Marijuana Tinctures vs Edibles: What’s the Difference?

Beautiful woman stoned on Tinctures vs Edibles

In recent years the legality of Marijuana has blossomed, as has the range of marijuana edibles and ingestible products available on the market. In regard to your selection of cannabis products, there are various consumption methods available, each with its own unique characteristics and effects. Two popular product options are cannabis tinctures and edibles. While both deliver the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, they differ in terms of administration, onset time, and duration of effects. In this article, we will explore the key differences between cannabis tinctures vs edibles, helping you understand which option may be best suited for your needs.

Cannabis Tinctures: Understanding the Basics

Cannabis tinctures are liquid extracts derived from the cannabis plant, typically using alcohol or a solvent as the base liquid. These tinctures contain concentrated levels of cannabinoids, including THC and CBD, and are available in different strengths and formulations allowing for the ideal dose.  The difference between THC tinctures and CBD tinctures can be read about here. Tinctures are known for their versatility and drops of tincture can be taken orally, sublingually (under the tongue), or added to food and beverages.

How Cannabis Tinctures Are Made

Cannabis tinctures are made by steeping cannabis flowers or plant material in alcohol or a solvent, it is a common practice for creating herbal extracts. The alcohol or solvent extracts the active compounds, including cannabinoids and terpenes, from the cannabis plant. The mixture is then strained to remove any remaining plant matter, resulting in a potent liquid extract with a highly controlled cannabinoid content.

Advantages of Cannabis Tinctures

Cannabis tinctures offer several advantages:

– Quick onset time: When taken sublingually, tinctures are absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the mucous membranes, allowing for faster onset of effects compared to edibles.

– Precise dosage control: Tinctures are often packaged with a dropper, enabling users to measure and adjust their dosage of the liquid products accurately. This makes it easier to find the ideal tincture dose for individual needs.

– Discreet consumption: Tinctures can be consumed discreetly, as they are typically packaged in small bottles that can easily fit in a pocket or purse.

– Longer shelf life and fewer ingredients: Between 6 months and 3 years.

How to Use Cannabis Tinctures

Using cannabis tinctures is relatively straightforward:

1. Shake the tincture bottle well before use to ensure even distribution of cannabinoids.

2. Use the dropper to measure the desired dosage. It’s important to start with a low dose and gradually increase as required.

3. Place the tincture under your tongue and hold it there for a minute to allow for sublingual absorption.

4. Swallow the tincture or rinse it with water after the holding period. Alternatively, you can mix the tincture with food or beverages for easier ingestion.

Onset Time and Duration of Effects

When taken under the tongue, cannabis tinctures typically have a fast onset time, with effects being felt within 15-45 minutes. The duration of effects usually lasts around 2-4 hours, depending on factors such as dosage and the individual’s metabolism.

Cannabis Edibles: An Overview

Cannabis edibles are food or beverage products infused with cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD. Edibles provide an alternative way and often enjoyable way to consume cannabis, offering a wide range of options, including baked goods, hard candies, chocolates, and beverages.

How Cannabis Edibles Are Made

Edibles are a convenient and popular way of ingesting cannabis, made by infusing cannabis extracts or decarboxylated cannabis flower into oils, butter, or other ingredients used in cooking or baking. The infused mixture is then used to create a variety of cannabis-infused products.

Advantages of Cannabis Edibles

Cannabis edibles have their own set of advantages:

– Longer-lasting effects: Compared to tinctures, edibles tend to provide a longer duration of the effects. This is because the cannabinoids in edibles are processed through the body’s digestive system, leading to a slower onset and extended duration of therapeutic effects.

– Discreet consumption: Edibles often resemble regular food items, allowing for discreet consumption without drawing attention.

– Variety of options: Edibles come in a wide range of flavors and forms, providing options for different taste preferences and dietary restrictions.

How to Consume Cannabis Edibles

To consume cannabis edibles:

1. Start by determining the recommended dosage for the specific edible product. It’s important to be aware of the concentration of cannabinoids in the product and start with a low dose, especially for beginners.

2. Consume the edible and allow enough time for digestion and metabolization. The effects of edibles can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to kick in, depending on various factors.

3. Be patient and avoid consuming more before feeling the effects, as edibles’ effects can be stronger and longer-lasting compared to tinctures.

 Onset Time and Duration of Effects

The onset time of edibles varies significantly, ranging from 30 minutes to 2 hours (or more), depending on factors such as metabolism and individual tolerance. The effects of edibles typically last longer than tinctures, ranging from 4 to 8 hours, dependendant on the dosage and individual factors.

Key Differences between Cannabis Tinctures Vs Edibles

There are several key differences between cannabis tinctures and edibles:

Onset Time and Duration

Tinctures have a faster onset of effects, with sublingual consumption allowing for quick absorption into the bloodstream. On the other hand, edibles have a slower onset time due to the digestive process. However, the effects of edibles tend to last longer compared to tinctures.

Dosage Control

Tinctures offer precise dosage control, as they are commonly packaged with droppers that allow for accurate measurement. Making it easier to adjust the dosage and find the ideal amount for individual needs. Edibles, on the other hand, often come pre-dosed, which can make it more challenging to control the exact dosage. It’s important to start with a low dose when consuming edibles and wait for the effects to kick in before considering additional consumption.

Consumption Methods

Tinctures can be taken orally, sublingually, or added to food and beverages, providing versatility in consumption. Edibles are consumed orally and require digestion before the effects are felt.

Taste and Flavor

Cannabis tinctures retain the natural taste of the cannabis plant, some tinctures are infused with flavors to enhance the overall experience. Edibles, on the other hand, offer a wide range of flavors and can mask the taste of cannabis, appealing to users who prefer a more subtle consumption method.

Discretion and Portability

Cannabis tinctures are generally discreet and portable, as they are often packaged in small bottles that can be easily carried. Edibles, while also portable, may require more careful storage to prevent melting or damage.

Choosing the Right Option for You between Tinctures vs Edibles

When deciding between cannabis tinctures vs edibles, consider the following factors:

Medical Use and Quick Relief

If you require immediate relief from symptoms, such as chronic pain or anxiety, cannabis tinctures may be a good option due to their faster onset time. Tinctures also allow for precise dosage control, making them suitable for medical users who require specific cannabinoid intake.

Recreational Use and Desired Effects

For recreational users seeking a longer-lasting experience, edibles may be preferred. The extended duration of effects provided by edibles can offer a more sustained and enjoyable recreational experience. Additionally, the variety of flavors and food options available with edibles enhances the overall adventure.

Experimentation and Professional Advice

Finding the right fit between tinctures vs edibles will require some experimentation. Start with low doses and gradually increase as needed to gauge your tolerance and desired effects. Consulting with knowledgeable staff at dispensaries or seeking medical advice will provide valuable guidance in selecting the most suitable option for your needs.


In regard to cannabis consumption, the choice between tinctures vs edibles depends on individual preferences, desired effects, and specific needs. Cannabis tinctures offer fast onset times, precise dosage control, and discreet consumption options. In contrast, edibles provide longer-lasting effects, a variety of flavors, and a more enjoyable consumption experience. By understanding the key differences between cannabis tinctures and edibles, you can make an informed decision and explore the world of cannabis products with confidence. Remember to start with low doses, be patient, and always prioritize your safety and well-being.

Mush Love xo

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