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Tincture or Edible: Which Option is Best for Chronic Pain?

For many years, cannabis products have been used for medicinal purposes, including the management of chronic pain. Today, there's a myriad of consumption methods available, ranging from inhalation to topicals. Two popular ways of ingesting cannabis, however, are through edibles and tinctures. But how do you know which option is the best bet for chronic pain? This article is designed to assist you in making that decision.

Breaking Down Cannabis Edibles and Tinctures

Assortment of colorful cannabis edibles and tincture bottle

Cannabis edibles are food products infused with cannabinoids extracted from the cannabis plant. The types of edibles available are broad, including hard candies, baked goods, and more. Consuming edibles is an easy way and a discreet way to ingest cannabis, with effects typically longer-lasting than other consumption methods.

Cannabis tinctures, on the other hand, are a liquid form of cannabis extracts. They're made by steeping the plant material, typically cannabis flower, in a high-proof alcohol or a food-grade alcohol to draw out the cannabinoids. The end result is an alcohol tincture or cannabis oil such as MCT oil or coconut oil.

Tinctures can be taken sublingually (under the tongue), allowing them to enter the bloodstream via the oral mucosa for faster relief. They're often preferred for their precise dosing, faster onset time, and shorter duration of effects compared to edibles.

Key Differences: Edibles Vs. Tinctures

When considering tinctures or edibles for chronic pain, the main differences to keep in mind are the onset time, the duration of the effects, and how the body processes each.

Cannabis edibles have to pass through the body’s digestive system, which can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours before the effects of cannabis are felt. This digestive tract process also contributes to edibles having a longer duration of effects, often lasting several hours. One downside could be the possibility of an upset stomach or dry mouth, especially when consumed on an empty stomach.

Tinctures, in contrast, when taken sublingually, can begin working within 15 to 45 minutes. The effects, however, may not last as long as those from edibles, typically tapering off after about 4 to 5 hours.

The variety of ways you can consume tinctures (e.g., in drinks, food, or straight from the tincture bottle) also makes them a versatile choice. Their longer shelf life compared to edibles, and the absence of additional sugars and fats found in many edible products, might be another reason why some people prefer tinctures.

Choosing the Best Option for Chronic Pain

Woman in pain choosing between cannabis edible or tincture

The best option between edibles and tinctures for chronic pain can depend on a variety of factors such as your body size, tolerance to cannabis, personal preferences, and your specific medical condition.

For instance, if you're looking for consistent doses and a longer-lasting effect to manage pain throughout the day, edibles may be a great alternative. However, it's important to start with lower doses and gradually increase until you find the ideal dose. The "start low, go slow" rule of thumb is always a good idea when trying a new type of edible product.

On the flip side, if you're after faster relief and the flexibility to adjust doses easily, a cannabis tincture might be your best way. With a tincture, you can start with a few drops, and based on your experience, you can increase the dosage in small increments, something that's not as easily done with edibles.

Additionally, if you have dietary restrictions or want to avoid the extra calories of edibles, tinctures could be the best bet. They're also an excellent choice for those who have difficulty swallowing or don't like the taste of most marijuana edibles.

Where to Get Your Edibles or Tinctures

The world of cannabis products can be overwhelming, but fortunately, you're not alone in navigating it. At ARCannabisClinic, we have a knowledgeable staff ready to guide you through the selection process. Whether you’re new to cannabis or a recreational user, we ensure you have the necessary information and support to make a choice that fits your individual needs.

At ARCannabisClinic, we believe that knowledge is power. Our commitment to education and patient empowerment sets us apart. As a leading network of doctors specializing in medical marijuana, we ensure that you get the best possible care and products to manage your chronic pain.


In the end, the choice between tinctures and edibles for managing chronic pain comes down to personal preference and the specific pain relief needs. Both offer therapeutic benefits and potential relief for chronic pain sufferers, albeit in different ways. Always remember to start slow, listen to your body, and seek professional medical advice to ensure you are using cannabis products safely and effectively.


doctor talking to a patient about medical marijuana as an option for treatment


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