Illustration by John Kenzie
Datrianna Meeks Photograph: Lisa Predko

I’m curious about tinctures — the liquid drops. How do people use them?

One way to take them is by dropping them directly under the tongue. Just give them a couple of minutes to absorb before swallowing. This is a good option for people who don’t like to smoke but want something that will kick in faster (usually within 30 minutes) than edibles. Some tinctures are strong, as much as 10 milligrams of THC in one milliliter (about a dropperful), but you can get them as low as two and a half milligrams per dose.

You can also add tinctures to food or drink, though that will delay the high because they will be processed through the digestive system. For food, you want an oil-based version. Earthy flavors (which include so-called tasteless tinctures) blend well with salad dressings and sauces, while fruity ones tend to be better for teas. Alcohol-based tinctures are more potent but have a bitter taste, which is easy to mask with sweeter beverages.

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