If you're new to the market, navigating the slew of Delta-8-THC dosing styles can be a little confusing. Some products are pretty straightforward, like Delta-8 vape carts, but understanding the usage and impact of other dosing styles isn't quite so easy.
Take tinctures, for instance, which are often placed in a category separate from edibles, even though they are still meant to be taken orally and they often come boasting bright flavors. What gives? Are Delta-8 tinctures and edibles the same?
The answer could be yes and no—they have similarities and differences, but it really depends on which edibles you're comparing to. Tinctures are almost always straightforward. Edibles, well, not so much. Of course, both have their advantages, so we'll break it down below:Table of Contents
At their core, tinctures and edibles are pretty similar, but tinctures have one very distinct difference—they always come in liquid form. The liquid formula of a Delta-8-THC tincture has some advantages, like offering the ability to measure doses in precise increments.
Edibles are generally pre-portioned, which can make it a little more difficult to increase or decrease the dose in small increments. There’s also a greater variety of options when shopping for traditional edibles, whereas most tinctures are similar to one another with only a few distinctions.
Technically, yes, tinctures are an edible product since they are taken by mouth and swallowed. But tinctures are designed to be taken sublingually, which means the oil is dropped under the tongue.
The sublingual dosing method sets tinctures apart from traditional edibles because it allows Delta-8 to be rapidly absorbed by the mucous membranes in the mouth, which leads to fast acting effects.
Delta-8 edibles, on the other hand, can take an hour or more to take effect because they need to pass through the digestive tract to be metabolized before any THC reaches the bloodstream.
Tinctures can technically be added to food or beverages to be swallowed, which bypasses the sublingual absorption and makes the tincture work more similarly to traditional edibles.
Comparing tinctures to edibles is not quite this clear-cut, though, because a new type of edible is emerging from the corners of the hemp market, and it’s much more similar to tinctures than traditional edible products.
Some edibles, like gummies or baked goods, are traditionally designed to be chewed, swallowed, and processed by digestion. That means you may have to wait for over an hour to feel the effects, and some evidence even suggests that the effects of this dosing style are slightly stronger and longer lasting.
A new type of edible, the “sublingual-style” edible, really takes the edible industry a step further. Sublingual style Delta-8 edibles include hard candies, chews, or any other dosing style designed to melt in the mouth. This allows Delta 8 to be absorbed in the mouth similarly to when you take a tincture.
That means that sublingual style edibles are much more similar to tinctures than other edible products. Of course, the incremental dosing is still something unique to Delta-8 tinctures.
Some evidence suggests that sublingual absorption also increases the absorption of Delta-8 by the body because it bypasess the filtering process called the “first pass effect.” In this process, some of the Delta-8 content of an edible product is filtered out before it reaches the bloodstream, resulting in reduced potency.
For this reason, Delta-8-THC tinctures are thought to have a higher bioavailability, which many people believe produces stronger effects.
There are arguments that suggest that edibles are actually stronger, however, because Delta-8-THC is converted to 11-hydroxy-THC in the gut. This potent THC-metabolite is thought to have stronger effects overall, which is why some people discover a notable difference between edible doses and other dosing methods.
Also, traditional edibles may hit harder when taken on an empty stomach. Still, it’s not advisable to do so because it negates one of the primary benefits of traditional edibles—smooth and long-lasting effects.
In reality, neither product is stronger than the other. They’re just different dosing methods that produce slightly different effects, and the strength of those effects depends more on the amount you take, your metabolism, body weight, and other biological factors.
If you’re still having trouble deciding whether tinctures or edibles are right for you, use this quick breakdown to help you choose:
Tinctures are liquid products that can be taken sublingually for fast acting effects, but they can also be added to food and beverages to enjoy effects that are more slow rolling like traditional edibles. They can also be measured in small, precise doses, which is convenient for users who need to increase or decrease their dosage in small increments.
Traditional edibles, like Delta-8 gummies, are proportioned doses that are chewed and swallowed. They may take over an hour to take effect, but the effects are known to be more consistent and longer lasting than sublingual doses.
Sublingual-style edibles are a hybrid of the two dosing methods that are pre-portioned and simple to use, but that are absorbed sublingually for fast acting, potent effects.
All dosing styles will help you reap the health benefits of Delta-8, but the consumption method does directly impact the onset, duration, and intensity of effects.
Because Delta-8-THC is federally legal and legal in most states, there are plenty of opportunities to buy it in stores and online. Buying Delta-8 online is the best way to access a variety of different products, including new sublingual-style edibles, like our Elev8 Hard Candies and our Elev8 Delta-8 Chews.
Still not sure? Read our Delta-8-THC Edible Buyer’s Guide to learn more.
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