As marijuana legalization sweeps the nation, cannabis (and hemp) tinctures are becoming more popular as they are a discreet and fast-acting way to consume marijuana. Although cannabis tinctures may seem new to the scene, in actuality, they're making a comeback.
History of the Cannabis Tincture
The first known use of a cannabis tincture dates back thousands of years to the ancient Egyptians. During the 19th century in the US, cannabis tinctures became a common household medicine, and cannabis indica was a mainstay on apothecary shelves.
The apothecary was the neighborhood pharmacy of the late 19th century, with cannabis on the shelves.
During this time, doctors often prescribed cannabis to treat headaches, chronic pain, sleep disorders, and to increase appetite. By the late 1800s, cannabis indica tinctures were as widely accepted as ibuprofen is today. Apothecaries continued to create proprietary mixtures until the turn of the century when the pharmaceutical industry emerged, at which time cannabis tinctures became branded.
In 1851 the U.S. Pharmacopoeia added cannabis to its listings of drugs and by 1916 it was instructing readers on the administration of cannabis to humans as well as dogs.
How to Consume Marijuana Tinctures
In traditional herbalism, tinctures are made of plant matter soaked in alcohol, then strained and put in a glass dropper bottle for consumption. In the cannabis world, tinctures can encompass this method, as well as cannabis concentrates dissolved in a carrier liquid—be it alcohol, vegetable glycerin or oil.
A tincture can be administered sublingually, under the tongue, or mixed into food or beverages. If taken sublingually, you'll experience a faster onset and feel the effects within 15 to 30 minutes. If mixed into a food or beverage, the onset may take upwards of 30 minutes. The duration of effects can range from four to eight hours.
Nelson Cuevas, a pharmacist at PharmaCannis in New York says, "Tinctures are very appealing for novice users of cannabis. One of the main reasons is because we can really find out the exact dosing for the patient. We can tweak it—give a little more, a little less—to get the maximum amount of relief for the patient."
For newer patients, tinctures are a great place to start as dosage may be titrated up or down very easily. As no two patients are alike, consumers are advised to start out low and slow, working upwards to the correct dosage. Method of consumption, a patient's biochemistry, and overall mindset can affect the outcome and impact of the medicine. As Nelson explains, "It's a little easier to titrate to the exact dose when you're using a liquid over a pill."
Benefits of Cannabis Tinctures
Tinctures will typically contain cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), or a combination of both. You will also find cannabis tinctures that are CBD from hemp, a marijuana plant containing 0.03% THC or less, allowing it to be sold at the local drugstore.
Terpenes, the essential oils from the cannabis plants, are often mixed into tinctures to emphasize a certain effect. For example, the terpene limonene is often used to create an uplifting or energizing affect. New studies indicate combining CBD and THC, with terpenes is more effective than using CBD or THC alone. Some studies indicate that combining CBD, THC, and terpenes is more effective than using CBD or THC alone.
Top 5 Cannabis Tinctures in the United States
If you're interested in adding tinctures to your wellness routine, here's our list of the top 5 cannabis tinctures across the United States.
1. Select Ratio Drops
These easy-to-measure, and easy-to-use tinctures offer different CBD and THC ratios ranging from 100% THC to equal parts CBD:THC, or a CBD-dominant experience.
In Los Angeles and San Francisco areas, in California, Select Ratio drops are available for home delivery through Grass Door. For example, the delivery service has Select Lemon Ginger 1:1 Drops (equal THC-CBD ratio), whose onset time is 15 to 20 minutes after consumption. The formulation with a zesty lemon-ginger flavor is combined with MCT oil to increase absorption.
2. Grow Ohio Premium Wellness Tinctures
The Butterfly Effect Tinctures are formulated as a full-spectrum hybrid blend of CO2 extracted oil. Terpenes are mixed in for natural flavor, a consistent patient experience, and the full entourage effect. Verilife chain of dispensaries in Ohio carries Grow Ohio, and they also offer free home delivery of products.
A best seller, the Butterfly Effect 1:1 2 Day Tincture consists of nano-emulsified cannabinoids for faster, more complete, and more reliable absorption, and increased bioavailability.
Verilife also has dispensaries in Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania.
3. Veritas Farms Full Spectrum CBD Tincture
This Veritas Farms Ful Spectrum CBD tincture comes in different strengths and flavors. The unflavored option contains full-spectrum hemp seed oil and coconut oil. The flavored choices (peppermint, strawberry and watermelon) add stevia essential oils, and natural flavors.
Veritas Farms describes its product line: "Our full spectrum CBD tinctures offer you an all-natural way to calm your mind, ease tension, and improve mental clarity and focus. Our oil is made with quality in mind from hemp plants grown on our sustainable Colorado farm. We go the extra mile and suspend our full-spectrum hemp oil in organic coconut oil for a clean, light formula designed to help you feel the best."
Shipping is free for orders of $100 or more.
4. Amend Tinctures
Amend is a line of tinctures that are popular in Missouri dispensaries, coming in 1:1 or 1:10 (THC:CBD) formula. Created by Missouri-based Phyto Cannabis, they are premium cannabis oil tinctures, designed to "help you embrace better health with discretion." They are made with high-quality cannabis distillate and MCT oil, with effects beginning within 15 to 45 minutes and lasting four to five hours.
5. Kind Tree THC+ Tinctures
Available in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey, Kind Tree offers potent THC tinctures, with 900mg THC per bottle; they are "highly saturated in flavor, potent, and delicious." Flavors include Mango, Green Apple, Electric Strawberry, and Extra Strength.
Kind Tree is dedicated to cultivating and producing cannabis with sustainable and eco-friendly techniques, including a commitment to clean, healthy soil and the use of organic growing techniques and no chemical pesticides.
Get Your Medical Marijuana Card
If you want to use medical marijuana to treat a state-approved health condition, you will need a medical card to legally obtain safe and tested cannabis products. At HelloMD, we make it fast, easy and cost effective to get your medical card through our telehealth services. Our medical professionals can also answer any questions you might have about using cannabis for medical issues.