How to Use a Tincture

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Hello again.  It’s Dr. Chou with another article and video about medical marijuana.

Today, we’re going to give you some information about taking a tincture.

Since a tincture is the form of medical marijuana most patients will use, it’s important to know the following tips to get the most out of your product.


1.  Check the label

First off, check the label and double check that the bottle you’re using is the right one.

Because medical marijuana treatment is very individualized, you could easily use 2-4 different types of tinctures for your treatment.

Some may be for daytime use, while others are for night time use.  You might also be combining tinctures into different ratios to get a specific effect.

So get in the habit of checking that every dose is the right amount from the right bottle at the right time.


2.  Shake the bottle

The active metabolites can precipitate to the bottom of the bottle, especially if the bottle has been sitting for a long time.

I tell my patients to shake up the bottle before each dose to make sure you get a consistent dose every single time.


3.  Use a calibrated dropper

Some tinctures come with uncalibrated droppers.  It’s almost impossible to get a consistent dose using an uncalibrated dropper.

I recommend that most patients get a 5cc calibrated syringe.  Most dispensaries will have them so ask for one when you pickup your product.

Using a calibrated dropper allows you to get the same amount of medication each and every time.

If your doctor has provided dosing in drops instead of cc, you can easily convert the number of drops to cc by dividing by 20 (there are 20 drops in a cc).


4.  No more than 20 drops (or 1cc) at a time

Tinctures are to be placed between the tongue and mouth.  It’s called the sublingual space.

This method of administration allows a large percentage of the medicine to be absorbed directly into your blood stream, allowing for a maximum effect with minimal side effects.

However, the sublingual space only holds about 20 drops (or 1cc).  Any more than that and the tincture will likely be swallowed.

Swallowing a small amount of tincture is unlikely to significantly affect the performance of the product.  In fact, I will often recommend a patient swallow a tincture if they can’t hold it in the sublingual space (like a young child, for example).

However, swallowing a large amount of tincture, such as a teaspoon (5cc) or more, will likely produce more of an oral effect rather than a sublingual effect.


5.  Hold for one minute

Finally, hold the tincture for one minute before swallowing.  This allows as much of the active ingredients to be absorbed by your body as possible.

Again, not being able to hold the tincture for a minute is not a huge catastrophe.  As I said earlier, swallowing a small volume of tincture is probably ok.



Thanks for reading today’s article and watching our video.  We hope you learned some tips for taking your next tincture.


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Doctor Victor Chou, M.D.

Medical Marijuana Clinic of Louisiana