Tinctures vs. Edibles: Which Is Best For You?

tinctures vs. edibles

Tinctures vs. Edibles

What is the difference between edibles and tinctures? You may have heard of both of these items, but how do you know which one works best for you?

To make matters more complicated, cannabis affects everyone’s body differently. So what works for one person may not work for the next.

Each product is unique and has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on how you consume it or what your medical condition is.

This article should give you some clarity and point you in the right direction…

Tinctures vs. Edibles, what will it be?

tinctures vs. edibles: which is best for you?

Tinctures vs. Edibles? What’s The Difference?

If you want to get technical, tinctures are basically edibles. Edibles are cannabis-infused drinks, food, and other ingestible items that provide long-lasting, powerful relief.

Cookies, brownies, chocolates, pretzels, drinks, and other sweet treats, are all common edibles. 

Cannabis tinctures, on the other hand, can be added to food and drink as well as taken sublingually.

The most common intake method for tinctures is sublingual. When you add a tincture to food or drink, it becomes an edible in the sense that it is then processed by your digestive system.

When you take a tincture sublingually (under the tongue) it enters the bloodstream much quicker via glands under the tongue. The effects are felt faster than an edible because of the mode of delivery.

When you take an edible, because it must pass through the digestive system, takes about an hour or more to feel the effects.

With sublingual tinctures, the effects are felt within 15-30 minutes of ingestion.

Cannabis sublingual tinctures are oil or alcohol extractions made with hemp or high THC cannabis. 

Edibles are made by using cannabutter or canna oil as a base ingredient.

Check out our recipe for making vegan cannabutter!

You can find both tinctures and edibles in psychoactive forms or purely medicinal. The latter being made with CBD and the former being made with THC.

Now that you know what tinctures and edibles are, how do you know which one is best for you?

cannabis tincture

Tinctures vs. Edibles: Which Is Best For You? 

Oral vs. Sublingual Consumption

There are many ways to consume cannabis. The best way to consume cannabis depends on your medical or recreational needs. This list will help you make an informed choice.

Vaping and Smoking

These are two of the most common methods for consuming cannabis. They involve inhaling smoke and vapor that results from heating concentrate or flower at high temperatures.

After inhalation, the effects of cannabis can be felt in as little as 5-10 minutes. Smoking a joint, or taking a boing or bowl rip is the best way to get instant relief.

However, not everyone wants or can smoke cannabis. So, there are other options to get quick relief for those who don’t want to smoke. Taking a sublingual tincture provides faster relief than taking an edible. However, taking an edible will probably be felt more intensely. It all depends on why you are medicating to begin with.

Oral Consumption

This form of consumption refers to taking edibles, capsules, baked goods, or drinks. If you add a sublingual tincture to food, then it becomes an edible, however, it still falls under oral consumption even if it is taken sublingually. 

Technically, tinctures are consumed orally. However, when you take them sublingually they undergo a different bodily process than edibles that pass through the digestive system.

The active compounds need to travel through your body’s digestive system before they can  metabolize and release into your bloodstream. This is why edibles take longer for you to feel the effects than smoking or taking a sublingual tincture. 

The liver converts cannabis’ THC compound into a metabolite (11HydroxyTHC), which has stronger and more lasting effects than THC. The majority of CBD in CBD can be metabolized to 7-hydroxy-CBD.

The fact of the matter is that products consumed orally go through a different process depending on the delivery method.

Sublingual Consumption

To further clarify, sublingual intake, puts the therapeutic compounds directly into your bloodstream without the need to pass through the digestive tract or the liver. The tincture should be put under your tongue for 20 seconds. Once the cannabinoids are fully absorbed, you can swallow it.

As we mention earlier, the effects of the cannabis tinctures when taken under your tongue are felt much faster than the effects of edibles.

Eating an edible can take many hours before the effects kick in. After the cannabinoids are metabolized, you might feel another onset of effects. While edibles provide a longer-lasting effect (up to eight hours), tinctures last approximately six hours. 

Some people find that the longer-lasting effects make all the difference…

tinctures and edibles

Tinctures vs. Edibles: Pros and Cons


CBD tinctures, as well as edibles, are very easy to keep on hand in your purse, bag, or pocket. Unlike smoking, which requires you to have a smoking mechanism, a lighter, and flower, edibles and tinctures don’t require assembly. Simply eat some tasty snacks or add a few drops under your tongue.


As far as dosing goes, it is much easier with tinctures than with edibles. Furthermore, tinctures have pre-measured droppers which tell you exactly how many mg you are getting per mL. 

Edibles are more of a guessing game. While edibles are dosed out, it depends on the kind of edible that you have. If you have gummies, and there is 30mg in one gummy, you can take a small bite and hope that it was half or 15mg or whatever you prefer. 

Check out our guide on how to correctly dose edibles.

Additionally, dosing edibles is more difficult because they can hit you differently depending on a number of varying factors. Some of these factors include but are not limited to: weight, metabolism, age, genetics, and how much a person has eaten that day.

Furthermore, eating edibles on an empty stomach can produce unpredictable results that can cause paranoia or anxiety that lasts for hours. We do not recommend taking edibles on an empty stomach.

However, the effects of edibles last longer than taking a tincture, so if you are using cannabis for pain relief, edibles may be a better option. Alternatively, you can try taking both for extra relief if your tolerance allows.

Always be mindful of how much you are taking and be careful not to take too much. If you do happen to take too much, check out this guide for how to sober up from getting too high.


When it comes to potency, it all depends on the formulation. That goes for both tinctures and edibles. They make edibles with 600mg THC and tinctures with up to 2,000mg THC or CBD. 

If you are looking for a super high concentration that will last you a long time, opt for a tincture. That way, you can use less and get a strong effect as opposed to using a large amount of your product for the same effect.

Tinctures usually end up being more cost-effective and have a longer shelf-life than edibles.

tincture v edibles

Tinctures vs. Edibles: Safety Precautions

Edibles look like other snacks and goodies which can pose a danger if left lying around the house. They can be confused with everyday food by children and pets which can cause a myriad of problems.

Furthermore, our recommendation is to store edibles in a safe place where no one that shouldn’t have access to it can reach. Also, storing them in a childproof container is important. 


Bioavailability refers to the rate at which the active compounds are absorbed by the body. The bioavailability of edibles can range from 4 to 20% because of the metabolizing process within the digestive tract. Sublingual tinctures can have a range of 40 to 50 percent bioavailability. 

Moreover, tinctures are more cost-effective due to their inherent bioavailability in comparison to edibles. 

Tinctures vs. Edibles: Which Is Best For You?

The best cannabis product for you will depend on many factors. Your metabolism, frequency of use, medical condition, and potency are all factors to consider. Depending on your situation, you may find relief with both.

Edibles can be a fun and exciting way to enjoy your cannabis. It all comes down to personal preference. Furthermore, edibles are excellent if you are looking for long-lasting effects. 

Tinctures can easily be mixed into almost any food and drink. This means that you can make virtually any edible. In addition, tinctures have a limitless range and can be used in many different ways. Tinctures can come in natural or flavored forms so you can have them as a standalone or with your favorite meal.

The good news is that you don’t have to pick one or the other. You can supplement with both and use them synergistically together. Supplementing your edible with a tincture can extend the effects and add a nice element to your experience. Especially if you are supplementing CBD with THC or vice versa.

Medicinal Applications

Many forms of cannabis can be used to treat various medical conditions. These include whole flower, concentrates, tinctures, edibles, and more.

For severe pain and debilitating conditions, edibles are a good option because the effects last longer. While they may not kick in as quickly, you can supplement with smokeable flower or a nano tincture for more immediate results. 

Taking a high and full spectrum edible with lots of cannabinoids is your best bet for intense pain. You need the full synergy that occurs when all the cannabinoids and terpenes are kept together. This is the most medicinal and therapeutic way to ingest cannabis. This effect is known as the Entourage Effect.

Edibles and tinctures are used in medical applications for patients struggling with pain, appetite, loss, seizures, chemo, and many other ailments. Edibles and tinctures can help patients with sleep problems to chemotherapy. It just depends on what works best for the individual whether they use a tincture, edible, or both.

cannabis tincture vs edibles

Tinctures vs. Edibles: Learn More At Sativa University

Want to learn more about the differences and similarities in tinctures, edibles, or other infused products? 

Our blog/resource center has tips and tricks on making your own cannabis tinctures, edible dosage, how to use edibles and cannabis tinctures, as well as how to avoid side effects. Our tips and tricks will ensure that you have a safe, pleasant, and enjoyable experience using cannabis products.

Sativa University’s online college offers a comprehensive cannabis education. You will learn how to grow and use cannabis as well as how you can get a rewarding job in this industry.

Also check out our Online Dispensary for organic and top-quality tinctures and edibles!

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