Expand Your Cannabis Options: How to Get Started with Tinctures

If you grew up with the notion that cannabis was something people smoked, the notion of taking it in liquid form from a dropper might sound a bit odd. But for most of this nation’s history, cannabis tinctures were a fairly uncontroversial medicine, available at most pharmacies and used to treat a wide variety of ailments.

These days, a growing number of us are interested in investigating the benefits of this unique delivery system. Here’s a quick guide to get you started with using tinctures, as well as some tips to help you get the most out of your medicine!

girl using tincture

Cannabis Tinctures: All the Benefits of Cannabis in a Tiny Bottle

At heart, cannabis tinctures are nothing more than fresh cannabis flower extracted into a neutral medium such as grain alcohol or an oil. The most popular choice of medium is an oil known as “MCT”—short for “medium-chain triglyceride”—a translucent solution typically made from coconut oil.

Cannabis tinctures have a lot going for them. For one thing, they’re an excellent way to get a consistent, predictable dose of cannabis medicine. For another, they don’t introduce any smoke or vapor into our lungs. And on top of that, they’re shelf-stable, portable, and discreet. Let’s tackle these points one by one.


Sometimes, it’s nice to kick back and enjoy cannabis without restraints. But for those of us who use it with medical or wellness goals in mind, it’s more useful to access it in smaller, predictable and consistent doses. Tinctures are tailor-made for this: Because you can dispense them by the drop or the dropper-full, it’s easy to get just the right amount.

Easy on the Body

Some of us enjoy the sensation of drawing down a mouthful of aromatic cannabis smoke; others prefer the cooling mist emitted by vaporizers and pens. But for those of us who want to take our cannabis a simpler way, there are tinctures. You can dispense them into your favorite beverage—we love cannabis tea!—or food, or simply dispense them into your mouth. No muss, no fuss, no load on the lungs.

Discretion and Portability

Tinctures are a great option to take on the go with you. They’re typically packaged in generic-looking bottles, so taking your cannabis medicine won’t attract undue attention. And depending on your dosage, a pocket-sized bottle typically contains enough medicine for weeks or months. And stored away from heat and light, a bottle of tincture should last at least a year.

man and tinctures

Cannabis Tinctures: How to Get the Most Out of Them

Cannabis tinctures aren’t different in their essentials from other forms of cannabis, so you can expect to feel the same effects. However, because our bodies metabolize this form of cannabis differently than with inhaled cannabis, it will take longer to take effect: Anywhere from 1 to 2 hours, depending on a number of factors.

If you’re looking for faster onset, there’s a shortcut. There’s a network of blood vessels underneath our tongues. If you put the drops there and allow them to absorb for a minute or two, you can expect to feel the effects of the medicine in roughly 15 to 45 minutes. Some cannabis experts believe this method allows our bodies to better absorb the medically active compounds in the tincture.

Because everyone reacts a bit differently to cannabis, it’s hard to gauge the “right dose” without a little trial and error. We recommend taking a minimal dose—like 2 or 3 drops—and then waiting to assess the effects. Remember: You can always take more, but you can’t take less!

On a similar note, you can expect the effects of tinctures to last longer than with inhaled cannabis: Often a few hours, and in some rare cases up to 12 hours! That’s another reason to “Start low and go slow!” But once you get the hang of it, we bet you’re going to love this simple, intuitive, and highly effective way of taking your cannabis medicine!

Ready to try tinctures for yourself? Shop our online dispensary menu now!


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