CBD Lifestyle: Your Complete Guide to Cannabis Tincture
Herbal medicine dates back to Asia around 500 BC.
We've known this and still use this ancient practice today. Yet one herb, cannabis, has been illegal for almost the past 100 years.
After many strained efforts, Cannabis Sativa L at long last became legal again.
The collective discoveries about the health benefits of CBD will make you wonder why the plant was ever illegal in the first place.
This period of time may turn out to be the modern dark ages of medicine.
Here's a guide to understanding CBD, focusing on the benefits and uses of cannabis tinctures.
What is CBD and How Does it Work?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis. It's one of over a hundred cannabinoids found in this plant yet it's one of the most abundant.
It's extracted from industrial hemp (Cannabis Sativa L). This is due to the fact that hemp has more CBD and less THC. Federal law states that CBD products cannot have more than 0.3% THC.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a psychoactive cannabinoid prevalent in Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica. In other words, it's the part of cannabis that gets you "high".
Okay, so what's the big deal about cannabinoids? What do they have to do with humans?
Well, the past 50 years of research shows we have our own cannabinoid system. It regulates many parts of our bodies and keeps us healthy. This system is the endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS).
Our ECS has two receptors (CB1 and CB2) located in the central nervous system and certain tissues.
In laymen's terms, our bodies have a specific system that uses the same elements found in cannabis. This means cannabinoids from cannabis can help our ECS maintain and regulate our bodies.
Other plants offer cannabinoids as well. Common examples are echinacea, Theobroma Cacao (chocolate), and black pepper. The difference is that these plants have them in smaller amounts.
The thought process is that when our ECS is off-balance we experience health issues. The same thing happens with other body systems. For example, if our cardiovascular system is off-balance, we may experience heart problems.
What are the health issues that CBD may help regulate?
Benefits of CBD
Research in animals and humans shows that there's an extensive list of CBD benefits.
CBD helps with:
- Chronic pain
- Mental health issues such as:
- Autism symptoms
- Cancer cell growth
There are many ways to take CBD to get these benefits.
You can ingest it in edibles or capsules. You can smoke the herb or smoke an oil extracted from it. You can apply it topically on your skin.
Finally, you can take oils or tinctures.
The way you should take CBD depends on the health issues you're facing. If you experience gastrointestinal problems, a tincture would be better than oil.
You may be thinking, "oils and tinctures are different?" The answer is yes. Here's how.
What is a Cannabis Tincture?
In a tincture, CBD suspends in a distilled alcohol solution (this is what makes it a tincture).
This is an added benefit, as alcohol speeds up absorption and enhances the effects of CBD.
In an oil, CBD suspends in a carrier oil. Carrier oils include MCT (coconut), hemp seed, avocado, and olive oils.
An important thing to note is you cannot smoke CBD tinctures due to the alcohol content. Instead, you take a tincture under the tongue.
Herbal tinctures date back to ancient Egypt and the beginning of distilling alcohol. The process consists of mixing broken down herb into ethanol and removing the ethanol with heat.
The alcohol used is high proof (somewhere between 50 and 120) such as Everclear. Please note that it isn't isopropyl.
Ethanol gets mostly purged out throughout the extraction process. In the end, there's still a bit of alcohol in the remaining tincture.
Tinctures can be CBD only or a mix of CBD and THC. This depends on the parts of the plant included and extraction methods.
A Breakdown of CBD Tinctures
Isolates only contain the cannabinoid CBD. CBD isolate tinctures often have high levels of CBD.
Full spectrum means that the extraction process included the whole plant. This allows for synergy between CBD and other properties of the hemp plant.
In other words, full spectrum tinctures may have more health benefits than isolates.
CBD and THC
Some tinctures contain CBD and THC. These may have the same amount of THC as a joint does so it will have psychoactive effects.
There are studies showing that CBD combined with THC may slow down cancer cell growth.
There's a specific type of full spectrum tincture called Rick Simpson Oil (RSO). The main differentiation is that RSO uses Naptha instead of ethanol.
A Canadian medical cannabis activist named Rick Simpson invented this tincture. It has high levels of THC from using the whole plant Cannabis Indica.
RSO isn't sold on the market. Rather, Simpson provided instructions and encouraged people to make their own.
Its main use is for cancer, but also can treat other issues such as:
- High blood pressure
- Multiple Sclerosis
Depending on your health issues and state of residence, CBD only tinctures (isolates and full spectrum) may be the best choice.
Now that you understand the different types of CBD tinctures, let's talk about how to take them.
Application and Dosage
We mentioned earlier that CBD tinctures go under the tongue. This works through sublingual absorption.
The tincture seeps through the membranes under your tongue, making a quick route to your bloodstream.
It's suggested that you keep the tincture under your tongue for about 30 seconds to give it time to soak in. After that, you can swallow the remaining liquid.
How much liquid are we talking?
Tinctures contain concentrated CBD, so a little goes a long way. You'll only need a few drops for a single dose.
The amount in a "single dose" varies person by person. Each of us has different endocannabinoid systems. Therefore, each of us may require different dosages.
To determine the amount of CBD tincture you should take, start off with one drop. Give it 30 or 45 minutes before assessing its effectiveness. You might not notice anything or you may feel the benefits.
If you don't feel anything, feel free to try one more drop. Eventually, you'll find where your sweet spot is, whether it's one drop or three.
Keep in mind that the benefits of CBD don't happen with a single use. It's repeated use that allows it to work its magic.
Benefits of Tinctures Over Other Methods
Tinctures work much faster than edibles due to its sublingual administration. Edibles must go through your gastrointestinal system before the effects start kicking in.
Here are a few more benefits of tinctures.
You don't have to learn how to use a vape or sharpen up your cooking skills. Tinctures are as simple as a couple of drops per dose.
A giant cloud of smoke doesn't arise from you taking this medicine. The dropper and vial are small and the application can be easily done at any time of day.
Digestion Isn't a Factor
It's a potential that stomach acid takes away from the beneficial properties of CBD.
Plus, if you have stomach issues or want quicker effects, a few drops will sidestep these issues.
It Has a Longer Shelf Life
Edibles have a relatively short use window as they are perishable products.
Tinctures, on the other hand, can last up to two years.
There are Fewer Side Effects
Side effects associated with CBD tinctures include a dry mouth, fatigue, and changes in appetite (which may be a benefit).
Less common side effects include diarrhea, fatigue, dizziness, or vomiting. This is why it's a good idea to start with one drop at a time to see how your body personally reacts to the substance.
Additionally, CBD affects the absorption of other medications. If you take any medications, you should consult your doctor before taking CBD.
It's Easier to Control Your Dosage
When you buy a CBD tincture, you know exactly how much CBD is in the bottle.
There are 20 drops in 1 milliliter of fluid. If you get twisted up doing the math, you can use a conversion calculator.
The only way this benefit doesn't apply is if you make your own tincture.
How to Make a Tincture
In a previous article, we discussed how to make CBD oil. We'll discuss that process as well as a few other methods.
Keep in mind that there are different pros and cons with making your own tincture. You may not have an interest in doing it but it's still cool to know the process.
The first con is that you don't know how much CBD or THC is in your product unless you buy a test kit (which we advise). It takes some trial and error to perfect the tincture process and leaves your house smelling pretty skunky in the meantime.
The benefits are that you can save money and gets you more involved with the medicine process. Taking CBD is already taking your health into your own hands but making your own tincture takes it a step further.
Methods include CO2, dry ice, and alcohol extraction. Here we'll describe three common practices but note that there are more than this. Also, companies that produce CBD products have better technology and equipment than what the average Joe has at home.
This process involves breaking up dry cannabis into a mason jar. It then gets covered with a solvent (Everclear is best).
Once you've covered all the plant parts, screw on the lid and shake the jar for a few minutes. This mixes your concoction up.
Then the jar goes into the freezer for a minimum of five days. Some people suggest 8 to 10 may be better, so shoot for that if you can wait a few extra days.
Once or twice a day you'll take it out and give it a good shake.
After the time is up, you'll strain the contents of the jar through a cheesecloth. After getting solid parts out and squeezing every drop out, you're done.
Warm Extraction (Traditional Method)
This classic method takes 30 to 60 days. It's the same process as cold extraction up until the freezer part.
Instead, you'll put the jar in a paper bag and place it in a spot indoors that gets a decent amount of sun.
This process takes longer than others but you don't have to do anything once you've set the jar down for the 30-60 days. At the end of this time, you'll need to strain the mixture through cheesecloth like the previous method.
People who use this method must time when to make another batch so they don't run out of medicine.
Hot Extraction (Green Dragon: Master Wu)
This extraction has the coolest name and the most dangerous process of the ones listed. When doing a green dragon extraction, you'll have your product the same day.
Be careful when heating alcohol as it is highly flammable.
You chop up your cannabis super fine and spread it over a cookie sheet. Then you pop it in the oven for five minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
After you've baked the goods, you'll put the cannabis in your ethanol of choice in a small, wide mouth mason jar.
Then you'll put the jar in a pot of water to simmer. The contents of the jar should stay around 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
After this process, you'll strain it and store it.
To get the most out of your cannabis drops, store it in dark, cool temperatures. Use dark vials or bottles that aren't made out of plastic. This applies to the medicine you've bought or if you made it yourself.
A cabinet is a great place to keep it.
Tinctures can have a shelf life up to 24 months if it's stored properly. After that point, you'll want to toss it due to bad taste.
Speaking of quality, here are a few considerations when purchasing CBD tinctures.
The first thing to remember with CBD tinctures is that it's medicine. As such, you only want to put the best medicines into your body.
Even though we described processes of making your own tincture, you should purchase it first to get a feel for what it is. After long term use and research, you may want to try out the extraction process.
When buying CBD tinctures, make sure to understand the exact amount of CBD (and THC if there's any) in the tincture. You'll want to know if it's full spectrum as we discussed before, too.
Finally, similar to how we're realizing with food production, organic and natural methods matter. You don't want cannabis that's had harmful chemicals put on it.
If you can't find out this information from a product description or website, give the company a call.
Since there are no FDA regulations yet on CBD products, users must be the ones to regulate things. We can do this by demanding clear information and safe practices.
Take Advantage of Natural Medicine Today
Phew! Now you probably feel like an expert.
The truth is you can't be an expert unless you've tried it. Even then, it takes a lot to be "expert level". Regardless, you know more now than you did before.
And you'll know even more once you've adapted cannabis tincture into your daily routine.
Purchase a CBD tincture today to get your foot in the door and start seeing health benefits in no time.
Tags: CBD Products