Three products formulated for medicinal relief using THC.
Medicinals 101: How They Help
January 28, 2022

Missouri patients have an increasingly wide selection of medical marijuana products from which to choose. Broad categories like flower, concentrates, and edibles are a good start for figuring out which products will work best for you, but there’s so much more variety inside each category. That’s why we’re breaking it down for you one topic at a time. Medicinals are marijuana products especially suited for providing health benefits, either through their ingredients, or through their delivery method. If you find yourself with aches and pains, have a hard time falling asleep, need easy and discreet non-smoking options, keep reading!


The first type of medicinal we’re talking about are capsules and pill options. These would fit right in inside of any medicine cabinet. Patients may choose capsules for the discreet and convenient delivery method. If chewing is challenging, avoid gummies and give capsules a chance instead. Inhalation methods like smoking and vaping can be hard on the lungs, which capsules avoid entirely as an ingested option. Plus, it is often a low-sugar or sugar-free option. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to feel the onset of effects, and then effects can last anywhere from 4-12 hours.

Some capsules provide only THC, the cannabinoid that causes a “high” feeling. Like Heartland’s capsules, which come in 20mg of THC and 50mg of THC. But it’s also common to find capsules with ratios of different cannabinoids or other beneficial compounds. Like the Care by Design 1:1 Soft Gels, with an even ratio of THC and CBD. Ratios like this leverage the benefits of cannabinoids like CBD with the entourage effect that happens when you pair THC with CBD, making it more effective.

When picking a pill product, there are a few questions to answer. Are you a vegetarian? Do you follow dietary restrictions about pork? Gelatin-based capsules may not be for you, but there are other options like pressed pills and vegetable-based capsules. Talk to your budtender about your needs and preferences. They can point you in the right direction and check ingredients with you.

Capsule and pill options are great for patients looking for an easy-to-use delivery method, a range of cannabinoid content options, and discreet consumption. They’re best for long-lasting relief of symptoms. Treat starting with capsules like any ingested consumption, dose low and slow.


There are many benefits tinctures offer. Patients enjoy the discreet delivery, range of cannabinoids in various ratios, and faster onset times than capsules. Tinctures are made by combining cannabis extracts with oil or alcohol for sublingual, under the tongue, consumption. To use, patients use the dropper that comes with the tincture to place a dose under the tongue. Then the dose is held under the tongue for 1-3 minutes to be absorbed into the bloodstream through capillaries.

Because of the sublingual consumption, effects from tinctures feel similar to inhalation methods, because the THC enters the bloodstream, rather than being processed by the liver, like ingested edibles. This also results in faster onset times ranging from 15-30 minutes. This also means the effects are shorter than edibles, usually between 2-4 hours. But it doesn’t have to end there.

Tinctures can also be ingested. If swallowed, the liver will process the THC. The onset time will be 30 minutes to 2 hours, and the effects can last anywhere from 4-8 hours. If a longer effect is desirable, we recommend holding the tincture under your tongue for 1-3 minutes, then swallowing to benefit from faster onset of the sublingual method, and the longer duration of ingestion. Tinctures can also be spit out after sublingual consumption to avoid the heavier, sometimes drowsy effects of ingestion.

Tinctures are great for patients of any dose range from microdose to megadose. It’s fairly fast acting with a medium duration. Different ratios and cannabinoids, like the Amend 10:1 CBD:THC or the Vivid 1:1 THC:CBG, allow patients to focus on exactly the problems they wish to relieve, be it sleeplessness or mood. When figuring out your dosage, start with a low dose and wait for the full onset time before increasing the dose.

Topical & Transdermal Lotions

There are too many kinds of different topicals to talk about all of them here, so we’ll focus on transdermal and topical lotions. All topical and transdermal products are applied to the skin, but only transdermal products are designed to penetrate the skin layer to provide benefits to deeper tissues or enter the bloodstream.

Topical lotions like Care by Design’s 1:1 Pain Cream with a balanced ratio of THC and CBD is great for dry skin, bruises, soreness, and swelling. Whereas the Amend 1:1:1 Transdermal Lotion with an even ratio of THC, CBD and CBC uses transdermal technology to deliver similar relief for deeper tissues, making it great for muscle and joint inflammation and relief of deep bruises.

One huge benefit of topicals over transdermals is that they are not psychoactive because they do not enter the bloodstream. They offer targeted relief where applied. Transdermal lotions typically are not intoxicating in small quantities but can be if applied liberally over large areas of the body. Worth noting, there are transdermal patches which are designed to deliver active ingredients to the bloodstream efficiently and are intoxicating, so treat them like any other intoxicating product and start with a low dose.

Onset times range for 0-30 minutes, depending on what is being treated. Think of it this way: the nearer to the surface, the faster the relief. Duration can be harder to pinpoint due to different formulations, but generally, 4-6 hours of relief can be expected.

Topicals are great for patients looking for targeted relief from skin ailments to joint inflammation and muscle relaxation. They can be very discreet, and are easy to use. Topicals are especially great to keep on hand even just for the little bumps and bruises everyone gets living life.

The Basics

We covered three common forms of medicinals: capsules, tinctures, and topical creams.

Capsules: Onset 30-120 minutes, effects last 4-12 hours. Great for long-lasting relief.
Tinctures: Dual consumption options provide fast and lasting relief. Onset for sublingual is 15-30 minutes with effects lasting 2-4 hours. Onset for ingesting is 30-120 minutes with effects lasting 4-8 hours. Great for finding the exact dose that works best to relieve symptoms.
Topicals: Onset times of 0-30 minutes, effects that last 4-6 hours. Great for targeted relief of minor aches and inflammation.

And as with all things medical marijuana when trying a new product, start with the lowest dose possible and wait the maximum onset time to feel effects before increasing the dose.

And remember…

Medical decisions should not be made based on advertising. Consult a physician on the benefits and risks of particular medical marijuana products.

Interested in becoming a medical marijuana patient? Click below to learn how.

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