Although humans have embraced the therapeutic benefits of cannabis for thousands of years, it’s only over this past decade that we’ve really gotten creative with consumption methods. Like THC pop rocks and CBD suppositories creative. But, despite this innovation, two of plant medicine’s original forms of consumption still earn the most credit and attention: smoking flower and ingesting tinctures.
But even after all these years (millennia, really) of both methods being used by humans, smoking still reigns supreme. And for, we think, the most valid reason there is—smoking imparts effects almost immediately. A tincture simply can’t deliver results that quickly.
Read on to explore smoking vs. tinctures and why you may want to consider inhaling your cannabis for better results.
To compare smoking vs. tinctures, it’s important to understand how cannabis works within the body.
Cannabis contains active chemical compounds known as phytocannabinoids or cannabinoids. You’re probably familiar with a few, like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and cannabigerol (CBG).
Your body also produces cannabinoids known as endocannabinoids. Both your endocannabinoids and the plant’s phytocannabinoids act on a system in your body called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
Your ECS is responsible for keeping everything inside your body in balance, including pain, mood, digestion...everything. It has receptors that cannabinoids (both kinds) either attach to or block, and that action is one of the main ways we feel the different effects of cannabis, like the [mood-boosting properties of CBG]. But cannabinoids can only get to our ECS if they’re in our bloodstream.
Don’t get us wrong, tinctures are effective. But when comparing smoking vs. tinctures, they’re not as effective because a majority of the cannabinoids within tinctures take the long route to get to the bloodstream.
Tinctures are generally applied under the tongue. The tongue has a lining that can absorb cannabinoids and send them to the bloodstream, but the effectiveness of that action depends on how long you hold the tincture under your tongue. The goal is to keep your dosage there as long as possible, but it’s more likely that most of the tincture, and therefore the cannabinoids, will be swallowed.
Swallowing sends the compounds through your digestive system, which adds a couple of stops before effects can be felt. First, cannabinoid absorption happens in the digestive tract. Then, the compounds enter the bloodstream and head to the liver. Once there, they’re metabolized before they’re released back into the bloodstream and finally sent to the brain where they work with the ECS. This long journey and metabolization not only means you have to wait longer before effects are felt, but also that you’ll only absorb about 10-20% of the cannabinoids in your dose.
Smoking takes a much more direct approach to the bloodstream.
Our lungs have tiny air sacs, called alveoli, that have direct access to the bloodstream. These little sacs are where gas exchange occurs, and they’re exactly where cannabinoids go when they’re inhaled.
Because cannabinoids have a direct route to your bloodstream through the alveoli in your lungs, smoking imparts effects almost immediately. No digestion, no metabolization, no roadblocks.
Plus, since smokables are more direct, you’ll absorb up to 56% of the cannabinoids in your dose.
Now that you know the differences between smoking vs. tinctures when it comes to absorption and effects, there’s one more crucial detail to consider when shopping for a product—safety.
If you’re still considering a tincture, make sure you read the ingredients carefully. Different tinctures use different carrier oils, like sunflower, hemp, or olive oil, so they have the potential to trigger an allergy. You’ll also want the product to come with third-party lab results so you can confirm the tincture actually contains the amount of cannabinoids you’re paying for.
For smokable products, you’ll want a third-party lab test to make sure your flower is clean from harmful chemicals. And you want to make sure you’re buying the right kind of flower because there are some potent ones out there. If you’re looking for the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without intoxication, your best bet is going to be [CBG flower], CBD’s more potent mother.
One of the cleanest CBG smokables on the market, Qiwi’s CBG cigarettes are made with 100% premium hemp flower that’s organic, pesticide-free, and additive-free. They contain no tobacco or nicotine, and every batch comes with third-party lab results so you know you’re always getting a clean product.
Trust us when we say, if this blog didn’t convince you of the winner between smoking vs. tinctures, Qiwi CBG cigarettes will. And with 111mg of CBG per stick, they’re some of the most potent smokables (and cannabis products in general) you’ll find.
We told you there’s a good reason smoking reigns supreme.