Let’s talk tinctures! If the first thing you picture when you read the word is a row of dusty apothecary bottles lining an old-timey pharmacy wall, you’re not totally off track.
The use of cannabis tinctures dates back thousands of years to ancient civilizations that used cannabis tinctures for medicinal purposes or even in spiritual practices.
These days, tinctures are among the wide range of cannabis products available to weed enthusiasts. They’re beloved for their precision dosing and fast absorption. In this post, we’ll cover all things cannabis tincture:
- How it’s made
- The benefits
- How to use it
- Things to consider when shopping for it
What Is Cannabis Tincture?
First, what’s a tincture? A tincture is a concentrated liquid extract made by soaking herbs, plants or other organic materials in a solvent, usually alcohol, for an extended period of time. The solvent pulls out the active ingredient found in the plant part, concentrating it as a liquid.
Tinctures are commonly used as homeopathic remedies to treat anything from inflammation to chronic pain.
When the herb used is marijuana, that creates a cannabis tincture. The solvent pulls terpenes and cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, concentrating it into a potent infused solution.
CBD vs. THC Tinctures
The process to make both CBD and THC tinctures is the same. The difference comes in the raw materials. CBD tinctures are typically made using hemp, whereas THC tinctures come from the marijuana flower.
CBD tinctures. While CBD tinctures may contain some THC, hemp products, by law, must contain less than .3% THC. The low levels of THC in CBD tinctures make them ideal for relieving symptoms of chronic pain, stress, anxiety or inflammation.
CBD tinctures can be further broken down into three categories:
- Full-spectrum CBD. These are made with the full components of the cannabis plant and include up to .3% THC.
- Broad-spectrum CBD. These are made with the full components of the marijuana plant but do not contain THC even in trace amounts.
- CBD isolate. This is pure CBD with no other cannabinoids or terpenes.
THC tinctures. THC tinctures (or marijuana tinctures) may also contain CBD but have a higher concentration of THC, which enhances their intoxicating effects. The level of THC in a tincture will determine how high you feel. We recommend starting out at a lower dose and working up.
The choice of CBD or THC tinctures (or a hybrid of the two) largely depends on why you’re taking the tincture. If you crave the intoxicating effects of marijuana, choose a tincture that’s higher in THC. For help with pain, anxiety or sleep issues, a more CBD-rich variety may do the trick.
Always consult with your friendly budtender for recommendations on the best type of tincture and dosing for your needs.
How to Use Cannabis Tinctures
Cannabis tinctures are a great way to get the healing and medicinal benefits of marijuana without smoking or vaping. They’re discreet, portable and shelf-stable. You can partake in tinctures in a number of different ways:
Sublingual. This tends to be the fastest and most effective way to enjoy tinctures. You place a few drops under your tongue and hold for a few seconds. The tincture will be absorbed into your blood, and you should feel the effects in as little as ten to 15 minutes.
Mixed with foods or beverages. If you don’t enjoy the taste of tinctures, or you’re looking for a precise way to add marijuana to your homemade edibles, try mixing a few drops with food or drink. Start slow when cooking with cannabis tinctures. Try one drop at a time until you get a sense of how much yields the desired effect.
Swallowed. Directly ingesting the tincture allows it to pass through the digestive system, resulting in a gradual onset that usually takes about 45 minutes.
Topically. Tinctures can be applied topically to the skin in the same way you might apply a balm. Topical application is a favorite among those who go to tinctures for pain relief.
There’s no wrong way to consume cannabis tinctures — it’s really all about what works best for you.
Why Use Cannabis Tinctures?
The best way to consume cannabis is the way that suits your lifestyle and needs the best. There are a number of benefits to trying tinctures.
It’s convenient. Cannabis tinctures come in a small, highly portable bottle that is shelf-stable. You don’t need additional paraphernalia to prepare or ingest the product.
It’s discreet. Tinctures can be consumed anywhere without the risk of bothering those around you with smoke or vapors.
It’s easy on the lungs. For those who don’t want to or can’t smoke either for personal preference or health reasons, tinctures are a good way to get the effects of orally ingested cannabis.
Precise dosing. With the dropper system, tinctures offer more control over exactly how much THC or CBD you’re consuming.
What to Consider When Buying Cannabis Tincture
As with any marijuana product, what you buy and how you consume often comes down to personal preference and needs.
Here are a few things to consider when buying cannabis tincture:
How you’ll use it. Your budtender may ask the reason you’re seeking out tincture in the first place. If it’s for chronic pain or sleep issues, they may recommend a CBD tincture. If you’re looking for a more intoxicating experience, opt for a THC-forward variety.
What’s the base? Cannabis tinctures are typically made using food-grade alcohol, glycerin, or sometimes a plant-derived oil like coconut or grapeseed. Pay attention to the base, especially if you have any food sensitivities.
Note: There is a difference between cannabis tincture vs. oil. The term tincture technically refers to alcohol-based products, and those mixed with oil are infusions, but tincture is often used to describe both.
Potency. Make sure you know how much THC is contained in the tincture. The rule of thumb is to start slow — one drop at a time.
THC tincture dosage guide from Leafly
This is based on a 300 mg THC, 1 fl oz (30 mL) tincture.
|Dosage in ml||Approximate dose in mg||Effects|
|0.10 ml||3 mg||Microdose for very low intoxication|
|0.25 ml||7.5 mg||Light dose with low intoxication for beginners and sensitive consumers|
|0.50 ml||15 mg||Standard dose with slight intoxication|
|1 ml||30 mg||Higher-than-average dose for experienced consumers|
|2 ml||60 mg||Potent dose for experienced consumers or patients with serious ailments|
Whether you’re new to the world of tincture or just looking to mix it up, our friendly and knowledgeable budtenders are standing by to answer questions and make recommendations on any of our top-quality tinctures.