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Everything You Need to Know About Sublingual Tinctures

There is no shortage of ways to absorb cannabis these days. 

From fancy jars of flower to pre-rolled joints, edibles both savory and sweet, CBD and THC vapes, and tinctures.

When it comes to tinctures, maybe you’ve seen doctors use little glass vials in movies but you haven’t tried using them yourself. 

It could be even easier than you imagined to administer cannabis using this old, but effective method. 

Follow along until the end to find out everything you need to know about sublingual tinctures, and how you can find your entry point into this easy and useful form of cannabis.

What Exactly Does “Sublingual” Mean?

“Sublingual” is Latin for “under the tongue”.

What is so special about underneath the tongue?

Behind your lower teeth is the sublingual gland. If you look in a mirror and raise your tongue you will be able to see that this area of the mouth is filled with small capillaries. 

Capillaries are the smallest type of blood vessel in the body, and they connect directly to the bloodstream. 

Depositing a dose of CBD or THC underneath the tongue would be like sending a letter as priority mail instead of just throwing it in the mailbox.

When people eat edibles, the edible must be processed through the gastrointestinal system, aka the stomach, which is a very acidic place. 

The acid in the stomach is so powerful that it could break down the beneficial parts of your edible before those chemicals ever get a chance to be released into the bloodstream.

How to Use a Tincture

This is where people tend to get a little tripped up, marrying the logistics of using a sublingual tincture to actually using one. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

First of all, read the instructions that come with your tincture to see what their recommended dosing is. 

Rest assured, you can always start small and begin with a few drops the first time, and then gradually increase your dose each time you use your tincture. 

Typically people are working up to using the full dropper as one dose, and usually, that means about 20mg of liquid, but again, start slow with just a few drops.

Here’s where you need to mentally prepare yourself, you are going to be holding this tincture under your tongue for 2+ minutes. So grab a drink of water, and take a breath before dosing.

Then, using the dropper, you’re going to hold up your tongue and administer the tincture. Instructions can sometimes vary from product to product, but you want to give your capillaries the best chance at carrying the tincture into your bloodstream.

When you have held this tincture under your tongue for at least 2 minutes but no longer than 5, you are going to simply swallow the rest. Play a song you like all the way through while you do this to help the time go by.

And that’s it! 

It takes a little bit more focus to self-administer a tincture properly than other forms of partaking in cannabis. But just think of it like brushing your teeth. It is recommended that people spend at least two minutes brushing their teeth. 

You should feel the effects of your dose in 15-30 minutes, and they will typically peak about an hour and a half later.

It is not recommended that you use more than 10-20 milligrams a day with THC because it will lower your tolerance over time, but with CBD sometimes it takes a higher dose for the medicinal benefits to take effect. 

Keep a little journal about how you are affected by the dosing so you can track your progress over time.

Practical Health Benefits of Tinctures

By using a sublingual tincture, you are giving your body the best chance to fully absorb the benefits of the cannabis plant. 

Whether you are using the tincture to solely help aid with pain management, or you are hoping for some psychoactive effects, using a tincture could be one of the best ways to use cannabis. 

Holding CBD under the tongue can be one of the best ways to get the most potent benefits of CBD specifically.

Smoking cannabis, while effective, still raises some questions about the health risks of smoke inhalation. It’s also probably not great to inhale the butane from lighters. 

Edibles can be effective, depending on the edible, however many of them are full of sugar and artificial flavorings, which are not great for the body.

If you are not here for the under-the-tongue thing, you can still use a tincture! 

You can dispense your tincture into food or drink, which is a great way to disguise the flavor of cannabis if you are not a fan. 

How to Choose Which Tincture to Try

Think about what you are needing out of your tincture. 

If it’s pain relief or a way to help calm the body down, you will want to purchase a tincture with a high CBD to THC ratio.

If you are nervous about even a small amount of THC because of the chance it could affect you psychoactively, you can purchase a CBD-only tincture.

However, having a little bit of THC can boost the effectiveness of your CBD treatment due to a little thing called the ensemble effect.

Most tinctures are made with alcohol or glycerine as a liquid bonding agent to extract CBD and THC from their initial flower state. 

Either is fine, however, glycerine can be less potent because the cannabis compounds do not attach themselves as strongly to the glycerine.

There are many different tinctures to try on the market, plus you get to feel like a scientist using the cool little eye-dropper.

Final Thoughts

Tinctures are amazingly versatile and have a surprisingly long shelf-life. 

Be sure to keep your tincture in a cool and dry place with the cap screwed on tightly so that no evaporation can happen.

When it’s time to use your tincture again, give the bottle a shake, and then you are good to go!

For any other questions you may have regarding tinctures, come by one of our JARS locations and chat with our friendly and knowledgeable budtenders.