A tincture is a concentration of an herb in alcohol. Tinctures have been used for centuries for medicinal products. Tinctures are often the most portable and easily dosed methods of cannabis ingestion. Tinctures can be an excellent method to use when trying edibles. Due to the concentration, titration for correct dosage is easily achieved.
Tinctures can be mixed it in cooking or directly under the tongue, (sublingually). Effects can be felt in 30 to 45 minutes. Another benefit is shelf life. If stored in a cool, dark location, tinctures last for years. Many may have heard of THC. That is the psychoactive component of cannabis. Cannabis plants mature with a flower when ready to harvest. The flower portion of the plant contains the most THCA. The breakdown of THCA through time or heat, creates THC. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in Cannabis. There are many benefits of THCA that can be had without the psychoactive affect. Depending on your need or preference, the psychoactive benefits can be derived or for those who prefer, left unprocessed. The CBD portion of the plant is not psychoactive. With the legalization of cannabis for medicinal as well as recreational use, the market for smoke-free use is surging forward. Research is promising; oils, edibles and patches, containing CBD will soon be more readily available on the market. CBD has been shown to relieve pain, insomnia, and work as an anticonvulsive and anti-inflammatory agent as well as improving growth of bone cells.
Green Dragon is the most common recipe of tincture that has been used for years. It is basically, the dispersement of the cannabinoids in the flowers and leaves of the plant in alcohol. The alcohol used has to be 99% (Everclear) There should be a minimum of one gram of cannabis to one ounce of alcohol. The concoction should remain soaking for up to 10 days. Each day, shake the mixture. Once you are satisfied with the end result, strain it into a brown bottle with a dropper. Start with 1 drop under the tongue. You can titrate to effect for your personal needs. Tinctures are discreet, portable and dosages can be self-regulated. These can be made at home or purchased at a dispensary for a product that is professionally measured and titrated.
Cannabis medications work so efficiently because of the endocannabinoid (EC) system, present in all humans and many animals. This system consists of a series of receptors that are configured only to accept cannabinoids, especially tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Not enough research has been done on the other ones, cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG) plus others, to know much about their mechanisms of effect.
This system, an integral part of our physiologies, was discovered in the mid-1990s by Israeli researcher Dr. Ralph Mechoulam who also identified THC as the main active ingredient in cannabis in the early 1960s. Israel has been one of the most progressive nations for cannabis research and currently has one of the most advanced medical marijuana programs in the world. They are international leaders in advanced greenhouse technology, routinely producing flowers with 20 percent or greater THC.
For first time users, tinctures can be a god-send. It is a good place to start for ingestion use vs smoking use. Everyone has a different Endo-Cannabinoidal System (ECS)
Given the individual qualities of ECS, each person must judge their own ideal dosage. The following is the current standard:
- High THC:Low CBD = significant psychoactive effect
- Equal THC:CBD = some psychoactive effect, depending upon percentage of THC. CBD “graduates” the high caused by THC, and many people report this ratio as being useful therapeutically
- Low THC:High CBD = little to no psychoactive effect, although it must be stated that having some THC helps CBD work more effectively*
THC reduces the perception of pain. With the current opiode epidemic, Using a therapeutic regime of Cannabis THC with Opiods have allowed patients relief from pain with lower doseage of narcotics.
CBD has been found to effectively treat neurological diseases such as epilepsy and Lou Gherig’s Disease. CBD is also known to moderate the “high” of THC. By breeding hybrids, a mixture 50/50 of each has been found to be therapeutic with less of the psychoactive component.
Cannabis is being thoroughly and scientifically researched. Business opportunities abound in the smokeless cannabis market. With the legalization and regulation of the growth, sale and production, many new products will be hitting the market. In states that allow cannabis for recreational purposes, like Colorado or Washington state, a person can openly enjoy the benefits individual to their needs/desires.
Sharon A. Moore, former RN (ICU, retired)