Dos And Don’ts of Vegetable Glycerin
Vegetable glycerin is a sweet, thick liquid that is popular in a variety of foods and often used in cannabis tincture making. Because it is pleasant tasting and doesn’t burn when you swallow it or put it under your tongue, many people prefer a tincture that has vegetable glycerin as a base instead of alcohol.
Here’s the catch – VG might taste great, but since it doesn’t contain fat or alcohol, it is not an effective infusion medium.
In other words, the VG does not do a good job of pulling the THC, CBD, CBG or other cannabinoids from the plant material.
As a result, you don’t want to use VG as your infusion/extraction solvent.
In fact, compared to alcohol and oil-based solvents, which can extract over 90% of cannabinoids from the plant, VG only pulls out less than 10%! That means if you are trying to extract cannabinoids from the activated flower into VG, you are missing out on over 85% of the available THC and will end up with very few of the cannabinoids in the final tincture. So don’t expect a strong tincture if you use VG as a solvent for your extractions.
You can see in the example above, using 19.8% THC decarbed flower (198 mg per gram), the vegetable glycerin (VG) was only able to extract 11 mgs of the 198 mgs available. See the detailed test results here:
- 1 gram decarbed flower using the Nova
- 1 gram of decarbed flower infused into 1 ounce VG in the Nova
So why is VG so popular, and how do you use it the right way?
VG is popular because it is mild tasting and doesn’t burn your mouth when you hold it under your tongue or swallow. This makes it ideal to use as a mixing ingredient with alcohol-based extractions or with decarbed concentrates in order to make a tincture that tastes better and doesn’t burn when administered.
Using Glyceric To Soften Alcohol Extractions
You can do an alcohol extraction with Everclear, which is a quick and easy process. Just decarb your flower, add Everclear and the decarbed flower into a jar and shake.
Let the Everclear and decarbed flower mixture sit for an hour or so and then strain. You’ll have an active alcohol tincture that has extracted most of the THC or CBD from the plant, because alcohol is a very effective solvent. But again, this tincture will be very overwhelming taken directly, with a stinging and unpleasant taste that can also lead to alcohol intoxication if you drink too much.
In order to make an alcohol extraction taste more smooth and contain less alcohol, VG can be mixed in to lower the alcohol content and make the tincture taste better. You could also let your alcohol mixture stay out overnight to allow the alcohol to evaporate and then add the VG. The more alcohol you let evaporate, the more concentrated and potent the extraction will become. You can mix that concentrate with the VG to make a very smooth and more potent tincture.
Using Glycerin To Make Tinctures With Concentrates
If you are starting out with a concentrated form of cannabis like wax, shatter or rosin from the beginning, VG can also come in handy to transform the concentrate into a tincture. After you decarboxylate your concentrate, you can mix the decarbed concentrate with the VG in order to create a custom tincture. Make sure that you are mixing the ingredients warm so they can blend well for a consistent dose. Adding a small amount of coconut oil to the decarbed concentrate before mixing with the VG can help with blending.
Decarbing and blending concentrates is an easy way to make potent tinctures.
As long as you remember that VG is not a good vehilce for infusing with flower (it does a poor job of extracting the THC or CBD from the flower) but is a good option for mixing to make a tincture with an alcohol extraction or a cannabis concentrate, you’ll do just fine.
Dos And Don’ts of Vegetable Glycerin Vegetable glycerin is a sweet, thick liquid that is popular in a variety of foods and often used in cannabis tincture making. Because it is pleasant tasting
Cannabis glycerin tincture recipe
My grandma used to say that there’s more than one way to skin a cat. She also said that she would turn every snapping turtle that she caught into an ash tray. I’m starting to think that my grandma was kind of into animal cruelty.
The point is that you can do so many things with cannabis. You can smoke it, eat it, vape it, use it topically, put it in cannabis lube, or make a simple and handy tincture with it. Even if you decide on making a tincture, there’s a world of options. You can make honey tinctures, grain alcohol tinctures, and vegetable glycerine tinctures.
This vegetable glycerine tincture is an amazing way to use cannabis in a fast-acting, discreet and sweet formula that you can put in anything (can anyone say cannabis coffee?) and take with you anywhere (well, anywhere that it’s legal).
What is Vegetable Glycerine? Is it Safe to Eat?
Sometimes it seems like vegetable glycerine is in everything. Whether you know it or not, VG is probably part of your daily life, and usually, you should probably try and avoid it whenever possible.
Why? It’s usually made with genetically modified corn or soy leftovers from the industrial processing for things like biofuels. Sometimes it’s made from used cooking oils or low grade vegetable oils. Alternatively, it’s created using dubiously grown palm oil that is notorious for deforestation, unfair trade practices, and animal cruelty, among other things.
While vegetable glycerine isn’t inherently harmful, it can be hard to know what’s in it, so it’s a good idea to find a type of vegetable glycerine that you know for sure is made with good ingredients.
Since it’s almost impossible to know exactly how any given bottle of conventional vegetable glycerine is produced, try to find a solid company that produces organic vegetable glycerine.
Storing Your Vegetable Glycerine Tincture
While VG is an excellent alternative to alcohol when it comes to making tinctures, its shelf life is much shorter. Vegetable glycerin will store for up to year, as opposed to alcohol, which can last three to four years. You can keep it in any glass container, but dropper bottles are inexpensive, portable and are an easy way to measure dosage on the go. I keep mine in the refrigerator door, labeled with a cannabis stamp and dosage info. Always remember to store your cannabis infused products out of reach for children, pets and unstable adults.
Quick & Easy Vegetable Glycerine Tincture Recipe
There are a many ways to make a potent vegetable glycerine tincture. You can make a relatively quick tincture by heating it up and mixing it using a Magical Butter Machine or Crock Pot. The Magical Butter Machine has set temperature settings and a tincture button that takes 4 hours to cycle. You can also use the 8 hour button to make a stronger tincture. I usually run a few cycles on the MB Machine for a total of 12-16 hours depending on how much time I have. Just follow the recipe here if you’re using a Magical Butter.
It’s a little more difficult to control the temperature using a crockpot, but it’s very simple and virtually smell proof. You may have to alternate the temperature control from warm to off to make sure the mixture doesn’t overheat.
- In a Quart Mason Jar combine:
- 1/4 oz.-1/2 oz. (7-14 grams depending on quality) ofDecarboxylated Cannabis(trim, shake or broken up buds)2 CupsOrganic Vegetable Glycerine
- Cover with a lid and shake the mixture until material is completely covered with vegetable glycerine.
- Line the bottom of a crockpot with a washcloth or folded hand towel and fill halfway with warm water.
- Place the sealed jar into the crockpot, cover the crockpot with a lid if it fits, and set it on warm for an entire day (24 hours). Shake occasionally for best results.
- Using an oven mitt, remove the jar from the crockpot. Open the jar and allow to cool for at least an hour.
- Using cheesecloth or a bubble bag, strain the vegetable glycerine into a small bowl or into another jar. Save the cheesecloth bag of leftover material and make a batch of High Chai.
- Transfer vegetable glycerine tincture into dropper bottles using a small funnel (optional).
Learn about vegetable glycerine and how to make it too.