Why Most Tinctures Don’t Work

I’ve tried tinctures and they don’t work. There are two reasons why most tinctures don’t work:

1) The first reason is the potency of the tincture. Shocking, but true, most of the tinctures in dispensaries do not contain sufficient medicine (THC and or CBD) to generate the experience that patient’s desire. All but two of the tinctures we surveyed in the fall of 2010 failed to provided enough medicine for the desired experience at a reasonable price. I am confident that this is not an intentional attempt to mislead or rip anyone off. The reason is simple; it was not possible to know what the THC content was in tinctures that contain organic compounds (oil/ glycerin/ butter etc.) until laboratories such as Steep Hill in Oakland starting testing for potency using Liquid Chromatography.

2) The second reason is your “bioavailability”. This is your capacity to absorb the medicine. Your capacity to absorb the medicine is primarily dependent upon the contents in your stomach. Have you ever eaten a Cannabis “brownie” by mistake on an empty stomach and found yourself an hour later pondering the existence of the universe? Or have you ever eaten a brownie intentionally to “get high” on a full stomach and didn’t “feel anything”. The differences in these experiences are a function of the contents of your stomach and your expectations.

Your expectations are determined by more subtle factors than the contents of your stomach. Timothy Leary advised us 40 years ago, that the nature of the “experience” depends primarily on “set” and “setting”:

Set denotes the preparation of the individual, including personality structure and mood at the time.

Setting is physical – the weather, the room’s atmosphere; social – feelings of persons present towards one another; and cultural – prevailing views as to what is real.

Below is a chart summarizes the results of our survey of tincture potency. All of the testing was done by Halent Steep Hill Labratories, Oakland, California. In some cases they were so surprised by the results and repeated the tests multiple times. 

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