Cannabis MCT Tincture: a quick an easy non-alcoholic marijuana tincture recipe

When it comes to cannabis, there are a tragillian ways (and counting) to consume it. There are so many different ingestion methods, strains, phenotypes, dosages, cannabinoid ratios, etc. that using this plant medicine can be a minefield of choices.

So I’m going to say something that I’ve never said before (that I can remember), if you’re going to make ONE cannabis infusion, let it be this infused MCT oil tincture.

Why Cannabis MCT Tinctures?

While technically not a “tincture” in the classic sense (chill herbalists… I know you care about this), you can use MCT oil sublingually and it can substitute for alcoholic tinctures in many recipes.

You can store it in a dropper bottle, like a tincture. You can dose it easily, like a tincture. And you’ll probably feel the effects more quickly than eating fat-based edibles, like a tincture.

However… when you infuse any oil, it’s considered an infusion. So yes, herbalists and people who have strong opinions about things like this… it is technically an infusion.

I hope I said infusion enough to stop any debates from forming in the comments 😉

Now let’s get back to MCT oil and why it’s awesome.

MCT Oil is a medium chain triglyceride oil derived from coconuts.

When eaten, MCT’s are digested easily and head straight for your liver. And your liver is the place where that mystical THC to 11-Hydroxy-THC takes place.

So for cannabis infusions/tinctures, it’s very effective. It’s also great for making extra strength weed lube, massage oil, oil pulling and cannabis coffee.

The science behind it is simple but incredible. MCTs go directly from the digestive system to the bloodstream without being digested first. This makes MCT oil ideal for people with digestive disorders.

In my experience, this quick turnaround to the blood stream means that cannabis infused MCT oil comes on a little more quickly than other fat based infusions.

While butter and coconut oil contain MCTs, MCT oil only contains fatty acids and is in a concentrated form making it a higher energy oil than butter or coconut oil.

Even without cannabis, I’ve been really loving putting a couple of teaspoons in my afternoon tea. I was skeptical at first about the whole MCT craze, but I really feel an energy boost that lasts for a couple of hours.

MCT has a number of benefits that can help support your health while you’re medicating. Stacking functions (too soon for a permaculture joke?)!

I use a full spectrum MCT oil derived from organic coconuts that is solvent free (this one). If you’re already an MCT geek and would like a more concentrated form of the smaller chain MCTs like Caprylic Acid, this one is very popular.

The Crockpot Method for MCT Cannabis Tinctures

This was the method I started with because I wanted to find something simple and easy. It is that. You just toss everything in the crockpot and let it infuse. The issue with the crockpot method is that, while it’s very simple, it’s also smelly and temperatures between crockpots can vary a lot. If you have issues with either of those, skip down to the next infusion method.

1. Combine the following in a crockpot on warm or low (warm is usually sufficient in most crockpots):

    • 1 Cup Oil MCT OIL
    • 1 teaspoon- 1 Tablespoon Sunflower Lecithin (Optional): If you reeeeallly don’t like the flavor of lecithin use 1 teaspoon. Otherwise, use 1 Tablespoon per cup.

2. Add:

1 Cup Organic Decarboxylated Cannabis (about 7g or 1/4 oz.) per cup of oil

Stir every once in awhile.

After about 2-4 hours* of steeping, turn off the crockpot and allow the oil to cool before moving onto the next step.

3. Set up your strainer so it fits snugly in a container. Line with a large piece of cheesecloth or a reusable nut milk bag.

4. Slowly pour plant matter and oil into the cheesecloth-lined strainer or nut milk bag.

5. Using a string or twist tie, gather the cheesecloth around the plant matter and secure.

6. Squeeeeeeze that sh*t. Save this satchel to make High Chai or Sugar Scrub.

7. Pour oil into a pint jar and place in the fridge until cool. Seal with a lid. Store in refrigerator or in a cool, dark place. See storage tips for more information.

Just a tip: *Some people argue that steeping longer is better. Some argue that high heat for shorter amounts of time is the way to go. Some people say it doesn’t really matter.

The data is still out on this one, but the 2-4 hour range on low heat (around 180°) seems to create the most uplifting and potent oil.

We still don’t really know if longer is better, but some people may be mistaking “more high” or “more potent” for “more sedated”. It’s possible that folks who cook their oil for 8-48 hours may be experiencing higher amounts of CBN (Cannabinol).

CBN is a product of THC. When THC is exposed to heat and light, it oxidizes and produces CBN. CBN is that sleepy, ultra-relaxed, munchie monster kind of cannabinoid. CBN can be great for a number of issues, but if you want a more uplifting experience instead of a couch-locked afternoon, a lower steep time or decarb time could be the answer.

Gadget: Nova + Magical Butter Cannabis Infused MCT Oil

Both the Magical Butter and the Nova Decarboxylator take the guesswork out of infusing oils. They’re both automatic machines that keep the temperature stable and come with very simple directions.

If I’m being totally honest, I really only use these two gadgets these days and that’s why I’m including them in this section.

1: Put cannabis into the Nova and press once to decarboxylate high THC cannabis and twice to decarboxylate high CBD cannabis.

Step 2: put that material and the MCT oil in the Magical Butter for 1hr at 180° and let ‘er rip.

Step 3: Strain and store your oil in dropper bottles.

It’s so easy and you can make a lot of oil at once. I especially love this method for making lots of CBD oil since I go through that more quickly than my high THC or balanced ratio infusions.

You can get both the Nova and Magical Butter through the Cannabis Kitchen Bundle here!

Mason Jar Crockpot Method for MCT Cannabis Tinctures

This is just an all around excellent and simple method. If you want to keep the smell under control or you want to make a small batch of oil, the mason jar is your new best friend. Just use the crockpot oil method, but instead of putting the oil and herb directly into the crockpot, do the following:

1. Fill your crockpot about halfway with water (or just enough to cover the herb).

2. Fill a mason jar with:

  • Equal parts oil and cannabis (about 1 cup or 10-14g decarbed cannabis to 1 cup oil) with at least enough oil to cover the cannabis completely
  • 1 teaspoon – 1 Tablespoon sunflower lecithin

3. Cover with lid. Alternatively, cut a piece of foil to cover the jar opening. Seal with the ring. Poke a thermometer through the foil so you can regulate the temperature.

4. Place the mason jar in the crockpot and put the crockpot on high.

5. Burp the jar and shake vigorously after about a half hour to make sure that there’s not too much pressure building up. If you get a lot of pressure on the first burp, make sure to burp the jar often.

6. Strain (save material for making High Chai).

Just a tip: Make sure that you do everything you can to avoid rapid temperature changes (keep it on warm or low and don’t add cold water) and pressure buildup (burp your jar regularly) or the jar can break using this method.

Concentrate/Hash Infused MCT Oil

I’ve tested making concentrate infused MCToil in all of the above methods and it works well for each of them. You just have to adjust the measurements and you can shorten up the time a bit. Once the oil turns amber colored and is homogeneous all the way through, your oil is thoroughly infused.

I prefer using the mason jar method for hash that has not yet been decarboxylated (because you can decarb it directly in the mason jar and add oil to it without dealing with any mess).

But if I’m working with a concentrate that has already been decarboxylated, I will use the stovetop/double boiler method because it’s faster and easier.

Hash can be anywhere from 30-95% THC, so that means 1 gram of concentrates can be anywhere from 300-950mg of THC. If you infused just one gram in a cup of oil, that would make the stuff anywhere from 6.25mg/teaspoon to 20mg/teaspoon.

If you’re working with concentrates, it’s best to get your concentrates tested or to buy them from a reputable dispensary so you know what you’re working with. If you don’t have that luxury, start very low and go very very slow.

1. Using any of the methods above, combine:

  • 1+ gram of decarboxylated hash (I usually use 2 grams per cup to make about 1400mg thc/cup of oil)
  • 1 Cup of MCT oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Sunflower Lecithin

2. Steep and stir until the concentrates and the oil are completely combined.

3. No need to strain, just pour into jars, spray bottles or other storage container and store in a cool dark place (the fridge or freezer for longer term storage).

 

Always remember to calculate your dosage before consuming any homemade cannabis infusion and start low and go slow, especially when using high THC plant material.

 

With love,

Corinne

 

Disclaimer: This is not intended as medical advice. I’m not a doctor. I’m also not a lawyer and can’t defend you if you get busted trying to make this recipe in a state that still considers possession or cultivation of cannabis a criminal act. I don’t agree with this law, but I’d never advocate that you break it. Jail would suck. Instead, I strongly advise that you work to change the law in your state or nation by supporting and being active in grassroots organizations that are trying to legalize cannabis in your area (they’re everywhere). This recipe is heretofore only intended for people who live in states or countries where medical or recreational use of cannabis is legal, who are 21 and older, of sound mind and who understand that operating heavy machinery (cars, trucks, planes, etc.) under the influence of any intoxicant, including THC rich marijuana, is incredibly dangerous, immature, and wholly stupid. Please don’t ever eat and drive. Support public transportation or use the two legs that evolution gave you and walk your sweet ass wherever it is that you need to go.

Thank you for supporting this site with purchases made through links in this article.

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Rick Harris
    October 17, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Hey Corinne,
    Thanks for this post, I just bought some MCT oil and I am looking forward to trying this out. Just a method I use for getting my butter or oil separated from the flower is a French press. I bought a twenty dollar one from, I don’t remember where, and it works quite well. Saves burning oil or butter fingers.
    Thanks again,
    Rick

  • Reply
    Teri
    October 17, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    I think you are doing great work! I work at a dispensary and send people your way who are curious about the many ways to ingest cannabis. Thank you 🙂

    My question is…if I have bud and leaves from fresh cannabis plants, can I use the leaves and raw buds in any of your tincture recipes BEFORE decarboxylating so that I could have THCa tinctures? (or CBDa for that matter) Or would one of these methods be better? I have an awful time taking the alcohol ones…are you really supposed to hold that fire under your tongue??

  • Reply
    Walt Socha
    October 17, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    Hi Corinne,
    As always, you’re a great info source!
    Question please: I usually decarb first then infuse using a crock pot and external temp controller. So from the above article, do I plan for 180degF for 1 hour?
    Note: to infuse in regular (organic!) coconut oil, I usually infuse at 150degF for 6 hours.
    continued thanks,
    walt

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    October 18, 2019 at 12:35 am

    What do you think of using a mason jar in a pressure cooker? I’ve seen people make infusions on YouTube that way but I’m afraid it will explode or worse break the glass and ruin the whole lot. Thoughts?

  • Reply
    Michael
    October 18, 2019 at 9:41 am

    Why did you leave out the lecithin in the magical butter method ??

  • Reply
    Samantha Layman
    October 18, 2019 at 10:05 am

    Corinne! I’m stoked that you’re on the MCT oil tincture train! This is one of my favorite infusions. I make it frequently for myself, and for others, especially those new to cannabis! It’s super easy to make, and to dose. I’ve also found that it helps substantially with cannabinoid absorbtion, as MCTs are absorbed directly into the liver (where delta 9 is converted to 11-hydroxy-THC, or the form of THC that makes edibles feel stronger than their smoked counterparts), rather than having to pass through the digestive system. For those dealing with stomach issues, such as Crohn’s Disease, or IBS (who have difficulty with cannabinoind absorption when using other types of edibles, due to issues within the digestive tract) this is fantastic news! I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve heard that someone with a digestive condition, who never had any luck with edibles, even at high doses, found complete bliss in the use of MCT oil tincture. Best to all of you over at Wake + Bake!

  • Reply
    hav
    October 18, 2019 at 10:43 am

    Hi Corinne,

    Thanks for the article. I’ve been looking for a freezer method green dragon style tincture that doesnt require cooking because my building is very up in arms about the smell of the material. I haven’t found any besides with everclear. Do you know of any other oils or methods that work with the cold / freezer method or how to go from everclear tincture thats been cold processed, remove the alcohol in a measured way, and introduce a different oil without nuking the plant material?

    Thanks!

    Mike

  • Reply
    hannah
    October 18, 2019 at 11:16 am

    I have used MCT oil in the past with a CBD tincture I used. When I purchased one locally that was the main oil used as a base. I loved it and took it daily. The taste is great, esp if you like coconut, and it seemed to calm down my tinnitus , a good nervous system tonic. The one potential warning is that for me after a year plus of taking this daily, only a dropper full, my bad cholesterol doubled!!! There was no other reason for that to happen with my diet so I could only determine it was the MCT oil. I have switched to using alcohol now but just an FYI for anyone to keep an eye on that if you have concerns on that level. Thanks for all your wonderful info Corinne!

  • Reply
    Ryan Michael Valencia
    October 18, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    I’ve been using MCT oil for this purpose for over a year, and my trial and error experience resulted in the following. I use a Nova to decarb, and found the best results come from steeping for no longer than an hour. Anything longer and you’re starting to leech chlorophyll. I tested with my T-check and am consistantly resulting between 20mg/ml and 25mg/ml; which is what my math says it should be. Also, to release CBN, you want to decarb longer, not let it sit in the oil longer. MCT oil starts turning rancid faster if it’s run at high temp for long periods, and the oil acts as an insulator which prevents the temp needed for a proper conversion to CBN, which means if you want it to convert in the oil, you need to hit at least 212°, which in turn reduces the lifespan of the MCT.
    All my research was conducted as i was preparing to sell commercial here in CA, but i couldn’t get the $600k+ i needed to start the business here in San Diego. I also have other tricks, but they’re trade secrets. Hopefully what i shared will be able to help others a bit.

  • Reply
    Tamara
    October 18, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    I’m making mine with MCT oil and Hemp oil.

  • Reply
    Sabina Lanier
    October 19, 2019 at 3:47 am

    Have you had any experience using a pressure cooker. I recently got an instantpot and have decarbed in it. (in mason jars pressure cook for 1/2 hour) have also used the slow cook setting for infusing coconut oil. Not sure of the times and wonder if others have had any experience with it.

  • Reply
    Randi
    October 19, 2019 at 5:43 am

    So, is the sunflower lecithin altogether optional? I’m not clear on that Thanks.

  • Reply
    Kathryn Mccallum
    October 20, 2019 at 12:05 am

    Hi Corrine,
    How amazing your talking MCT.. As I had an issue with mould in a previous batch with the organic whole coconut oil.. Since then I’ve been looking to use other infusions.. I found MCT organic in the supermarket.. More than twice the price.. But I wanted to give it a go.. And using your old infusion recepies that I’ve tweaked.. I had great results! I mix the oil with organic cold pressed hemp oil (I’m in Australia) to increase CBDs etc as much as possible. As for flavour.. I just made a batch of vanilla bean vegan cupcakes measuring around 60mg thc each.. It comes on faster 20-25 mins, the taste is really plesant even with a mild vanilla flavour!
    I also use the oil in gummies I’ve adapted, for micro dosing.. Infused anti anxiety tea, infused honey paleo Dinasoars at only 1.5mg each, they are amazing!
    Thank you so very much for sharing your Hard work and Research, you are Brilliant 😍💚

    • Reply
      Russel
      October 23, 2019 at 9:23 am

      Hi there, do you have a recipe you can share for the gummies you’ve made with this oil? Thanks!

  • Reply
    Kathryn Mccallum
    October 20, 2019 at 1:19 am

    Hi, sorry no links in the MCT suggestions for concentrated oil, FYI.
    Xx

  • Reply
    Georgette Koury
    October 20, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    I’m a big fan of the Nova…and the ability to decarb (& infuse) super small batches. (See Shanel’s videos on the website.) So, I decarbed approx. 1 gram of herb. I did a second Nova cycle with the 1 gram of decarbed herb and approx. 35ml of MCT oil. I used a small Pyrex beaker. I strained into a 40ml dropper bottle. I made a batch with a sativa and a batch with an indica. So far I’ve only tried half a dropperful of the sativa tincture/infusion sublingually… and it did the trick. (I hold it under my tongue for 30-60 seconds.) It has a mild taste…not unpleasant. I think It would be great whizzed up in my “sort of bulletproof” coffee. (Brewed coffee blended with MCT oil, ghee & coconut oil.) Or a smoothie. Or in a portion of soup, chili, or red sauce. I’m a ten mg. doser so an ounce of weed in a cup of oil is more than I need.

  • Reply
    Russel
    October 21, 2019 at 9:16 am

    you can also use an Instant Pot to both decarb your herb and then infuse with MCT. I have used 14 grams of herb to infuse a cup of MCT and strain in a ricer with cheese cloth with great success. I have a 3 quart IP and used high pressure for 35 min in a metal container (i used this one : https://amzn.to/2PcvuV3 ) with both MCT & cannabis , in a cup and a half of water, let natural release for 10 min and strain out. with this particular accessory, you can do two at once, but i haven’t tried it yet. I’ve seen also others use mason jars in the IP, but I haven’t tried it myself, because of the size of mine.

  • Reply
    Teri Harris-Naethe
    October 25, 2019 at 11:30 am

    I use powdered Sunflower Lecithin…is this ok?

  • Reply
    Traci Harrell
    October 25, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    Hi there, I infused flower into MCT using a levo II. Can this infused oil be used the same way as the infusions you’re describing here? Thank you for all you do to help educate us!
    Loop

    • Reply
      Corinne
      October 26, 2019 at 11:30 am

      Absolutely! The levo II is a great device for infusing MCT oil 🙂

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