You will often find the terms CBD tincture and CBD oil being used interchangeably. So is tincture the same as CBD oil?
I mean, they usually come in the same sort of packaging, don’t they? Glass vials which are tinted to keep out UV rays. You also use them in much the same way – often sublingually, beneath the tongue.
But there are actually some important differences between the two to bear in mind. In this article, we’ll do a full CBD tincture vs oil comparison:
What is CBD used for?
CBD is the acronym most commonly used to refer to a compound found in the cannabis plant, the full name of which is “cannabidiol”.
Depending on the strain of cannabis in question, you will find cannabidiol – along with the 112 other cannabinoids, the variety of organic compounds of which CBD is one – present in different quantities.
The strain which is often used to produce cannabidiol products such as tinctures and oils is hemp. Hemp is a strain of cannabis which is high in CBD. Importantly, it’s also traditionally very low in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the other well-known cannabinoid found in cannabis). This is important because THC is responsible for cannabis’s psychoactive effect. CBD is not.
CBD is used by people in all corners of the world for all sorts of reasons, including:
- Pain relief
- Stress relief
- As an anti-inflammatory
- As a sleep aid
You can access the benefits of CBD in all kinds of ways. Some people prefer to vape or smoke it. Other prefer gummies or other edibles. But many people use it as an oil or tincture.
What is CBD oil?
CBD oil is an isolate of cannabidiol extracted from the cannabis plant (usually hemp) using various methods (CO2 extraction is common) and diffused into an oil carrier to make it easier to consume. This oil carrier can take the form of a:
- Hemp seed oil
- MCT oil
- Vegetable glycerin-based oil
- Coconut-based oil
The carrier oil is necessary because when cannabidiol is first extracted, it looks more like sand or salt. It can’t be properly utilized by your body when it’s in this form.
As CBD is a fat-soluble molecule, it dissolves in and binds easily with the oil molecules.
What is CBD tincture?
On the other hand, a CBD tincture does not have a carrier oil. Instead, it is suspended in alcohol.
Again, the cannabidiol is extracted from the cannabis plant – preferably a hemp strain as they tend to be very high in CBD – and combined with 60-70% proof alcohol and usually a small amount of glycerin-based oil.
In fact, when creating a tincture, the extraction process itself usually involves suffusing the cannabidiol molecules in alcohol and then heating it. The resultant mix then often has additional ingredients added. These can include:
- Essential vitamins
- Essential oils
- Flavorings and sweeteners
On average, a tincture has a lower ratio of CBD than an oil. But it makes up for it by having much higher bioavailability. This means that your body can make use of it much more easily. This is due to the alcohol suspension and dramatically improves the speed with which your body can absorb the CBD.
The alcohol also acts as a preservative, meaning a tincture typically has a very long shelf life.
How to use CBD tincture and oil
The methods you use to take CBD tincture and oil can be quite similar:
How to use CBD tincture
A CBD tincture is often taken sublingually. This involves using a pipette to place a few drops beneath your tongue and holding it there for about 30 seconds to allow it to pass through the membranes in your mouth and enter the blood stream.
This method results in fast-acting relief as there is no need to wait for it to pass through your digestive system.
Although, taking a tincture by adding a few drops to beverages, favorite foods or using it when baking or cooking is also an incredibly popular alternative.
How to use CBD oil
You usually take CBD oil subliminally. Again, this allows direct access to the bloodstream and results in the fastest possible onset of effects.
Many people also use CBD oil topically. This means applying it as a kind of lotion to the parts of the body which might be causing pain. The fat-soluble cannabidiol molecules cannot penetrate your skin to reach the bloodstream when used topically. But it’s thought they can bind with local receptors to reduce pain and inflammation levels.
CBD oil can also be used in your vaporizer.
The difference between CBD oil and tincture
There are many similarities but there are also important differences between CBD oil and tinctures. These can be briefly summed up by:
1) Their base
CBD oil has an oil base. A tincture has an alcohol base.
As we’ve seen above, both of these have their advantages and comparative disadvantages. Choice as to which is best is largely personal. For example, you might not use alcohol or have a sensitivity to it.
2) How you take them
A tincture can be taken sublingually or in food and drinks. An oil can be taken sublingually, topically or vaped.
Which is best for you will again be down to personal preference. You might prefer to vape, meaning CBD oil is the best choice for you. You might prefer sublingual ingestion, meaning a CBD tincture – with the possibilities of different flavorings and higher bioavailability levels they offer – might be a better choice.
3) Their taste
CBD oil, while it can be taken sublingually, tends to be cloying and oily on the tongue.
Alternatively, you can find CBD tincture for sale with all kinds of flavorings. In the K.I.N.D. range alone you can find mint, orange and a dozen others.
4) How long they last
A CBD tincture is suspended in alcohol, a natural preservative. This means a bottle of tincture can last for much longer on the shelf than a bottle of oil.
5) Their cost
On average, a tincture is both more cost-effective and cheaper than an oil. Though, as always when buying a CBD product, it’s a good idea to do everything you can to confirm the quality.
Check the label of a K.I.N.D. product, for example. You will see that it contains All-American cannabidiol from plants grown using natural, organic practices.