MCT oil has become an increasingly popular way to supplement your diet. Here is a guide on how it can be used to make CBD tincture. Making cannabis tinctures at home is easier than you think. Get the step-by-step instructions for making cannabis tinctures in your own kitchen with our guide.
How to Make CBD Tincture with MCT Oil
An increasingly popular and versatile ingredient used in a wide variety of recipes, MCT oil is quickly catching on as many a cook’s favorite. Full of fats beneficial to our health, MCT oil also has some neat biochemical tricks up its sleeve that make it particularly useful for DIY CBD tinctures.
If that sounds like something you’d like to try and you want to know more about how it works, read on for our quick recipe and guide!
What is MCT Oil?
MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides . Not exactly the kind of vocab you come across every day – unless you’re a lab chemist, that is.
In plain English, MCT oil is a specific kind of fat extract. The reason why MCT is so special is that its medium chains are physically smaller than the long chains that make up most of the dietary fat we consume every day.
Many foods contain some amount of MCT, but the highest concentrations are found in palm seeds and coconuts. This is why store bought, 100% MCT oil extract will usually be made from these kinds of plant-based sources.
Because our bodies find the fats in MCT easier to digest, it also means that the oil gets metabolized and absorbed into our system more qui ckly.
This makes MCT extremely useful as a supplement, and it is often prescribed to people with digestive problems, certain nutrient sensitiviti es, or allergies, as well as part of weight loss regimens.
MCT Oil Benefits
Thanks to its digestive properties, MCT oil can help you feel satiated for longer. It also holds plenty of nutritional value since it supplies you with the kinds of fats you’re least likely to already be getting enough of through your regular diet.
There is some evidence to further suggest that MCT might have a positive effect on our gastrointestinal system . Specifically, MCT oil seems to encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut while also improving energy levels, certain immune properties, and much more!
But far beyond that, MCT oil also serves another important role – as a liquid base for tinctures. As you might know, tinctures are one of the most convenient ways to (literally) infuse your day with a little bit of smooth, relaxing CBD.
The only problem is that tinctures only really kick in once they’ve been metabolized, and that can take quite some time. This is where MCT oil comes to the rescue: by using MCT as the “carrier” of your CBD tincture, you can reap its metabolic benefits and allow your CBD to kick in that much sooner.
Sublingual Use of MCT Oil
The same applies to the old trick of putting a drop of CBD oil under your tongue. This increases absorption speed considerably – and even more so when using MCT oil.
While even just adding a tiny drop of MCT to your afternoon tea can make a noticeable difference, power users will want to reap the extra benefits of combining MCT oil with CBD and applying it sublingually for super-smooth highs that come on quickly and last.
MCT Oil Vs. Coconut Oil
Many people conflate MCT oil with coconut oil; in fact, you might sometimes see the one advertised as the other on store shelves! While there is a relationship between coconut oil and MCT, it’s not exactly one-to-one.
MCT oil is a compound that appears in many plant extracts and resins, and that includes coconuts. In fact, coconuts are among the best sources of MCT and are often used to make bottled MCT oil products!
That is precisely where all the confusion originates from. While coconut oil is about 50% MCT by volume, MCT isn’t coconut oil, nor does the reverse hold true.
Coconut oil namely also includes plenty of other fats and beneficial compounds, including for instance the more common LCTs (long-chain triglycerides) and various unsaturated fats.
In the end, if you’re looking for a good, organic source of MCT, coconut oil is it – but MCT oil supplements will give you far more bang for your buck.
How to Make CBD MCT Oil Tincture
Now, let’s talk about the really exciting part: making your own CBD MCT Oil tinctures!
MCT-CBD tinctures can be used just like any other tincture. You can apply them sublingually, store them in a little dropper and dose them just like you’re used to.
Technically speaking, a CBD MCT oil tincture is not actually a tincture, but an infusion since the process involves infusing our CBD isolate with the MCT oil. There are actually a handful of DIY-friendly methods you can use to make such an infusion, but today we are going to go over one of the most widespread and accessible of them all.
In commercial applications involving high volumes, infusing MCT into CBD tinctures can be quite an involved process. However, for the average home user, it doesn’t have to be complicated at all and you should be able to achieve great results without the need for much practice.
How to Make CBD Distillate Tincture With MCT Oil
- Sealable container (jar, pitcher, etc.)
- Mixing bowl
- Slow cooker
- Blender (optional)
- 1 – 2g pure CBD isolate
- 1 cup pure MCT Oil
16 average servings
10 minutes or less
Up to 100 calories total
Supplement or ingredient
Assemble your CBD isolate and MCT oil and blend them together in a small mixing bowl. Feel free to use a blender, though mixing by hand for a few minutes should be more than enough to allow the two ingredients to combine.
Next, transfer your ingredients from the bowl to a crockpot set on low heat (the ‘warm’ setting will probably do the trick just as well). Keep covered for at least 2 hours – more is better – and don’t forget to stir every now and then.
When ready, prepare a sealable container of your choice, such as a glass mason jar, and cover it with a strainer, lining the opening with a cheesecloth to prevent things from getting too messy.
Pour out the contents of your crockpot into the strainer. If some plant matter separates from the oils, that’s normal! Let the liquids drip into the jar and catch all the solids with the cheesecloth. Squeeze it all out over the opening to really get those last few drops of MCT.
When you’re done, cover and seal the jar and store it cold in the fridge. If refrigerating is not an option, any cold, dark place free of excessive moisture should be fine.
The Bottom Line
Making your own CBD tinctures with infused MCT oil is not just really easy – it can help you unlock a completely new domain of health-boosting ingredients that you can use for nearly any occasion!
While we wrote today’s recipe with beginner-friendliness in mind, remember that even the best CBD-MCT oil tincture won’t cut the mustard if you don’t have a good base of ingredients to use.
Finding good CBD isolates can be hard, to say the least. That’s why we’ve cut out the hard work for you in designing our Live Resin CBD Tincture .
Among the most potent, highly-concentrated, and purest products on the market, a single 1-ounce bottle contains a whopping 1,500 milligrams of pure CBD! We based our tincture on the award-winning Sour Space Candy strain, a funky hybrid with an amazing cannabinoid profile rich in CBD.
To further maximize yields, we harvest our flowers about a week early and flash-freeze them to prevent loss of potency or nutrients. What that gets us, in the end, is just about the most well-rounded and powerful CBD tincture you can buy today!
If you’d like to experiment with something beyond straight CBD, take a look at our Live Resin Delta 8 THC Tincture instead. Containing the very same full-spectrum CBD extract as above, but further infused with some fresh Delta 8, see this as a higher-octane variant for those for whom the pure, calming relaxation of less potent extracts just isn’t enough.
Infuse this with some MCT oil and you’ve got yourself a near-instant ride to euphoria.
Making your own CBD extracts and isolates from your favorite flowers is also an option. Though it requires more work, as you can imagine, the rewards are self-evident – the process allows you to really fine-tune every aspect of the resulting CBT tincture, including the taste, cannabinoid concentration, terpene profile, and more.
For an easy, yet extremely fun flower that lends itself to this purpose quite naturally, we recommend our longtime favorite Bubba Kush .
Stemming from one of the cannabis world’s longest-running and most successful Indica family lines, this is a potent and very funky couch strain that’ll knock you back without breaking a sweat.
For fans of Sativas – and those looking for more active excitement – Shaolin Gleaux is another contender worth mentioning. With funky, multicolored buds and an equally vibrant flavor profile, this strain is just a pure joy to use, and its high-CBD effects will have you in an entirely zen-like state for hours on end.
Thanks for stopping by! Why not try adding a Botany Farms tincture to your daily routine?
How to Make Cannabis Tinctures at Home
Cannabis tinctures are concentrated herbal extracts made by soaking cannabis in oil, vegetable glycerin, or high-proof alcohol. Many herbal tinctures are made this way. Most cannabis tinctures are infused with medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, coconut oil, or olive oil. Cannabis tinctures are easy to make, have a long shelf life, and are relatively easy to dose. They are also great for medical patients who wish to avoid smoking cannabis.
Benefits of DIY Cannabis Tinctures
Cannabis tinctures are one of the most approachable ways of using cannabis, especially for medical patients. Here are some of the benefits of cannabis tinctures .
You don’t have to smoke cannabis.
Inhaling the smoke of burning matter is not ideal for anyone concerned about their health, especially medical marijuana patients. Yes, there are vaporizers and inhalers, but far fewer things can go wrong with a good quality tincture (i.e., there aren’t any parts that can melt or break apart).
Suitable for a wide range of ages
Smoking or vaporizing cannabis isn’t for everybody, and minors with serious conditions will generally want to avoid anything that involves smoking, both for health and sometimes legal reasons. People of any age can use tinctures.
Blowing cannabis smoke or vapor is not always the most discreet method of intake, and if you’re in public, it could potentially land you in legal trouble or lead to other social problems. Opening a bottle of tincture won’t smell as much and won’t stink out a room or get in anyone’s face in public! The bottles are also easy to carry around in a pocket or bag if needed.
Tinctures are simple to measure and dose
Many methods of consuming cannabis can be relatively difficult to measure accurately. With tinctures, all you have to do is place a little bit of oil under the tongue and hold it there for about 20 – 30 seconds. Tinctures can be taken using a graded dropper, and you can get a relatively precise dosage of cannabinoids by using the following formula (assuming you know the concentration level of the tincture):
- Target Dose (mg) / Concentration (mg/mL) = Volume of Dose (mL)
For example, if you have a 100mg THC target dose with a 30mg/mL THC oil, the calculation is 100 / 30 = 3.33 mL.
Tinctures can be taken directly under the tongue, added to food or drinks, or even your favorite beauty product, and used externally as a salve or topical.
Powerful and quick-acting
Edibles can be useful for their potency and the amount of time they last but can take some time to take effect, and the results can be overwhelming. Smoking or vaping has immediate effects but may not be powerful or long-lasting enough for some.
Tinctures take effect within 30 minutes compared to one to two hours with edibles, and you can measure the dosage a lot easier. Tinctures can also have longer-lasting effects compared to inhaling or vaping (about six to eight hours compared to three to four hours, depending on dosage), so tinctures represent a great “in-between” point.
Tips for Making Cannabis Tinctures
- Keep it as simple as possible. — or even use already been vaped (ABV) cannabis.
- Coconut, MCT, or olive oil are the best oils for tinctures.
- Avoid alcohol-based tinctures (isopropyl alcohol, grain alcohol, etc.).
- Infusing cannabis into olive oil is great for adding to recipes .
- Infusing cannabis into coconut oil is great for applying to the skin.
- Use almost equal amounts of oil (or alcohol) to fresh, decarbed cannabis for maximum potency: 500 ml olive or coconut oil to 440 to 460 g cannabis.
- If you want to reduce potency, use half, quarter, or even lower proportions of cannabis needed for maximum potency, so 500 ml oil to 220 – 230 g cannabis for half strength, 110 to 120 g for quarter strength, 50 to 60 g for one-eighth strength and so on.
- Using ABV cannabis will result in less-potent tinctures, but some may prefer this.
- If you want a cannabidiol-rich ( CBD-rich ) tincture, use a variety of cannabis high in CBD or a THC-rich variety for a THC-rich tincture.
- There is approximately 1,000 mg of cannabinoids in every gram of cannabis, so a gram of 20% THC cannabis will contain 200 mg of THC.
How to Make Cannabis Tinctures
There are a variety of ways to make tinctures. For more detailed instructions, check out our article on making cannabis-infused oil here .
What You’ll Need
- Rimmed baking tray
- Baking paper
- Crockpot, double boiler, or saucepan
- Cheesecloth or strainer
- Cooking twine to tie the cheesecloth
- 3.5 grams of flower
- 1/2 cup of cooking oil (coconut oil or olive oil)
Decarboxylate the cannabis
Break up any cannabis flower or “buds” you have into smaller pieces.
Layer the pieces onto a rimmed baking tray lined with baking paper/parchment. Place the baking tray into the center of a preheated oven set to 240°F-248°F (115°C-120°C) for 30-40 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes.
Allow the cannabis to cool to room temperature. It should appear darker in color – usually, light brown or yellow, not as green as fresh cannabis.
Note: you do not have to decarboxylate the cannabis if you are using marijuana that’s already been vaped.
Making your oil-based cannabis tincture
Combine the cannabis and coconut or olive oil using one of the following methods:
- In a slow cooker or crockpot
- On low for about four to six hours, stirring occasionally.
- On low for six to eight hours, stirring occasionally – a simple heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water will suffice.
- On low heat for three hours, stirring regularly. This method is the fastest but most susceptible to scorching. You can add a small amount of water to the oil to prevent scorching.
Note that the oil temperature should never exceed 245°F (118°C).
Strain your cannabis tincture through a cheesecloth or strainer to remove the plant material and store your oil in an airtight container in a cool, dark, dry place.
Alternative Methods for Making Cannabis Tinctures
The simple method
You do not necessarily need to heat your oil and cannabis together to infuse it. If you are willing to wait a few weeks, you can combine decarboxylated or ABV cannabis with oil and leave it to infuse for three to five weeks in a cool, dark place, turning the jar once every day. You will have a canna-oil similar to the product made by heating the two ingredients together.
Alcohol-based cannabis tinctures (aka “Green Dragon”)
You can make alcohol-infused tinctures instead of oil-based ones similar to the simple method above. Use ABV or decarbed cannabis (many people start using 1 or 2 ounces of cannabis to 750 ml bottle of high-strength, consumable, neutral alcohol such as Everclear or high-strength vodka. Then:
1. Mix your cannabis flower with high-proof alcohol in a mason jar.
2. Close the jar and let it sit in a cool, dark place for a few weeks, shaking it once a day.
3. After a few weeks, strain the alcohol through a coffee filter to remove any plant material.
How to Store Cannabis Tinctures
Store your cannabis tincture in an airtight container in a cool, dark, dry place out of direct sunlight. Glass containers like mason jars are usually best.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you make tinctures without alcohol?
Yes, the main recipe we have given above (and the one we recommend) is oil-based, and most tinctures available on the market today are made using oil. Oil-based tinctures are generally safer to consume from a health perspective, as it’s not ideal for holding alcohol in the mouth. Alcohol-based tinctures are probably best avoided for minors who need medical cannabis as well.
Do cannabis tinctures get you drunk?
If the base is alcohol and you drink a lot of it, yes! However, you should only drink low quantities of alcohol-based tinctures, as the effect from the cannabis will be quite strong even at low doses. You should also avoid drinking large amounts of high-proof alcohol.
Why are so many cannabis tinctures made with MCT oil?
Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil is a type of oil that contains medium-length chains of fats called “triglycerides.” Due to their shorter length, triglycerides from MCT are more quickly and readily digestible by the body. MCT oil is usually extracted from coconut oil.
The other reason why MCT oil (and coconut or olive oil) is often used to make cannabis and hemp tinctures is that it has a high amount of healthy fat that cannabinoids can combine with. As cannabinoids are lipophilic (i.e., they love binding to fats), you need to combine them with high-fat foods like oils and butter to get the effect you want.
Article written by
Dipak Hemraj Head of Research and Education
Dipak Hemraj is a published author, grower, product maker, and Leafwell’s resident cannabis expert. From botany & horticulture to culture and economics, he wishes to help educate the public on why cannabis is medicine (or a “pharmacy in a plant”) and how it can be used to treat a plethora of health problems. Dipak wants to unlock the power of the plant, and see if there are specific cannabinoid-terpene-flavonoid profiles suitable for different conditions.
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- In a slow cooker or crockpot