THC Tinctures: Overview, Benefits, Side Effects & Dosage
Posted by Christian on 26th Apr 2023
Cannabis tincture oils are perhaps best known for their medicinal benefits - but THC tinctures work great whether you’re taking them for therapeutic purposes, or simply to get high. And you may even find them preferable to traditional THC products, like marijuana flower.
THC tinctures are perfect for people who want to enjoy cannabis without risking their lungs by smoking or vaping. These products are typically taken under the tongue and can be used to take very precise quantities of THC. Cannabis enthusiasts can also make their own tinctures by following a simple process.
Are you looking for a healthier way to take THC, while still getting that awesome high? Or do you want a cannabis product that you can enjoy without drawing attention to yourself? If either applies, then we recommend diving into our comprehensive guide on THC tincture oils.
What is a THC tincture?
THC tinctures are cannabis oil products containing extracts of THC, the primary psychoactive component in the plant. THC tinctures are typically made up of the cannabis extract and high-proof alcohol, and sometimes feature a smattering of essential oils and/or terpenes.
You may have heard about tinctures in regard to non-psychoactive, hemp-based CBD oils, and they are extremely popular in that industry. THC tinctures are the same type of product, except with the THC, of course! That’s the crucial ingredient in marijuana that makes you high.
Different types of THC tincture
Pure THC tinctures: THC-only, or THC-isolate tinctures just feature THC from the cannabis plant, and none of the other cannabinoids found within it (or any terpenes and flavonoids for that matter). If you’re after a powerful high, then THC-only tinctures are just brilliant, as there’s nothing in them to temper the psychoactive effects.
THC-CBD tinctures: Some THC tinctures are made with a full cannabis plant extract, and therefore have a full array of cannabinoids – notably, cannabidiol (CBD). With its non-intoxicating effects, CBD helps limit the effects of THC, and produce a mellower high. THC and CBD complement each other, and while you won’t get as high, this clever combination should stop your tolerance levels from shooting up so quickly.
7 Amazing Benefits of THC Tinctures
Cannabis users are spoilt for choice nowadays, with so many fantastic THC products on the market. We’ve picked out seven reasons why a tincture should be your next purchase.
Much healthier than smoking (and vaping, too!)
Tincture oils are consumed orally, and do not involve smoking or vaping in any way. That’s great news if you are apprehensive about smoking cannabis because of the negative health effects. Even though cannabis smoking is not as dangerous as tobacco smoking because it doesn’t contain any super-addictive nicotine, cannabis smoking is still bad for the lungs. And while vaping isn’t as dangerous as smoking, it’s still a net negative for your health.
In contrast, THC tinctures allow you to enjoy marijuana with the peace of mind that you aren’t setting yourself up for any lung problems later in life. And indeed, if you already suffer from breathing problems, thanks to THC tinctures, you don’t have to miss out on the fun!
Compared to THC edibles which can take up to an hour to start kicking in, THC tinctures get to work in lightning-quick time. If consuming your tincture sublingually under the tongue, you can expect to start feeling the effects within a few minutes.
But this isn’t just about convenience. Sure, getting high as quickly as possible is great, but it also means you’re less likely to get caught out, as so often happens with edibles. You know the drill – you aren’t feeling the effects of your edible, so you take a second dose, and then BAM. Since the effects of tinctures are felt more rapidly, you’ll soon know if you need to take more, or if it’s time to ease up. And this helps make your marijuana experience as seamless and stress-free as possible.
Tinctures are super discreet
Sometimes, there’s nothing better than sparking up a fat joint and passing it around with your friends. But as any dedicated stoner knows, there are times when that’s just not possible and you need to keep your cannabis consumption lowkey. Any non-smokable THC product works a treat in this case, and we can certainly vouch for tinctures.
THC tinctures have very little smell (there may be a slight weed-like aroma if your oil has terpenes), and with CBD tinctures so common nowadays, there’s no way anyone would know the difference. Just keep a bottle to hand, and you’ll be able to get high whenever you like, without anyone being any the wiser.
Consistent, reliable highs
With THC tinctures, you have the benefit of knowing exactly how much THC is in your dose, with an accuracy you simply can’t get from natural marijuana flower. Tinctures are processed to have a set amount of THC per bottle, and the label will state how much THC you get per drop or full dropper.
This is perfect if you’re a novice cannabis user, who wants to keep full control over your experience, and gradually increase the dose as you become acquainted with the substance. This makes for reliable highs, and should put you as ease, as you’ll be able to keep a check on how much you’re taking, and monitor your use over time.
The most popular way of taking THC tinctures is under the tongue, as this is the fastest way to get high from it. But don’t underestimate the versatility of tincture oil products. In addition to sublingual absorption, you can also apply THC oil on the skin – you won’t get high from it, but THC boasts analgesic, anti-inflammatory and possibly even anti-aging properties.
You can also use THC tinctures to make edibles if that’s your thing. Indeed, it’s a lot easier to make THC edibles with a ready-to-go tincture oil than with standard cannabis flower. It’s simply a case of adding the tincture oil to your cooking mix, and ensuring temperatures stay below 240°F or so.
Stored correctly (that means in a dark, cool cupboard well away from direct sunlight), your THC tinctures will last for years. And, of course, since the bottles themselves don’t have any smell whatsoever, you don’t have to take any special measures to keep your product hidden, as is generally necessary with cannabis flowers.
THC’s medicinal properties are hotly contested in the scientific community. While it’s clear that THC has therapeutic potential, we can’t say too much with certainty yet about the benefits. However, what is clear is the sheer number of people out there taking THC products for pain relief. And tinctures, with their safety profile and swift effects, are ideal.
So, why might THC tinctures work for pain? THC interacts in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which we all have. The body regulates pain sensitivity at the CB1 receptors, which are mostly found in the central nervous system. THC latches on to these receptors, and potentially produces a pain-killing effect.
The Perfect THC Tincture Dose
We’ll presume you’re using a THC-only tincture for this section. However, if you do have a THC tincture with some CBD in it as well, just increase the dose a little to get the desired effects.
5mg: This is a good entry point for new THC tincture users, and is comparable to micro-dosing. This small amount of THC will elevate your mood, and perhaps enhance your creativity, and you won’t experience any detrimental effects.
20mg: A 20mg dose will give you a pleasant high. This is a great amount to take when you just want to relax and joke around with friends, without the psychoactive effects becoming so potent as to cause a negative experience. Most users will be happy in the 20-30mg range.
50mg: For seasoned cannabis users, a 50mg THC tincture dose is a great way to take things further. However, when taking this much, you need to be in a calm environment – as this will help to allay any possible anxiety and paranoia. This isn’t for newbies, but if you’re ready for a little extra, then go for it!
100mg: This is a really, really strong THC dose and not something you should be playing around with on a daily basis. But for hardcore macro-dosers – and those who have acquired a pretty high tolerance – tipping the dosage into three figures is a sure-fire way of taking your tincture experience to new heights.
How to Correctly Use a THC Tincture
You can use cannabis tincture oil in at least three different ways. Here’s how to get it right:
Sublingual absorption: Apply under the tongue, and hold for at least 30 seconds to give the sublingual glands time to fully absorb the THC molecules into the bloodstream. Effects should become noticeable after a maximum of 10 to 15 minutes.
Cooking edibles: Add a THC tincture dose into your recipe at any point. Just make sure to avoid exposing the oil to temperatures in excess of 240°F. This is some way below the boiling point, but you don’t want to burn off any of that precious THC!
As a topical: Simply rub the THC tincture onto your skin, and allow it to work its magic. You won’t get high from topical THC, but it may help to alleviate localized pain and skin inflammation.
How to Make Your Own THC Tincture
We recommend using high-proof alcohol when making THC tinctures. You can also use vegetable glycerin, although this doesn’t bind with the THC as effectively, leading to reduced potency. Only use alcohol that is safe for consumption (never use isopropyl alcohol).
- Grind up some marijuana flower and decarboxylate in the oven at 240°F
- Mix 750ml of high-proof alcohol with every eighth (3.5 grams) of weed in a mason jar
- Seal the jar and let it sit (preferably for a few weeks). Shake once a day
- Strain the oil into a bottle through a coffee filter. You can do this at any point, but the longer you wait, the more potent the tincture will become
And that’s all you need to do to make your very own THC tincture oil!
THC Tincture Side Effects
THC is a psychoactive substance, and does come with the risk of side effects – even in tincture form. Anxiety and paranoia are most common, and tend to occur after taking too much. You can either wait for the high to wear off, or take some CBD oil to counter the THC.
Stopping after regular use may lead to withdrawal symptoms in some users. Reduced coordination and cognitive impairment may occur during the experience, but will subside quickly afterwards. Do not take THC tinctures if you are predisposed to psychosis or schizophrenia.