10 Ways to Use Cannabis Tincture

As the popularity of cannabis tinctures rise, you've likely seen a variety on the market.  To show just how versatile cannabis tinctures can be, we've compiled a list of the many lesser known ways to use them. Before we begin though, what is a tincture? Tinctures are produced by steeping the cannabis plant in a liquid, most often a high-proof grain alcohol, or an oil (MCT oil, olive oil, etc).  On the market, you might find them with complementary ingredients added for desired effects.

There are three general types of tinctures on the market today (what are THC and CBD?):

High CBD - Almost completely non-psychoactive, you'll find high CBD tinctures labeled with ratios such as 16:1, or 20:1 (for CBD to THC ratio).  High CBD tinctures are used for a variety of ailments such as anxiety, inflammation, skin conditions, muscle soreness, as well as cancer treatment.     
- CBD with THC - Tinctures containing more THC are psychoactive.  These can be found with a lower ratio on its labels.  You might see 2:1 CBD to THC, meaning for every 10mg of CBD, there is 5mg of THC.  THC and CBD act in harmony with each other to treat some ailments, such as depression, insomnia, nausea, and pain relief.     
- Hemp-derived CBD - Hemp is any variety of the cannabis sativa plant that contains less than .3% of THC.  Hemp-derived CBD products, therefore, do not contain any THC.  It has been reported that THC helps activate the effectiveness of CBD for some illnesses.  However, many symptoms respond well to CBD only, so hemp-derived CBD is often a good choice for someone who may be hesitant about cannabis, or for those who work in fields that do not allow cannabis use, such as government employees or medical professionals.      


Time and Dosage

The most common way to consume cannabis tincture is to take it sublingually (underneath the tongue). The cannabinoids are absorbed through the membranes inside the mouth.  Compared to edibles, which travel through the digestive system for absorption so the effects could be delayed for up to one or two hours, tinctures taken sublingually can be felt in as little as 15 to 30 minutes.  All commercially available tinctures should have information on its label regarding how much and what type of cannabinoids are in the product, as well as a recommended dosage.  If you are new to cannabis, we recommend 2.5mg of THC to start.  CBD can be taken in larger quantities without much repercussion.  Most manufacturers mark 10mg of CBD as one serving, so that's a good starting point.       

10 Ways to Use Cannabis Tinctures

  1. Adding to Food - Drizzle a dropper of olive oil based tincture over salad, soup, or pasta for a long-lasting and discrete microdose, or add alcohol-based tinctures to drinks as they mix better in liquid.  Try some in your tea, smoothie, and coffee. We've been known to keep a tincture bottle or two in our purses and adding some drops to meals in restaurants, or even fresh pressed juices.  Note that ingesting cannabis with food will delay the effects, so start slowly and wait 45 minutes to an hour before deciding to take more. 
  2. Skincare - Add a few drops of oil-based tincture into your facial moisturizer, or apply it directly to your skin. Cannabis is known to be anti-inflammatory and contains many antioxidants. These properties are excellent for skin care, as they fight against acne, heal rosacea and reduce puffiness and swelling.  Cannabis greatly improves symptoms of eczema and psoriasis as well.  
  3. Bathtime - Cannabis infused baths are amazingly relaxing. Add one or two droppers full of tincture into a cup of Epsom salt, along with your favorite essential oils when you want to relax your muscles.  The cannabinoids are absorbed through your skin.  Great for post workout.  
  4. Bug Bite -  Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, cannabis tinctures are highly effective for stopping the itching of bug bites.  Put one or two drops on the affected area, and rub it in until absorbed.   
  5. Muscle and Joint - Add a dropper full to a scoop of coconut oil and massage into sore muscles and joints.  Both THC and CBD have been shown to reduce inflammation.     
  6. Heighten Sexual Arousal - Reserve for oil-based tinctures only, add one or two droppers full to a scoop of coconut oil and mix well for a heightened sexual experience.  (Disclaimer: oil-based lubricant is not compatible with latex condoms; they may break).         
  7. Wound care - Minor cuts and scrapes have been reported to heal faster with the help of a few drops of cannabis.  The endocannabinoid system, a network of receptors in our body that reacts with cannabis, plays a major role in healing wounds.    
  8. Mild burns & Scars - Accidentally touched a hot pan?  Mix a few drops of oil-based tincture with lavender oil to soothe the burn.  CBD alleviates pain from the burn by reducing inflammation.  Lavender oil has been shown to help with minor burns as well.  For scars, cut open a vitamin E capsule and add a few drops of cannabis tincture to it.  Mix well and apply to scars. 
  9. Pet - Our dear furry friends also have endocannabinoid systems within their bodies which respond greatly to CBD treatments for seizure, cancer, anxiety, etc.  There are many brands that make tinctures specifically for pets.      
  10. Menstrual Pain - Many women swear by the relief that cannabis brings during their menstrual period.  Add one or two tablespoons of cacao powder, and one dropper full of tincture to a glass of warm almond milk for a soothing beverage during the time of the month. 

     Further Readings:

    Cannabis Antibacterial Study 

    Cannabis as Anti-Inflammatory

    Cannabis Evolution Ethnobotany

    The Cannabis Health Index

    Vogue Article