How to Use Tinctures Topically

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Let’s talk tinctures! While some patients are big fans of them, others may have not tried them yet. Typically, tinctures are consumed sublingually (under the tongue), but they have a topical application to them as well! Tinctures can be a great option for targeting localized pain, making topicals stronger, and for making your own topicals.

Tinctures and Topicals

A tincture is a concentrated marijuana solution made with alcohol or oil as the primary extraction solvent. Most typically, tinctures are taken sublingually; they are dosed under the tongue and absorbed through the blood vessels that are located there. 

Topicals are lotions and balms that are meant to be applied directly on the area of discomfort for localized relief. Tinctures, like topicals, can not only be used this same way, but they also can also be used to make your own topicals as well as used to make medical marijuana topical products stronger. It is important to note that tinctures will not work transdermally (like the Dr. Solomon’s THC Transdermal Lotion) and will not cause psychoactivity. They work like THC pain cream; targeted and localized relief without psychoactive effects.

How to Use  

Using tinctures topically is as simple as putting the solution from the dropper directly on to the skin and rubbing it in (that is literally what you do). You’ll want to make sure you’re putting it on your area of discomfort for relief as it will not work transdermally.

Alternatively, you can mix your tincture in with a little bit of lotion as you apply it. By mixing tinctures with a standard lotion, you can actually make your pain cream! Kristen, our Keystone Shops Education Manager, mixes her tinctures in with raw coconut oil. She melts it down the coconut oil, adds in the desired amount of tincture, adds some essential oils (they smell nice!), and then whips them all together to make her own pain-relieving topical. She says that it is important to note though, that in turning a tincture into a topical, it cannot be dosed precisely as when it is used sublingually. Also, as with trying any new medical marijuana product, turning tinctures into topicals may require some trial and error before finding the exact right ratio. Adding too much tincture may make your topical too liquidy, but not adding enough tincture may not make the pain relief as effective. Kristen also recommends when using tinctures as topicals to use MCT/olive oil based tinctures as opposed to alcohol-based ones, as alcohol can dry the skin out.

Another benefit of using tinctures topically is that they can be mixed with THC pain creams and make them stronger! Keystone Shops Community Outreach & Marketing Coordinator, Fawn, likes to add tinctures to the Cresco THC Extra Strength pain cream to give it a little extra oomph. Since using tinctures topically, Fawn said: “I now look at tinctures in a whole new light!” By having both sublingual and topical use, tinctures can be a much more versatile and effective product than one might have expected! As with all other medical marijuana products, the best amount of tincture to use and what to use it with will vary from patient to patient, as everyone has their own unique endocannabinoid system. Sounds interesting to you though? Try it out for yourself and see what you think!

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