If you are brand new to the exciting world of CBD—or even a seasoned veteran—you may have noticed that it is available in a fancy-sounding format. A tincture.
A tincture, a liquid solution of a substance, is a popular and effective method to utilize CBD. Taken under the tongue, this route of administration is referred to as sublingual or buccal administration. Why are so many cannabis products made this way? It is a convenient, easy way to consume CBD and cannabis that allows for maximum bioavailability (more supplements in your body, therefore, increasing therapeutic effects). What is great about this method is that the CBD gets absorbed directly into your bloodstream. It also misses “first-pass metabolism”, which means it goes directly into your bloodstream without having to pass through your gastrointestinal (GI) system waiting to be absorbed, to then have to pass through the liver breaking down in the CYP50 system and then out of the portal vein into the systemic bloodstream.
Quite a route!
When you take sublingual tinctures, there is no waiting. All you have to do is point the dropper under your tongue, hold for 30-90 seconds as specified, and the CBD goes directly into your bloodstream. It is important to take a second to explain why missing first-pass metabolism is of such importance here. Passing through the liver decreases the concentration of a drug, specifically when administered orally, thus it is greatly reducing it before it reaches systemic circulation. Therefore, if you take 20mg of CBD sublingually, as in a tincture, you will absorb 30% (6mg) of 20mg into your bloodstream. If you take 20mg of CBD orally, you will have 5-10% (1mg/2mg) in your bloodstream. Stomach acids and liver enzymes destroy much of the CBD, and a large dose of CBD is further excreted unchanged in feces when taken orally. Lots of wasted CBD!
One downside of a tincture is that some folks just don’t love the taste. Some CBD products can taste very “hempy.” The way I describe the taste to my clients is that it is like eating a tree or like chewing a joint. One of the reasons I often recommend Equilibria over other products is that not only do they have high-quality products, they also taste great! While some people may be indifferent to the taste, I recommend Equilibria often to clients that don’t enjoy the “tree-like” taste. Those are the terpenes in the CBD, and they are actually good for you. Not everything good for you tastes great, but Equilibria makes fantastic flavors that allow the use of a good quality CBD without the harsh taste.
Don’t like the taste of CBD? Try these tips
While the Daily Drops are great, all real CBD and cannabis tinctures have the “tree-like” taste element, with some stronger than others. I have often recommended Equilibria’s Mint Daily Drops for my clients with nausea and other flavors for clients that didn’t grow into liking the hemp taste.
What’s exciting is that Equilibria has launched a new line of flavored drops, The Indulgence Collection. I can’t stress enough how difficult it is for me to find quality cannabis products that taste great while keeping all of the good cannabinoids and terpenes in the product. Inspired by Parisian patisserie flavors, The Indulgence Collection features a trio of mini Daily Drops including Peach Gelée, Mint Chocolate Truffle, and Strawberry Shortcake.
Pair CBD with a beverage
I often recommend drinking a paired beverage after holding the tincture under your tongue to help with the taste. For example, with the Mint Daily Drops, I recommend using tea or hot cocoa. Pair the strawberry shortcake or peach gelée with herbal tea or seltzer water.
Mix with honey
What if you still don’t love the taste and texture but want to get all the therapeutic benefits from CBD? Honey! Honey has a ton of great therapeutic properties in and of itself. You can take a tiny spoonful of honey, drop the solution into the honey and place it under your tongue. It’s true, honey always helps the medicine go down! Coconut oil or MCT oil pairs nicely as well and helps take away some of the thin oily texture.
Try gum or hard candy afterward
Lastly, gum or lollipops help as a final resort if none of the above recommendations work for you. Put the tincture in your mouth followed by chewing on some gum or sucking on some hard candy. It will help get more CBD into your gums AND you will swallow less of the substance.
Again, tinctures are a highly effective method to get the most benefit out of CBD. I encourage my clients to give tinctures a try, building up to help them become comfortable to use them daily and receive the most therapeutic benefits.
About Rebecca Abraham:
Educating ourselves about CBD and the products we put in our bodies can feel overwhelming at times. That’s why Acute on Chronic and Equilibria are working hard to keep it simple and straightforward.
Acute on Chronic founder and President, Rebecca Abraham BSN, RN, is a certified cannabis nurse. From a single assessment to ongoing support, Acute on Chronic provides support for all your cannabis questions as you investigate and become comfortable with it as alternative care. Follow Rebecca onFacebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and reach out for an initial consultation.
Huestis, M. A. (2007). Human cannabinoid pharmacokinetics. Chemistry & biodiversity, 4(8), 1770.
Saha, P., Verma, S. U. S. H. M. A., & Das, P. S. (2017). Sublingual drug delivery: an indication of a potential alternative route. International Journal of Current Pharmaceutical Research, 9(6), 5.