Cannabis Tinctures and Why They are Important

Tincture Group Photo

Cannabis tinctures are glass containers with a pipette for cannabis extracts. Those looking for an alternative to smoking, or who want to feel the effects quickly often turn to tinctures. 

Tincture storage

It is important for a CBD tincture bottle or any other tincture bottle not to be exposed to heat, light, or moisture which can degrade the quality of the tincture. Tincture bottles last for many years if they are stored in dark, airtight bottles or jars and kept in a cool, dark, dry location. 

Impermeable, non-porous bottles and jars are vital and they usually come in opaque colors such as amber, blue, green or black to protect the tincture from harmful light. The reason bottles and droppers are usually made of glass is because some plastic can interact with alcohol. 

What is a tincture?

Many online websites give advice on how to make a tincture. It is made by soaking cannabis in alcohol in a glass jar in the dark. The alcohol acts as a solvent and the higher the alcohol content, the better it dissolves the cannabis resin. 

The alcohol dissolves the plant matter and all the chemicals it contains, such as cannabinoids like THC and CBD. The chemicals are suspended in the alcohol solution. 

Glycerin, a plant-based oil, can also be used as a solvent but it doesn’t bond as efficiently to the cannabis compounds and produces a less potent tincture. 

CBD versus THC tinctures

Cannabis tinctures may contain CBD, THC, or various combinations of the two. Tinctures containing CBD with less than .3% of CBD can be sold nationwide. CBD does not have the mind-altering effects of THC and yet it appears to offer some significant health benefits. Tinctures that contain more than .3% of THC can only be bought in states where cannabis has been legalized. 

CBD tinctures made from pure CBD hemp oil are very popular today. They have no psychoactive qualities and often come in different flavors so they are suitable for consumption by children and the elderly. 

Benefits of tinctures

First-time cannabis consumers often start by using tinctures for many reasons. Consuming a tincture is discrete and you can avoid any smell while enjoying the benefits of cannabis. As tinctures come in glass bottles with droppers, precise dosing is possible. Effects set in quite quickly, unlike edibles which can take an hour or more to kick in. 

Tinctures have different effects depending upon how they are used. They can be used orally, sublingually or to infuse food. Taking them sublingually is usually the fastest acting and you can usually tell shortly after a dose whether or not you will need more. 

You can take a few drops at a time until you feel the effects you desire. With flowers, concentrates and edibles, it is easy to take a higher dose than you need. 

How to administer a tincture

With sublingual application, which means putting drops under your tongue, the tincture is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream because of the blood supply under the tongue. The tincture doesn’t come in contact with stomach acids like when you take edibles, so the beneficial chemicals remain complete and available for use in your body. 

If you drop the desired dosage into your mouth and swallow it, you won’t feel the effects as quickly as when you put it under your tongue as it has to go through your digestive system before going into your bloodstream. 

When you put the drops under your tongue, you can expect to feel the effects within 15 to 45 minutes. If you swallow the drops, you will probably have to wait about two hours or so to feel any effects.

The same applies if you drop your desired dosage into any food or beverage. You will feel the effects longer than when you smoke or vape, but shorter than when you eat an oil-based edible. 

Recommended dosing

It is important to get a feel for the potency of your tincture, start slow and then gradually increase your dosage. Rather err on the side of caution and start with two drops or less if you’re a new user. 

After you administer the drops, wait for about an hour and a half so your body has time to process the cannabinoids. If you keep dosing before your body has had a chance to do this, you may end up taking more than you need. 

Who uses tinctures?

People concerned about the possible health risks of inhaling smoke of any kind into their lungs find sublingual ingestion of tinctures ideal. 

Adults and children of all ages can effectively use CBD tinctures and realize the benefits without having to smoke or vaporize cannabis or experience a ‘high.’ 

Tinctures also provide an alternative to edibles for those dealing with digestive issues, such as ulcers or a hyperactive gut. They are also a low-calorie alternative to some edibles, such as chocolate brownies. 

The smell of cannabis smoke draws attention and for those who don’t want that attention or can’t afford to have it, tinctures provide a way to gain the benefits without any mess, smell or fuss. All it takes is a few drops under the tongue.  

A final word

Cannabis tinctures provide a great option, especially if you’re a first-time user and you can’t or don’t want to smoke or vaporize your cannabis. It is easier to control dosage and adjust it slowly until you reach your optimal dosage. If you use it sublingually, you don’t have to wait long to feel the effects. 

Compared with concentrates and flowers, tinctures don’t have a harsh smell and it’s easy to keep a bottle in your pocket or purse so you can consume your recommended dosage with discretion wherever you are.

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