What are sublingual tinctures? What is bioavailability? Why is this important?

When a drug is given intravenously, the bioavailability is 100% because it bypasses the digestive and metabolic processes. But, who wants to be mainlining their herbal remedies? You? No, I didn’t think so. Me, neither.

The next best option is a sublingual tincture. Sublingual simply means that the compounds are absorbed under the tongue’s mucosal membrane directly into the bloodstream through the complex network of capillaries and veins in the mouth. A tincture is designed for rapid delivery and maximized bioavailability,which means you receive far greater healing benefits, faster, AND you can use smaller doses of the product because it isn’t wasted in the digestive process.

Research shows that when a substance is held in the mouth for a minute (or more) the amount absorbed can be as high as 80%, while only 6% – 15% of ingested active ingredients pass into the bloodstream. That is a HUGE difference. With sublingual, there are no stomach acids, no small intestinal bacteria, no liver metabolism to dilute the effects. Just the real deal, delivered for use directly and quickly. Sublingual tincture absorption begins to take place almost immediately, versus the oral ingestion route which can take half an hour or more, depending.

“But, but…I don’t like the way it tastes!!”

We hear this. A LOT. OK. Herbal tinctures are sometimes bitter, or earthy, or herb-y—or, they are sickly sweet. We’ve had clients compare certain formulations to swamp water!

News Flash: They are made from PLANTS. They aren’t meant to be cocktails! Remember Mary Poppins? Just a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down, the medicine go do-o-w-w-n, medicine go down… If you are particularly sensitive to the taste, you can dilute the drops into a teaspoon of water, juice, honey or coconut oil – just be sure to keep the whole business IN YOUR MOUTH for at least one minute before you swallow. Easy.

What about Hemp Oil / CBD drops (also called tinctures)?
All of the above applies to Hemp oil / CBD products. Even more so. The stuff is expensive if you are buying quality product, so you don’t want to waste it or take more than you need to. Health care products are often pricey (and the why of that is about supply, demand and the often intensive hands-on nature of the work). Sublingually ingesting tinctures is more cost effective than capsules or edibles or syrups because they are concentrated and you actually absorb what you are paying for.

Wait. Back up. What exactly are tinctures?
Tinctures are concentrated extracts of the active phytochemicals present in plants. The use of tinctures goes back thousands of years in Chinese, Indian and Egyptian medicine and was a mainstay of early western medicine. Most commonly, tinctures are made in a base of alcohol, though they can also be made in vinegar or vegetable glycerin. At Cloud Forest Botanicals, we use 150 proof sugar cane alcohol. This ensures maximum potency of the extraction. Other producers often use grain alcohol—which can potentially be a problem for those who are celiac or gluten sensitive—in lower strengths. For example, vodka and rum are only 35-40 proof. While this is ok, it does not provide as strong a product.

The process for making a tincture is pretty straightforward. Pick some plant material, chop it up, put it in a jar, cover it with your extraction liquid and wait. But, as always, it’s the details that are important. Leaves, stems, flowers, seeds or roots…or all? Some parts of some plants are highly toxic, while other parts are incredibly healing. Rough chop, grated or powdered? How much plant material? (Our tinctures are made in a ratio of 1:4—one part plant material to four parts alcohol for extra potency. Many commercial tinctures are much more dilute. Read labels.). How long does the maceration need to “cure” before it is ready to use? And, then what? Should you use it as a simple or blend it with others to maximize its effectiveness?

And then, there are all sorts of questions about which herbs are best used for which health concerns, how do the herbs interact with each other, with diet and prescription meds, how much should one take and for how long, etc, etc. These are some of the reasons why consulting experienced herbalists is a good idea if you are considering using tinctures for yourself or your family. It is entirely feasible for you to make your own sublingual tinctures but you will have a steep learning curve to figure it all out.

Maximize bioavailabilty of your herbal and CBD products.
Anything you swallow has to pass through the digestive system before it can be utilized by the body. This is the “first-pass effect,” a term used to describe metabolism in the liver and other digestive processes. The medicine, herbal remedy, or food travels down the esophagus, into the stomach (where it is subjected to hydrochloric acid and other digestive juices), into the small intestines, into the liver for metabolism, etc. before it ever gets into the blood stream—and then it is in a much diluted form. The bioavailability—i.e. how MUCH healing benefit is actually absorbed into the blood stream so it can be used by the body—is severely reduced. Bioavailability can be further compromised by poor digestion, leaky gut issues in the small intestines, illness, whether or not it is fat or water soluble…it’s complicated. Here in the Cloud Forest, we have more than 30 years of herbal/plant experience. Our tinctures are pure, natural and potent.

Cloud Forest Botanicals Hemp & Herb formulas combine the purest, most potent, most effective traditional herbal tinctures WITH terpene enriched whole plant CBD, sourced from organic, certified fields of hemp grown in Colorado. We do this because of the synergistic/entourage effect of putting power plant essences together to work holistically and powerfully for your benefit.

So what are sublingual tinctures? What is bioavailability? We hope this has answered your questions.


Cloud Forest Botanicals formulas combine the best wisdom of traditional herbalists with cutting edge medical research to bring you safe pure, natural, effective remedies—the way Nature intended them.

We hand craft each product in small batches to insure quality. No artificial ingredients, ever.


Our philosophy at Cloud Forest Botanicals is that diet, lifestyle, exercise and the use of herbal products as supports for the body’s own natural healing powers is the optimal way to regain and maintain good health.

For more information, visit our website: https://cloudforestbotanicals.com

or write with questions to boquetecloudforest@gmail.com

(507) 6637-8663 or 6527-5584.

Herbal tinctures and products are traditional dietary supplements.These products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. Information presented is not a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.