Cannabis Extracts vs. THC Tinctures
Cannabis Extracts vs. THC Tinctures

If you’re new to the world of cannabis, the name “tincture” might not mean much to you. But if you’re an existing connoisseur or a medical patient who needs relief from your symptoms, it’s likely that you’ve heard about this product. Cannabis Tinctures are made by soaking cannabis in alcohol or glycerin and can be used in many different ways. They have been around for centuries, but they have seen an increase in popularity recently due to their discreet nature and wide range of applications.

What Are Cannabis Tinctures?

In the case of cannabis tinctures, you’re getting to the plant through alcohol. Tinctures are liquid extractions of cannabis made by soaking it in alcohol. They are typically made with a high percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is why they have such strong effects on the user.

The process is fairly simple: The plant material is soaked in an alcohol solution, then filtered out before being evaporated at low temperatures to leave behind what we know as cannabinoids like THC and CBD—the chemical compounds responsible for producing psychoactive effects. These chemicals can then be absorbed into your bloodstream via mucous membranes such as your mouth and stomach lining.

Tinctures can be taken sublingually—meaning, under the tongue—or swallowed. If you take it sublingually, then it will enter your bloodstream more quickly than if you swallow it. This is because absorption through mucous membranes is faster than through the stomach lining, which means you’ll feel effects almost immediately.

What Are Cannabis Extracts?

Cannabis extracts are made by dissolving cannabinoids in a solvent and then evaporating the solvent. The cannabinoids are extracted from the cannabis plant, which is then discarded.

The resulting extract contains all of the desired components of marijuana, including THC, CBD and terpenes that give each strain its unique smell and taste. Cannabis extracts can be used for a variety of purposes including:

  • Smoking or vaporizing as an alternative to smoking dried buds;
  • Adding to food or drink (examples include edibles such as brownies or cookies);
  • Vaporizing without other ingredients for recreational purposes;

The most common method for making cannabis extracts is through the use of butane. Butane extraction involves dissolving cannabinoids in a solvent such as butane, then removing the solvent by evaporating it off or venting it out with a vacuum pump.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Tinctures vs. Extracts?

Since tinctures are made of a liquid, they’re more versatile and can be used in many different ways. Tinctures may be taken orally or applied to the skin (the latter is called transdermal delivery). They’re also more discreet and don’t have the same psychoactive effects as extracts.

However, not all tinctures are created equal—some contain synthetic ingredients or alcohol that can leave you feeling nauseous after taking it. In contrast, extracts are made by isolating cannabinoids like CBD or THC from other plant matter so that they’re easier to measure out in precise doses while still retaining their therapeutic properties. Because they’re so potent, they’re often consumed through vaping pens or edibles instead of being absorbed under the tongue like tinctures.

Common Applications of Cannabis Tinctures

Tinctures are used in many ways, but the most common applications include:

  • Cooking. Tinctures can be added to foods (such as salad dressings) or used as the base for infusions, which are a type of culinary preparation involving the infusion of flavors from herbs and other ingredients into liquids such as wine or vinegar. This process is also referred to as “maceration,” meaning it literally involves macerating—or mixing with water—the ingredients until they reach an optimal level of flavor.
  • Raw form. You can take tincture directly from its bottle by placing 1/2 to 1 ml under your tongue, holding it there for at least 90 seconds before swallowing without chewing or drinking water afterward. The effects will kick in within 30 minutes and last up to four hours depending on potency; some users report feeling them even longer than that!
  • Ingredients in other foods. Hemp oil can be incorporated into any dish you want while still getting all those health benefits associated with cannabis consumption! If you’re unsure what kind of food would go well with hemp oil though… we recommend anything that contains fats because fats help increase absorption rates for nutrients taken orally (e.,g., avocados). Just make sure when buying tinctures online that whatever brand names product you choose has been tested by third parties so there aren’t any harmful additives hiding inside them; otherwise it could affect how well your body absorbs these nutrients even further down stream somewhere else on their journey through your digestive track.

Common Applications of Cannabis Extracts

While tinctures are often used as an alternative to cannabis extracts, the two products have distinct applications. Tinctures typically contain less THC than their concentrated counterparts, which means they’re more suited for treating ailments like insomnia and anxiety where a lower dose is needed but fast-acting effects are still desired.

However, when it comes to using cannabis in edibles and other products (like topicals), extracts offer greater potency and longer shelf life compared to tinctures because they’re more stable. In fact, most edible manufacturers prefer using a one-to-one ratio of cannabis oil or concentrate with another liquid such as butter or coconut oil during the infusion process because this method gives them flexibility when scaling up production—meaning you can use smaller amounts of extract while still achieving the same level of potency as those made using full-strength concentrates like shatter or waxes.

Cannabis tinctures and extracts are different products. Each has its own unique properties, effects and uses.

Tinctures and extracts are different products. Each has its own unique properties, effects and uses.

Tinctures are made from the whole plant, meaning you get all of the cannabinoids and terpenes in your tincture as you would with flower or concentrates. Tinctures can also be made with other plants like lavender, chamomile or mint—just make sure they’re organic!

Extracts are made by heating cannabis with a solvent like CO2 oil or alcohol (or sometimes water). The solvent evaporates once the process is complete, leaving behind an extract that’s concentrated in THC and CBD. I’ve never personally tried this method when making my own tincture because it requires an expensive machine called an extractor, but some dispensaries on Leafly now offer “decarboxylated” tinctures which means they’ve already been deactivated so they don’t produce any psychoactive effects!


If you’re interested in trying cannabis tinctures or extracts, it’s important to understand how they work and the differences between them. You might be surprised to find out that there are lots of ways to enjoy cannabis without smoking or vaporizing—and these two types of products are just two examples!

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