Tinctures have been described as the most underrated of all the pot products because there aren’t as many fun, and potentially punishable, reefer rituals associated with their use. Tinctures are arguably underutilized compared to raw flowers, edibles, and dabs even though they work just as well, or sometimes even better.
In spite of how novel they may seem to so many cannabis consumers, tinctures are really nothing new. In fact, tincture was the primary form of cannabis medicine until it was banned in 1937.
Tinctures have been described as the moonshine of marijuana because of how they are made. However, making marijuana tincture takes up much less space and is significantly less likely to cause an explosion than a traditional moonshine still.
A tincture is most often an alcoholic extract of plant material (although animal material can also be used) with an ethanol percentage of between 25 and 60%. This equates to a solution that is between 50 and 120 proof, although sometimes the alcohol concentration can get as high as 90% (180 proof) in some tinctures.
Tinctures are also ideal for anyone who may be too sick, too old, or too young (like Charlotte Figi was) to properly smoke or even vaporize cannabis. Tinctures allow people of all ages to realize the beneficial health effects that the cannabis plant has to offer.
What You Should Know About Cannabis Tinctures:
1) Tinctures are an age-old remedy
Did you know tinctures were the primary form of pain relief before aspirin? In fact, cannabis tinctures were extremely popular before cannabis prohibition. Cannabis infused extracts (tinctures) were listed in the U.S. Pharmacopeia as a treatment for several conditions including: tetanus, gout, tonsillitis, alcoholism, menstrual cramps, cholera, arthritis, and many others. Patented cannabis tinctures were even sold over the counter in the early twentieth century.
2) Tinctures provide dosage control
Cannabis tinctures are usually taken by placing a few drops under the tongue (sublingually). This method is great for those who need a rapid dose of medicine.
The infusion is immediately absorbed into the arterial system, making its way to the brain and body. This makes dosing a breeze. Simply use a few drops and wait for the desired effects to take place. If more medicine is needed, additional drops can be added. However, always start slow and move your dosage up with time.
3) Cannabis tinctures are fast acting
Unlike edibles, you won’t be waiting around for a while because tinctures work very quickly. They’re also known for delivering a peak quickly and a steady high over an extended period of time.
4) Look for tinctures with MCT oil
All tinctures use to be made with alcohol, which is a great solvent for cannabis except that it can be very harsh on the throat and stomach and is simply not ideal for a lot of patients, says Alison Ettel of TreatWell Health – a leading tincture producer in California. And then people started making glycerin tinctures, and the only problem there is that glycerin does not bind well with the cannabinoids and has a very short shelf life. This is why most tincture manufacturers have switched over to MCT oil for a very good reason.
MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides, and it’s basically a fractionated coconut oil where the long-chain fatty acids have been removed. This is a huge benefit that you simply don’t get it with alcohol or glycerin-based tinctures.
5) Tinctures give you different cannabinoid options
What do you want to use your tincture for exactly? Are you targeting a specific condition or ailment? Maybe you want to use your tincture for preventative health or for adult-use? One of the cool things about cannabis legalization is that it gives us access to many different types of tinctures – both psychoactive and non-psychoactive. You can find THC-dominant tinctures. Or CBD tinctures, and even tinctures with the acidic cannabinoids THCA and CBDA. All of these tinctures have different uses and benefits.
6) Tinctures make a great topical
Most cannabis topicals have a lot of filler and a very low percentage of cannabinoids. Not the case with tinctures. We can also use tinctures topically for sprains or bruising – the acid cannabinoids (THCA and CBDA) especially take down bruising, Ettel adds And what a lot of people don’t know is that THCA helps with sunburns – any burn, Ettel continues. You can use it topically and it takes away the burn and helps heal it in a fraction amount of the time.
7) Tinctures are discreet
Need a low-key method for taking your medicine? Tinctures are inconspicuous. Unlike smoking a pipe or burning a joint, tinctures do not produce an odor. So there’s no need to worry about finding a place to consume. Simply place a few drops under your tongue and you’re set. Tinctures also don’t have a noticeable odor when stored, so you can easily carry it with you on the go. Additionally, you can insert your tincture solution into gel capsules – which is what a lot of patients do when the dropper is not an option. Just keep in mind that swallowing your tincture as opposed to dropping it under the tongue basically turns it into an edible.
8) Tinctures are low calorie
If you like edibles, infused desserts are no doubt delicious. Yet, they can also pack on the pounds if you’re not careful. A cannabis-infused brownie can contain up to 150 calories or more! Tinctures offer a low-calorie alternative if you prefer to ingest your cannabis in this method and want to watch your weight.
9) Tinctures offer efficient cannabinoid and terpene absorption
When you take your tinctures sublingually as opposed to ingesting this gets the medicine directly into your bloodstream. As a result, the effects can usually be felt within as little as fifteen minutes and last two to three hours. And if the tincture is well-made, you’ll get a much more efficient cannabinoids/terpene absorption rate than any other consumption method. Keep in mind that results do vary. Always check the potency before dosing. Start with a few drops initially and work your way up.
10) Tinctures must be stored properly
Did you know heat and light deteriorate cannabinoids? Tinctures must be stored in cool temperatures in an airtight glass container. We recommend a dark glass dropper bottle. Be sure to avoid plastic containers for storing your tincture. Always use a glass container and store it in at least room temperature for best results.
What do you think about cannabis tinctures?