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Tinctures, Oils and Edibles: What You Need to Know About Different Forms of Cannabis


Long gone are the days where enjoying cannabis is relegated to a joint. While you still can enjoy smoking cannabis (and it’s still the predominant way of enjoyment for many people) there are now products and strains that support other methods of consumption. These aren’t necessarily new—cannabis has a lengthy history—but they are becoming more popular as people look for smoke-less ways to enjoy this natural remedy. These include consuming cannabis tinctures, oils and edibles.

Here’s what you need to know about all three.


What are cannabis tinctures?

Cannabis tinctures are liquid extracts made by mixing distilled cannabis with a carrier oil, usually MCT (coconut oil). This allows for the cannabinoids in the plant (that’s the THC and CBD, among others) to be extracted. You typically enjoy cannabis tinctures by applying a few drops of the liquid under your tongue (a.k.a., sublingually) and hold it there before swallowing.


What are the pros and cons of cannabis tinctures?

You’ll likely feel a much quicker onset of effects; taking the tincture sublingually allows for faster absorption through the bloodstream. You can also add it to food or drink if you prefer and many find that the dropper system of delivery to be more precise dosing.

The cons are mostly related to taste; some may find the taste of the liquid unappealing, but this can be remedied by adding the tincture to food or drink as mentioned above.


What are cannabis oils?

Cannabis oils are concentrated liquid extracts of the cannabis plant. Cannabis concentrate oils can be found in many different forms (shatter, wax, diamonds, sugar, even hash). Many different extraction methods are used in getting cannabis oils, many times different methods are used to achieve a different texture or targeted cannabinoid. They also tend to be more concentrated than tinctures and include a broader range of compounds from the cannabis plant. 


What are the pros and cons of cannabis oils?

Cannabis oils have a quick onset of effects, even quicker than tinctures. They are also highly concentrated and can be quite potent. Because of their use with a vape pen, many love the discretion that cannabis oils can offer and like tinctures, potency and dosage can be controlled a bit more easily.

The cons come with the method of consumption—not everyone wants to use a vaporizer.


What are cannabis edibles?

Cannabis edibles are foods infused with cannabis, typically through an extract or concentrate. Popular home-cook options include infusing butter or oil with cannabis and using that to cook as usual. But, you’ll also find cannabis edibles in the form of baked goods, candies and chocolate, and beverages. It’s probably the most popular way to consume cannabis, behind smoking. Since they’re edible, this form of cannabis is ingested.


What are the pros and cons of cannabis edibles?

At the top of the pros list is probably the ease and discretion that accompanies enjoying cannabis edibles. They look like any other food and can be consumed easily. You’ll also find that the effects of cannabis edibles can be long-lasting (as in hours).

Though not universally thought of as a con, cannabis edibles take longer for the effects to be felt. This is because the cannabinoids need to be digested and processed by the liver before the full effects. Patience is key here, because if you ingest more before feeling the full effects, you may find those effects overwhelming when everything does kick in. As always, low and slow is the way to go when starting out. Dosing can also be challenging with edibles because everyone has unique metabolism allowing them to process foods in different ways.

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