The Complete Guide to Cannabis Tinctures: Making, Using, Dosing, and Storage Tips

Cannabis tinctures, a valuable concoction steeped in history, bring the essence of the cannabis plant to users in a versatile, potent form. By employing solvents like alcohol, these tinctures pull terpenes and cannabinoids such as CBD and THC from cannabis, offering a concentrated dose without the smoke. As a smoke-free alternative, they’re not only purchased eagerly from cannabis stores but also celebrated for their medicinal and recreational prowess, marking a resurgence in the modern era of cannabis consumption.

The journey of understanding cannabis tinctures guides one through the nuances of making, using, dosing, and storing these potent extracts. They stand out for their precise dosing capabilities, rapid onset, discreet usage, extended shelf life, and the ability to blend seamlessly with foods or drinks. For those curious about exploring the full spectrum of cannabis benefits minus the smoke, this guide offers a deep dive into the vibrant world of cannabis tinctures, spotlighting why they’re a staple in dispensaries and an essential feature in the cabinets of savvy consumers.


What is a Cannabis Tincture?

Cannabis tinctures are concentrated liquid extracts derived from the cannabis plant, primarily using solvents like alcohol, glycerin, or oil. These tinctures capture the essential cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, along with terpenes that provide flavor and additional therapeutic benefits. Traditionally, the process involves soaking cannabis in a chosen solvent to extract the active compounds, resulting in a potent liquid that can be used in various ways.


THC Tinctures

Popular THC tinctures sold at Perfect Union include:

1.  Carter’s Aromatherapy, C.A.D. Tincture 1:1 CBD:THC

2. Vet CBD, Tincture 10:1 CBD Tincture [2oz] (500mg CBD/50mg THC) 

3. Lime, Tincture Fruit Punch (1000mg) 1000mg Live Resin Extra Strength Syrup


1. Chemical Composition and Effects

  • THC Tinctures: Contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive component of cannabis. THC tinctures are popular for their ability to provide relaxation and euphoria, alongside reported relief from pain and appetite stimulation.

2. Legal and Accessibility Considerations

  • THC Tinctures: Their legality depends on state laws as they are derived from cannabis. Users need to check local cannabis laws to ensure compliance.

Each type of tincture offers distinct benefits and experiences, catering to different user preferences and medical needs.

Types and Methods of Consumption

  1. Sublingual Application: This method involves placing a few drops of the tincture under the tongue and holding it there for about 30 seconds before swallowing. This allows the cannabinoids to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the tissues in the mouth, offering a quick onset of effects.

  2. Oral Ingestion: Tinctures can also be added to foods or beverages or swallowed directly. This method takes longer to take effect, as the compounds need to pass through the digestive system.

2. Ease of Use and Discretion

  • Simple Dosing: With precise droppers, tinctures allow for accurate dosing, making it easy to adjust according to individual needs and tolerance levels.

  • Discreet Consumption: Tinctures do not produce smoke or vapor and have minimal odor, which makes them ideal for discreet use in various settings.

  • Flexible Administration: Users can choose between sublingual absorption for faster effects or oral ingestion for longer-lasting outcomes.

  • Long Shelf Life: Properly stored tinctures can last a long time, providing a cost-effective solution for regular users.

Cannabis tinctures not only provide a potent and flexible method for cannabis consumption but also integrate seamlessly into various lifestyles, emphasizing health, discretion, and ease of use.


Dosing and Administration

Cannabis tinctures offer precise dosing options, making them a preferred choice for both novice and experienced users. Here’s how to administer and dose cannabis tinctures effectively:

Step-by-Step Dosing Guide

  1. Start with a Low Dose: Begin with a small amount, such as 0.25 ml (approximately 7.5 mg of THC), to gauge your tolerance. This initial dose helps prevent overconsumption and allows you to assess how your body reacts.

  2. Incremental Increases: If the initial dose is well-tolerated, you may increase the dosage gradually. A common recommendation is to add 2.5 to 5 mg at a time. Wait at least two hours before consuming more to fully experience the effects.

  3. Sublingual Administration for Fastest Effect: Use the dropper to place the tincture under your tongue, hold it there for 30-60 seconds, then swallow. This method allows the cannabinoids to enter the bloodstream quickly through the mucous membranes in the mouth.

Table: Recommended Dosage Levels

Dosage (ml)

THC Content (mg)

Expected Effect



Very low, minimal intoxication



Light, low intoxication



Standard, slight intoxication



Higher, for experienced consumers



Potent, for severe symptoms or high tolerance


Comparison: Edibles vs. Tinctures vs. Smoking

Onset Time and Duration

  1. Edibles: The effects of edibles take longer to manifest, typically between one to two hours, as they are processed through the digestive system. However, the effects can last significantly longer, making them ideal for sustained relief.

  2. Tinctures: Tinctures provide a quicker onset of effects, usually within minutes if administered sublingually. This rapid absorption allows for more immediate relief but the duration is generally shorter than that of edibles.

  3. Smoking: Smoking cannabis offers the fastest onset of effects, almost immediate, but also has the shortest duration, which might require more frequent use to maintain desired effects.

Method of Absorption and Effects

  • Edibles: Absorbed through the stomach and processed by the liver, the effects of THC are intensified which can lead to a more potent and longer-lasting high.

  • Tinctures: Absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the mucous membranes in the mouth, tinctures offer a more controlled and less intense experience.

  • Smoking: Direct inhalation into the lungs allows for quick entry into the bloodstream, but the high is typically more immediate and intense.

This comparison underscores the importance of choosing a consumption method that aligns with the user’s lifestyle, desired effects, and health considerations. Each method offers distinct advantages and potential drawbacks, highlighting the versatility of cannabis as a therapeutic and recreational substance.


Possibilities of Tinctures

The potential of cannabis tinctures to cater to a wide spectrum of needs—from relief to general well-being support and enhanced relaxation—signals their pivotal contribution to improving quality of life. As research evolves and societal acceptance grows, tinctures stand to broaden their reach, promising new possibilities for both seasoned users and those new to cannabis. Bear in mind the importance of responsible use.




1. How should a cannabis tincture be stored?
Cannabis tinctures are best stored in brown or blue dropper bottles to protect from light. If you are using a tincture made with vegetable glycerin, it is more perishable and should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for extended preservation.


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