Shopping Cannabis Oils and Tinctures: What You Need to Know

26 October, 2022
Shopping Cannabis Oils and Tinctures: What You Need to Know

One of the many great things about cannabis products is the fact that they are available in a variety of forms. You can smoke cannabis, you can ingest cannabis, and you can apply topicals to affected areas. And of course, a great option is a kind of product known as a tincture.

You've certainly seen this category pop up during your shopping sessions, but perhaps you're unfamiliar with this product type. Maybe you'd like to buy a tincture but are unsure where to begin. You may also wonder how it differs from cannabis oil. If this accurately describes your current situation, then you're in the right place. Let's take a look at cannabis oils and tinctures so you can make an informed purchase!


Just What Is a Tincture Anyway?

If you're fresh in the cannabis scene and looking for a solid introductory product, a tincture may be your ticket. Believe it or not, tinctures were a mainstream remedy for soothing pain before aspirin hit the scene. But as we all know, cannabis was eventually outlawed. When this happened, tinctures fell into obscurity.

We talked briefly about this type of cannabis before, but as a refresher, a tincture mixes a strain with high-percentage alcohol to produce a liquid solution that is perfect for exact dosages. Often sold in glass containers complete with droppers, you can easily take just the right amount. 

During the process of making a tincture, the alcohol acts as a solvent that pulls terpenes and cannabinoids from the plant. This is similar to how cannabis oils are made except that the solvents are removed from oils, whereas tinctures retain theirs. But alcohol isn't the only solvent used to make tinctures. Some use glycerin, some use MCT oil, and some use olive oil. Many consumers have their preferences, though olive oil is notable for outlasting the others.


What Makes Tinctures Cool

Tinctures are a great way to consume because they don't require smoke inhalation, and if absorbed under the tongue, they will hit much faster than edibles. This makes it much easier to regulate your intake. They're also lighter in calories than traditional edibles, making them more diet-friendly. 

While some people love the smell of cannabis, it's not for everyone. Fortunately, for those who wish to be more discreet in their consumption, tinctures offer an odorless, inconspicuous way to get the good stuff. And just like other forms of cannabis, you can readily find tinctures that are THC-dominant, CBD-dominant, or a hybrid. But also like other types of products, tinctures won't contain more than .3% THC unless you are living in a legal state.


A Versatile Form of Cannabis

Another selling point of tinctures is that they're versatile. Add a few drops to your favorite recipe for a tasty (and effective) meal, take them under the tongue, or consume them orally. Sublingual is our preferred method because it gives you a far more potent experience in very little time. This will also result in a more manageable duration of two to three hours. If you choose to consume this way, make sure you give yourself 30 seconds before swallowing. 

When tinctures are ingested orally (either directly or mixed with food), you'll be waiting almost the same amount of time as you would with a regular edible. You can also add drops to capsules and consume that way if you'd like. 

Tinctures can be applied topically as well. Because they are rich in cannabinoids and aren't packed with tons of fillers, cannabis tinctures are very effective for treating skin conditions and irritations. Use them for burns, bruises, sprains, or psoriasis. You can even incorporate tinctures into your skincare routine. 


Getting the Most Out of Your Tinctures

Tinctures are indeed a great way to consume, but you still want to go easy. Start low, and if you're not feeling anything, increase by small amounts. If taken under the tongue, you can give it as little as 15-30 minutes before taking more drops.

Proper storage is important for maintaining your cannabis tinctures. Keep them in temperature-controlled environments and make sure they remain in glass containers with airtight seals. Darker containers are ideal, as light and heat can cause cannabinoids in the solution to lose potency. While room temperature should be sufficient, it's always preferable to keep them on the cooler side. If properly stored, a tincture can last up to five years.


Cannabis Oils Are Not the Same as Tinctures

Cannabis oils and tinctures both come in bottles with droppers, but that doesn't mean they're the same products. An oil-based cannabis product combines cannabinoids with a non-active substance like coconut oil or essential oil, and the plant's chemical compounds are extracted by using supercritical CO2. Tinctures, on the other hand, contain both the extracted materials and the extracting solvent. 

Both are great products depending on your preferences. Tinctures can be easier on the stomach, while cannabis oils generally have a more tolerable flavor. If you want to ingest something with fewer ingredients, you may favor cannabis oils, but if you want something fast and effective, a tincture is the way to go. Are you looking for a topical solution? If so, cannabis oil made for skin application may suit you better. And of course, they are both great options if you want to add a little cannabis to your food or beverage. 

When shopping for either cannabis oils or cannabis tinctures, it's important to make sure you're buying from a reputable vendor — just like you would any other product type. As you browse, you want to keep an eye out for an up-to-date certificate of analysis. This should tell you whether the product was tested for contaminants, its CBD and THC content, its cannabinoid profile, and the date. You'll also want to know where the manufacturer sources its cannabis and how its products are made.

Take all of this into consideration next time you shop for oils or tinctures. With a little more information in your pocket, you can see why you should add these products to your shopping cart next time you're at the dispensary!