Cannabis tinctures:
what they are, how they work,
and how to use them.


A tincture is an alcohol-based cannabis extract – there are also alcohol-free products, usually made with vegetable glycerin as a base. Cannabis tinctures can serve as an alternative delivery method to smoking, and allow for higher precision of dosing and discretion in consumption.


What is the difference between an edible and a tincture?

Edibles are made of a fat-based carrier – such as oil or butter that has been heated and infused with cannabis.

Tinctures may be processed cold or with heat, which allows for different levels of THCA and THC contained in the final product. They are most often alcohol-based; ethanol aids the speed of absorption, which means the effects can be felt more quickly than when using edibles.


What is THCA?

THCA is the natural stored form of THC, which may have therapeutic effects but is not psychoactive – it won’t get you “high.” Tinctures have a unique advantage, you can receive the effects of THCA while limiting the amount of psychoactive THC, if desired.


How do I use Tinctures?

There are two different methods, which alters the resulting effects.

1. SUBLINGUAL(beneath the tongue)

–cannabinoids like THC and CBD are absorbed through the blood vessels in your mouth.

How to use: Place the dose of tincture under your tongue. Use your tongue to gently “paint” the tincture around your inner cheeks. You may also take a few slow, deep breaths in through your mouth and out through your nose while holding the tincture under your tongue. After about 30 seconds, spit the tincture out.

Effects: You should feel effects within about 15 – 30 minutes, and last a total of 2 – 4 hours.



–When you ingest the tincture, cannabinoids like THC and CBD are processed by the liver.

How to use: When ingesting tinctures, it is recommended that they are taken with food that contains some fat – this helps increase absorption significantly since cannabinoids are fat-soluble. You can even add tinctures to practically any drink or food, including juices, tea, coffee, salad dressings and sauces.

Effects: You should feel effects within about 30 – 90 minutes, and last a total of 4 – 8 hours. Ingesting a tincture is similar to ingesting edibles, which is why the peak effects will last much longer, and feel more intense.


While the legal cannabis market will provide consumers with high-quality cannabis tinctures, many also turn to DIY methods to make cannabis tinctures. Head over to cannabis lifestyle community Canndora to get a recipe for DIY alcohol-based cannabis tinctures.