What Is a Tincture? How Do Tinctures Work and Its Benefits

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what is a tincture and how do tincture work

What Is a Tincture? How Do Tinctures Work and Its Benefits

In the 19th century, tinctures were one of the most popular forms of medical cannabis. It has been around for centuries. And with the recent legalization of cannabis in many parts of the world, cannabis tinctures are making a comeback. Their fast onset time and discreet use make them popular for recreational and medical cannabis use. 

If you want to try cannabis but are uncomfortable with the idea of smoking, then you should check out cannabis tinctures. With just a few drops of tincture under your tongue, you enjoy its benefits without inhaling smoke. 

To give you more idea, we have gathered here everything about what exactly are cannabis tinctures, how they work, their benefits, and potential risks. You can also learn how to make your own cannabis tincture at home and slightly peek at the future of tinctures and cannabis as a whole. 

So, read on to learn more about how you can fit tinctures into your cannabis consumption. 

What are Cannabis Tinctures?

Cannabis tinctures offer a convenient and effective way of consuming cannabis. They are a liquid form of cannabis extract usually taken sublingually—meaning, under the tongue. They are created by soaking the cannabis plant material in high-proof alcohol or glycerin, which extracts the plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes. The liquid is then strained, and the resulting tincture is a highly concentrated form of cannabis that many use for medicinal and recreational purposes. 

Tinctures are known to be versatile. It has many types available—THC tinctures, CBD tinctures, and full-spectrum tinctures are some of the most popular. THC tinctures are popular for recreational use, while CBD tinctures are potential health benefits. Full-spectrum tinctures, on the other hand, have well-rounded effects because they contain a combination of terpenes and cannabinoids.

Tinctures are the perfect way to consume without drawing some attention. Say you’re somewhere and feel a sudden anxiety rush. You can easily slip a few drops of it under your tongue.

Aside from versatility, tinctures also have faster onset effects than other cannabis products. You can expect to feel its effects within 15-45 minutes. It’s a discreet and fast-acting solution that helps you feel more at ease in social situations.

How Do Cannabis Tinctures Work?

Cannabis works by delivering terpenes and cannabinoids directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system. Your mucous membrane under the tongue absorbs these terpenes and cannabinoids. This allows for a faster onset time though it still varies depending on the tincture’s potency and your metabolism.

A person with a slower metabolism may experience longer-lasting highs or effects than someone with a faster metabolism. If you’re the former, start slow with your dose and gradually increase it to avoid overconsumption.

Benefits of Cannabis Tinctures

Cannabis tinctures can be used to alleviate pain, anxiety, insomnia, and even seizures. But its benefits don’t stop there. In addition to its medical uses, here are more benefits that cannabis tinctures offer:

Therapeutic Benefits

Tinctures help improve mood, reduce stress and anxiety, enhance focus and creativity, and promote relaxation. These can be attributed to the active compounds found in cannabis that have therapeutic effects on the body and mind.

Safer Alternative

If you have respiratory issues, cannabis tinctures can be a great alternative for you. They don’t require inhalation compared to consuming cannabis through smoking or vaping. You simply take it under your tongue, and you will feel the effects in minutes.

Customizable Dosage

There’s a lower risk of consuming weed more than intended with cannabis tinctures. You can easily customize the dosage according to your needs. This also helps you find the optimal dosage for your condition or tolerance and reduces the risk of consuming too much cannabis.

Discreet Consumption

Cannabis tinctures aren’t only low-risk but also discreet. They don’t produce smoke or odor—perfect for when you want to avoid drawing attention. It’s an ideal option for use in public places or around others that are not comfortable with the smell of cannabis.


Aside from taking in sublingually, you can always add tinctures to food or beverages. Adding drops of tincture to food or beverage masks the taste of cannabis, making it more convenient for others.

Easy to Use

Worry less if you’re a novice cannabis user. The product is easy to use as it typically comes with a dropper to allow precise dosing. You can easily measure the amount of tincture recommended and consume it without worrying if you did the dose right.

Longer Shelf Life

You can store tinctures longer than other cannabis products. If stored properly, they can last up to 10 years, the longest a cannabis product can be shelved. Simply, it’s a cost-effective choice. You don’t have to refrigerate the tincture. Just remember to store it in cool, dark places to prevent degradation and maintain the potency of the tincture. 

Risk and Side Effects

Cannabis tinctures also have their downsides like other cannabis products. Some possible side effects include dizziness, increased heart rate, and dry mouth. So if you’re new to consuming cannabis tincture, start slow and listen to your body. Observe how it responds before gradually increasing your dose.

To avoid other risks, ensure you only purchase tinctures from reputable sources or stores. Check if the product has been tested for potency and purity. And if you’re pregnant, nursing, or have a history of heart conditions, better not experiment your way to using cannabis tinctures.

How to Make and Use Cannabis Tinctures

You can make a cannabis tincture yourself at home if cannabis is legal where you live. It’s readily available in many cannabis shops, but making your one at home is just easy and cost-effective. All you need is a jar or a bottle, your choice of cannabis plant, and glycerin or high-proof alcohol.

Start by grinding your cannabis plant material and placing it in a bottle or jar. Cover it with glycerin or alcohol until it’s fully submerged. Then, let it sit for several weeks. Ensure you shake the jar or bottle regularly. This ensures that all plant material is fully extracted.

Once it’s ready, you can start consuming it sublingually. Take a few drops under your tongue, hold them there for a few minutes, and then swallow. 

When storing your cannabis tincture, keep it in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. This maintains its potency. This is also why a glass dropper bottle is the ideal container.

Dosage and Administration of Cannabis Tinctures

The ideal dosage for cannabis tinctures can vary and is highly dependent on several factors. This includes your tolerance, body weight, and the potency of the tincture. Cannabis tinctures have different potencies, with some higher than needed.

General rules state you always have to start small and gradually increase the dose until you achieve your desired high. To deliver faster results, make sure to hold the liquid under your tongue for 30 seconds before swallowing.

Finding the right dosage and administration of tinctures is crucial to experience its full benefits. You may want to start with only 2-3 drops and wait over 20 minutes to assess the effects. If you feel nothing different, that’s when you take a slightly larger dose and wait again. Be patient when waiting for the effects to take hold. Keep track of the time and dosage to avoid unwanted effects.

Who Can Consume Tinctures

The many benefits of cannabis tinctures made them more appealing to different demographics.

For instance, older adults find them more manageable for pain relief because of their easy administration. They can easily measure the dose with a dropper. Fitness enthusiasts also find them effective for relieving muscle pain and stiffness.

Individuals with mental health conditions also resort to tinctures as a natural alternative. It promotes relaxation and reduces anxiety, helping those needing mental health support. And for those who are not big fans of smoking, tinctures give them a convenient and safe option. They can even be added to food or drinks, adding more to their appeal. 

To Sum Up…

Cannabis tincture has been around for years already. However, the recent legalization of cannabis has increased its popularity and availability. As more people seek out natural remedies for various ailments, it has become a go-to option. 

They are fast and effective—plus, discreet and convenient to use. You can take them on the go. And unlike smoking or vaping, there’s no smoke or lingering odor. You can also make them at home with a few simple ingredients.

Many cannabis users also use tinctures to manage pain, anxiety, insomnia, and more. They are known for offering various medical and therapeutic benefits. Although there’s still a risk of side effects, they are generally safe when used responsibly. Just make sure to not rush the dose and purchase only from reputable sources and stores.

With the increasing popularity and legality of cannabis, many expect to see more range of cannabis tinctures in the market. There’s also a high likelihood for more research into the potential medical and therapeutic benefits of cannabis tinctures. 

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