What is a tincture?
Tinctures have been around for thousands of years, and have been traditionally in both alternative and allopathic medicine. Tinctures are concentrated herbal extracts made by soaking (macerating) plant matter in a solvent (menstruum) such as alcohol, oil, vegetable glycerine, or vinegar. After a period of time, the plant matter (marc) is pressed and filtered out, leaving behind tincture. Technically, the word “tincture” applies only to alcohol extraction, while an extraction made with glycerin is called a “glycerite” and other extractions are classified by the type of menstruum used, such as a “coconut oil extraction”.
Ethanol is often used during the extraction process because of its properties as a solvent. Ethanol extracts a robust spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenoids, creating a product more akin to herbal medicine than a pharmaceutical isolate.
How do cannabis tinctures work?
Tinctures can be absorbed sublingually by dropping them under the tongue. Sublingual absorption bypasses the digestive system, which makes dosing (titration) more consistent and predictable than using edibles. When ingested this way, onset of effects typically takes 15 to 30 minutes, but everyone is different! If you don’t feel like dropping tincture on or underneath the tongue, you can also swallow them in a small amount of your favorite beverage. Just be aware that the onset of effects will take longer and the effects can last longer, just like an edible.
What is the Entourage Effect?
Cannabis is chock-full of botanical compounds - not just THC and CBD. Cannabinoids are the compounds found in cannabis that relieve a vast array of symptoms: pain, nausea, inflammation, insomnia, anxiety, among others. Cannabinoids interact with our body’s naturally occurring endocannabinoid system, imitating endocannabinoids, which are compounds produced by our bodies, thought to be responsible for regulating many processes, including immune response, appetite and metabolism, how we experience pain, and more. Terpenoids, or terpenes, are responsible for smell and flavor in plants, and in cannabis, can be relaxing, energizing, ease anxiety and depression, and more. The synergy of cannabinoids and terpenes is called the entourage effect.