by Deb Powers
If you’ve visited a dispensary or shopped online for cannabis products lately, you’ve likely seen a growing number of little dark glass bottles with droppers, commonly called tinctures. While tinctures may be new to many people, they have a long history as traditional herbal medicines. They offer many advantages to anyone who’d like to enjoy the wellness benefits of cannabis and other medicinal herbs and spices in a convenient, easy-to-access way.
Want to know more? We’ve put together this easy guide to THC tinctures to answer common questions and help you make informed decisions about the best ways to support your lifestyle.
What Is a THC Tincture?
Technically, a tincture is a highly concentrated herbal extract made by soaking herbs in alcohol, vegetable glycerin, or oil. This process draws out the various chemical compounds contained within the plant and suspends them in a liquid that you can drink, add to food, or use in other ways. A THC tincture, then, is a highly concentrated cannabis extract that includes THC, the compound in cannabis that is responsible for the euphoric, high feeling.
How Tinctures Are Made
Making tinctures is easier to understand if you think about what happens when you make a cup of tea. You simply soak dried herbal matter — leaves, flowers, roots, and/or buds — in hot water until the water takes on the flavor of the herbs.
When you do this, the bonds that held the chemical compounds in the herbs are dissolved, releasing them into the water so that you can drink them, (Which, you have to admit, is far more pleasant than chewing a bunch of dried leaves.) This process also makes these compounds easier for your body to absorb since it doesn’t have to break down all the vegetable matter to get to the beneficial compounds locked into the leaves. In scientific terms, the compounds of the plant have become more bioavailable.
The science behind making a THC tincture is similar, but the process uses oil, vegetable glycerin, or alcohol because those liquids do a better job of releasing THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids from the cannabis plant. The process used is more complicated than making a cup of tea, but the same thing is happening: a chemical process breaks down the vegetative material to extract the beneficial compounds so they can be used in other products.
A Note About Carrier Oil
When you read the label of a THC tincture — and we encourage you to do that — you’ll see that the tincture includes more than just THC. Among the ingredients, you’ll see some type of oil, called a carrier oil.
The job of the carrier oil is to help your body absorb and process an essential oil or extract. They’re used in all types of products, including aromatherapy products and cosmetics. While they’re usually listed under inactive ingredients on the ingredient label, the type of carrier oil used can make a difference. Some carrier oils, like olive oil or hemp seed oil, have a strong taste or odor that can change the taste and smell of the tincture, for example. Furthermore, some people may be allergic to specific carrier oils. If you have allergies to certain foods, be sure to check the type of carrier oil used.
The Root of It All uses all-natural ingredients in our plant-based remedies, and that includes the carrier oils featured in our tinctures. Our carrier oil doesn’t add any unpleasant taste, letting the natural flavors of the spices and herbs shine.
Types of THC Tinctures
One of the things scientists are learning about cannabis — and plant-based remedies in general — is that certain compounds and components work better together than they do by themselves. We call this the entourage effect, and it’s most commonly used when talking about cannabis.
There’s growing evidence, for example, that CBD does a better job of relieving specific symptoms when you take it with a little THC. Likewise, it seems that CBD helps moderate the less desirable effects of THC.
Based on this, cannabis growers have worked to breed different strains of the plant with different ratios of CBD and THC, and companies that make THC products have followed suit. That’s why you’ll find many different types of THC tinctures on the market, each offering different benefits and experiences for users. That allows you to choose specific tinctures to target specific conditions.
Some of the most common formulations you’ll see include
- THC Tinctures: These tinctures contain only concentrated THC, and usually promise a mood, energy, and creativity boost.
- THC-Dominant Tinctures: As the name implies, THC dominant tinctures have more THC proportionally than they do CBD. THC dominant tinctures are often used for relaxation before bed.
- CBD-Dominant Tinctures: CBD dominant tinctures offer the health benefits of CBD with just enough THC to enhance the effects.
- Balanced Tinctures: Tinctures with a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC offer the benefits of both compounds, promoting relaxation and helping target specific health conditions.
The Root Of It All Difference
At The Root of It All, we believe the entourage effect goes beyond cannabis. Inspired by the ancient Ayurvedic system of health and wellness, our tinctures combine traditional botanical remedies infused with the activating influence of cannabis. We’re pioneering therapeutic combinations of plant-based remedies for a range of every day conditions by selectively pairing proprietary cannabis extracts with unique blends of Ayurvedic herbs and spices.
Our Stop essential oil, for example, combines chamomile, lavender, and valerian — three botanical remedies known to promote restful sleep — in addition to a 3:1 ratio of THC and CBD. We take the same care with all of our tinctures, combining herbs and spices with cannabis to help promote wellness and support an active, healthy lifestyle.
Benefits of Using Tinctures
Why do people choose tinctures? Tinctures offer a whole range of benefits for people who want to fit cannabis into their lives. These are some of the most often cited.
Tinctures Act Fast
When used sublingually — dropped under your tongue — tinctures are absorbed directly into your bloodstream. That means you feel the effects within minutes.
Tinctures Spare Your Lungs
Since you’re not inhaling anything, you don’t have to worry about the effects that smoking may have on your lungs or respiratory system.
They’re Convenient and Discreet
The only equipment you need to use tinctures is an eyedropper. The small bottles are easy to carry with you on the go or to keep in a desk drawer. Using a tincture is as easy and quick as popping a mint into your mouth or spritzing with breath spray, and there’s no smoke or lingering smell to raise anyone’s eyebrows.
If you prefer, you can mix a few drops into a drink or in food, making them a good choice for culinary uses.
It’s Easier to Dose with Tinctures
Tinctures allow you to accurately measure exactly the amount you need to get the effects you want. And since they act fast, it’s easy to judge when you’ve reached just the right level.
Tinctures Are Accessible
Tinctures are newbie-friendly. There’s no complicated paraphernalia to buy and learn to use. They’re the perfect product for anyone who wants to explore and enjoy the benefits of cannabis without necessarily engaging in the whole cannabis culture and rituals.
How to Use Tinctures
Most people use tinctures in one of two ways: as sublingual drops, or mixed into food or drink. The effects will be a little different depending on the method you choose.
- Measure the desired dose with the dropper.
- Drop the tincture under your tongue.
- Hold it under your tongue for about 30 seconds before swallowing.
With sublingual consumption, you’ll start feeling the effects of the tincture within 10 to 15 minutes or sooner. At that point, you can judge the effect, and, if necessary, use a little more. Since everyone’s body is different — and tolerance can even vary from one situation to another — you may have to do a little experimentation to discover the optimal dose for yourself.
In Food or Drink
You can also add a tincture to food or drink and ingest it that way. It’s as simple as adding one or two droppers of the tincture to your morning smoothie, drizzling it over a salad — or your midnight ice cream. If you do add a tincture to food, you won’t feel the effects as quickly — it can take 1 to 2 hours for it to work through your digestive system. You also may need to up the dosage, as this is a less efficient way of ingesting cannabis (meaning that some of the THC will get broken down by your digestive system before you can feel its effects). Just as with edibles, start low and slow, and give it time to take effect before deciding you need to take more.
Tinctures, The Root of it All Way
The Root of It All features an exciting line of cannabis-infused tinctures, each formulated to target specific conditions that affect your everyday life. From a morning pick-me-up to relaxation to deep restful sleep, our botanical remedies are designed to support your wellness throughout the day.
Deb Powers is a freelance writer who has been writing about cannabis, herbal remedies, and other wellness topics for more than 20 years. Her work has appeared on Civilized.Life and on numerous industry websites and publications.
Green Flower News – 9 Things You Never Knew About Cannabis Tinctures
Compass Cannabis- What Carrying Oil Is Right for Your Cannabis Tincture?
VeryWell Health – Carrier Oils for CBD: How to Choose the Best One
Frontiers In Plant Science – The Case for the Entourage Effect
Scientific Reports – The Association Between Cannabis Product Characteristics and Symptom Relief
Analytical Cannabis – Researchers Uncover How CBD Moderates the Side Effects of THC