Cannabis tinctures are a cost-effective, discreet and convenient way to consume cannabis without the harmful effects of smoking. Tinctures can either be swallowed instantly to produce edible-like effects for an overall body high or held in the mouth “sublingually,” absorbing into oral mucosal membranes to produce a different sensation: mentally stimulating, euphoric effects with a much quicker onset and more rapid dissipation.
THC: most psychoactive; sleep, pain and stress relief, pleasure THCa: less to non-psychoactive, most bio-available; sleep, pain relief, anti-inflammation, calming, anti-anxiety, anti-nausea
CBD: less to non-psychoactive; anti-inflammation (can lead to pain-relief), calming, anti-anxiety, mentally uplifting
Full spectrum: containing THC/THCa and CBD; ratio may determine desired effects
Whole plant: almost always full spectrum; contains additional cannabinoids & beneficial terpenes for most complete effects
Hemp: 99+% CBD, non-psychoactive; minimal efficacy (no THC to fully activate effect). Less regulated: organic is safer
Cannabis tinctures were the most common form of Fast-acting sleep medicine in the Americas and abroad for decades prior to cannabis prohibition.
Evidence shows they were used to relieve pain due to conditions such as headaches, ulcers, chronic inflammation, indigestion, menopause, childbirth/abortion, gout, toothaches and eye-strain. Also used for insomnia, allergies, bronchitis, vertigo, appetite stimulation, diabetes, heart palpitations, sexual performance and more.
Alcohol: traditionally, tinctures are made by mixing cannabis and alcohol, a solvent that separates desirable cannabinoids and terpenes from plant matter. Alcohol tinctures absorb well sublingually but people may find the flavor off-putting and experience an unpleasant burning sensation
Oil: while not technically a tincture, producers may extract cannabis with alcohol, evaporate it off then add oil, or simply add cannabis concentrates to oils like olive, MCT, coconut, or safflower. Oil “tinctures” are less absorbable sublingually than alcohol or glycerin-based tinctures since oil and water don’t mix and our bodies are water-based. Good if you want a high-potency experience with no alcohol that works like an edible to knock-you-out for sleep or systemic pain relief and long duration
Glycerin: infusing whole-plant cannabis into glycerin creates a bio-available tincture when used sublingually because glycerin is water-based. While some people prefer not to consume any sugar, glycerin has a low glycemic index. Good if you want a better tasting, lower-dose tincture with greater sublingual absorption for fast-acting effects and accurate dosing. Use sublingually for rapid sleep & swallow down or add to food for longer-lasting effects.
*TIP try sublingually for fast onset and shorter duration. Hold in mouth as long as possible, then swallow (what’s not absorbed will be digested like an edible). Onset in 5-30 minutes; 1-3 hours duration
*TIP swallow down or add to food for longer lasting effects, greater body high and systemic pain relief. Onset in 45 minutes to 2 hours; 5-6 hours duration
*TIP try micro-dosing to achieve medicinal benefits with little to no “high”
*TIP start with a low dose then “titrate up” (graduated dropper recommended), increasing dose to achieve desired effects
*TIP try tinctures for sleep but too large a dose may produce groggy effects in the morning
*TIP add tinctures to food and drinks to create your own, healthier version of edibles and drinkables
*TIP look at additional ingredients for desired effects like chamomile for relaxation or rhodiola for anti-anxiety/ anti-depression