Cannabis tinctures are quickly becoming the consumption method of choice for many new and longtime cannabis lovers.
Why, you ask? We appreciate the leading question you insightful human!
Tinctures are similar to ‘the perfect porridge’ in the ole tale of Goldilocks and the Three Little Bears.
- They are longer lasting compared to smoke.
- They are easier to dose than edibles.
- Lastly, cannabis tinctures are an easy entry point for beginners, a healthier option and really easy to make from scratch.
Bonus: When you make ’em from scratch, you also save some scratch (the dollar bill kinda scratch).
“Ahhh, this [cannabis tincture] is just right.” – Goldi
Feel free to check out our guide to extractions and our favorite cannabis tincture recipe.
How Cannabis Tinctures Differ from Other Consumption Methods
Yes, there are a lot of different cannabis consumption methods. A deep dive on how they compare could be it’s own post. But we’ll give a quick run down.
We hear a lot of people ask similar questions to:
Tincture or edibles? Tincture or powders? Cannabis tinctures and tonics. How are cannabis tinctures better than cannabis extracts or infused weed butters? Batman or Robin?
The short answer is no cannabis intake method is better or worse than the other.
Truth be told, it all comes down to you my groovy friend. Your chemical make-up. Your preferred outcome and health benefit.
As stated previously, the ability to dose more accurately than edibles with longer lasting effects to smoke are the main reason people gravitate to tinctures.
It’s a great delivery system for medicinal herbs because when you use a tincture under the tongue (sublingual), plant compounds are absorbed quickly into the blood stream.
When you leave the infused tincture under your tongue, your body absorbed it quickly into the bloodstream. Edibles have to go through the liver before entering your bloodstream (hence the longer timeframes).
This makes it a faster effect than edibles (not faster than smoke), but a longer lasting than smoke (not edibles).
Fun fact: mints are pretty much tinctures unless you swallow the entire mint. As it dissolves it get’s absorbed under the tongue.
Fun fact 2: if you swallow the tincture straight up, it’s really no different than an edible. Gets absorbed into the body through the liver.
Common Cannabis Tincture Questions
Over the years, we have heard a handful of questions beginners ask about infused cannabis tinctures. To make this beneficial to the world, we hope to answer a few of the most common.
Why cannabis tinctures under tongue?
Why the hell not! But seriously y’all?
It’s about how the cannabinoids enter your body and how much is absorbed (bio-availability). Under your tongue is some soft tissue that speeds up delivering cannabinoids into your bloodstream. Where they’re immediately shuttled to your tissues. Think of it as a shortcut around your digestion. A longer process in which the substance needs to be ingested, broken down by the stomach, absorbed by the small intestine, and metabolized by the liver.
Why do tinctures contain alcohol?
Alcohol is an excellent solvent for herbs. The alcohol in tinctures is crucial for extracting the active ingredients of a herb. It extracts the compounds (such as CBD) that aren’t water-soluble as well as stabilizing and preserving them. Alcohol acts as a carrier substance conveying active ingredients within the body. It’s also one of the few edible solvents that can effectively extract the ingredients required.
Are cannabis tinctures safe?
Tinctures are a safe way to consume your cannabis. Unlike smoking the herb, you won’t be exposing your lungs to harmful carcinogens and toxins. Tinctures don’t pose any danger to your lungs.
Can tinctures be vaped?
Never vape a CBD tincture under any circumstances—unless the packaging on your tincture specifically states that you can vape it.
Can tinctures be used topically?
Yes, it’s just like spilling vodka on your hand (almost). I would recommend put the tincture drops in a small amount of a carrier oil such as coconut oil, olive oil or hemp oil before applying it to your skin. Understand what remedy you are looking for and there are 100’s of recipes that can get you there.
Ways to Make Tinctures
Thanks to our friends over at Ardent Cannabis we have tested results on difference tincture extraction methods and each cannabinoid yield.
Cannabis tinctures are usually made by utilizing an alcohol based extraction method to pull the cannabinoids from the plant.
It usually takes days to extract a good amount of cannabinoids for your alcohol based cannabis tinctures.
Sometimes you can heat the tincture and cannabis during the “steep” time, but we warn against this. Can be dangerous! It is alcohol after all.
There’s some great info over at Ardent Cannabis that shows we can get potent cannabis tinctures in less than 3 hours.
Making Tinctures with Alcohol
When it comes to creating your own cannabis tinctures, high-proof, food-grade alcohol is going to be your best friend.
We have a step by step recipe to make a simple cannabis tincture.
Ways to Make Cannabis Tincture without Alcohol
If you wish to avoid using alcohol, glycerin, a plant-based oil, is an acceptable replacement
However, glycerin is not as efficient at bonding to cannabis compounds and will produce a less potent tincture.
There are two types, vegetable (VG) and propylene (PG) glycerin. Between the two, PG is the clear winner for extracting cannabinoids.
Our friends at Ardent Cannabis show us that PG pulls out 6% of the cannabinoid while VG pulled over 90%.
Can You Make Cannabis Tinctures without THC?
Absolutely! And we highly recommend it here.
The beauty of making your own tinctures is you can build that to your needs.
Some with alcohol, others without. Some dominated by THC, others a more mellow blend of multiple cannabinoids and herbs.
Don’t love the taste? Add some peppermint to mellow it out (this is a great addition for winter cocktails and you decide to put your mixoligist hat on).
Top ’em off with selected terpenes to help give you focus and energy or help you relax and let the stress melt away.
Tinctures Recipes You Should Try
Our favorite, flexible and base tincture recipes. They don’t call for any specific blends or terpenes, but you can customize them to your preferred benefits. Add some other herbs (perhaps some mint) and add in your favorite strands of cannabis. Tried and true and always there for you.
More to come in the near future. Check back often!
Where to Purchase Flower for Making CBD Tinctures
We believe we have found the best place to buy non-THC flower for both smoke and extracting.
Please go check out Diamond CBD when you can. They have so much stuff!
Everything is tested and you can see the results for each product.
They are quick to respond and the products are fantastic. They are like a family. Happy to answer any questions you have.
We love their THCp Flower for making edibles. Check out what they have in store for trim to use. Good price, great product and you know what you are getting.
How to Store Your Cannabis Tincture
When it comes to storing infusions, there are a few pearls of wisdom that will apply to most scenarios which can greatly improve the longevity of your favorite cannabis creations.
If stored properly, a well-made tincture can last indefinitely according to author, grower, and cannabis expert Ed Rosenthal in his book “Beyond Buds.”
All cannabinoids degrade under prolonged exposure to heat, light, or oxygen.
The most important step to storing any infused product (including a cannabis tincture) is to ensure that all three of these elements are well-controlled.
Follow the CDS for Cannabis acronym; Cool, dark, and sealed are the three tips to storing any infusion.
When it comes to temperature control, refrigerators are a universal solution for infused products (not for flower, as that can degrade cannabinoids). Virtually any cannabis infusion will experience improved conditions and an elongated shelf life when stored in a refrigerator.
Stay groovy out there. -BTH