How to use cannabis tincture – everything you need to know (2021)

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Cannabis tincture

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A Blogger's Guide on how to use cannabis tincture

Medicinal marijuana is making an impression in a big way and with the increasing range of cannabis products on the marketplace it’s no wonder the public are looking more deeply into the benefits of cannabis.

In times gone by you were either a stoner hippy or a drug dealer if you were growing cannabis plants but now the stoners are scientists and the dealers are pharmaceutical companies with recreational users no longer the primary target market. 

The United States in particular have had a changeable relationship with the plant and since cannabis prohibition began in the early 20th century it’s consumption has been widely frowned upon.

Ironically, prior to that the production of cannabis or hemp was actually encouraged and used in various ways including the textile industry. Since the Farm Bill eased restrictions in 2018, laws globally have began to relax.

There are numerous ways for how to use cannabis, the most popular ways are of course smoking it, baking it into brownies, other cannabis edibles and infusing drinks with CBD oil.

However the cannabis plant is very versatile and lends itself to other different ways of accessing the therapeutic effects that lie within.

Taking a cannabis tincture is one of those such ways and it may surprise you to know that it is actually one of the oldest consumption methods. 

In this article we’ll take a look at how to use cannabis tincture, a safer and more practical alternative for new users to get the best results from their medical marijuana use.

Cannabis tinctures - what exactly are they?

So after that fine introduction what actually is a cannabis tincture?

Well quite simply a cannabis tincture is an alcohol-based cannabis extract, essentially, cannabis-infused alcohol. 

Tinctures were actually much more popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the main form of cannabis medicine until the United States cannabis prohibition.

The main attraction for tinctures is their ease of use, have a long shelf life and are a great alternative to smoking. Perhaps the best part is that the flavour of the tincture can also be altered depending on the alcohol that the cannabis plant is mixed with.

Let’s take a look at how to use cannabis tincture.

Consumption methods of cannabis tincture

Cannabis tinctures are usually held in small bottles referred to as dropper bottles. Attached to the screw top lid is an inbuilt pipette or ‘dropper’ which is used to suck up the liquid and hold it until you decide how you’re going to consume it. 

If you drop the liquid into your mouth and swallow the tincture straight from the dropper it will potentially take up to two hours for the medicine to take maximum effect. This is due to the rate at which your body absorbs the tincture into your bloodstream.

If you want a quick way of feeling the desired effect, try putting the drops under your tongue. Because of the network of blood vessels there, this is a great way to absorb the cannabis medicine in the tincture. Using this method, you can expect to feel the effects of the medicine in roughly 15 to 45 minutes.

This is perhaps the best way of ‘dropping’ because the effects are felt more quickly, by circumventing the digestive system it is likely that the effect will be more potent.

cannabis tincture

How to use cannabis tincture effectively

1.Take the drops directly under your tongue for the quickest effects to take place.

2.Use small doses initially to ensure you have the right product for you and give yourself time in case there are any unwanted side effects such as dizziness or nausea.

3.Flavour your drops to improve their taste using a cordial, juice or fruit. 

4.Treat cannabis tincture like any medicine and give yourself a 15 minute window either side of consumption without eating.

5.If you have a low THC ratio tincture then add this to food to subtly ingest the medicine. Cannabis salad dressings or flavoured ice cream is surprisingly nice!

6.Add 1-2 drops of your tincture to an 8 oz. cup of warm water to make a herbal tea. This can be particularly effective in helping menstrual cramps and joint pain.

7.The easiest way to ensure your cannabis tinctures have a long life is to store them in a cool, dry and dark place without any contaminants. Do this and they will last you for years.

How Much Do I Take? and How Long Does it Last?

We know now how to use cannabis tincture so let’s move on to probably the most important question. How much cannabis tincture should I take?

As with most alternative medicines, there’s not really a single answer.

Everyone has a different physiology and their endocannabinoid system reacts in different ways. This is the main reason why a cautious approach is always best. 

Take just 2 or 3 drops under the tongue and then wait at least 90 minutes to make sure that the full effects of the cannabis tincture have been and gone. The strength and concentration of cannabis tinctures can be different depending on their origin and some may have a higher thc ratio and others higher cbd ratio so effects and experience will differ.

That brings up another question: How long do the effects of tincture drops last? Once again, that depends on several factors, including your personal physiology, your weight and age, and your experience with cannabis, among other things.

A good rule of thumb is that, if you swallow a tincture you expect the effects to be long-lasting, spanning several hours at least. If you use the tincture under the tongue, you can expect a slightly shorter effect than this as it reaches the endocannabinoid system more quickly.

Lifespan of cannabis tincture

Like most solutions mixed with high-proof alcohol you can expect this cannabis product to last for many years when stored in a cool, dark place. Their long shelf life means you can make large quantities of them in one sitting.

Compared to the traditional some cannabis oils and cannabis infused brownies or edibles, tinctures are a low calorie alternative. If you make a tincture with 190 proof alcohol, you’re looking at about 7 calories per ml.

Will sublingual application of tinctures (dropping under the tongue) burn ?

Some people have reported experiencing a burning sensation under their tongue after a few drops of tincture—the high-proof alcohol used to make a tincture is responsible for this. If the tincture burns under your tongue and you are looking for a different option, you can get a glycerin-based tincture or incorporate your tincture into a beverage.

Psychoactive effects of cannabis tincture

Using a cannabis tincture isn’t really any different from using any other cannabis medicine. Depending on how much THC it contains, you’ll feel roughly the same effects as with inhaled cannabis, though it will take longer to take full effect. 

Expect to be high longer than when you smoke or vaporize, but shorter than when you eat a butter or cbd oil-based edible.

Benefits of cannabis tincture

Knowing how to use Cannabis Tincture is all very well but what are the benefits?

Well Tincturesare especially great for first-time cannabis consumers, those that are wary of the effects of smoking cannabis or those that enjoy open market cbd products. Here are some reasons why tinctures may be a good option for you:

  • They’re discrete, socially acceptable and don’t smell! The most common way of using cannabis is smoking but in all honesty, who likes the side looks they get from passers by when they stink of weed?
  • CBD tinctures are perhaps the easiest way to use cannabis and certainly one of the most effective methods of feeling the effects quickly. Much like a morning coffee!
  • Marijuana tincture can help alleviate the effects of many ailments and the optimal dosage can be easily found with the measured dropper method, unlike the guessing that’s needed with other medical cannabis products.


I hope that this article has given you an insight into the world of cannabis, how to use cannabis tincture, what they are and how to consume them.

For more in depth information on CBD vs THC for medical purposes or Indica vs Sativa, then follow the embedded links.

Remember, only consume medical cannabis tinctures after consulting with a medical professional first.


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