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Here’s Why You Should Be Putting Cannabis Oil Under Your Tongue

here's why you should be putting cannabis oil under your tongue

Medical marijuana is sweeping the country as an alternative health option, and most states now have a legalized medical cannabis program. The growing public interest can be attributed to both its medicinal and therapeutic uses, but the wide range in the method of applications often goes overlooked.

Most people recognize the smoked, vaped, and edible forms of marijuana, but fewer seem to know of the “sublingual” application method. In this post, we will take a look at this form of medical marijuana and what separates it from the others.

For many patients with respiratory problems, smokable routes are not an option. But there is another method to administer medicinal cannabis that requires no device or incineration. Cannabinoids can be absorbed sublingually with tinctures, with fast-acting benefits equivalent to (or greater than) inhalable options.

If you have been thinking about taking CBD sublingually or medical cannabis through this oral method, you should know a few things before you get started.

What Does Sublingual Uptake Mean?

Sublingual application means “under the tongue.” Many drugs can be applied sublingually, including steroids, analgesics, and vitamins. Sublingual drugs can also come in several forms, for example, strips (think breath strips), tablets (Tylenol produces sublingual tablets), and drops (such as marijuana tinctures).

While less common than pills and other forms of drugs, sublingual application provides several distinct advantages compared to other forms. Due to the high vascularity of the lips, cheeks, and gums, sublingual medications can enter the bloodstream rapidly and in high concentrations. This speed is especially useful for those who need the medication quickly in emergency situations.

When you lift your tongue, you will notice that you have many visible veins underneath. That is because veins are very close to the surface under the tongue. When you take any kind of supplement or drug sublingually, it is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, where it can provide fast-acting benefits.

cannabis oil dropper

Sublingual Method and Bioavailability

One study particularly sums this up well, comparing furosemide administered orally to furosemide administered sublingually. The study found that sublingual furosemide produced higher bioavailability, a stronger response to the drug, and a higher concentration in the body.

Sublingual medications also offer an ease of use not easily found in other forms. People with certain conditions may find pills or liquids difficult to swallow, keeping them from taking their medications on time.

Sublingual drugs also avoid first-pass metabolism. Also known as the “first-pass effect,” first-pass metabolism is the phenomenon where the concentration of the drug is cut down before reaching the bloodstream. This happens to many drugs taken orally, including morphine, nitroglycerine, and marijuana.

After being digested, the active ingredient of many drugs is metabolized (or changed) by the liver. These changes lower the amount of active drug in the system. This effect can also be affected by certain liver diseases, such as cirrhosis.

The Best Way to Take Cannabis Oil Under the Tongue

There are two different types of cannabis oil tinctures you can take. If you are using cannabidiol (CBD oil) with a 0.30% THC level or less, there are no psychoactive ingredients. It has many compounds similar to marijuana-derived medications but without cognitive or physical impairments.

If you plan to take a CBD or cannabis tincture, there are three steps involved:

1. Determine the correct dose and draw the oil upward into the dropper (dispenser). If you are taking a cannabidiol (CBD) tincture, there will be a recommended dose on the bottle and a maximum daily intake amount indicated. For medical cannabis tinctures, consult with your doctor. There are various factors that influence the amount of medical marijuana a patient may take daily. Discuss recommended doses with your physician.

2. Dispense the cannabis oil under the tongue. And hold it in that position (pooling the oil under the tongue) for a minute before swallowing. This enhances the absorption of cannabinoids through the veins and directly into the blood vessels.

3. Clean the dropper or dispenser with soap and water. This is important to avoid bacterial infection of your CBD or cannabis tincture. Then replace the dropper and fasten the lid tightly to avoid spilling or contamination of your cannabis oil.

Taking CBD oil or cannabis oil is one of the easiest and most convenient methods of consuming cannabinoids. Remember, depending on your body weight; you may need to adjust your dosage.

tongue out 2

Should You Take Cannabis Oil on an Empty Stomach?

There is a misconception about taking CBD oil or cannabis oil on an empty stomach. Some people believe that if you take it before you have consumed a meal, it will provide the best results. And the absorption of the cannabis oil will be faster and more effective.

That is false because most CBD tinctures and cannabis oils are not absorbed through the digestive system. Rather, they are absorbed directly into the bloodstream and into cells that transport the cannabinoids throughout the body.

Both THC and CBD are lipophilic. That means the cannabinoid molecules resist attaching themselves to fat within cells and tissues. For this reason, the sublingual method quickly passes the blood-brain barrier (BBB). It does not require digestion to start working. And only a small amount of cannabinoids in oil are absorbed through the digestive tract when taken orally.

Why Choose Cannabis Tinctures Instead of Other Intake Methods?

Sublingual application of medical marijuana may be less prevalent but is still an essential form to consider. As previously stated, sublingual marijuana is an effective way to get the benefits without smoking or ingesting it. This provides advantages not only for those who are unable to take other forms but for the average person as well.

With so many other routes of medical cannabis available, why do many people choose to use a cannabis oil tincture? There are many good reasons.


No Cannabis Odor or Second Hand Vapors

One famous side-effect of smoking marijuana is the smell. Like cigarettes, smoking marijuana can lead to an unpleasant or irritating smell for both the smoker and the people surrounding the smoker.

A cannabis tincture also does not produce vapors. That means it is safe to take around children and family or friends with allergies or respiratory conditions. There is no need to be concerned about the effects of second-hand marijuana smoke or vapor because there is none.

Less Harmful Side-Effects Compared to Smoking

Sublingual marijuana also lacks some of the dangerous side effects smoking can cause. Several studies have shown smoking marijuana can lead to chronic cough, phlegm production, and wheezing.

Smokers of marijuana are also more likely to be exposed to tar and other toxins due to different smoking methods. More information on the effects of smoking marijuana can be found at the American Lung Association website.

Easy to Use With No Device Required

Sublingual marijuana is also very convenient. There is no smell associated with it, and the concentrations of important cannabinoids can be very high, meaning only a small amount is necessary to get the desired effects. Many people can fit a large number of doses in their purses or pockets, making it portable everywhere you go.

Unlike smokable types of cannabis, there is no need to recharge a device, such as a vaporizer. There is also no need for glassware, a pipe, a grinder, cones, or rolling papers. For this reason, using medicinal tinctures can be much more affordable. And easier to travel with.

Flavored or Unflavored Tinctures Available

If you plan on taking your tincture directly without mixing it with another substance, you may want to explore flavored varieties. Plain cannabis oil can taste unsavory, not bad, just medicinal, and that might make you enjoy taking it a little less.

You may find both types of tinctures available in the following flavors:

  • Mint or menthol.
  • Berry (blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry are common).
  • Fruits (melon, lemon, banana, peach, pear, kiwi, grape, blood orange, mango, and more).
  • Confectionary (chocolate, toffee, cookie batter, caramel, vanilla, etc.).
  • Beverages (pina colada, mojito, margarita, and more).
  • Herbal (turmeric, honey, passionflower, ginger, etc.).

Some people prefer unflavored tinctures because they plan to consume their CBD oil or cannabis tinctures with something else. You can add a flavorless tincture to coffee, tea, or your daily smoothie.

You may also choose to use your tincture to make cannabis-infused foods and snacks at home, such as salad dressing, butter, and baked goods. Sometimes taking CBD oil or THC orally can get a little boring. Many tasty ways exist to change that up and enjoy potential wellness benefits by supplementing cannabinoids orally.

A tincture is the best place to start if you plan on making cannabis-infused foods at home. You can bypass all the steps required to decarboxylate cannabis flower, for example. And save time and effort while creating delicious ways to take your CBD oil or medical marijuana tincture as needed.

tongue out

Other Benefits of Sublingual Uptake of Cannabis Oil

In the case of edibles, taking CBD oil orally (or THC) also offers some additional benefits. We already talked about first-pass metabolism and how sublingual medicines bypass it. Edibles, on the other hand, do not perform the same way.

Because of this, some CBD, THC, and other chemicals will be metabolized and changed before circulating, producing different effects compared to their unchanged counterparts. That means fewer “surprises” with regard to the effect of cannabinoids on your body.

One such metabolite is 11-hydroxy-THC. You can likely guess this is a form of ▵9-THC (the most well-known form of THC), and you would be correct. After being processed by the liver, ▵9-THC is converted into 11-hydroxy-THC, which has been found to be much more potent than ▵9-THC and can cross into the brain much faster.

This results in a stronger high due to greater activation of cannabinoid receptors. That isn’t necessarily a good thing. It can result in a higher degree of impairment. Which, for many patients, is not the primary goal.

Another significant benefit of a sublingual application is the method of production for some marijuana tinctures. Tinctures are small bottles of marijuana extract designed to be dropped under the tongue.

Many tinctures are made by soaking the marijuana plant in different concentrations of alcohol, causing the cannabinoids and other chemicals to diffuse from the plant into the solvent.

By keeping all these chemicals and cannabinoids from the original plant, as compared to pure THC or CBD extracts, the entourage effect may be achieved. The entourage effect is essentially how many of the chemicals interact to produce new or stronger effects [5].

Are Cannabis Oil Tinctures Right for You?

Medical marijuana comes in many different forms, some more widely known than others. The sublingual route of administration offers several benefits, including ease of use, ease of concealment, and rapid onset. These can help both people who are unable to take other forms of marijuana due to injury or other conditions and those who could otherwise use different formats.

However, when considering medical marijuana, weigh the pros and crucial cons. Medical marijuana may cause potentially harmful side effects, including dizziness, fatigue, paranoia, and dissociation.

These side effects may also increase the risk of injury in a group of people already at an increased risk. It is also important to note that these side effects can significantly change depending on the delivery method and dosage.

Consult with a physician before you begin using a new route, including a cannabis oil tincture. Remember, while most people will tolerate cannabis and CBD oil, they contain active substances that can conflict with prescription medications. And in some cases, exacerbate mental health conditions and more.

Let our friendly physicians at DocMJ help you develop a safe treatment plan that enables you to reach your unique wellness goals. Hundreds of thousands of patients have been served by DocMJ and rely on our expert practitioners to provide safety tips and advice about using medical marijuana.



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