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How to use tinctures

weed tincture
(Octave/AdobeStock)

Cannabis tinctures have been around for hundreds of years. These infusions of cannabis into a liquid have historically been used to treat ailments and are still used in that way today, and also as a discreet way to consume cannabis.

What is a tincture? 

A cannabis tincture is an infusion of cannabis into a liquid, typically food-grade alcohol or glycerin. Oil can also be used as a base. 

By placing cannabis flower or extracts into one of these liquids, its cannabinoids, such as THC, CBD, delta-8, and more, are absorbed into the liquid, which can then be consumed. Cannabis compounds can also be extracted from flower and then added to a liquid to create a tincture. Terpenes and other compounds can also be absorbed or added to a tincture.

Tinctures are prized for their discreetness, and because they’re fast-acting—they are typically consumed sublingually, and blood vessels under the tongue take the tincture directly into the bloodstream and up to the brain quickly.

What are tinctures used for?

People take tinctures for a variety of reasons. Medicinally, they can be taken for relief of certain symptoms, such as pain or nausea, or for treating insomnia. 

Tinctures can also be taken simply to get high. People particularly love them for their discreetness and fast-acting effects. They are also easy to dose and great for microdosing.

Types of tinctures

Tinctures can be full-spectrum, meaning they are comprised of all the compounds in a given weed strain—cannabinoids, terpenes, and more. 

They can also contain single, isolated compounds, such as THC, CBD, or others, or a mix of compounds. These types of tinctures often have essential oils, terpenes, or other compounds added to them for additional effects.

Some common tinctures include:

  • High THC
  • High CBD
  • Mix of THC and CBD
  • Full-spectrum
  • Hemp-derived, such as CBD, delta-8, and more

How to calculate the strength of a tincture

Tinctures are easy to dose because they usually come with a dropper attached to the lid. Many have measurements written out on the side of the dropper. A standard dose is about half a dropper, or about .5 mL. For a milder dose, take less, such as .25 mL, and for a stronger dose, take more, such as 1.0 mL.

If you’re new to tinctures, we recommend starting low and going slow—take a little bit and wait and see how the effects hit you, then take more if desired. You won’t have to wait long for a tincture to kick in.

Tinctures are also great for microdosing, or taking a little bit frequently throughout the day.

Where to buy tinctures

Most weed stores in legal states have some tinctures, but they are more rare than other forms of cannabis so a store may have limited options. 

Tinctures derived from hemp, for example, hemp-derived CBD or delta-8 products, may be found at some drug stores or wellness shops as well. These can also be bought online in certain states, but check your local laws to be certain.