For those who are used to smoking marijuana, taking it as a sublingual tincture might seem just a novelty. But these days, more and more people are discovering how helpful THC tincture can be for aches and pains, stress, trouble sleeping, and other long-term symptoms and conditions.
Tinctures are liquid extracts of herbs and plants that are very strong. Tinctures have been used for a long time, even before modern medicine. Today, they are one of the most common ways to consume cannabis.
This guide will help you out whether you are new to cannabis or have only used other cannabis consumption methods in the past. Please learn what tinctures are, how taking them under the tongue helps relieve symptoms, and how much tincture to use.
What is Cannabis Tincture
A tincture is a cannabis extract made by mixing cannabis into a liquid. It is meant to be taken under the tongue, not vaporized or smoked. The cannabis plant is soaked in a base liquid, like food-grade alcohol, glycerin, or oil. After a few days, the plant matter is strained out, and voilà! Cannabinoids, terpenes, and other chemicals have mixed with the base liquid and are now ready to be dosed and used.
Technically, a “tincture” is a product made with alcohol, while an “infusion” is a product made with oil or glycerin. However, we use “tincture” as a catch-all term here. Tinctures for adults usually come in 1 fl oz (30 mL) glass bottles with droppers that make it easy to give low doses of the drug. Since they are not regarded as food, the 100 mg THC limit on edibles in several markets does not apply to them.
Tinctures might not seem as fun or new as dab or gummy, but they have a lot of health benefits and still give you a relaxing, high-quality experience.
How CBD Tinctures Are Made
There are a few methods for creating CBD tinctures. Alcohol dissolves plant debris and extracts important agents, resulting in a liquid product known as a “tincture.” Today, most CBD tinctures contain an extract of the cannabinoid combined with a carrier oil.
Solvents, supercritical CO2 procedures, or distillation could all play a role in the extraction process. There are advantages to using each different method of extraction. For instance, terpenes and other sensitive cannabinoids are preserved in a clean, solvent-free product obtained via supercritical CO2 extraction.
How Tincture Compares to CBD Oil
The CBD oils you’ll find at health food shops and online are similar to tinctures, but several key differences exist. To be more specific, CBD oil is made by isolating CBD from hemp using a solvent like butane or CO2 and then combining the extract with a carrier oil, which is subsequently marketed to the general public.
Because tinctures are made from the entire plant, they may include some trace quantities of THC, even if derived from legal hemp. Also, unlike CBD oil, tinctures (typically based on alcohol) can’t be applied topically or used to condition the skin. But you may get the medicinal benefits of CBD from either one if you just swallow it.
Difference Between CBD vs THC Tinctures
While THC tinctures are made from marijuana, CBD tinctures are typically made from hemp. Cannabinoids, including CBD and THC, can be present in both marijuana and hemp. However, hemp contains far more CBD than marijuana does THC.
There is a high concentration of both CBD and THC in tinctures. For instance, a full-spectrum CBD medicine made from hemp may contain trace quantities of THC (by law, it should be less than 0.3 percent). While still present, the concentration of CBD in a THC tincture is often significantly lower than that of CBD.
You may prefer a CBD tincture, a THC tincture, or a CBD/THC tincture with equal amounts of both cannabinoids. Because of their targeted medicinal effects and lack of inebriating effects, CBD tinctures have become increasingly popular. Conversely, some people seek out the euphoria associated with THC-rich tinctures.
Advantages of Using Cannabis Tinctures
Everyone enjoys cannabis in their own way, but most people who prefer tinctures will point out certain benefits. Also, tinctures have some advantages over other cannabis products, like raw flowers or edibles. Let’s look at a few of these benefits in more depth.
You need a few things to smoke cannabis. For example, you might need a grinder, a pipe, and a lighter. Tinctures, on the other hand, come in a bottle with everything you need to use cannabis. There’s no need for rolling papers, a torch, or any other accessories. You can make your THC tincture.
Tinctures give you a level of privacy that smoking cannabis doesn’t, even though a lot of people choose to smoke cannabis. Tinctures don’t smell, and you can take your dose anytime without anyone realizing what you’re doing. As a side note, because tinctures are taken by mouth, they are better for people who don’t want to smoke cannabis for health or breathing reasons.
If you smoke cannabis or use some cannabis concentrates, it can be hard to know exactly how much CBD or THC you are getting. In tinctures, the cannabinoids are mixed with a substance called a “carrier.” So you can get a better idea of how many milligrams you are consuming.
When taken under the tongue, tinctures can work faster than other cannabis products. For example, it takes longer for an edible to work because the product must pass through your digestive system before it can get into your bloodstream.
Health Benefits of Using CBD Tinctures
Here are some of the ways CBD tinctures or oils can prove beneficial to your health:
Reduce Anxiety and Depression
CBD’s ability to calm down is one of its most well-known effects and a big reason many people use it. In a 2017 study published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, 57 men were given a mock public speaking test to determine their nervousness. Before their speeches, some people got a placebo, while others got either 150 milligrams, 300 milligrams, or 600 milligrams of CBD.
During the test, 300 milligrams of CBD had much less anxiety than those who got a placebo. Surprisingly, the people who got 150 or 600 milligrams of CBD felt more anxious during the test than those who got 300 milligrams.
At the same time, at least one study with mice showed that CBD had effects like the antidepressant imipramine. Still, CBD needs to be tested on people to see if it has the same antidepressant effect on our bodies.
Treat Certain Types of Epilepsy
CBD can sometimes be used to stop seizures in people who have epilepsy. In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the use of CBD under Epidiolex to treat seizures caused by Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two rare types of epilepsy, in patients at least 2 years old.
The FDA’s decision is based on three studies that have been carefully looked over. In these studies, 516 people with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome got either Epidiolex or a fake drug called a placebo. When taken with other prescribed drugs, Epidiolex decreased the number of times people had seizures compared to when they took a placebo.
Lessen the Effects of PTSD
In a small study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2018, 11 people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) got CBD along with their regular psychiatric care for eight weeks in an outpatient psychiatric clinic. Ten of the 11 people saw their PTSD symptoms get better. The researchers say that most people have well-tolerated CBD.
Four other human studies between 2012 and 2016 suggest that CBD can help reduce PTSD symptoms. However, some of these studies also used THC, the main part of cannabis that changes your mind.
When THC and CBD function together, they have an “entourage effect,” in which the benefits and potency of each one are increased. For instance, taking the same amount of THC and CBD together makes the “high” from THC less intense, while taking a small amount of THC with a lot of CBD makes the effects of CBD stronger.
Treat Opioid Addiction
Some studies with animals and people suggest that CBD could be used to help people addicted to opioids. In one of these studies, CBD was given to people with an addiction to heroin. For a week, heroin users who took CBD had fewer cue-induced cravings, resting heart rate, cortisol levels in their saliva, and withdrawal anxiety. There were no serious bad effects found.
In other studies, CBD has been shown to help reduce anxiety, insomnia, and pain in people with substance use disorders. This suggests that CBD may be a good way to treat opioid addiction. But more research needs to be done.
Alleviate ALS Symptoms
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a condition that causes nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to die, which leads to a loss of muscle control that gets worse over time. No one knows for sure what causes ALS, but it can sometimes be passed down from parent to child. There is no known cure, and the FDA has approved only two drugs to treat ALS symptoms.
People with ALS may stand to gain from the entourage effect generated when THC and CBD are used together, just like people with PTSD. In a 2019 study, patients got THC and CBD in different amounts based on their needs and preferences. ALS patients with mild, moderate, or severe spasticity (tightness and stiffness of the muscles) were very happy with the treatment. Those with moderate to serious spasticity were even happier than those with mild spasticity.
How to Consume Cannabis Tinctures
Companies that sell cannabis in legal markets must include precise dosing information on products that can be eaten. If you buy a tincture from a dispensary near you, the packaging will tell you how much to take. This is also available at most health food stores and CBD shops, but THC-free tinctures don’t always undergo the same testing.
Your best dose will rely on how much you can handle and what you want to get out of the tincture. If the tincture was made to help you sleep, you might want to take a single high dose to ensure you feel sleepy. If you want to use the tincture to help you feel better during the day, you may find that taking several small doses throughout the day is more effective.
As a general rule, start low and go slow regarding weed. In a 1 fl oz bottle, one full dropper is equal to 1 mL, so if you have a low tolerance or don’t usually use a lot of cannabis, you should start with a quarter dropper or less. If you feel more sure, you can try half a dropper.
Use the dropper to put the tincture under your tongue and let it linger for 30 seconds before swallowing. This will help it work best. Oral mucosa is a type of absorbent tissue that lines the inside of the cheeks, lips, and under the tongue. It helps fight disease and keeps our mouths healthy. It also takes in tinctures and puts cannabinoids straight into the bloodstream, bypassing the stomach and liver.
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If you don’t like how a tincture tastes or feels in your mouth, there is another way to take it. You can drop the tincture on whatever food or drink you want and enjoy it. This method will take about the same time as cannabis edibles to work.