? I can’t find anything online that specifically states that the lid is oven safe.

    • Joy says :

      I have been using a glass bowl and tin foil on top. Or even just wrapped up well in tinfoil
      Seems to do the job just fine
      If u wraps in tinfoil and gold the edges over nicely I don’t think too many vapors escape
      Still smells a bit though
      U can also try throwing some sage in the oven if u want to cover the smell

    • Mika says :

      Use a turkey roasting bag. No smell. Easy to handle. I decarboxylate at @ 240 degrees for 35 minutes (I always use an oven thermometer to be certain, and keep checking it and place it right next to the bag). When it’s done I place the bag immediately into the freezer to cool it off quickly or keep until I am ready to process it for butter (with Magical Butter machine) and infusing into alcohol (using nitrous oxide and a whipped cream maker). But this tincture sounds like a great (and really simple) way to prepare and ingest cannabis. Thanks Glen for the recipe and instructions.

      • philip cammarano says :

        Mika would you please elaborate on using nitrous oxide and a whipped cream maker i like learning new stuff!

  45. Ed says :

    I could use some expert advice. I have been putting decarboxylated greens into a very small crock pot with a cup of everclear. After 4-6 hours at 275 f degrees temp, I filter the plant6 material out of the alcohol. I get a nice green alcohol tincture. With no particles or lumps at this point. I sometimes add 1/2 tsp of powdered lecithin at this point.

    This method leaves a super high thc black tar on the inside of the crock pot. I scrape this off and add it back to the tincture. I usually want to reduce the alcohol content a bit more, so I continue to heat the mixture in the crock pot until its about 1/8 a cup of green everclear tincture remaining.

    But my mixture isn’t uniformly mixed. and lots of fine and even lumpy black./green “tar” particles and lumps appear in my tincture.

    Shaking, stirring, freezing, and stirring all seem to have no effect on getting these lumps and particles back into solution or even suspension. The particles and lumps stay clumped and lumped. I need a non lumpy, uniformly mixed tincture to use making hard candy. I cant get the candy to have even thc distribution unless I can solve this problem. Anyone know what I’m doing wrong, and how best to correct this? Thanks for any suggestions!

    • philip cammarano says :

      #1 you do not add lecithin to an alcohol tincture, I have done tons of tincture and I would bet that is your problem I never had that and I have done 12 oz of flower and reduced so skip the lecithin and be happy stay green!

  46. Dj says :

    After shaking should it be placed in the refrigerator?

    • philip cammarano says :

      You should always keep tincture in a dry cool dark place as light and heat will kill all your thc over time! Kept in dark refrig, it should last ell over a year and more!

  47. Mike fowertwentie says :

    HELP!!! This guy has forgotten to decarb before introducing the bud into 91%iso. alcohol. His solution is already filtered(strained) and ready for evap but is it possible to decarb it at this point or is it already to late just have to hope that the evap, the olive oil heated combination, and the final product batter mix bake will be enough heat to bring out some or is my batch a vape only?

    • glennpanik says :

      In theory the THC & co. will be available for decarboxylation during baking, just as if you had baked with plant material in the first place. Alcohol will keep the cannabinoids from reaching decarb. temperature, but when the alcohol is evaporated off, the process can be completed.
      cheers, GP

  48. Karie says :

    Good article, I was quite successful, however it tastes quite grassy. Is there a way to avoid that, or is it inevitable?

  49. Rick says :

    TURN THCA TINCTURE INTO THC… Is it possible? It sounds too easy just to heat the bottle to decarb it. What if I soaked a bunch of dried Flowers with it and let it soak back into the plant and then grind it up and decarb it once again. Will it all breakdown to the THC form or what?

  50. Walter Mills says :

    I have a question glennpanik, I have a .5 gram cbd/thc oil syringe. The syringe is from Cobra Extracts. I would like to dilute the .5 gram with MCT to make a 1 oz solution. Do I have to decarboxylate the oil before mixing or should I assume since its packaged as an oral syringe it has already been decarboxylated. Thank you in advance for any help you can offer.

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