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When Californians voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2017, it was met with a rapid expansion of innovative cannabis products entering the newly-legal market. Today, among a dizzying array of cannabis-infused beverages, gum, and suppositories occupying the shelves of your local dispensary, tinctures can get lost in the haze. In fact, many are surprised to learn that cannabis tinctures are one of the oldest consumption methods in the book. In the 19th century, for instance, the average consumer could purchase an indica oil extract from their local pharmacy or apothecarium. Given the many unique benefits tinctures have to offer, It is high time to bring this overlooked consumption method back into the spotlight.


Cannabis indica tincture from 1937What is a tincture?

Tinctures are not new, and they are not unique to cannabis. Go to your local health food store and you will find a variety of tinctures made from plant extracts such as echinacea, elderberry, and arnica, to name a few.

Preparing a tincture involves extracting desirable plant compounds and infusing them into an oil or ethanol base. The resulting product is highly-concentrated and therefore ultra-potent. Furthermore, tinctures are ideal for individuals looking to experience the effects of cannabis without inhaling smoke or vapor. In addition, they are convenient and discreet, easy to dose, and the effects are long-lasting — benefits may be experienced anywhere from six to eight hours later. One important thing to note: because tinctures are typically oil-based, ingredients such as coconut, almonds, or other food allergens may be present. Always check the label of the product to ensure that it is safe to consume.

Chemistry Moods tinctures in Yellow, Pink, and OrangeA tincture from a cannabis dispensary typically contains THC, CBD, or varying amounts of both. Increasingly, brands will name their tinctures after the effects they are specially formulated to produce in the user. Names such as “Sleep,” “Calm,” and “Balance” are not uncommon. Feel free to ask your budtender to recommend a tincture best suited to your needs.


How to use a tincture

Cannabis tinctures are unique in that they can be consumed sublingually, or under the tongue. This means that the plant’s compounds enter the bloodstream quickly, within 15 minutes to one hour. By contrast, the effects of a traditional edible may be felt as long as two hours later. This is due to the fact that these compounds must first pass through the digestive tract before entering the bloodstream.

Yummi Karma Drift Away Cannabis DropsTo use a tincture, start by measuring out one dose (indicated on the label) with the dropper provided, subsequently dispensing it under the tongue. Hold it there for a minimum of 15 seconds or until the liquid is completely absorbed. You should start to experience the effects within 30 minutes to one hour. Note that if you swallow your dose — either on its own or as part of an infused meal — it will behave like an edible. For this reason, it is important to wait at least two hours before consuming a second dose.


We’re here to help

Torrey Holistics is proud to offer a wide variety of cannabis products tailored to each individual’s preferences, tinctures among them. Whether you are looking to sleep better, reduce anxiety, or promote general wellbeing, there is sure to be something for everyone. 

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Nothing said, done, typed, printed or reproduced by Torrey Holistics is intended to diagnose, prescribe, treat or take the place of a licensed physician.

About the Author

Shelby Huffaker headshot

Shelby Huffaker is Torrey Holistics’ Lead Cannabis Educator. As a passionate advocate for cannabis research, social equity, and sustainability within the industry, she is committed to sharing her findings with the general public. Huffaker’s notable achievements include speaking at the San Diego Union Tribune’s Successful Aging Expo and co-organizing the GoodLife Seminar Series, the first cannabis education event held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.


“A Social History of America’s Most Popular Drugs.” PBS, WGBH educational foundation, 2014,

MacCallum, Caroline A, and Ethan B Russo. “Practical considerations in medical cannabis administration and dosing.” European journal of internal medicine vol. 49 (2018): 12-19. doi:10.1016/j.ejim.2018.01.004. Accessed 31 July 2020.