Of the various ways to medicate with cannabis, ingesting or eating it in some form is one of the most effective. One of the oldest and most versatile methods of ingesting marijuana is the tincture. Cannabis tincture is a particular liquid that has been infused with cannabinoids such as THC or CBD. This medicine is usually kept in a bottle with a dropper for ease of dosing. Traditionally, tinctures are made using alcohol, but other mediums such as glycerine and MCT oil, a coconut oil that has a more fluid state, are also forms of tincture.
Alcohol is the most prominent tincture medium due to the fast pace of sublingual dosing, which means absorption underneath the tongue. The tissue beneath the tongue has an ample amount of capillaries. This allows chemicals to enter the bloodstream more quickly. A traditional marijuana edible can take over an hour to begin affecting a patient while an alcohol tincture has a much faster onset, taking approximately five to ten minutes to begin setting in. Because a high proof of alcohol is used to produce this quick action, the tincture will burn like a shot of straight liquor when taken sublingually.
Alcohol tinctures do not need to be taken by themselves to produce the desired effects. Patients often diffuse the tincture in liquids like juice or water to cut down on the burn from the alcohol. However, this method will work more like a traditional edible because you are digesting the tincture instead of allowing it to be absorbed under the tongue.
Glycerine is an oil extracted from vegetables that can be used as a base for tinctures. Typically a bit sweeter in taste, glycerine is viscous and to be ingested like an edible. It is not as effective when taken sublingually due to the time it takes for saliva to break glycerine down.
MCT oil is viscous fluid extracted from coconut oil. It can be digested but is not as effective for sublingual use. Naturally odorless and colorless, MCT oil can also be used as a personal lubricant.
As with edibles, the effect of a tincture is dependent on the source material utilized in production. Though tinctures are a staple in most dispensaries, what strain they are made from, how potent they are, and the quality will differ from producer to producer.
Traditionally, tinctures are dosed by the dropper full and not the individual drop, but this is dependent on the potency. Most often, potency is measured by the entire contents of the bottle.
As with cannabis flower, tincture should be kept in a cool place out of direct sunlight, the darker the better. Tincture has the longest shelf life of any cannabis extract. Under optimal conditions, it can last years with minimal cannabinoid depreciation. Tinctures will not truly expire, but after very long periods of time or under stressful storage conditions, they will become less potent.
Interested in learning more about tinctures? Contact the experts at Arbors Wellness today.