Cannabis oil is obtained by extracting resins from cannabis flowers. It can be brittle, such as shatter, or thick and sticky like wax. Names are abundant (you might also hear it referred to as Rick Simpson Oil, cannabis extract, hash oil, shatter, wax, or dab), as are the consumption methods, mainly involving ingestion, vaporization, or topicals. Pure, high-quality oils are among the most concentrated forms of cannabis and contain potent amounts of cannabinoids like THC and CBD.
Smoking is the most commonly-known method of cannabis consumption, but there are several alternatives for patients who would rather not smoke. Here are three methods for cannabis consumption that every patient should know.
Tinctures are commonly taken under the tongue and may be referred to as sublingual sprays. Tinctures are cannabis extracts mixed with alcohol, glycerin solution, or medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil and packaged into small bottles. These have been around since the 1800s and were the main form of cannabis medicine until the prohibition. You can drop them into food or drink or simply straight under the tongue, where they’ll absorb directly into the bloodstream within a few minutes. It’s best to start with a small dose, so be sure to check the concentration of any particular tinctures you choose and base your dose amount on that information.
What Are Cannabis Oils?
There are three broad categories of cannabis consumption methods: inhalation, oral, and topical. Each individual method has its own related terms and practices, and that can confuse a new patient. It can be hard to figure out where to even begin.
Distillate is a relatively new form of cannabis concentrate with unmatched concentration. This stuff is potent. The extraction process, known as “fractional” or “short path distillation,” refines the cannabis plant’s compounds into their cleanest form to make oils sometimes upward of 99 percent purity. In this state, cannabinoid oils have little to no terpenoid or flavonoid content.
Even this quick overview can be a lot of new information to take in. The main thing to understand is that safe, effective alternatives to smoking cannabis exist. The methods are well-proven and easy, especially if being discreet is a high priority for you.
To apply a tincture sublingually, simply load up the dropper with the desired amount, and squirt the liquid out under your tongue. Make sure to keep the extract there for 60 – 180 seconds. Afterward, you can swish the remaining liquid around your mouth before swallowing it. When used in this way, the cannabinoids in the tincture are absorbed by membranes under the tongue and on the insides of the cheeks. After being absorbed, they are immediately carried into the bloodstream where they can begin to produce effects. When applied sublingually, the effects of a tincture can usually be felt within roughly 30 minutes and can last for as long as 3 hours.
Tinctures also allow for the very precise dosing of specific cannabinoids. When you smoke or vape cannabis, it’s impossible to tell just how much of each cannabinoid you are consuming with each puff. However, tinctures can be carefully measured out using the marked dropper included with each bottle.
Cannabis tinctures can be used in one of three ways: sublingually, orally, or by being added to foods or liquids.
How to Use a Tincture
Before cannabis prohibition, tinctures were one of the most common ways that people consumed cannabis, and for good reason. Keep reading to find out why tinctures are awesome and to find out how to use a tincture!
Given the bottle and the dropper, how to use a tincture seems pretty self-explanatory, but many people may be surprised to find out that there are actually several ways to use a cannabis tincture.
Tinctures are easy, quick, and convenient to use. With tinctures, there’s no need to carry around smoking accessories or a bag of smelly buds. Instead, tinctures come in small, sealed, smell-proof bottles that are easy to carry and store.
Not all tinctures are the same. One of the advantages of tinctures is that they can feature different ratios of cannabinoids. Instead of just THC, or just CBD, many tinctures contain specific ratios of both. If one or the other isn’t getting it done for you, try a combination of both THC and CBD instead.