If you’re curious about medical cannabis and have done even the tiniest bit of research, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of a “CBD tincture.” But if you’re not quite sure exactly what it is, don’t worry: You’re in good company! Even those of us who have long experience with cannabis are often unsure of just what a tincture is and whether CBD is a new kind of cannabis or something else entirely. Let’s clear things up by starting with the basics.
What is CBD?
How does the cannabis plant do so much for our bodies, soothing tired muscles, helping relieve chronic ailments, and giving us a relaxing euphoria? It does this through natural compounds called cannabinoids; think of them as cannabis’ “active ingredients.” The principal cannabinoid is THC, which is the one responsible for giving us the distinctive psychoactivity—or “high”—that cannabis is known for (and which is not permitted above 3% in Iowa medical cannabis medications).
The second most abundant cannabinoid? Our new friend CBD (short for cannabidiol). CBD works with THC in interesting ways; it actually reduces THC’s psychoactivity, for one thing. But researchers are finding that CBD has a wide and growing range of applications in our medical care. It doesn’t make us feel high, and yet it’s still powerful and effective medicine.
So…What is a CBD Tincture?
A tincture is simply a plant or animal extract dissolved in a liquid medium, such as neutral alcohol. At Have a Heart, because we want our customers to have access to medicines free of any alcohol or other intoxicants, the tinctures we sell are composed of carefully refined coconut and palm oils.
Tinctures are a powerful and user-friendly way for us to access cannabis medicine. Their onset—or the time it takes for us to feel their effects—is slower than that of inhaled cannabis, such as from a vape pen. But it’s faster than that of edible cannabis, such as that taken in capsule form.
What’s more, tinctures tend to have a relatively long-lasting effect. A couple of drops allowed to dissolve under the tongue can work their wonders for several hours. And tinctures are fairly shelf-stable, so as long they’re not stored in direct sunlight, they can retain their potency for months or even years.
What Are CBD Tinctures Good For?
CBD has a wide range of effects on the body, and some of them are still becoming clear to researchers. There is some research that CBD has may be an effective treatment for:
- Many types of pain, including nociceptive, neuropathic, and central pain
- Side effects of treatments for cancer, including nausea and vomiting
Ultimately, if you are interested in using CBD for your health, it’s important to partner with a knowledgeable physician before starting a regimen. If you’d like to learn more about tinctures or CBD and how they can be used, stop by your local Have a Heart dispensary.