Tinctures vs Edibles: What’s the Difference?

Cannabis tinctures are commonly thought of as a form of edible, given that they are taken orally. There is a difference, however, between how the THC and other therapeutic compounds in marijuana are absorbed into the body through tinctures and edibles. In this blog post, we will discuss the difference between tinctures and edibles.

Tinctures are a liquid form of cannabis that is absorbed through the mouth and into the bloodstream. Edibles are food items that have been infused with cannabis oil. Let’s take a closer look at both of these methods of consumption.

Two Very Different Ways to Consume Cannabis

Tinctures and edibles both are excellent options for those who don’t want to inhale vapor or smoke in order to consume cannabis products. Though the two methods of consumption are more similar to each other than, say, smoking and vaporizing, there are still some key differences between them.

What Are Marijuana Edibles?

chocolate cannabis edibles

Marijuana edibles are, as the name implies, digestible goods that have been infused with cannabinoids. In their broadest sense, edibles are any food or drink that is ingested. They might be sweets, gummies, hard candies, savory foods, beverages, or even pills or capsules.

To eat edibles, simply chew and swallow them like you would any other food. Dosing will be determined on the type of edible product you prefer and its cannabinoid content. A marijuana edible can contain THC, CBD, or a combination of both.

Cannabis extracts are used to make most edibles. Simply grinding up weed and putting it in your food will not get you high. The cannabis plant contains THCA, and that THCA needs to be converted into THC in order to “work.” This is commonly done with heat: with a lighter, an atomizer in a vape pen, a torch with a dab rig, or an oven while cooking edibles.

What Are Cannabis Tinctures?

Tinctures are herbal extracts that are prepared by soaking plant material in alcohol to extract active chemicals from the plant.

Cannabis leaf and small bottles of hemp oil isolated on white background. Close up.

Tinctures are taken orally; in most cases, a few drops of a tincture are enough. It’s critical to dose a tincture correctly, especially if it’s a cannabis tincture. Dosing instructions will be available on the container of your cannabis tincture but bear in mind that you should take into account your body size, cannabis consumption history, and metabolism when dosing.

The discreteness and ease of using tinctures make them very popular among those who use medical marijuana.

Different Effects

The most significant distinction between edibles and tinctures is how our bodies process them. Because the onset time and duration of the effects vary, consumers usually experience different effects whether consuming edibles or tinctures.


One of the primary advantages of tinctures is that they work faster than edibles, especially if consumed in the mouth for 1-5 minutes before being swallowed. With edibles, the cannabinoids must be broken down in the digestive system and go through the stomach, digestive tract, and liver before being dispersed to the rest of your body before the effects are felt. Edibles may take up to an hour or two before the onset of therapeutic effects, while tinctures may provide benefits in as little as 15 minutes.


In general, the effects of eating edibles may last somewhat longer than those of a tincture. This is due to the fact that cannabis taken orally is absorbed more slowly. Taking a tincture sublingually means that the THC or CBD enters your bloodstream quicker and, in some circumstances, more effectively, but this also means that the effects may not be as long-lasting. The duration of the effects of edibles ranges from four to twelve hours, while tinctures’ effects are generally three to eight hours if taken correctly.

The tincture’s other advantage is that one part of the dose will be swallowed and must go through the same digestive system as the edible, giving users the best of both worlds, especially if taken in conjunction with a fat-containing meal or snack: faster onset and longer duration.

Other Ways to Use Cannabis Tincture

It should be noted that cannabis tinctures can be used to make cannabis edibles. Adding a few drops of tincture to a recipe is an easy way to turn almost any dish into an infused meal.

Cannabis tinctures can also be used topically. Applying a few drops of THC-rich tincture to the skin can provide relief from inflammation, pain, and other topical ailments. CBD-rich tinctures may help with anxiety, stress, and even seizures.

The Last Toke: Tinctures or Edibles, Which Is Right for You?

The answer to this question depends on your needs and preferences. If you are a medical marijuana user and want faster relief from symptoms, a cannabis tincture may be the best option. If you don’t mind waiting a bit longer for the effects to kick in and want those effects to last longer, an edible might be your best bet. Ultimately, the best way to find out what works for you is to experiment with both tinctures and edibles and see what you like best.

Cannabis tinctures are a fast-acting option if you need relief from symptoms, while edibles provide longer-lasting effects. The best way to determine which cannabis product is right for you is to experiment with both tinctures and edibles until you find your preferred method of consumption.

Happy experimenting! And as always, feel free to contact us at Frost Exotic Cannabis in Denver if you have any questions about tinctures or edibles.

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