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IslamQA: Is alcohol in tinctures and drugs halal?

I was wondering if grain free alcohol in tincture supplements is halal? Thank you

The general rule regarding alcohol is that any alcohol-containing liquid that can cause intoxication is forbidden to drink. So beer is forbidden despite containing a small amount of alcohol. However, vanilla extracts that are dissolved in alcohol are permitted (according to some scholars) since it is nearly impossible to get intoxicated by it since the amount of vanilla extract used in foods is so small. The same principle applies to types of vinegar (such as Balsamic) that contain trace amounts of alcohol that has no possibility of causing intoxication since it is humanly impossible to drink sufficient vinegar to cause intoxication.

Regarding a tincture or drug, if the amount used is so small that there is no chance of intoxication from it, then it would be closer to the permitted side. It depends on the specific tincture or drug. If the alcohol amount is high and the drug is dilute so that a person can easily abuse it and get intoxicated, then that is closer to the forbidden side. But if it is similar to vanilla extract where the chance of intoxication is almost non-existent, then the presence of alcohol would not be an issue.

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