CBD Oil vs CBD Tincture: Ask a Pharmacist
The CBD industry has exploded with different CBD products to add to your wellness routine. CBD oil producers and retailers often use the terms “CBD oil” and “CBD tincture” interchangeably. However, there are many characteristics that distinguish them from each other.
It’s important to know the difference between CBD oil and CBD tincture so you know what you are getting when you are buying CBD products.
- 1) What is CBD?
- 2) What is the ECS?
- 3) What is CBD Oil?
- 4) What Defines a CBD Tincture
- 5) How are CBD Oils and CBD Tinctures Similar?
- 6) CBD oil vs Tincture? Which is Better?
- 7) How to Find the Best CBD Oil
- 8) USDA Organic Certification & Third Party Lab Reports
- 9) Where to Find True CBD Products
- 10) Why Does Full Spectrum CBD Oil Work Best?
- 11) CBD Dosage
What is CBD?
Before we get into how CBD oils and CBD tinctures compare and contrast, what exactly is CBD and how might it affect human health? Recent studies on the properties of compounds found in the cannabis hemp plant may revolutionize the way we approach therapeutic relief.
The compound CBD, short for cannabidiol, 1 is a non-psychoactive chemical that has the potential to have a wide range of benefits for the body. These compounds are unique to the cannabis plant, but the human body already produces a set of our own. Scientists call the body system that is impacted by these cannabinoids the “endocannabinoid system.”
What is the ECS?
The endocannabinoid system, or ECS for short, is a network of receptors overlaying the nervous system. These receptors are found all throughout the body and its organs. Scientists discovered that these receptors react positively to compounds made by the body that they called “endocannabinoids.” The reaction of these receptors to the endocannabinoids may help bring the body into balance. The compounds found in the cannabis plant like CBD and THC mimic endocannabinoids we already produce, which is why CBD from hemp flower is now at the forefront of wellness research.
The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill made it legal for farmers to grow industrial hemp with no more than 0.3 percent THC nationwide. 2 This also opened the door for companies to manufacture and sell hemp-based products, such as full spectrum CBD tincture, CBD oil, and more.
Some have concerns about the THC content of their hemp-derived products, however, there is not enough THC in legal CBD products to get you high. In fact, a little bit of THC helps CBD oil or CBD tincture work better.
What is CBD Oil?
To manufacture full spectrum CBD oil from the hemp plant, cannabinoid compounds, terpenes, and other valuable properties are first extracted from the plant material. 3 Most companies use clean methods of extraction by using the CO2 extraction method 4 or with gentle solvents like sugarcane ethanol. 5 The extract is then mixed with a carrier oil 6 and is bottled for sale. Pure CBD oil is rich in cannabinoids, fatty acids, and other essential nutrients from the plant.
CBD oil is extremely versatile and has numerous applications. It can be taken sublingually as an oil or ingested as capsules. It can also be added to topicals and edibles. The flexibility in working with CBD oil makes it more common in the health market, especially because you cannot overdose on CBD.
With CBD oil, the fewer ingredients the better it will be. Be wary of a CBD oil with lots of additives! The primary ingredients found in CBD oil are hemp extract and carrier oils. The choice of carrier oils varies by company. Some companies choose to use hemp seed oil or olive oil.
Cornbread Hemp uses organic MCT coconut oil because it provides greater bioavailability. This allows the MCT oil to increase how much CBD you absorb. It also has a better shelf life than other carriers.
A high-quality CBD hemp oil will have a pleasant earthy taste with no harshness or bitterness. And it will not need added flavors or sweeteners to make it palatable.
What Defines a CBD Tincture
The word “tincture” is defined as medicine made by dissolving a drug or plant matter in alcohol. 8 CBD companies make alcohol-based CBD tinctures by soaking the raw hemp material in alcohol and water, sometimes heating it slowly to let it steep like tea. Over time, the alcohol solution leeches out all of the natural compounds of the plant. The plant matter is strained from the solution, and the liquid is usually mixed with flavors like peppermint oil or other additives.
CBD tinctures tend to have more added ingredients than CBD oils. The alcohol-based solution is usually combined with any number of other ingredients, such as additional flavoring, sweeteners, essential nutrients, and vegetable glycerin.
Some companies even add:
- herbal extracts,
- essential oils,
- and other supplements.
Like CBD oils, you can take alcohol-based CBD tinctures sublingually or add them to foods and beverages. 9
But buyer beware: there are companies that intentionally produce products that appear to be CBD infused, but they are actually just made with hemp seed oil, which has no CBD content at all. You must look at the product’s third party lab analysis to be sure you have a genuine CBD product and not one just made of hemp seed oil.
How are CBD Oils and CBD Tinctures Similar?
A lot of consumers have trouble telling CBD oil vs tinctures because they are often packaged the same – usually in brown-tinted dropper bottles. Because of this, it’s very important to study the ingredients carefully to determine if you are holding a CBD oil vs tincture .
The application methods are also similar, both CBD oils and CBD tincture can be taken orally with a dropper, and they are both purported to have the same effects associated with cannabis-derived products. Although they serve a similar purpose, they differ in many ways.
CBD oil vs Tincture? Which is Better?
The main difference between CBD oils and CBD tinctures is the production process and how many ingredients they each contain.
When making CBD oil, the extraction process results in a substance made of pure plant compounds with no residual solvents left behind. High-quality CBD oils will contain only CBD-rich hemp extract and carrier oil.
CBD tinctures are made similar to traditional medicines: by steeping the plant matter in alcohol, straining it, and then bottling the entire solution. Tinctures usually contain additional ingredients, and may have a longer shelf life. An easy way to tell the difference is by seeing if the contents have an oil base (CBD oil) or an alcohol base (CBD tincture).
So in the battle of CBD oil vs CBD tincture, which is the better choice?
CBD oils and CBD tincture can both be effective, so it is up to the consumer’s preference when choosing between them. Tinctures are a popular choice for those who do not like the taste or feel of oil, 10 or those who want to add it to food. Customers who want the highest potency, or those who are alcohol-sensitive, will prefer to use CBD oils.
How to Find the Best CBD Oil
When choosing CBD oils and CBD tinctures it is important to find reputable CBD oil manufacturers who produce a clean, safe product that is sourced locally. Buying products that source their raw materials from local hemp farms in the USA greatly increases the chance that you are purchasing a safe, quality product.
Since the hemp industry is new, there are no official regulations in place to ensure that CBD products are safe to ingest. An unscrupulous company could buy pesticide-treated plants, use toxic solvents for extraction, and then sell the concoction without rigorous testing. Due to the lack of federal accountability, consumers should definitely be vigilant when researching hemp products for safety.
USDA Organic Certification & Third Party Lab Reports
The best certification to look for when you are looking for clean, safe hemp products for yourself or a family member is the USDA organic seal. CBD products with official USDA organic certification source their raw material from plants grown without the use of pesticides, fungicides, or any other toxins. 11 The extraction method must also be a certified organic process, and the carrier oil must be organic for the product to carry the official seal.
When researching CBD brands, make sure that third-party lab reports are easily accessible on the company’s website. Full test analysis certificates should include safety reports and CBD content, plus the level of THC and minor cannabinoids. They should also include a passing grade on all safety tests for pesticides, microbial contaminants, toxins, heavy metals, and residual solvents.
If you study the quality of different brands’ reports, you’ll see that some companies haphazardly scan out-of-date lab results and post them without any context for the consumer to understand them. Proper lab reports and test analysis should be up to date, tamper-proof, and detailed. You can also discover which brands are selling the most potent CBD products by comparing these reports, so you’ll know if you are getting your money’s worth.
Where to Find True CBD Products
Cornbread Hemp sets the gold standard for having the best customer service and producing the best CBD possible. We source our raw material from Kentucky organic farmers in the American heartland. In the 1800s and early 1900s, Kentucky was among the nation’s top producers of hemp. The climate is optimal for cannabis growth, and the limestone-rich water supply is adequate enough to be sustainable without implementing destructive irrigation techniques. For our CBD oils, we use organic non-GMO hemp flowers grown without the use of chemical pesticides or any other toxic chemicals.
While the supercritical carbon dioxide extraction method is clean and safe, it produces a harsh, bitter taste of the product. We extract our CBD oils using organic sugarcane ethanol. This manufacturing process allows the finished product to have a smooth taste. We mix our extract with organic MCT coconut oil for the best CBD absorption rate. Also included in our product line are topicals, CBD capsules , CBD tincture, and CBD oil for pets .
Third-party lab reports are available on Cornbread Hemp’s website. Full COA’s and test results are also easily accessible via a scannable QR code on every product. Each label also carries a CannVerify anti-counterfeiting hologram to further ensure the authenticity of our merchandise.
Why Does Full Spectrum CBD Oil Work Best?
Studies show that the ECS responds the best to full spectrum CBD oil. This is CBD oil that contains all of the cannabinoids present in hemp. Broad spectrum CBD oil has had the THC removed, and a CBD isolate is the single cannabinoid CBD by itself. While people may think they just need CBD by itself to work, it actually needs all of the other cannabinoids, too.
Full spectrum CBD oils and CBD tinctures have the potential to cause you to fail a drug test. Full spectrum products contain trace amounts of THC, less than 0.3 percent. This does not mean that broad spectrum and CBD isolate will pass a drug test, though. Some drug screenings will register CBD as if it were THC, so there is a possibility that you can still test positive even if your product is pure CBD or THC-free broad spectrum.
The dosage of CBD that you should take depends on your body weight. We like to recommend beginning CBD dosing with 25mg/ml a day. After a few weeks of taking CBD in regular doses, you can choose to increase or decrease the amount of CBD you take to suit your individual response.
Keep a journal tracking when you use CBD, how much you take, and how your target areas feel. Then, it will be easier to monitor your progress and adjust your dosage or routine accordingly.
Those who use CBD broad spectrum products often reach a plateau in their results. Switching to full spectrum will often break the plateau and allow them to experience the full potential of their CBD product.
The difference between CBD Tincture vs CBD Oil: the Bottom Line
Companies and retailers may use “CBD oil” and “CBD tincture” interchangeably, but they refer to different hemp products with different manufacturing processes that contain different ingredients. Knowing the terminology and what to look for in each can help consumers buy the CBD product that they are looking for, whether it’s CBD oil, CBD tincture, CBD topicals, or CBD capsules. There is a perfect CBD product out there for you.
250 years of hemp and marijuana farming traditions led to the first USDA organic certified CBD oil in Kentucky. The best way to know you are buying a high-quality, all-American, full spectrum CBD product, is by shopping at Cornbread Hemp.
About the Author
Dr. Leslie Mudd, PharmD
A board certified oncology pharmacist with 25 years experience at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center in Louisville, Kentucky, Dr. Leslie Mudd now serves as the Cornbread Hemp resident pharmacist and medical expert. Read Dr. Mudd’s full author bio here.
What is the most common carrier oil for CBD?
CBD oil is a blend of CBD extract from the flower of the hemp plant and a carrier oil. CBD oil is made by extracting the CBD compounds from the hemp plant and then blending the extract with the carrier oil.
Common carrier oils are MCT coconut oil, olive oil, or hemp seed oil. Most CBD oils are made with MCT coconut oil because its small molecules absorb through skin cell barriers faster.
What is a CBD tincture?
A true CBD tincture is made with an alcohol base, like ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol, not an oil base.
CBD oil and CBD tincture are often used interchangeably because they both involve sublingual absorption. This means you place the oil/tincture under the tongue, and the CBD passes through the mucous membrane to the capillaries, and into the bloodstream. The amount of CBD you absorb sublingually is more than when you are taking CBD-infused edibles that pass through digestion.
CBD tinctures tend to have more added ingredients and are usually preferred for use as a food and beverage additive.
What’s the difference between CBD tincture and CBD oil?
In a tincture, CBD is suspended under 60-70% distilled alcohol. Alcohol is also used to distill the CBD. In oil, the hemp extract is combined with a carrier oil, like MCT Organic Coconut Oil.
1) Peter Grinspoon, M., 2020. Cannabidiol (CBD) — What We Know And What We Don’T – Harvard Health Blog. [online] Harvard Health Blog. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476 Accessed July 31, 2020. 2nd paragraph, 1st sentence
2) Hudak, J., 2018. The Farm Bill, Hemp Legalization And The Status Of CBD: An Explainer. [online] Brookings. Available at: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2018/12/14/the-farm-bill-hemp-and-cbd-explainer/ Accessed July 29, 2020. 2nd paragraph, 2nd sentence
3) Phys.org. 2018. Favoring Female Flowers In Hemp Horticulture. [online] Available at: https://phys.org/news/2018-12-favoring-female-hemp-horticulture.html Accessed July 31, 2020. 7th paragraph, 1st sentence
4) Best CBD Oils. 2020. Guide to CBD Extraction Methods: The Best Way To Extract CBD – Best CBD Oils. [online] Available at: https://www.bestcbdoils.org/cbd-extraction-methods/ Accessed July 31, 2020. Under ‘CO2 extraction’ section. 1st paragraph, 2nd sentence
5) Best CBD Oils. 2020. Guide to CBD Extraction Methods: The Best Way To Extract CBD – Best CBD Oils. [online] Available at: https://www.bestcbdoils.org/cbd-extraction-methods/ Accessed July 31, 2020. Under ‘alcohol extraction’ section. 1st paragraph, 1st sentence
6) CBD Oil UK. 2020. What’s the Best Carrier Oil For CBD? – CBD Oil UK. [online] Available at: https://www.cbdoil.co.uk/whats-the-best-carrier-oil-for-cbd/ Accessed July 31, 2020. 1st paragraph, 1st sentence
7) CBD Oil UK. 2020. What’s the Best Carrier Oil For CBD? – CBD Oil UK. [online] Available at: https://www.cbdoil.co.uk/whats-the-best-carrier-oil-for-cbd/ Accessed July 31, 2020. 1st paragraph, 2nd sentence
8) CBD oil vs CBD tincture: what’s the difference?. https://www.healtheuropa.eu/cbd-oil-vs-cbd-tinctu. Accessed July 31, 2020. Under ‘ what are tinctures?’ section, 1st paragraph, 1st sentence
9)CBD Awareness Project. 2020. Best CBD Oils For Cats – Reviews & Education | CBD Awareness Project. [online] Available at: https://www.cbdoil.org/cbd-oil-for-cats/ Accessed July 31, 2020. Under ‘how to Give CBD oil to your cat’ section, 2nd paragraph
10) CBD oil vs CBD tincture: what’s the difference?. https://www.healtheuropa.eu/cbd-oil-vs-cbd-tinctu. Accessed July 31, 2020. Under ‘taste’ section, 1st paragraph, 2nd sentence
All rights reserved. The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy and health benefits of CBD products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible side effects and complications before using any product.
Cornbread Hemp works with suppliers who guarantee hemp plants and hemp flower with less than or equal to 0.3% THC content. With these trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol THC, it is possible that users may fail a drug test. Cornbread Hemp does not take any responsibility in the instance a customer fails a drug test while using these full spectrum products or any other hemp derived CBD products.
Everything You Need to Know About CBD Tinctures
Despite its relatively recent place in our collective consciousness, CBD has been at work delivering its calming agents as far back as the ‘80s by some estimates and the ancient world by others. With it, an almost endless menu of formulations has emerged—from capsules and oils to lotions and seltzer—each promising an even more effective dose of CBD than the last.
Tinctures, though, remain somewhat shrouded in mystery, in part because of their old-school apothecary-style packaging, but more likely because of how they’re taken: a few drops at a time, under the tongue.
Here, Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., an expert on herbal medicine and women’s health, and Kevin Hill, M.D., Director of the Division of Addiction Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, get to the bottom of CBD tinctures’ mystique.
But first, a little CBD 101…
What is it?
The cannabis plant has hundreds of chemicals in it, including more than 120 cannabinoids, Hill explains. Of those cannabinoids, two are most familiar: THC, which produces the euphoric effects or “high” people experience from marijuana, and cannabidiol or CBD, which has some anti-inflammatory, anti-seizure, anxiety-relieving and analgesic properties, according to Low Dog.
At a plant level, the two chemicals operate as opposites, with CBD acting as a buffer of sorts to the effects of THC. “It’s sort of a ying and yang. THC is responsible for the high and CBD doesn’t do that,” Hill explains.
What are tinctures specifically?
An herbal tincture is made by using a mixture of alcohol and water to extract compounds from a plant—in this case, the cannabis plant.
“Sometimes, you will find extracts called tinctures that use glycerin, vinegar, or oil as the solvent, instead of alcohol,” Low Dog says. “These offer the advantage of being alcohol-free, but may not always offer the same potency as an alcohol-water extract.”
How are CBD tinctures made and what are the benefits of using them?
CBD tinctures are generally made from high CBD strains of hemp, with 60 to 70 percent alcohol, and are primarily used to help relieve anxiety or ease pain. “Tinctures are convenient, have a long shelf life, and are absorbed easily when taken under the tongue. The dose can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the number of drops taken,” notes Low Dog.
And though there’s a lot of promise with CBD preparations of all kinds, Hill says there’s still a lot of research to be done.
“The rate and scale of the research just hasn’t kept pace with the interest at this point. A lot of the medical uses for cannabidiol are backed by animal studies only or really no studies. So that’s where it can be a problem.”
So are there side effects?
“At the end of the day [CBD] is a fairly safe compound,” Hill says. “Although, we still need to know a lot more about it, like how it interacts with other medications people may be taking and what are the long-term effects,” he adds. And perhaps his biggest concern: “Sometimes people want to use it instead of evidence-based treatment and that can be a problem clinically in certain situations.”
CBD tincture vs. CBD oil—which is better?
According to Low Dog, a tincture may offer a broader range of compounds from hemp than an oil extraction. “Consumers who are alcohol-sensitive often prefer hemp oil over tincture. While both can be used topically, hemp oil is generally easier to apply and less irritating,” she says.
On that note, Hill cautions to know what you’re getting: “If you’re rubbing a CBD cream onto your skin, it’s not going to be absorbed into your bloodstream,” he says. “It can operate as a local anti-inflammatory, like other over-the-counter products… but CBD may not provide any more relief than those products, and it probably will be considerably more expensive.”
How do you know what you’re getting? What should you look for?
“Quality is always an issue, especially in a relatively young market, such as the cannabis market,” Low Dog says. And she’s right. A 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that out of the commercially available CBD products, only 30 percent were accurately labeled.
“Many of them had more CBD than they were supposed to and many had less; some had none,” Hill notes. He suggests shopping organic—as a bio-accumulator, the cannabis plant will be affected by heavy metals and contaminants in soil—and broad-spectrum, meaning it includes the full range of phytocannabinoids, minus the THC.
Jessica Cumberbatch Anderson Site Director Jessica Cumberbatch Anderson is a New York-based lifestyle journalist.
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What Is a CBD Tincture? [Explanatory, Tell-All Guide]
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating compound found in both cannabis and hemp. CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system and has the potential to help alleviate the symptoms of a number of medical conditions, such as chronic pain, epilepsy, anxiety, and depression.
Research is ongoing, but the early results are promising. And given CBD’s excellent safety profile, it has even been used in pets and children. (Epidiolex is an FDA-approved CBD medication for two forms of pediatric epilepsy. Unless prescribed by a doctor, cannabidiol should not be given to children).
A CBD oil tincture is one of the most popular methods of consuming cannabidiol – particularly among first-time users. CBD tinctures come in many different potencies (and even different flavors) and may produce different physiological effects compared to edibles, for example.
There is a school of thought suggesting that CBD administered orally via oil can provide improved absorption rates compared to edibles. And we know through the FDA’s approval of Epidiolex that oral CBD administration – i.e. in the form of a tincture – can work extremely well.
In addition to the Epidiolex clinical trials, other studies have shown medicinal uses for CBD tinctures. A 2016 report in The Permanente Journal, for instance, suggests that CBD tinctures can be effective for individuals suffering from PTSD-related anxiety and insomnia.
Since CBD tinctures are a relatively new product in a new market, interested users will continue to have questions. In this guide, we aim to provide reliable information on dosage, effects, usage, and even how to make your own CBD tincture at home.
CBD Tincture Dosage
To put it bluntly, there is no clinical resource (aside from Epidiolex prescriptions) that identify how to dose CBD tinctures. That said, it doesn’t have to be a complicated affair. The first thing you’ll want to do is identify why you’re using CBD. An effective CBD tincture dosage for pain, for example, may end up being different from an effective dosage for anxiety.
Without sufficient high-quality evidence in human studies, we can’t pinpoint effective [CBD] doses.
Dr. Peter Grinspoon, Harvard Health
Additionally, you’ll want to know and understand the strength (potency) of the specific tincture you intend to buy. CBD tinctures come in a massive range of potencies. You can find products with as little as 100mg of CBD, for instance, as well as products that contain 5,000mg or more in a single bottle.
Calculating Your Dosage
To calculate a specific CBD tincture dosage, you need to know two things: bottle size (mL) and total CBD content (mg). Most bottles come in a standard 30 mL size. A single dose (or “serving”) of CBD tincture is typically regarded as 1 mL, which is equivalent to 20 drops.
To know how much CBD you’re getting in a single 1 mL dose, first, calculate how many drops are in the entire bottle. If you’re using a standard 30 mL bottle, there will be 600 drops total (1 mL = 20 drops; 20 drops x 30 mL = 600 total drops).
Next, divide the total CBD content of the bottle by how many total drops it contains. For example, let’s say you’re using a 30mL, 600mg bottle of CBD tincture. You have 600 total drops of oil. 600mg divided by 600 drops equals 1mg per drop. So in a single 20-drop (1mL) dose, you’re getting 20mg of CBD.
Confused? Check out the link below for more detailed information on how to dose CBD tinctures.
The complete guide…
Understanding the Basics
When using CBD, there are a few things to take into account. First, human beings are all different. This means that 20mg of CBD may not have the same effect on you as it does on someone else.
Also, we all have varying degrees of tolerance for CBD, and things like general health and genetics can play a role. Finding the best dose for your CBD tincture will likely take time, as well as a fair amount of patience. Start out a small, and stick with your initial dosage for several days before making changes. You want to make sure to give your body time to respond to the active compound.
Furthermore, be sure and speak with a doctor or healthcare professional before taking a CBD tincture along with other medication. Cannabidiol interacts with enzyme activity related to drug metabolism, so it may affect OTC or prescription med(s) that you may be taking.
Lastly, as is the case with most other chemical compounds, the effects of a CBD dose will likely depend on how much the user weighs. For instance, a 20mg dose will probably have more of an impact on someone who weighs 120 lbs than it will on someone who weighs 220 lbs.
It’s a bit unorthodox, but you may have to employ some trial and error in order to determine the best dose of CBD tincture for you personally.
CBD Tincture vs. Oil: Is a CBD Tincture the Same as CBD Oil?
Many people use the terms CBD tinctures and CBD oils interchangeably. But is a CBD tincture the same as CBD oil? While both CBD tinctures and CBD oil share lots in common, they are not exactly the same.
So, what are the differences between a CBD tincture vs. oil? The main difference is the method of extraction used to draw out the CBD from the hemp plant material.
High-quality CBD oil is typically extracted from hemp using the industry gold-standard supercritical CO2 extraction method. By contrast, some CBD manufacturers use liquid solvents such as alcohol, (and to a lesser extent, vinegar or glycerin) to extract the cannabidiol for CBD tinctures.
For alcohol-based extracts, CBD is removed from the hemp plant material using high-proof alcohol as a solvent. This extraction method involves applying low heat for an extended period before the residual alcohol is evaporated via boiling.
In its dried-out form, CBD is a fine, white powder, so CBD brands add carrier oils such as MCT oil, hemp seed oil, or olive oil to their CBD tinctures and oils. CBD is naturally an oil-soluble molecule, not a water-soluble one, which is why carrier oils are necessary for absorption.
Now that we’ve looked at CBD tincture vs oil, you might be wondering, which CBD product is better? Read on to find out.
CBD Tincture vs. CBD Oil – Which Is Better?
When it comes to CBD oil vs. CBD tincture, is one better than the other at meeting your CBD needs? That is a very subjective question, as not everyone will be using CBD for the same reasons or will respond identically to CBD’s effects.
Furthermore, apart from the different extraction methods utilized, CBD tinctures and CBD oil are very similar products. Both are sourced from the hemp plant and are available as full and broad-spectrum options and CBD isolates. Many CBD brands offer these CBD products in different bottle sizes, with varying potencies and milligrams of CBD per serving.
We discussed how manufacturers use liquid solvents such as alcohol to produce the CBD extract for a tincture. Some alcohol-based tinctures can contain as much as 60-70% alcohol. Consequently, they have a very bitter taste, which is why manufacturers add flavorings, sweeteners, or vegetable glycerin to make them more palatable. However, one advantage of alcohol-based tinctures over CBD oil is that they have a longer shelf life, typically between three to five years.
When comparing a CBD oil vs. CBD tincture, it helps to look at the list of ingredients on their packaging, either online or in-store. You will see that both broad and full-spectrum CBD tinctures and CBD oils contain natural flavors and terpenes as well as carrier oils, such as MCT oil.
MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides, and MCT oil is a type of fat found in foods such as coconut oil. CBD brands opt for carrier oils like MCT oil because they reportedly provide faster absorption.
We’ll discuss what kind of effects you can expect from a CBD tincture next.
CBD Tincture Effects
The effects of a CBD tincture can (and will) vary from person to person. What is a little more predictable is how long you might expect to wait before your body reacts to the active cannabidiol compound.
Of the three most popular forms of CBD (edibles, tinctures, vaping/inhalation), inhalation is the fastest-acting (followed by tinctures and edibles).
In terms of how long it takes for a CBD tincture to work, this can also vary. Some people notice effects in as little as 15 minutes, while others may have to wait up to 45 minutes or more. In comparison, the effects of inhalation can be noticeable within minutes.
CBD tinctures can work very well for chronic pain, stress, anxiety, etc, but as we pointed out, specific effects will vary.
Once the CBD takes effect, you will not feel the high that’s associated with THC. THC modulates neurotransmitters, thereby producing noticeable psychoactivity. CBD interacts differently in the endocannabinoid system, so you should feel calm and free from anxiety. The precise feeling, however, will depend on a variety of biochemical factors.
What we can tell you is that CBD will not impact your perception, behavior, or sensory awareness in the way that high-THC marijuana does. Many users feel relaxed after taking CBD, while others have reported a notable increase in energy and focus. Each person’s endocannabinoid system will react slightly differently to the cannabinoid, so it is worth keeping a CBD journal to monitor your results.
CBD Tincture Side Effects
It would be remiss to suggest that CBD tincture side effects don’t exist. While many consider hemp CBD tinctures safer than pharmaceutical painkillers, there are a handful of adverse effects associated with cannabidiol. According to Harvard Health’s Dr. Peter Grinspoon, these negative effects can include:
- Nausea: While many take CBD tinctures to help ease the symptoms of nausea, it has produced increased nausea in some individuals.
- Tiredness: This typically happens in higher doses, but fatigue can be a side effect of any CBD tincture dose.
- Irritability: Few clinical publications discuss CBD-related irritability, but Dr. Grinspoon mentions it as a potential side effect in the Harvard Health Blog.
- Interaction with Drug Metabolism: CBD can inhibit the activity of the cytochrome P450 enzymes. This enzyme family metabolizes most pharmaceutical drugs; if you take doses of CBD, it may neutralize P450 activity and change the way drugs metabolize in your body. (For the record, eating grapefruit has the same effect!).
How to Make a CBD Tincture
For those looking to make a CBD tincture of their own, it can be done using basic kitchen equipment. Really all you need is a jar, a strainer, high-proof alcohol, a heat source, and (obviously), some CBD. You can use high-CBD cannabis flower, hemp flower, or even CBD isolate in the form of crystals.
If you’re using cannabis or hemp flower as your CBD source, you’ll first need to decarboxylate the flower. You can do this by placing the plant material on a baking sheet in an oven at 220 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes.
Next, mix the flower with high-proof alcohol such as Everclear in a mason jar. Close the jar tightly and allow it to sit. The alcohol solvent will “pull” the CBD (as well as other compounds) from the plant material.
If you do this at room temperature, you must let the flower/alcohol mixture sit for a few weeks to obtain efficient CBD extraction. If you heat the mixture in a water bath, full extraction can occur in as little as a few hours.
Finally, use a coffee filter to strain the mixture (and let it cool down!) before consuming it. Begin with a 1 mL dose to see how potent it is. If you’re trying to make CBD tincture without THC, you’ll need to know the cannabinoid profile of the strain you’re using. Charlotte’s Web is one of the most famous high-CBD, low-THC strains around.
Cryogenic Solvent-Based Extraction
If you don’t like the method mentioned above, you can try a cold extraction method that uses glycerin. Cold extraction preserves the terpenes of the cannabis, while the glycerin is sweet and can improve the taste of your CBD tincture.
Grind at least one ounce of high-CBD flower in a blender or coffee grinder, then place it in a mason jar along with food-grade glycerin. The amount of glycerin you use will ultimately determine how your tincture tastes.
Close the lid tightly, then allow it to marinate in the freezer for several weeks (making sure to shake it once a day). When you’re ready to proceed, strain the tincture in a sieve and pour it into a dropper bottle. Keep it in the fridge and use small doses initially to test its potency.
How to Use a CBD Tincture
CBD tinctures are easy to use, though it can feel odd at first to hold the oil under your tongue. Using the bottle’s dropper cap, squirt a full serving (as indicated by the specific product you’re using) below your tongue. For efficient absorption of the CBD, wait at least a minute before swallowing.
The goal of learning how to use a CBD tincture is to find your body’s minimum effective dose. Begin with a low potency tincture (see above), and gradually trend upwards until you notice positive effects. Once you feel adequate effects, stop increasing the dose. The more you increase, the more you risk developing a tolerance.
We all react differently to CBD. And as we discussed above, there is a slight chance your CBD tincture can cause negative effects. Or, it may not work at all.
If nothing happens, increase your dosage and ‘test’ the effects for a couple of weeks. You can take a dose once a day, twice a day (morning and evening), or even three times a day (morning, afternoon, evening). Whatever you decide, be patient and stick with your initial plan.
Some people who don’t like the taste of CBD tinctures will try adding it to food or water. This can work, but understand that your body will absorb less of the compound when you eat or drink it (compared to letting it absorb under your tongue).
A lot of CBD brands produce tinctures in various flavors, so bear this in mind if you have sensitive taste buds!
Benefits of CBD Tinctures
All in all, there is an increasing body of research suggesting that CBD (and other cannabis compounds) can provide health benefits. And of course, an enormous array of anecdotal evidence already exists to supplement this newfound data.
When purchasing pure CBD tincture, however, make sure to do your research and choose a quality product from a reputable brand. Look for an oil that has a full spectrum of terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids. Including these compounds promotes the ‘entourage effect,’ which may improve the efficacy of the tincture.
Among other things, quality CBD tinctures may provide:
- Relief from pain and inflammation
- Improved mood
- A reduction in nausea
- A feeling of relaxation and calm
What Products Are Not CBD Oils or Tinctures?
If you’re new to the world of CBD, then you might not know that there are lots of CBD products other than a CBD oil or tincture. We list the most common ones below.
Some people find the bitter taste of natural CBD oil quite off-putting. The good news is that there are lots of tasty alternatives out there, such as CBD gummies. Many CBD brands offer THC-free CBD gummies in a variety of flavors, and these are a delicious way to meet your CBD needs.
Other CBD edible options include CBD honey sticks, beverage enhancers, cookies, and chocolates. There are even CBD-infused protein balls for consuming after a workout.
CBD capsules are a convenient and easy-to-use alternative to a CBD oil or tincture as you simply swallow one with a glass of water. Each one contains the same amount of CBD, making dosing much more straightforward as you know exactly how much you are taking each time you consume a capsule.
One drawback to capsules is that they have to be digested before the CBD is absorbed. Whereas taking CBD sublingually (under the tongue) offers more efficient absorption, and therefore, a faster route to the bloodstream.
These CBD products are designed to be applied to the skin for transdermal absorption. There are a wide variety of CBD topicals available, including CBD creams, lip balms, roll-ons, ointments, and transdermal patches.
CBD vaping is another popular alternative to a CBD oil or tincture. The most common method of vaping CBD juice is using a disposable or refillable CBD vape pen. However, there are desktop vaporizers available, too.
Whether it be a CBD oil or tincture, or any of the alternatives CBD products listed above, we recommend opting for market-leading CBD brands, such as PureKana and Premium Jane. Both of these companies offer high-quality CBD products that third-party laboratories independently test. Therefore, you can be confident that you are not just getting quality but also safe and effective CBD products.
A Final Word on CBD Tincture Effects
Proponents of CBD oil tinctures routinely praise their ability to help with the symptoms listed above. Whether you buy online, from a store, or make your own, you’ll understand the effects of CBD tincture when you notice the subtle fading of whatever is troubling you.
And finally, when looking for a CBD oil tincture be sure to look for a Certificate of Analysis (COA) or lab report which proves the content of the product. The 2018 Farm Bill legalizes the commercial production of hemp, and we hope that this increase in availability results in an increasing number of people that experience positive effects with CBD tinctures.