Tinctures 101: Everything You Need to Know About Cannabis Oil

Among flower and edibles, oil tinctures are one of the most widely known ways of ingesting cannabis. Perfect for those who don’t like smoking or waiting forever for edibles to kick in, oil is relatively tasteless and can easily be placed under the tongue for an almost immediate effect.

What Are Tinctures?

Cannabis tinctures are liquid, cannabis-infused products. The products are made by using a solvent like alcohol to pull the terpenes and cannabinoids like CBD and THC from the plant. The final product is essentially alcohol that is infused with the pertinent components of the cannabis plant. 

“Recently, I’ve noticed a gradual increase in the popularity of edibles and tinctures,” David Charles, Co-Founder and CEO of Mood, said. “Many consumers appreciate the convenience and discreteness these options offer, along with the precise dosing control they provide.”

Just like any cannabis product, tinctures have their own unique factors and effects that make them preferable among consumers. Ashley Jelks, Founder of HIGH PRIESTESS, says that tinctures are an excellent way of consuming the plant, particularly for purposes such as pain management and inflammation. 

“This isn’t to say that smoking/vaping flower can’t contribute to pain management, but many find ingesting the plant more effective for addressing these concerns,” Jelks said. “Tinctures tend to contain higher concentrations of THC and other cannabinoids like CBD, making them suitable for individuals using cannabis for medical or therapeutic purposes, given the multitude of health concerns that the cannabis plant can help treat or alleviate.”

The Benefits of Cannabis Tinctures

There are a variety of benefits to using tinctures, including:

  • The ability to be discreet. Tinctures allow for quick absorption of cannabis without any clouds of smoke or vapor, and they also come in small bottles that can easily and safely fit into your purse or pocket. Tinctures don’t have a strong aroma and can be used at almost any time and setting without anyone needing to know about it. 
  • Fast-acting results. Because tinctures are most often used sublingually, they are absorbed more rapidly than edibles. Tinctures can transmit their active components to the bloodstream quickly through the lining of the mouth. 
  • Longer shelf life. Most tinctures are made with an alcohol solvent, which acts to preserve the plant compounds. This allows them to stay fresh and effective for years when they are stored properly in a cool, dark place. Because tinctures are so concentrated, a little can go a long way, and your bottle of tincture will likely last a while.
  • Simple dosage. It’s easy to go overboard with flowers and edibles accidentally, but tinctures come in a bottle that includes a measured dropper, which allows for very precise dosing to the milliliter.

How to Use Cannabis Tinctures

As with any cannabis product, the general rule for tinctures is to start with a low dose and adjust as needed to achieve the desired effects. Most people consume tinctures by placing a few droplets under their tongue and waiting around 20 to 30 seconds before swallowing. This allows the cannabinoids to get into the bloodstream quicker, usually within 10 to 15 minutes

Alternatively, Jelks suggests that tinctures can be great for infusing into different food and beverages. Once you figure out the best dose for your body, you can then use that for baking, adding to your coffee or tea, or pretty much anything else you want.

How to Know if Tinctures Are Right for You

“Understanding which cannabis product is right for you depends on your personal preferences and desired effects,” Charles said. “Flower, tinctures, and edibles offer different consumption methods and effects. It’s essential for consumers to consider factors such as their experience with cannabis, desired onset time, and dosage control when making a choice. Researching and experimenting with each product type can help consumers find what suits them best.”

Pro Tip: “Be careful because a lot of brands are trying to include a high amount of THC in their products because they’re finding that it sells,” Heidi Urness, Co-Chair, Cannabis Practice Group at McGlinchey Stafford, said. “For newer users, make sure you go for something with a lower THC percentage. You can enjoy cannabis without taking it to the extreme, so find something that works with your body. And I would find that with lower THC.”