Years ago, I was searching for different ways to consume cannabis besides smoking it. Tinctures in the form of sublingual drops or sprays seemed like a great way to go, but there were very few on the market. They were also notoriously weak and inconsistent. I never knew how much to take since the general “1-2 sprays/droppers” was never enough. Even when I doubled or tripled the dose, the sensation was mild at best, making it a poor choice in terms of value.
We’ve come a long way since then, and advances in the manufacturing of concentrates helped create much stronger and more consistent products. I have a few cannabis oil tinctures that I use regularly in lieu of vaporizing, but none of them are a strong or fast acting as AbsoluteXtracts sativa spray. As with every other product I’ve tried, the directions suggest an initial dosage of 1-2 sprays. Based on previous experience and my known tolerances, I typically double the doses for sprays and tinctures.
Knowing that AbsoluteXtracts makes potent products and for the purpose of this review, I followed the single-dose recommendation of 1-2 sprays.
I’m glad I did, because two sprays was enough to give me a moderate high. It was surprising to see such a small amount of product could have such an effect. Since this was promising, I tried the product again several times and I’ve come up with a scale to help describe my dosing:
- 1-2 sprays: a mild-to-moderate high appropriate for day use
- 3-4 sprays: very comfortable. strong pain relief and relaxation
- 5 sprays: slightly too much/starting to see noises
Some of the inconsistencies with tinctures can be the application, and “shake before using” cannot be stressed enough. Whether it’s oil or alcohol or another substance, there’s enough going on inside a cannabis tincture that requires regular mixing. The ingredients are different enough that they will separate over a relatively short period of time. You can’t always witness this as manufacturers put their tinctures in dark bottles to protect the product from light, but it does happen and it can make two sprays seem like five and vice versa.
While this spray is labeled as a sativa product, oral consumption of cannabis has a very different effect on the body compared to smoking or vaping, and I definitely had more of a body high that I would normally associate with an indica product. Unlike oil and alcohol tincture drops, the AbsoluteXtracts concentrated spray allows me to hold the product under my tongue comfortably for a few minutes — perhaps because it’s made with coconut oil. This can be unpleasant with a mouthful of alcohol when using weaker products. Although I expected to taste strong cannabis flavors with such a concentrated product, it was very mild. I didn’t feel the need for a “chaser” of water or juice like I have with similar products.
Putting its sativa heritage to the test, I went for a hike by my house. I’ve been reading more about cannabis and fitness goals and wanted to give it a try. Thanks to the sublingual application, I started feeling the effects of two sprays within 15 minutes. The most difficult part of the hike is a steep hill that’s a few miles long and I often have to give myself a pep talk to keep going. Not this time! While I was definitely still winded, I was able to power through some of the heaviness in my limbs and had a much better attitude as a result.
One of my favorite uses for tinctures is as an after-dinner dose. The last thing I want to do after, for example, Thanksgiving dinner is eat something, and vaping around guests isn’t always an option. Cannabis is known to relieve symptoms for those suffering from various gastrointestinal conditions and it certainly helps mine. This spray was as fast-acting as any drugstore remedy but with the added benefit of cannabis for relaxation.
AbsoluteXtracts makes an indica spray as well as a “sleepy time” spray. My local dispensary sells them for $50 each. The amount of doses will depend on how much you take, so the value is relative in this situation. However, at my personal dose of 2-3 sprays each time and with the effects lasting a few hours, this is a great value for me. I’ve come to really respect the AbsoluteXtracts brand for its consistency, potency and transparency by providing testing results and I hope to see them at more dispensaries in my area.
The face of the average cannabis consumer is changing. With states putting both medical and recreational marijuana laws on the books, the average user can be anyone: young, old, parents, co-workers, students, retirees and so on. Legal cannabis businesses are keeping up, marketing their products to veteran cannabis consumers as well as first time customers.
In the new market, the average medical cannabis patient is often left to read between the lines of marketing strategies, sometimes buying expensive products only to discover they’re not strong enough or not designed to fit their needs.
In reality, many patients would prefer their medical marijuana be packaged and labeled no differently than the ibuprofen from the pharmacy. For many, knowing the cannabinoid profile, including THC to CBD ratios, is just as important as dosage and potency information. A lack of product information and knowledge can leave some patients playing a guessing game.
For example, California cannabis producers aren’t required to provide testing information or “proof of potency.” As a result, the quality and potency of many products vary from batch to batch. While the Golden State has yet to establish a system for this, certain manufacturers are taking it upon themselves to self-regulate.
Care By Design, one such exemplary cannabis product producer, has undertaken the challenge of creating medical cannabis products with the patient in mind. Sublingual sprays from Care By Design, a form of cannabis concentrates called tinctures, come in a variety of CBD to THC ratios. No matter the specific ratio, each contains more CBD than most raw cannabis flowers.
Care By Design provides basic guidelines for finding the right ratio for your needs. As a general rule, smaller ratios tend to treat physical ailments, including pain (even neuropathy). Larger ratios treat mood disorders like anxiety and depression. The relationship between THC and CBD is biphasic; one ratio might alleviate symptoms while another might exacerbate them. Clearly, more research is needed to guide doctors and patients. In the meantime, you may have to try more than one ratio to see what works best for your needs. Thankfully, this company labels each of their sprays with not only the ratio, but the amount of THC and CBD in each spray and a manufacturing date. This will help patients who are familiar with consuming edibles to determine dosages by the milligram.
None of Care By Design’s cannabis sprays seem to be designed for recreational use. Even the 1:1 spray containing the highest amount of THC produced no noticeable high in me. Based on Care By Design’s suggestions, I decided to stick to the lower ratios since my symptoms tend to involve pain (migraines, headaches and sciatic pain).
Best Ratios for Me
For tension headaches, the 2:1 and 1:1 ratios worked well. I tried keeping it to two sprays but when a migraine kicked in, 3-4 sprays of the 1:1 worked much better for me. Muscle aches and sciatic pain also responded to 4:1, 2:1 and 1:1.
In terms of dosing, this is a very discreet way of medicating. The onset of relief is not quite as rapid as vaporizing or smoking, but it was quicker than eating an edible. What’s more, I have a fairly accurate idea of how much medication I’ve consumed, whereas I often lose track of how many hits I’ve taken from a vape cartridge. The taste is typical of cannabis tinctures, but without any added flavors.
I like to keep the spray under my tongue for as long as is comfortable so that the medication can absorb into the bloodstream a bit faster, which I think is the main benefit of a sublingual application (method of consumption). After the initial 1-3 sprays, it took about 30 minutes to really feel the pain relief and the effect lasted no more than 5 hours. I didn’t experience any of the typical cannabis side effects: no increase in appetite, dry-eyes, dizziness or altered thought patterns. The 1:1 certainly has a muscle-relaxing quality and an overall feeling of wellness, so I’d recommend keeping physical activity to a minimum.
For anyone who suffers from chronic conditions like pain, feeling “normal” is a gift. While I respect the recreational effects cannabis can offer, having medication that can simply make me feel like myself again is the ultimate goal. These High CBD Cannabis Sprays from Care By Design will fill a void in my medicine cabinet. I’m ecstatic that a company has taken the time to consider the needs of the medical patient and I hope they inspire other companies to follow suit.
Meanwhile, I’m grateful to feel normal.