Cannabis Tinctures vs. Edibles: The Key Differences Explained

Eloise Theisen

Do you know your cannabis products? Today, we’ll talk about two popular options: cannabis tinctures and edibles.

Understanding the difference between these two is vital. Why, you ask? Because the choice you make can affect your overall experience. This is not just about taste; it’s also about how quickly the effects kick in, how long they last, and more.

So, let’s dive in and discover the key differences between cannabis tinctures and edibles. By the end of this blog, you’ll be more informed about choosing the best option for you.

What are Cannabis Edibles?

When we say cannabis edibles, we’re talking about foods or drinks that have cannabis in them. The cannabis can either be infused during the cooking process or sprinkled on top later. These are a favorite for many because they’re easy to consume. You eat or drink them just like you would with regular food or drinks.

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Edibles come in all shapes and sizes, and there’s something for everyone’s taste buds. The most common types include:

1. Baked Goods: These are things like cookies, brownies, and cakes. They’re usually the first thing that comes to mind when people think of edibles.

2. Candies: Gummies, lollipops, and hard candies are just a few examples. These sweet treats are popular because they’re easy to carry around and consume discreetly.

3. Drinks: There’s a wide variety here too. You’ve got cannabis-infused tea, coffee, sodas, and even alcoholic drinks.

4. Savory Snacks: Not everyone has a sweet tooth. That’s why there are also options like cannabis-infused chips, popcorn, and even pizza!

Remember, with edibles; the effects don’t kick in immediately. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to feel the effects. So, it’s important to start slow and wait a while before having more. This way, you can enjoy your edible and stay safe.

Cannabis edibles offer a variety of choices, so you can enjoy the benefits of cannabis in a way that suits your lifestyle and taste preferences.

What are Cannabis Tinctures?

Cannabis tinctures are a liquid form of cannabis. They are made by soaking cannabis in alcohol to pull out the active compounds like THC (that’s the part that makes you feel high) and CBD (that’s the part often used for health reasons).

Cannabis tinctures are usually kept in small glass bottles that come with a dropper. This makes it easy to control how much you use, which can be great for people who need specific doses.

How are Cannabis Tinctures Used?

Cannabis tinctures are pretty versatile, and there’s more than one way to use them.

1. Under the Tongue: The most common way is to put a few drops under your tongue, wait about 30 seconds, then swallow. This is known as taking it ‘sublingually.’ Your body absorbs the cannabis fast this way, so you can feel the effects quicker – usually within 15 to 45 minutes.

2. Add to Food or Drinks: If you’re not a fan of the taste, you can mix cannabis tinctures into your food or drink. This could be anything from your morning coffee to your evening salad.

Remember, though, when you ingest it this way, it will take longer for your body to absorb it – just like with edibles.

Cannabis tinctures are a quick, easy, and precise way to enjoy cannabis. Whether you’re using it for medical or recreational purposes, Cannabis tinctures offer a lot of control over your cannabis experience.

Comparison of Edibles and Cannabis Tinctures 

Now let’s break down the differences between cannabis tinctures and edibles.

Onset of Effects

Firstly, the time it takes for you to feel the effects can be quite different between cannabis tinctures and edibles.

With edibles, cannabis needs to be digested and metabolized by your body before you feel anything. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, maybe even longer, depending on various factors like what you’ve eaten that day or your body’s metabolism.

On the other hand, cannabis tinctures taken sublingually (under the tongue) get absorbed into your bloodstream directly through the tissues in your mouth. This process is much quicker, and you can usually feel the effects within 15 to 45 minutes.

Duration of Effects

The effects of edibles often last longer compared to cannabis tinctures. Once they kick in, the effects can last for several hours, usually between 4 to 8 hours. Some people might even feel residual effects up to 24 hours later.

Cannabis tinctures, while they kick in faster, also tend to wear off more quickly. Generally, the effects of cannabis tinctures will last about 2 to 4 hours.


In terms of potency, both edibles and cannabis tinctures can be quite potent. However, because edibles are metabolized by your body, cannabis can sometimes produce stronger effects. That’s because the process of metabolizing cannabis in your liver produces a stronger form of THC, the main psychoactive component in cannabis.

Cannabis tinctures can also be potent, but they generally provide a more consistent experience. You might find that the effects from cannabis tinctures feel more predictable and manageable.

Ease of Dosing

Dosing can be a little trickier with edibles, especially homemade ones. It’s harder to know exactly how much cannabis you’re consuming. Plus, because the effects take longer to kick in, there’s a risk of consuming too much if you get impatient and eat more.

Cannabis tinctures are easier to dose accurately. They usually come with a dropper, and the packaging will tell you how much THC or CBD is in each drop. This makes it easier to take a specific dose and adjust it as needed.

Flavors and Preferences

Another key factor to consider is personal preference, especially when it comes to flavor.

Edibles come in many different forms, from brownies and gummies to pizza and even drinks. This means you can choose something that matches your taste. However, some people might not like the distinct taste of cannabis in their food.

Cannabis tinctures usually have a strong, herbal taste that some people find off-putting. But they can be mixed with food or drink to help mask the flavor. Plus, they’re a good option if you want to avoid added sugars or calories that can come with edibles.

Discretion and Convenience

An additional factor to consider when comparing cannabis edibles and cannabis tinctures is discretion and convenience.

Edibles, due to their food-like nature, tend to be quite discreet. They look just like normal food or candy and don’t produce any smell that could give away their cannabis content. This makes edibles convenient and easy to consume in a variety of settings.

Cannabis tinctures, on the other hand, require a bit more preparation. You’ll need to measure out the right dose with the dropper and then either place it under your tongue or add it to food or drink. However, they are also quite discreet, as they can easily be mistaken for a regular herbal supplement. Their small, compact bottles also make tinctures very portable and convenient to carry around.

Choosing the Right Option for You

The decision between cannabis tinctures and edibles depends on what you’re looking for. Here are some factors to consider:

1. Time Frame: Think about when you want the effects to kick in. If you want it to work fast, tinctures might be a better choice. But if you’re okay with waiting a bit longer for a longer-lasting effect, you might prefer edibles.

2. Potency and Dosing: If you want a more potent experience, edibles could be the way to go. But remember, it’s harder to control the dose with edibles, especially homemade ones. Tinctures make it easier to measure a specific dose.

3. Flavor Preferences: Are you a foodie who loves to try new flavors? Edibles come in a variety of options, from sweet to savory. On the other hand, tinctures have a herbal flavor which some might find strong, but they can be mixed with food or drinks to mask it.

4. Convenience and Discretion: Both edibles and tinctures are discreet and easy to carry around. Edibles look just like regular food, making them convenient for on-the-go use. Tinctures, while requiring a bit more preparation, are small and compact.

5. Dietary Restrictions: If you have dietary restrictions or are counting calories, tinctures might be the better option. They usually don’t contain sugar or any added ingredients like edibles do.

Remember, there’s no right or wrong choice. It all comes down to what suits you best. Always start with a small dose to see how your body reacts, and adjust from there. Whether you prefer tinctures or edibles, both offer unique ways to enjoy the benefits of cannabis.

Final Thoughts: 

To sum up, tinctures and edibles both offer unique ways to enjoy cannabis. Tinctures are fast-acting and easy to dose, while edibles offer a longer, more potent experience with varied flavors.

Your choice depends on your preferences and needs. Consider the onset time, effects duration, potency, taste, and convenience when making your decision. Whether you choose tinctures or edibles, remember to start small and give your body time to adjust. In the end, the best choice is the one that makes your cannabis experience enjoyable and beneficial. Stay informed and happy exploring!