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A cannabis-infused liquid that is ingested or absorbed sublingually. 

“I am looking for a tincture to help with sleep.”

“There are 100 milligrams of THC in this tincture.”

The benefits of using a tincture

As a smokeless and vaporless product, tinctures have the benefit of being extremely discrete. Tinctures usually come in a small eye dropper or spray bottle and can easily be stored in a pocket or bag without producing any unwanted cannabis odor. 

How to use a tincture

Tinctures can be absorbed sublingually: Simply put a few drops under your tongue and wait about thirty seconds. The cannabinoids and terpenes will be absorbed directly into your bloodstream through the thin membrane in your mouth. There will be a quick onset of effects, maybe as short as 15 minutes depending on the size of the dose, and effects should last for a few hours. 

Tinctures can also be swallowed directly or mixed into food. Like edibles, consuming a tincture means effects will generally take longer to kick in and will last longer. 

How to make a tincture

Cannabis is not water soluble, therefore, a base needs to have fat in order to infuse it with cannabis. This is why most tinctures are oil-based or alcohol extracts. Alcohol won’t absorb cannabinoids, but it will strip them off the plant and serve as a carrier. Nanoemulsion technology has made it possible to create water-based tinctures, however, most people don’t have access to this technology to make this at home. 

Oil and alcohol tinctures are easy to make at home. To make an alcohol tincture:

  • Decarboxylate some cannabis flower
  • Grind that decarbed flower
  • Place the flower into a jar with a high proof alcohol
  • Strain the flower out after a few weeks

To make an oil tincture:

  • Decarboxylate some cannabis flower
  • Grind that decarbed flower
  • Place the flower in a slow cooker on the lowest heat setting
  • Wait a few hours for cannabinoids to bind to the fats in the oil 

Tinctures are easy to make; however, the absorption rate of the cannabinoids is not always the best. A lot of the active compounds pass right through your body before they have a chance to take effect. 

This is why many of the cannabis producers have started to create tinctures with nano-emulsification technology. In short, this process breaks down the active compounds into smaller versions of themselves so they are more easily absorbed. This means you lose less of the compounds you paid for. This technology is also used to help cannabis become water soluble—by breaking down the active oils into smaller pieces, the oil is able to stay suspended between water molecules without separating as easily.