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Cannabis 101: Tinctures
You might consider the humble tincture to be the red-headed step-child of the marijuana world – tinctures certainly aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think “recreational cannabis.”
But don’t write them off just yet.
Tinctures can be the perfect solution for those that want to avoid smoking. They give you a lot more control over your dose than you get with pre-packaged edibles, they tend to work a bit faster than edibles, and you can even use them to infuse your own food or drinks.
So what are they?
Tinctures are a liquid form of cannabis made by extracting and gently heating buds or other plant material to activate the THC and other molecules.
Those that make their own tinctures often do so with alcohol, which is used to pull out all the cannabanoids, terpenes and other goodies out of the plant matter. In the I-502 recreational market in Washington, though, because of restrictions on alcohol’s use with cannabis, they’re generally made with some sort of food-grade glycerine.
How do you use tinctures?
If you want a tincture to kick in fairly quickly, the best method of delivery is to use a half or full dropper (depending on your preferred dose) under your tongue.
The sublingual (under the tongue) method allows your body to absorb the cannabanoids more quickly. Some consumers say they feel the effects after about 15 minutes. For others, it can be closer to 45 minutes. Either way, it’s generally faster than the hour or two it takes for most other edibles to kick in.
Another tip? If you take it under the tongue, don’t swallow the liquid right away. Leave it under your tongue and give it some time to absorb over a minute or two.
My digestive system is slower than most, so for me a tincture takes about 45 minutes to kick in – and it generally lasts two to three hours. But the times and reactions vary for different people.
If you decide to not go with the under-the-tongue method – and you instead want to use it to infuse food or drinks – your tincture will kick in much more like a standard edible, taking an hour or two before you feel the effects.
To use a tincture to infuse your own edibles or drinks, just full the dropper with your desired dose and then drop it onto or into whatever you want to infuse. New generations of tinctures are starting to appear on the market with a variety of flavors – making it even easier to figure out what foods or drinks they would pair well with.
What about dosage?
Typically a full dropper delivers about 10 mg of THC, and a half dropper about 5 mg – although you’ll want to check the bottle for instructions. In comparison, most I-502 edibles (like cookies or chocolates) are packaged in 10 mg THC doses.
Like any edible, it’s best to try a half-dose (5 mg or less) when you first take it. The goal is to make sure you don’t get overwhelmed and have a bad experience.
If you take a half-dropper and don’t feel anything after a few hours, then try a stronger dose, maybe 10 mg. Move your dosage up slowly until you find the right amount that makes you feel great without being overpowered.
At Main Street Marijuana
At Main Street Marijuana we have two main tincture providers:
-Kronic HD Tonic, which comes in a sativa and indica variety, at 100 mg for $38
-Alpaca Punch, which comes in Original, Banana, Cherry, Orange and Watermelon flavors (with more choices coming soon), at 100 mg for $25.
We may also add more providers in the future – and you can check to see what we have in stock on our menu here: Main Street Marijuana Menu
What do you think? Have you tried tinctures? Any recommendations for others new to using them?
We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!