For some people, smokable cannabis is not an recommended. Because it is not recommended for use when an individual has a respiratory condition. Thankfully, smokable cannabis is just one of the many options that patients have. Cannabis tinctures are growing in popularity, as an alternative.
Tinctures are cannabis oil, provided as an oral solution. They come in a bottle with a dropper to help measure the suggested dose. But often, when patients first start to explore using medical cannabis, tinctures are not the first choice.
If you are a medical cardholder and exploring your options, there are a few things you need to know about using tinctures. For many patients, they are a more affordable and convenient option.
Why Do People Love Using Tinctures?
There are many reasons why people buy cannabis tinctures. But convenience is top on the list. With a tincture, you can dose to your physician’s recommended amount. The measurement for each dose is right on the dropper.
Tinctures are odorless. That may not be a big deal since you have your medical card. But let’s say that you want to be discreet. Smoking cannabis leaves a lingering scent that can be hard to get rid of in your home and on your clothes and hair. You don’t have that problem with tinctures.
They can taste really good. Depending on the cannabis tincture you buy. You may opt for a flavored tincture you enjoy. Or, you may opt for a no-flavor version instead. One that you can add to beverages or foods.
Smokable cannabis requires tools. Pipes, and a lighter. Not to mention the daily task of cleaning your marijuana glassware. And you need to clean that stuff daily to remove harmful microorganisms like mold. A tincture is sterile in the bottle. You don’t allow the dropper to touch your mouth so that it can be a more sanitary option. That is a plus for people who are susceptible to bacterial or fungal infections.
Tinctures are discreet and portable. For example, if you happen to be outside of your house, you can use your tincture if you need to. But most people choose to dose only at home and on a doctor-recommended schedule for symptom relief.
1. Choose the Right Tincture
If you are learning how to buy cannabis at a dispensary for the first time, ask for advice. Tinctures are available on the shelves, and it can be tempting to reach for what is convenient without understanding the potency and terpene profile. That matters.
In any dispensary (medical or adult-use) are experts that can provide suggestions. They have an in-depth knowledge of cannabis strains. And you want to be picky about the strain you choose, even for a tincture. Because the effects, including energy, drowsiness, relaxation, and pain relief, start with selecting the right strain of cannabis.
2. Consider Daytime and Nighttime Formulations
Should you buy two different tinctures? That depends on how you intend to use it. And if you are varying between using a tincture and another cannabis product, such as a vape or edibles. Don’t mistake doubling your dose with a tincture, thinking it is not as potent. Whether you smoke it or take it orally, it’s going to have an impairing effect.
Daytime tinctures may be used when you want to increase or maintain your energy, focus, and alertness. They are non-drowsy, and they can provide a little boost for people who suffer from chronic fatigue. Sativa cannabis tinctures can also help lift your mood if you are feeling depressed.
Nighttime tinctures can be used for pain relief. Some people who live with chronic pain have their sleep disrupted by spasms or neuropathic nerve pain. Tinctures that are made from Indica dominant strains of cannabis can help you get a solid night of sleep. They can have a sedative effect. And for this reason, you probably don’t want to use an Indica tincture during daytime hours unless a Neflex and couch-crash sounds great on a Sunday afternoon.
3. Follow the Label for Dose Recommendations
Edibles and tinctures have one thing in common, aside from cannabinoids. People can underestimate the effect of oral cannabis. And that is because, unlike smokable cannabis, oral marijuana takes more time to process in your body.
Once you have consumed any edible (including tinctures), there is an absorption period. For food edibles, you may not start to feel anything for thirty to forty-five minutes. Tinctures are a little faster than that. You may begin to feel something in as little as fifteen (15) minutes.
Make sure you follow the recommended dose on the label of your cannabis tincture. Or double-check with your physician to make sure you are taking the right amount. It is trial and error, however. And sometimes, the same quantity of tincture can impact you differently. It can depend on your mood, how tired you are, how much food you ate, other supplements you are taking, and more.
4. Hold the Oil Under Your Tongue
If you have been using a tincture but feel it is not working well, it may be how you are administering your oil. The method you should use is to dispense the right amount under your tongue. And then hold it there without swallowing, for sixty seconds.
Sublingual uptake is the method used for tinctures. Do you know that network of veins under your tongue? They are very close to the surface, which is why you can see them. When you hold the oil in that reservoir under your tongue, you allow the tincture to be absorbed into your bloodstream.
However, if you are just dropping the tincture into your mouth, you may not get the full effect. This is also true for people who prefer to add their tincture to a beverage like coffee, tea, or smoothie. If you are ingesting it with food, the effect will be milder because some of the cannabinoids are lost in the digestive process. And some patients prefer tinctures to be diluted.
5. Try Adding Your Tincture to a Beverage or Food
Yes, you can add your tincture to any beverage or food. Your tolerance for cannabis (particularly if you are just starting medicinal use) can be low. And even at the lowest ratio of THC potency, it may be a little too much for you.
When you start adding cannabis oil to foods and beverages, you must determine the right amount. Think of ingesting cannabis as a process that slows down the psychoactive and physiological effects. You may want to try cooking with your cannabis tincture or making some special “adults-only” foods.
Can You Make Your Own Cannabis Tincture?
Making a cannabis tincture requires a lot of patience and know-how. But once you have tried it a few times, it may be something you prefer to do. And the supplies you need to make your own tinctures at home are not expensive. And the good news? There are plenty of free recipes you can try online.
There are several reasons why people make their own tinctures. Even though it takes some extra work, there can be many benefits:
It can be more economical. The cost of a whole flower that is unrefined is less expensive than purchasing a processed tincture. It can help reduce your costs if you use medical cannabis daily.
Homemade tinctures allow you to create your own perfect flavor. And add additional terpene concentrates that address your unique wellness needs.
You can infuse your tincture cannabidiol (CBD) for potential anti-inflammatory benefits.