remember the first time someone gave me cannabis tincture. "Put this under your tongue" they said, dosing a couple droppers full of "Green Dragon" in my mouth. I had to resist spitting it out, as it reeked of Everclear and trim, and to quote Ralph Wiggum from "The Simpsons," "It tastes like burning!" In the years that have passed, I've come to accept that a burning feeling and horrendous taste in my mouth are part of the tincture experience, much like, say, my life.
So I was skeptical but polite when I recently sat down with Dave Wolfe, lead chemist and co-owner/founder with his wife, Frea, of Cascadia Herbals. He handed me a small bottle and suggested I place a few drops under my tongue for 30 seconds. I smiled wanly, which must be a look Dave is used to seeing as a response to his request. "It won't burn and it tastes good, really" he assured me in the manner you would a small child reluctant to take cough syrup.
I squirted a few drops under my tongue, and a few more on top, and waited for the inevitable burning.
It did not happen.
- Don't be like Ralph. Or maybe be like Ralph. Wait, what's happening?
Them came a rush of flavor, which tasted of Purple Hindu Kush, as if I were vaporizing a bowl on a low temperature. It was like doing a Rosin dab, with terpenes bursting out all over the place. It was all I could do to not guzzle the entire bottle, which as it contains 200 mg of THC, would perhaps not have been the best idea. (Or would it? No. It would not.)
Cascadia Herbals was Oregon's first licensed cannabis tincture producer, and hands down is making the tastiest tinctures I've yet to try in Oregon. Dave tells me it's because of how they process and refine.
"We start with clean cannabis, and use ultra cooled organic cane alcohol to craft our Mother tincture. We utilize our house developed terpene retention system to ensure we preserve the amazing flavors our cultivation partners have worked so hard to grow," he told me. "We complete the formula with organic glycerin and organic lecithin to achieve a consistent strength, mouthfeel and flavor. Our ultra cooled process allows us to grab a full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes, and leave behind plant wax and chlorophyll," he continued. "We don't add any flavors or terpenes."
Dosing is easy, 20 drops equals a serving size of 5 mg THC, and each 20 ml bottle provides 40 servings. They come in strain specific flavors in four categories - Indica, Sativa, Hybrid and CBD, the latter providing a 1:1 ratio of 5 mg THC and CBD each. The lineup of strains changes frequently, but includes Durban Poison, Amnesia Haze, Nurse Jackie, GG #4, Purple Trainwreck, and others.
"Our tinctures can be held under the tongue for 90 seconds for a quick onset Delta 9 effect similar to smoking or vaping. The tinctures can also be added to your favorite beverage or food and processed by your liver giving you a slower onset and a longer lasting 11 hydroxy THC effect."
The who-now-what effect?
"I often talk about being able to control your experience via the sublingual Delta 9 effect versus through the gut and liver 11 hydroxy effect, and the ability to control your dosage from micro to macro" he explained. While I'm all about the Macro cannabis experience, many others are not, so being able to dial in your dose and effect is extremely valuable for patients and partakers.
The bottles are very small, and can easily fit into the coin pocket of your jeans. I carried mine around for a day and used it in place of my vape pen, and added it to my cold brew coffee, a bottle of water, and put some under my tongue. Sure enough, the effects varied if swallowed or used sublingually. I tried three different bottles, and found each one to truly represent the flavors of the strain from which it was made, along with varied effects based on the strain used.
And no one looked at me and yelled "What's THAT guy doing?", so discretion is an added bonus.