It’s important to note that there is no right or wrong way to evaporate off the alcohol, but it can become dangerous if you decide to use heat or an open flame, so be cautious, alcohol is extremely flammable!
While it may be tempting to use heat to evaporate off the alcohol, we think it is safer to let nature take its course and let the alcohol evaporate off naturally, even if the process takes longer than others.
The process takes a few days, but some things are worth waiting for 🙂
TIP #1 – USE THE RIGHT PAN
Remember with this recipe, the more surface area exposed to the air, the faster the alcohol will evaporate off. This means you want a bigger container that can have a shallow amount of sugar when filled. We used a glass 9×13 inch (3 quart) baking dish and thought it worked perfectly.
I’ve seen suggestions to put foil or parchment paper on a baking sheet, but we found this was way too messy, especially for stirring the sugar every day.
#2 – CHOOSE A BREATHABLE COVER
You want as much airflow as possible to the sugar, so you absolutely do not want to put a top or a lid on the pan while the sugar is drying or else the alcohol will not be able to evaporate.
It’s reasonable to want to cover the sugar while drying to prevent any contamination, so we settled on a thin piece of cheesecloth over the top.
#3 – FIND A SAFE DRYING SPACE
You will need to leave the glass baking dish out to dry for several days, so you will need a safe drying space, especially if there are children around. An empty pantry shelf or even on top of the refrigerator works.
Ultimately, we chose to keep ours in the oven because we have a little one at home. This wasn’t ideal because the airflow isn’t great, but it worked well for keeping it safe and out of the way.
One thing to note, we put a big note on our oven to ensure we did NOT turn it on while the sugar was inside (again, alcohol = flammable) Please use caution!
#4 – STIR YOUR SUGAR OFTEN
The more often you can stir your cannabis sugar, the more you will be exposing the alcohol to the air for it to evaporate. We used a small silicone spatula to stir the sugar and tried to stir it as often as possible, 4-5 times per day.
#5 – USE A FAN TO EVAPORATE OFF THE ALCOHOL
One option to get the alcohol to evaporate faster is to place a fan over the sugar and allow it to run while stirring the sugar consistently. This helps move the air and the sugar around, allowing for quicker evaporation.
#6 – HOW TO MAKE MORE POTENT CANNABIS SUGAR
Everybody always wants the most potent end product, but there are a few things to keep in mind when determining potency. First, the strength of your cannabis sugar will depend on the strength of the cannabis flower you used to make your alcohol tincture. Using shake, leaves, and stems will result in a weaker concentration while using high-quality cannabis buds will result in a higher concentration.
Volume matters here, too. The final concentration will depend on how much herb you use. For my tincture recipe, I use 1 ounce of cannabis flower to 2 cups (16 ounces) of grain alcohol. You can either double your flower or half your alcohol volume here for a stronger tincture.
Additionally, you can also simply cut the amount of sugar down in this recipe to 2 cups sugar, 1 cup tincture. The mixture will be wetter at first and may require more time to evaporate off all of the alcohol.
Of course, your reaction to cannabis edibles is unique and highly dependent on your own personal Endocannabinoid System.