How To Make Alcohol-Free Cannabis Tincture
3 min

How To Make Alcohol-Free Cannabis Tincture

3 min

You might be thinking that creating cannabis tinctures requires alcohol. However, that's not strictly the case. It's entirely possible to make potent tinctures that are completely alcohol-free. Regardless of why you might choose to avoid alcohol, read on to find out how to create a potent glycerine-based cannabis tincture at home.

When it comes to making cannabis tinctures, alcohol is generally chosen as the solvent. This is for good reason; alcohol is very efficient at extracting cannabinoids, making it a viable candidate for producing a highly potent cannabis concentrate. However, alcohol can be pretty expensive when purchased in its purest form, and quite simply, not everyone wants to consume it. Fortunately, there are some alternative solvents you can use to create a high-quality cannabis tincture at home.

What is an alcohol-free cannabis tincture?

As the name suggests, an alcohol-free cannabis tincture is a tincture that substitutes the primary extraction solvent (alcohol) for another substance that does not contain alcohol. With alternatives such as glycerine, it's never been easier to make an alcohol-free cannabis tincture that is safe and potent.

How to make alcohol-free cannabis tincture

How to make alcohol-free cannabis tincture

There are two schools of thought when it comes to making tinctures: hot, and cold extraction methods. Neither method is particularly complex, and with some equipment and a few ingredients, you'll be able to make an alcohol-free tincture that will rival any made with alcohol.

It’s important to note that you must decarboxylate your cannabis flower/plant material before incorporating the glycerine. The easiest way to do this is to put your milled herb on a lined baking pan and heat it in the oven for 30–40 minutes or so at 110°C. This will ensure that your final product contains high amounts of THC and/or CBD, instead of cannabinoid precursors like THCA and CBDA.

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Regardless of whether you're taking the cold or hot route, here's what you're going to need.

  • Food-grade glycerine
  • Dry bud or trim (decarboxylated)


Hot Extraction:

  • Crock pot (slow cooker)
  • Coffee grinder/blender
  • Cheesecloth
  • Glass jar
  • Dropper bottles (for storage)
  • Extraction:


In this section, we'll go through the step-by-step instructions for both hot and cold extraction methods. This guide is easy to follow, but as always, some patience, time, and care are required to get the best results possible.

Hot Extraction Method

1. Take your slow cooker, add an inch or two of water, and set the temperature to 80°C. If possible, keep the slow cooker on a “keep warm” setting, as this will provide consistent heat throughout the process.

Take your slow cooker

2. Use a coffee grinder or blender to finely mill your decarbed cannabis (if it isn’t already).

Use a coffee grinder

3. Place your ground cannabis inside a jar, then fill the jar with glycerine until all of the herb is covered. Place the jar in the warm slow cooker and let it sit for around 6–24 hours.

Place your ground cannabis inside a jar

4. After the specified time, turn off the slow cooker, remove the jar, and let it cool for a few hours or overnight.

After the specified time, turn off the slow cooker

5. Now you'll need to strain your tincture through a cheesecloth. Many have tried to use paper coffee filters, but they tend to clog. So stick to cheesecloth, and you can't go wrong. Straining your tincture will be a long process as the glycerine will thicken the mixture somewhat, so have some patience. Finally, decant your tincture into dropper bottles.

Now you'll need to strain your tincture through a cheesecloth

Cold Extraction Method

1. Grind your decarbed weed as finely as possible using a coffee grinder or blender.

Grind your decarbed weed

2. Take your jar, add your cannabis followed by the glycerine, then tightly seal the jar.

Take your jar, add your cannabis followed by the glycerine

3. Let the jar sit in a cool, dark place for a minimum of 3–5 weeks. With no consistent heat, this process will take longer than with the hot extraction method. Essentially, there's no limit on the duration of this method; you can even leave your jar to soak for over half a year if you so choose. Just be sure to shake the concoction every day to help release the cannabinoids.

Let the jar sit in a cool, dark place for a minimum of 3–5 weeks

4. Once a sufficient amount of time has passed, it's time to strain your tincture through a cheesecloth and into dropper bottles. Like our other method, don't use a paper coffee filter, as it will become clogged. Once decanted into your dropper bottle, you can enjoy your tincture whenever you’d like.

Once a sufficient amount of time has passed

Benefits of alcohol-free cannabis tinctures

There are many potential benefits associated with creating alcohol-free cannabis tincture. To start, people who choose not to drink alcohol, or simply don’t like the taste, can bypass the issue entirely while still enjoying a potent tincture.

Another benefit is the reduced cost of producing a non-alcohol tincture. Not having to source expensive alcohol, but instead using easy-to-obtain glycerine, will no doubt keep your wallet happy.

Aside from the alcohol-free nature of our glycerine-based recipes, tinctures in general offer a wealth of advantages. For example, if applied under the tongue, effects can be felt within a matter of minutes. Taken orally (swallowed), effects can come on in as little as 30 minutes, which is quite quick compared to standard edibles!

Tinctures are also discreet and easy to travel with. With no lighters or any preparation required (once the tincture has been made), it's effortless to make the most of your tincture.

Of course, the main benefit of creating your own alcohol-free tincture is that you have complete control over what goes into your body. From strain selection to your choice of non-alcoholic substance, it's all under your purview—which definitely wouldn't be the case if you sourced a tincture online or through other means.

Are there any disadvantages of alcohol-free cannabis tinctures?

While they are few and far between, there are some potential disadvantages to consider with alcohol-free cannabis tinctures. Chiefly, glycerine is capable of absorbing significantly less cannabinoids by volume compared to alcohol. This means that you would need to use more alcohol-free tincture to get comparably high, which could also make dosing a bit confusing.

Aside from that, glycerine tinctures offer most of the same benefits as those made with alcohol.

Time for (alcohol-free) tinctures!

Time for (alcohol-free) tinctures!

As you can tell by this point, it's possible to create effective tinctures without using alcohol. So, whether this is a health-conscious decision, one driven by money, or you just want to mix things up, the fact remains that it is a straightforward process to carry out. So where do you begin? When it comes to strains and other accessories, Zamnesia has you covered. Simply head over to the store and get your hands on everything you need to create high-quality weed tinctures.

Adam Parsons
Adam Parsons
Professional cannabis journalist, copywriter, and author Adam Parsons is a long-time staff member of Zamnesia. Tasked with covering a wide range of topics from CBD to psychedelics and everything in between, Adam creates blog posts, guides, and explores an ever-growing range of products.
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