Ask Cheri

Why You Should Avoid Making Glycerin Tinctures 

By Cheri Sicard
June 22, 2022

Dear Cheri,

Do you have instructions for making glycerin tinctures?  I didn’t see it in your online cooking course or on your website.  Thank you.

You can't find those instructions because they are not there.  They are not there because glycerin tinctures are neither efficient nor effective.  At least not those made by attempting to infuse cannabis plants into glycerin in the same way you would infuse oil or butter.

Glycerin tinctures are an often misunderstood subject. 

Sure people make tinctures from vegetable glycerin (VG) and companies sell glycerin tinctures.  But the problem with this is, glycerin is simply not a good extractor of cannabinoids. 

Why not?

For the same reason honey, or corn syrup are not.  Cannabinoids bind to fats.  Glycerin (and corn syrup and honey) are fat free.

Ardent cannabis used their lab testing partner and put it to the test. 

While alcohol and oil-based solvents can extract over 90% of cannabinoids from cannabis plant material, vegetable glycerin pulls out less than 10%!

That means when making glycerin tinctures, you are missing out on over 85% of the available THC.  So don’t expect a strong tincture if you use VG or vegetable glycerin as a solvent.

Glycerin Tinctures vs Alcohol Tinctures

Now they DO have good suggestions for using glycerin in conjunction with alcohol tincture in order to mellow out the harshness.  As alcohol does make a good solvent for extracting cannabinoids, this makes good sense.  And there is no doubt that sweet glycerin is DEFINITELY more palatable than Everclear or other food grade alcohols.

Check out Ardent Cannabis’s Glycerin Tinctures experiments here.

Making Effective Glycerin Tinctures with Science

Is it possible to extract more THC with glycerin?  Yes, but it’s not easy or quick.

Skunk Pharm Research came up with a method.  So if you really must make tincture, you are going to want to check this method out.

However, be warned.  The instructions are wonky and it takes significant time and effort over making other types of infusions.

It also involves reinfusing with fresh cannabis multiple times.  So be prepared to have a good sized stash on hand.

Check out the Skunk Pharms Glycerin Tinctures instructions here.

why you should avoid glycerin tinctures

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About the author

Cheri Sicard is the author of Mary Jane: The Complete Marijuana Handbook for Women, and The Easy Cannabis Cookbook.  Her online courses at have educated 1000s of students about marijuana, cannabis cooking for home cooks, and making infused topicals.

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