Ask Cheri

How Can I Make My Cannabis Tincture Less Harsh? 

By Cheri Sicard
October 28, 2020

Dear Cheri,

I've made tinctures with Everclear (in the past, obviously) but they are so harsh I can't use them sublingually.  Do you have tips to smooth out cannabis tinctures a little?  
I plan to try glycerin soon, but I wonder if doing something to evaporate some alcohol might ease the burn a bit?

Everclear being harsh is kind of the nature of the beast and I don't know any way to change that other than diluting it into other ingredients in a recipe, but that does not not work for sublingual or under the tongue applications.

Instead of using Everclear to make cannabis tincture, you can use a more palatable hi proof alcohol such as vodka or 151 rum.  This will still taste like alcohol, but it is not quite as harsh as Everclear.  Follow these instructions for making a simple alcohol tincture.

I do not personally like glycerin as it only absorbs about 1/3 of the cannabinoids that alcohol does, so glycerin tinctures always lack potency. But if you need something lightly dosed, glycerin can work. Glycerin's mild sweet flavor certainly tastes a lot better.

The other option is a coconut oil cannabis tincture.  This is not technically a tincture by the dictionary definition of the word, but a lot of manufacturers make very strong infused coconut oil “tinctures.”  

I personally like these best for both flavor and effectiveness. Again by the dictionary definition of tincture, coconut oil would not qualify, but they are marketed as tinctures and can be used just like a tincture, in other words sublingually. To make a coconut oil “tincture” at home, you would infuse a small amount of coconut oil with a very strong dose of cannabis. Package in a dropper bottle and use a few drops under the tongue, as needed.

Cannabis Tincure and a discussion of how to make it less harsh

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  • Hi Cheri my question is…if I am making a tincture with approx 1oz of cannabis and Alcool (Canada) after I’ve strained it can I wash another oz of prod with the same alcohol to make it even stronger? Basically any limit to number of washes with same alcohol. Only want to cook down once.

    • There is a saturation point but exactly what it is I don’t really know, but it would be a lot. There is info on the net but how accurate it really is I could not say as I have yet to find it backed up (which does not mean it doesn’t exist). Seems like a good experiment for a testing company. Sorry I can’t be more precise.

    • I suppose you could but the tincture would not be very good. Think of used plant material like a used teabag, you have already gotten what you need out of it. Yes, like a used teabag, there might be a little of the good stuff left, but it will be extremely weak. If you do, use LOTS more plant material than normally. It might work for a topical alcohol rub that way. Me? I toss out used plant material.

  • I can’t belive I just now found you. I’ve signed up for your news letter. I’m 70 and have sever COPD. I’m very interested in making edibles. Im so excited. I like your style!

    • Welcome Linda! There are lots of tutorials and recipes on this website. Also check out my online courses at Cannademy.com, I have a free dosing class, as well as dosage calculators and a comprehensive cannabis cooking course.

  • I have a small problem in the way of problems…I make thc gummies from shatter..it is easy and cheaply attainable for me. Everything I make Is obviously with butter or coconut oil. Do you have any Ideas on covering up the coconut oil taste? No matter what I do to my gummies I still taste coconut oil

  • I make the tincture with Everclear. Then after straining I lightly heat to reduce using a coffee mug warmer (in a bathroom with a fan) then add glycerin to raise volume back to original. Also add a couple drops of cinnamon flavor.

  • I’m looking for Pain relief from spondylitis , spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease and multiple bulging disk. Been using edibles. Want to try tincture for hard candy but need it sugar free. Looking for a recipe with tincture for this

    • Sorry I do not currently have a sugar free hard candy recipe but you should be able to add tincture to most any one you like.

      That said, I think you will get far better relief by making an edible that contains fat, as opposed to a fat-free hard candy made with tincture. Cannabis metabolizes best with fat, so fat free foods are never my choice.

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