Tinctures have been used for centuries to concentrate the active constituents of herbs, and the result is a dropper bottle filled with condensed molecules. Today, sublingual cannabis tinctures can be made and purchased as an effective method of dosing cannabinoids.
WHAT IS A SUBLINGUAL TINCTURE?
A tincture is an old-school type of herbal extraction that uses alcohol, and sometimes vegetable glycerin or vegetable oils, to extract the desired constituents from dried plant material. In the case of cannabis, alcohol is used to extract cannabinoids such as THC and CBD and aromatic terpenes from the flower trichomes. Finally, the liquid is separated from the buds by filtration, leaving a potent concentration of the desired molecules suspended in an easily administered base.
What makes tinctures very different from other ways of consuming cannabis, and different from many other cannabis extracts, is that they are most often administered sublingually. The term “sublingual” is a bit strange, but it simply means that the product is applied under the tongue. This may seem like an odd place to put a cannabis extract, but this route of administration is used in the medical world to achieve rapid effects.
CAN A TINCTURE GET YOU HIGH?
The answer to this question is an absolute yes, if it contains THC-rich cannabis. Cannabis tinctures are extracts, which means that they are a concentration of molecules from the cannabis flowers. This means that a few drops of tincture can contain more THC than a whole joint.
HOW TO USE A CANNABIS TINCTURE
Tinctures are one of the easiest cannabis products to administer – even more so than vaping, given the little equipment required. The easiest way to ingest a tincture is to place the desired dose under the tongue, and wait a few minutes until it is completely absorbed.
After placing drops under the tongue, users will feel the effects within 15-45 minutes, with the peak of the high occurring around 90 minutes.
However, there are many other ways to get tinctures into your body. By placing drops in tea, smoothies and juices, you can consume tinctures in a way that is similar to edibles, as the cannabinoids then pass through the digestive tract.
THE BENEFITS OF TINCTURES
As we said, the flexibility of a tincture is one thing that attracts many cannabis consumers to these products. And the simplicity of administration is another huge advantage. Tinctures are also a favourite of many cannabis users because of their discretion and ease of use on the go. Just a drop of liquid under the tongue and you’re done. It’s beautiful.
MAKE YOUR OWN TINCTURE
Making your own tincture is a very rewarding process and a skill worth learning. There are many ways to achieve the same end goal, so feel free to choose the method you prefer.
- THE HOT METHOD
The hot method is an alcohol-free way to make a cannabis tincture. This method is advantageous because it speeds up the process of making the tincture. However, it has the disadvantage of evaporating some of the beneficial terpenes created by the cannabis flowers. This method involves placing the crushed herb in a slow cooker filled with glycerine set at 80°C. Allow the bud to extract for 6 to 24 hours, then filter through cheesecloth into a dropper bottle.
- THE COLD METHOD
The cold method takes a little longer, but has the advantage of a fuller spectrum end product, as the terpenes remain intact. This method involves crushing your herb and placing it in a clear glass with glycerine. Place the glass on a sunny windowsill for 3 to 5 weeks and shake it daily. Strain into a dropper bottle, and the job is done.
- THE ALCOHOL METHOD
Although some people don’t like the idea of consuming alcohol with their tinctures, this substance does an excellent job of extracting the cannabinoids. The alcohol method requires that the cannabis flowers be crushed and decarboxylated. The herb is then placed in a jar with 500 ml of alcohol, shaken and placed in the freezer. Return to the jar twice a day to shake it again. After 5 days, filter the tincture through cheesecloth into a dropper bottle.