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December 18, 2020

Cannabis Tincture 101. Pros and Cons, Benefits, Storage

An in-depth look at the popular cannabis product type and its consumption.

What Is a Tincture?

A tincture is an extract, often a medicine, obtained by dissolving plant matter in alcohol. A cannabis tincture therefore is a liquid extract obtained from cannabis that contains its various compounds, including cannabinoids like THC, CBD and others, similar to concentrates, but using alcohol instead of solvents and not filtered afterwards.

In some extractions, water-based plant products are also sucked into alcohol, making the final product green, which has given marijuana tinctures the name of green dragon.

How Is Cannabis Tincture Made?

We will cover the creation of the tincture in detail in our subsequent articles. In short - you soak flower in alcohol of various concentration, typically 20% but often going higher. Next you strain the material, and it is ready for use.

Tips and Tricks. To increase the THC content in the tincture, cannabis can be decarboxylated prior to extraction, i.e. heated to about 245°F to turn THCa into THC.

Some freeze the alcohol soaked cannabis for up to 2 weeks, striving to separate the unwanted elements.

Marijuana Tinctures - Pros and Cons. Tincture vs Other Edibles

Tincture is an edible, and compared to major product types, edibles do not require smoking or vaping and are thus a preferred way for many. And they are more discreet and do not require any tools and accessories.

Compared to other edibles, the main pros of tinctures are quick onset, and even the ability to choose how quickly you want it to act by adjusting your consumption method, as well as a much more inclusive and short list of ingredients. Most tinctures are vegan, and do not contain sugar, fat, gluten, and so on.

Tinctures also allow for precision and consumption of immensely large doses, which is especially convenient for medical purposes.  

How to Use a Cannabis Tincture?

A tincture can be used in a number of ways:

1. Sublingually. Place a desired number of drops under your tongue, let it absorb, and then swallow. This is the fastest acting method of consumption as the majority of active ingredients get into the blood stream through the mouth.

2. Orally. The tincture is placed in the mouth and swallowed, thus making it a mixed way of consumption - part of the product will be absorbed through your mouth and part through the digestive system.

3. Infused. The tincture is added to your favorite food or drink. Go wild. You can turn anything into a marijuana edible. The onset of the effects would be the slowest with this method of consumption, as the tincture is consumed primarily through the gastrointestinal tract.

Tincture Dosage Chart. How to Calculate Strength of Tincture.

In the case of a dispensary bought cannabis tincture, everything is easy. Practically all products contain detailed information that includes dosage per dropper to make it precise and convenient.

But just in case you need or want to calculate it yourself, here is how to go about it.

Your product usually provides several numbers - the total amount of cannabinoids in the product and the total volume. The volume is usually stated in ounces and milligrams, and the latter is more convenient for calculations. Simply divide the total cannabinoids by volume, and you will get a dose per milliliter.

For instance, let's take Stratos Energy Tincture. It contains 100 mg of CBD and 100 mg of THC total. The volume of the product is 60 ml or 2 fl. oz. 100 / 6 = 1.66, which means that every milliliter of our tincture contains about 1.66 mg CBD and THC each. Thus, if you need a 10 mg dose of cannabinoids, your desired volume is 6 mg of the tincture.

Calculating the potency of homemade tinctures is much harder and the results would be approximate at best, since we often do not know all the variables and have no access to testing. But, the rule of thumb is that an ounce of 20% flower and 4 cups of alcohol would create a tincture that would contain 30 mg of THC per teaspoon (5 ml) or 6 mg THC per ml. A dropper would usually be marked in ml, so if you were looking to consume 10 ml of THC, you would need a bit less than 2 milliliters of your concoction.

How Much Tincture Should I Take?

Tinctures usually offer several varieties of cannabinoid formulations. The most common would be 1:1 CBD:THC ratio, providing the benefits and the entourage effect of these two main cannabinoids, and evening out the psychoactive effects. Some tinctures are THC only, meaning they will get you intoxicated. Some are CBD only, meaning you will not feel any psychoactive effects.

This is not really a question of tincture dosage but your tolerance to THC and CBD. The recommended dose for edibles is 10 mg THC, but we advise playing it safe and if you are a beginner, start with 2.5 mg. As we mentioned, CBD will not get you high, thus you can opt for larger doses, however, you still need to watch them and consult your physician on the recommended amount.

More on Dosage:


How to Store Tinctures

The main thing to remember when storing tinctures is to avoid light and heat. The containers that tinctures are sold in are usually more than enough, and they come with a dropper. The main requirement is for them to be non-transparent. Glass containers, namely mason jars, are preferable, especially for long-term storage. 

For more details on storing tinctures, click here.

All in all, tinctures are a healthy, easy and efficient way of consuming cannabis, often being a preferred form for medical patients.

We hope you have found the answers to your questions on cannabis tinctures in our article.

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