Cannabis 101: Tinctures vs. Topicals

Cannabis 101: Tinctures vs. Topicals

By Garden Remedies

While getting access to cannabis today can be as simple as doing a search for “dispensary near me,” that doesn’t mean deciding what you want is any easier. 

If anything, the rapidly increasing variety of products at dispensaries has made it even more difficult to decide what green remedies might work best for you—especially if you’ve only ever had experiences with

For example, figuring out exactly what the deal is with cannabis
and topicals can be overwhelming unless you’ve done some research first. How exactly do they work? What are they made with? And what kind of effect do they have? 

Luckily since you’ve come here, there’s no more research necessary! Let’s break down the differences between topicals and tinctures:


What is a tincture?


A tincture is a kind of cannabis extract meant to be consumed orally, made through a process where the cannabis plant soaks in a base liquid for several days to extract the cannabinoids from the plant. 

Tinctures at dispensaries always come with a dropper to ensure correct dosing. 

How do tinctures work? 

While a tincture is consumed orally like an edible, they work in very different ways. While edibles are eaten and require digestion to work, tinctures do not! Instead, tinctures are consumed sublingually — AKA, placed under your tongue. 

Absorption happens much faster under the tongue than through digestion, which means that tincture will provide effects much faster. 


What are the benefits of tinctures?


Tinctures are one of the healthier ways to ingest cannabis, because it doesn’t require smoking (like with flower) or contain any potential food allergens (like some edibles). It also allows you to be flexible with dosing, unlike some edibles where the base dosage may be much higher. 

Additionally, since tinctures are made using the entire cannabis plant, it means that you get the benefit of all the different cannabinoids present in the whole plant!


What are topicals? 

Topicals are any cannabis products made to be used on and absorbed through the skin.

The most common kind of topical you’ll find at a dispensary is a cannabis infused balm or lotion—but you might also find weed-infused body oils, lube, bath bombs, sprays, and more! 

Most topicals contain primarily THC, CBD, or some combination of the two. 

What are the benefits of topicals?  

Topicals can be incredibly useful for medical purposes and other forms of physical relief. 

When the cannabinoids in a topical product interact with the receptors in the skin, they can provide targeted relief for soreness and inflammation caused by a variety of conditions. 

Another plus: because topicals don’t produce any psychoactive effects, you can use them to obtain a more totally physical cannabis experience. 


Bonus: if you want a quick and easy way to try topicals out, try mixing tincture with a small amount of lotion and then apply it to the body area of your choice! 

Have other questions about tinctures, topicals, or any other cannabis product?

Reach out and ask us on social media! 

For other burning questions about cannabis products, be sure to read the rest of our
Cannabis 101

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