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What Are Cannabis Tinctures?

Cannabis tinctures are perfect when you can't smoke and you don't have the time to wait for an edible to kick in.

Contemplation by Alex Grey

Even before the ancient Greek Pedanius Dioscorides penned his famous precursor to modern pharmacopoeias, "De Materia Medica,” herbalists and traditional apothecaries have been concentrating the healing power of herbs into tincture form. These concoctions are meant for efficient herbal medicating. Cannabis tinctures are not new; until 1937, tinctures were the most common form of marijuana-based medicines. A few drops can be taken sublingually (under the tongue) where the medicine is absorbed by the arterial system then rushed to the brain and body. 

It is a nice in-between when one is incapable of receiving the immediate relief of smoking, but doesn't want to wait the hour or so that it can take for an edible to show signs of effectiveness. Alcohol tinctures have been proven effective and are the easiest to create. Anybody with a little extra kief, shake or trim, and a bottle of Pine Gum, can make their own alcohol based marijuana tincture, but even a few drops is sometimes too much for an inexperienced user to handle. 

THC Absorption Rate

New Man New Woman by Alex Grey

Since a tincture is, essentially, extracted cannabinoids from a plant, the taste is not the most enjoyable. The next popular base is the glycerin tincture. It is much sweeter than alcohol based mixtures and, arguably, provides a better THC absorption rate. Glycerin tinctures are no more expensive, but are much more popular in terms of market share. Most tinctures run from $20-$50 and come in a variety of flavors and brand names. Agave tinctures have also found their way into local co-ops for those who find the glycerin option to be too bitter. High CBD tinctures are also available for those looking for pain relief without the psychoactive high. Although the tincture options are vast, make sure your tincture, regardless of the base, is kept at room temperature in a dark glass container, as light has adverse effects on the active cannabinoids.

Beyond Buds by Ed Rosenthal

Beyond Buds is a handbook to the future of marijuana. Prohibition’s end has led to a technological revolution that’s generated powerful medicines and products containing almost zero carcinogens and little smoke. Marijuana icon Ed Rosenthal and leading cannabis reporter David Downs guide readers through the best new consumer products, and demonstrate how to make and use the safest, cleanest extracts. Beyond Buds details how award-winning artisans make hash and concentrates, and includes modern techniques utilizing dry ice and CO2. 

Progress of the Soul by Alex Grey

The book is a primer on making kief, water hash, tinctures, topicals, edibles, and other extracts from cannabis leaves, trim, and bud bits, and it goes on to explore and simplify the more exotic and trendy marijuana-infused products, such as butane hash oil (BHO), shatter, wax, and budder. More complex than lighting a joint, these innovative products call for new accessories — special pipes, dabbing tools, and vaporizers — all of which are reviewed and pictured in the book. Completely updated with full-color photographs that are both “how-to” guides and eye candy, this book enables not only the health-conscious toker but also the bottom line–driven cultivator.

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What Are Cannabis Tinctures?
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