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Solvent exchange method for alcohol free tincture

Discussion in 'Cooking with Cannabis' started by herbgirl, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. herbgirl

    herbgirl cannabis aromatherapist

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    This is a method to create a Vegetable Glycerin tincture that has extracted the most actives out of your herb, but has no remaining Pure Grain Alcohol in it.
    Glycerin is somewhat between PGA and water in it's solvent ability, but we can work around that.

    There are some herbs which are most effectively extracted by PGA, but often it is undesirable in some patients i.e. an individual who abstains from alcohol wanting to heal and nourish the liver with Milk Thistle, children, or people who choose to abstain for religious or personal reasons.
    This can be overcome by using the PGA at full strength to create a tincture as normal, but then exchanging the PGA for glycerin.

    Make a tincture with an exactly measured & noted amount of PGA & herb via chosen method. strain. measure & note final amount.

    mix this strained tincture with an amount of VG equal to the amount of PGA you used to create the tincture.

    gently heat to evaporate alcohol off, eventually reaching the original finished volume of the original tincture. keep the heat low, as glycerin will vaporize at 212 f.

    the alcohol has now evaporated away, leaving the actives in your VG tincture.

    cool and store in an amber glass bottle.

    Poorly paraphrased from James Green's book "The Herbal Medicine Maker's Handbook" good read if you are interested in this type of thing - not so much recipes, but methodology, dosing etc.

    I have not actually had the chance to use this method, but there seemed to be an interest so I thought i would share.
    If anybody gives it a try, please share your results!
     
    Hashterix likes this.
  2. Tuck

    Tuck Well-Known Member

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    I imagine this would be an ideal way to get a lot of abv into a small amount of butter or oil, too.
     
  3. herbgirl

    herbgirl cannabis aromatherapist

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    :cool:

    Tuck, the last round of candies that i made with ABV involved evaporating down a strained PGA tincture to a goo then reconstituting it with butter. it worked well - transferred the goodness right into the butter, it was easy to mix in but takes some time and patience stirring. until. it. is. all. dissolved.

    basically the same thing i guess, transferring actives from one carrier to a more suitable one for the application

    :science:
     
  4. YourPalHal

    YourPalHal THC Exploiter

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    32
    This is awesome. Thank you for posting!

    I don't drink, so I have always been hesitant to try making tinctures, but it sounds like this might be the method for me!
     
  5. Nuphile

    Nuphile Non-Smoker

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    140
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Thanks for this post!

    I will try this the next time I do a batch of tincture.
     
  6. Nuphile

    Nuphile Non-Smoker

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I know this thread is getting a little old, but I just though of something that was kind of touched on in this thread.

    Now, wouldn't this be an easier way to up the potency of the tincture? Just add half the glycerin than was used to make the alcohol tincture, or even 1/4. It seems like this would easily double or quadruple the potency. Does anyone see any problems with this?
     
  7. Lo

    Lo Combustion free since '09

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    Bingo! No, I personally try to make my edibles/drinkable strong as possible for lowest dosing. You should be able to do 1/2 or even 1/4 of the amount to increase strength. I would! When I do make alcohol tinctures I try to evaporate down for strength.

    I am going to try the solvent exchange method next time I do VG tincture. I did the low heat method and my VG tincture has an awesome flavor albeit a bit too sweet but the herb taste is wonderful. Much nicer than alcohol tincture for sure. I hope the taste would carry with solvent exchange method.
     
  8. Nuphile

    Nuphile Non-Smoker

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    140
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    OK, so I finished a batch using this method last night. I started with 4 oz. of ground trim and added about 1/5 of PGA in a mason jar (enough PGA to cover the plant material by about 25%). I shook a few times a day for 10 days. I then used a press and strained out the PGA tincture. I began to reduce it in a crock pot, and when most of it was gone, I added about 6 oz. of VG, and let the PGA boil out completely.

    This method did not work too well for me, and here is why. What I did not take into account is the fact that PGA strips the resins from the cannabis, and makes it basically part of its own; a homogeneous mixture. However, when the PGA is boiled off, you are left with a resin that doesn't really mix well with the VG, so you are left with a suspension. Not to mention, the resin is very hard to get off of any tools that were used.

    Any suggestions? This method seemed brilliant to me but I just don't think it works with cannabis.
     
  9. wthanna

    wthanna Well-Known Member

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    Nuphile : I would think it would be better to add the PGA mixture to the VG before doing the reduction. At low temps in the crockpot, the PGA should be the first thing to evaporate, leaving you with the VG tincture after being reduced by the volume of the PGA.

    Edit:
    After rereading this thread, this is the way the instructions read in the original post
     
  10. Nuphile

    Nuphile Non-Smoker

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    140
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    You know, I did read that. The reason I evaporated some of the PGA tincture down initially is because I only added about 1/4 the amount of VG than alcohol that I had used for the extraction (I wanted it to be 4x as strong). I guess I wanted to make sure all the alcohol evaporated and the VG did not.

    To guarantee the crock pot stays at a low enough temp to evaporate the PGA and leave all of the VG, I would think the lid would have to be off the entire time, which would make this process take quite awhile. But, maybe, this is the best way to do it.

    It still seems to me though, that you would end up with a suspension, rather than a tincture. But, I'm willing to try it again, and follow the instructions more closely.

    Edit: It also seems that, no matter what you do, a good amount of the resin will stick to the sides of the crock pot rather than all going into the VG.
     
  11. herbgirl

    herbgirl cannabis aromatherapist

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    Nuphile, i never would have thought of that. it really would be a suspension in that case. maybe reducing before adding the VG was part of it, but i really cant see why that would make a big difference. perhaps add back some pga or even maybe some oil of some type to get the two to blend back in, like an emulsifier for an oil and vinegar salad dressing.
    Maybe a truly PGA free cannabis tincture is impossible for that very reason, i'm sorry you did not have any luck with it, i was fully under the assumption that it worked otherwise i would not have shared!
     
  12. Nuphile

    Nuphile Non-Smoker

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Herbgirl, I'm just gonna roll with it. The tincture definitely works and is pretty strong.
    I also thought this would work well myself. I even shared the idea with some friends, and we all initially saw no problems with it. In fact, I didn't even realize what had actually happened until that night when I was in bed thinking about how it went wrong.
    You had stated in your original post that you had not tried this method yourself. So, I took the liberty of being the guinea pig, and am sharing results. No worries. Please keep posting all the awesome stuff you do.
     
  13. herbgirl

    herbgirl cannabis aromatherapist

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    Location:
    the land of pleasant living
    Thanks, Nuphile.
    I felt bad when i saw the amount you used, it kinda made my jaw drop. I've never even seen that much, i would hate to see it wasted!

    that being said thanks for Guinea Piggin' for us all :)
     
  14. Nuphile

    Nuphile Non-Smoker

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    140
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I wouldn't say it was wasted. The tincture still ended up being about twice as strong than my normal glycerin tincture. It would've been much stronger if everything went the way I thought it would, but oh well.

    My grower has a few cards, and gives me almost all the trim to experiment with. The amount I used was only a fraction of the trim I have. So, it's all good. I have more to experiment with.

    I'll post on the next method I try.
     
  15. herbgirl

    herbgirl cannabis aromatherapist

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    451
    Location:
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    it wasn't wasted but you were, right? :lol:

    i look forward to the reports on your experiments, we are all learning!
     
  16. Nuphile

    Nuphile Non-Smoker

    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Oh ya. It still ended up being rather strong.
    I'll post on my experiments as soon as they happen.
     
  17. Tuck

    Tuck Well-Known Member

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    237
    I believe I had similar problems when I tried to do the solvent exchange into a honey syrup. It was definitely a suspension. You could see all the active stuff floating on the top in a black mass when I let it sit in the fridge.
     
  18. wthanna

    wthanna Well-Known Member

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    261
    The key is to combine the two BEFORE evaporating away the alcohol out of the mixture. This makes all the difference in the world in how easily they are going to mix.
     
  19. Nuphile

    Nuphile Non-Smoker

    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    wthanna, when you used this method, were you left with any resin after the alcohol evaporation? Or was the glycerin tincture completely clean?
     
  20. Nuphile

    Nuphile Non-Smoker

    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Rather than starting a new thread, I figured posting on here would be fine...

    I have not visited or posted on FC for awhile. I started growing cannabis for patients and this has consumed most of my time. I recently got back into creating medicine from cannabis and would like to share my process. This is a solvent exchange method for tincture using ABV:
    I previously posted about a prior solvent exchange method that didn't work out so well. I have taken herbgirl & wthanna's advice this time and has worked out much better.

    I have used this process twice now and have had exceptional results both times. I even have a patient who swears by this as a salve for fibromyalgia. The only problem is I can't make enough for her. If anyone wants to come over and help me vape some meds that would be sweet :-)

    So...
    I take whatever amount of ABV I happen to have and put it in a mason jar
    I then pour some PGA into the jar until it covers about 1/2 of the ABV. I don't cover the ABV all the way b/c the PGA will eat away at the volume anyhow.
    I shake the jar whenever I think about it (a few times a day) until the PGA fully covers the ABV (usually 3-4 days)
    I then put the mixture in a rice cooker on the 'warm' setting and add some VG. (A rice cooker was just the cheapest device I could find that had a 'warm' setting. But a crock-pot with the same setting should do fine.
    I try end up with a ratio of 1 oz of ABV to 1 oz PG. However I don't have a tincture press and just use a glycerin soaked T-shirt; so there is always some loss. Because of this I add a little more at the beginning.
    * The original solvent issue I was having, which is documented earlier in this thread, I believe was (like herbgirl and wthanna suggested) from adding the glycerin in to the process too late thus creating a suspension rather than a true tincture.
    I put the lid on the rice cooker to increase the heat and leave on for maybe an hour or so.
    I then take it off the heat, remove the lid, and allow it to cool to room temperature. This not only begins to evaporate the alcohol but also contracts the mixture.
    * Awhile ago I had read a thread from someone, and I can't remember who. It stated that a tincture can be finished quicker by taking the mixture off the heat for awhile and putting it back on. Supposedly this causes contraction and expansion which allows for quicker bonding. I haven't tested this using a control but it seems to work fine.
    I then put back on the heat and repeat.
    I continue this process for maybe 12 hours. I think you may be able to do it in much less time, I just haven't taken the time to test this theory.
    I then strain through a T-shirt and bottle.

    The tincture is very strong and has an opiate-like feel. For me it is active at < 1/4 dropper and if I take a whole dropper I can't really even move. It is a serious muscle relaxer without most of the mental changes that pure cannabis brings.

    *As a side note, I have used soy lecithin in tinctures before and believe it to be of benefit. I just didn't have any on hand with this last batch.

    Thanks for reading and I would love to hear some input!
     
  21. Nuphile

    Nuphile Non-Smoker

    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Oops...Accidental 2nd post.
     
  22. IamtheWiz

    IamtheWiz I’m the Wiz! And nobody beats me!

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Chicago Burbs
    Hey all, first I need to thank all of you fine folks who sacrifice your weed to find the best recipes for the community!

    I found this thread searching for tincture ideas. Im particularily fascinated with this process. I have a couple of questions though...

    1. Nuphile, you mentioned only putting enough alcohol to cover half of the ABV. However isn't there a point of saturation for the alcohol and once you exceed that point it is no longer able to pull as many volatiles out of the herb?
    Would it make more sense to double the amount of alcohol and follow the same procedure for boiling off and extracting? Of course it will take longer to evaporate.

    2. You mentioned putting the mixture in a jar then into the crockpot, are you capping the mason jar when you put it in?

    3. Can this same process be used for trim/shake?

    4. Last but not least, when would you introduce the lecithin if you had it handy?

    I have about 15 g of trim and about 5 g of ABV. I was debating on combining them and giving this tincture a try. Any other thoughts or concern would be appreciated.
     
  23. buckdaddyplus

    buckdaddyplus New Member

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  24. buckdaddyplus

    buckdaddyplus New Member

    Messages:
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    Hello, I'm just wondering if anyone has tried using 99% Isopropyl alcohol, as opposed to Grain Alcohol/ Ethanol to make a Glycerin Extract? I ask A common method for making hash oil for smoking or eating is by extraction with Isopropyl which is then gently evaporated off my means of heat and or time/exposure to air, leaving behind a concentrated Thc/Cbd rich yellow-blackish semi solid. With this in mind could we use a small amount of Isopropyl and heat, to re-liquefy hash oil then add that to the glycerin to stop it from separating/forming clumps in the glycerin, then apply heat to evaporate the alcohol? I know that Propylene Glycol mixes more easily with hash oil, however I can't source it locally, and that most are using grain alcohol, however I already have Veg Glycerin, and 99% Iso on hand. In my mind the same principals should apply as with making the original hash oil you started with. Anyone have any info for me? I went ahead and tried it my thinking that the addition of a small amount of alcohol would break up the oil clumps and disperse them more evenly works, however I haven't guinea pigged the final product as of yet. Thanks for any advise.
     
  25. Accept

    Accept Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    606
    Don't think you'd be able to fully purge the ISO from the VG. This isn't a big concern with EtOH, because its toxicity is low. ISO is a bit more toxic, so you'd want to be sure that it's concentration has been reduced to a safe level before consuming. Don't know how you'd do that in a tincture. It may also negatively affect the flavor.

    Never had success with solvent exchange, even when adding VG to the EtOH before evaporating. May have been too concentrated.

    Curious why people are cooking their cannabis in EtOH for hours. After extensive tests, found that with QWET, ~90% of activity comes off in the first two three-minute washes at temperatures well below freezing. A third wash produces only about 0.1g-0.2g concentrate (from 30g flower), but it's very dark and has an unpleasant flavor. Anything longer is just going to extract more of these undesirable contaminants.
     
    buckdaddyplus likes this.

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