If you’ve just picked up your first bottle of 500 mg CBD tincture from your local dispensary or it’s finally arrived through the mail, you might not be sure exactly what to do next.
Most people who haven’t used a tincture before often find themselves asking the same old questions. Things like what is a CBD tincture and how to use one are usually top of the list!
If this is the sort of stage you’re at with your shiny new tincture – or perhaps you’re wondering whether or not a tincture might be right for you n the first place – this handy user guide has all the answers you need:
What is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is an organic compound of a type called a cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are widely found in nature, but they are most famous for their presence in the cannabis plant. Cannabis is home to 113 different kinds of cannabinoids, including CBD, in various quantities.
Cannabidiol is one of the two most famous cannabinoids known today. Unlike the other – THC, tetrahydrocannabinol – CBD is not psychoactive. This means it can be taken safely by almost everyone in almost any environment.
CBD is taken by people across America and around the world who want to deal with:
- Chronic pain
- Anxiety or depression
You can buy CBD in all kinds of formats. In vaping cartridges, in the cannabis plant itself to be smoked, in herbal medicines and vitamins, in tablets and capsules and in edibles such as gummies.
But tinctures of CBD are one of the most effective ways to get the relief you need. This is largely because they are usually highly potent and concentrated with high levels of bioavailability (a measure of how easy it is for your body to extract the beneficial compounds from a substance you ingest). They are also very easy to use.
What is CBD tincture?
A tincture of CBD is usually made from hemp, a type of cannabis which contains high levels of CBD but very low levels of THC.
Material is gathered from the plant and steeped in a mixture of alcohol and water. This creates a potent suspension which has absorbed a large quantity of cannabidiol from the cannabis plant
This alcohol and CBD mix is usually then blended with a type of carrier oil – coconut oil, peppermint oil, olive oil and hemp seed oil are common – in order to maximize bioavailability and improve the flavor of the tincture.
Alternative methods which include using vinegar, glycerin or other oils as the solvent instead of alcohol do exist. But these are broadly agreed to be less effective.
CBD tincture – benefits and advantages
There are many reasons why people prefer their tincture of CBD to other methods of ingestion. These include:
1) Tinctures give fast-acting relief
Because CBD tinctures are absorbed through the membranes in your mouth when taken sublingually (more on this later), the cannabidiol doesn’t need to pass all the way through your digestive system to be absorbed.
This means you can start to notice the effects much sooner than you would if you were getting your CBD from an edible, for example.
2) Tinctures are very potent (and cost-effective)
Thanks to their potency, tinctures tend to have a very small serving size. This means that, say, a 500mg CBD tincture will last for a very long time indeed. This makes tinctures a very cost-effective proposition.
3) Tinctures are discreet and convenient
Again, being so potent, you don’t need very much of a tincture to get the relief you’re looking for. Your tincture will normally be supplied in a small glass bottle which is easy to carry.
4) Tinctures are discreet
Unlike exhaling a huge cloud of vapor or smoke as you would when smoking or vaping cannabis or CBD oil, using a tincture creates no odor or obvious sign that you are using it.
While hemp-derived CBD products are usually legal at the Federal level, there’s no need to advertise the fact or be potentially rude to people around you when you’re getting the relief you need.
Because CBD has no psychoactive properties, tinctures can even be discreetly taken in the workplace.
5) Tinctures have a long shelf life
One of the major benefits of being essentially preserved in alcohol means that a tincture will last for a very long time indeed.
That’s a real bonus when you need to use so little of it at any one time. In fact, one of the major concerns people have when buying tinctures is whether they will be able to use it all before it goes bad!
Luckily, as long as they’re stored out of direct sunlight, tinctures can last for a year and often much longer.
6) Tinctures come in various types and flavors
K.I.N.D. alone produces mint, orange and a number of other delicious flavors of CBD tincture. You can also get organic CBD tincture, plain ones and a wide variety of others. There’s something for every taste.
What is CBD tincture used for?
The cannabidiol which comes from the hemp plant has numerous beneficial qualities – and these will be the things which most people point to when you ask then what they use their CBD tincture for.
Pain relief is common, as is reduction in inflammation. There are the potential mental health benefits too. Many people swear by CBD as something which helps them address their anxiety or depression. Others find that it reduces nausea they experience and that it can be used in to help address the other side-effects of certain cancer treatments too.
There are so-far unproven reports and suggestions that CBD might also be used as a treatment against acne and in the recovery from substance abuse, among others. But more work needs to be done before this is confirmed.
How much CBD tincture to take
Although CBD has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of two specific forms of epilepsy, there are not currently any overall guidelines as to the general recommended dose when taking CBD for other conditions.
Confusion can also arise when you consider that the quantity of CBD in a container – a 500 mg CBD tincture is a common sizing – is contained within a liquid, the quantity of which is usually measured in milliliters.
The factors which govern how much CBD tincture you should take in one dose include:
- Your body fat levels (CBD is fat-soluble)
- Whether you are female or not (for the same reason)
- Your metabolism and the amount of exercise you get
- The severity of the condition you are trying to address
- How much CBD you usually take (confusingly, the more you use cannabidiol, the less you may actually need to take over time)
- The potency of the product you purchased
The most sensible way is to start small and build up your dose. Consider taking anything below 10 mg as a starting dose, seeing how that affects you, and then building on that next time.
Some estimates say that 25 mg of CBD twice per day should be a roughly standard dose. But it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor if you’re considering making CBD a part of your treatment regimen for a specific issue.
This is especially true if you are taking antihistamines, antiretrovirals, some antidepressant medications or beta-blockers, as CBD has the potential to interfere with the way they operate.
How to use CBD tincture
When most people ask how to take CBD tincture, they’re thinking of the classic method of sublingual ingestion where you place a few drops beneath your tongue. But there are in fact several different ways to use CBD tincture, including:
To take your tincture sublingually, use the pipette supplied with your bottle to place a drop or two – depending on the dose you’ve worked out for yourself – in your mouth beneath your tongue.
Hold the drops there for about a minute. Then swallow.
Taking your tincture sublingually gives you the best chance of encouraging it to get to work as soon as possible. That’s because it can pass directly into your bloodstream through the mouth membranes without needing to go all the way through your digestive system before you start to get any noticeable effect.
2) In a beverage
While there are many pleasantly flavored CBD tinctures available, many people do not enjoy the action of taking their tincture sublingually.
A popular alternative is to place a couple of drops of tincture in your favorite beverage. Some of the most common drinks to which people add their tinctures include:
- Hot chocolate
- Carbonated drinks
- CBD cocktails
- Protein, diet and milk shakes
3) In your favorite snacks
Solid foods also make a good way to shuttle your CBD tincture into your body. The key is always to bear in mind how easily your body can absorb the food in question.
Some “serving suggestions” for your tincture would include mixing a few drops into your:
- Greek yogurt
- Or using it as a salad dressing
4) When baking
Many keen amateur bakers love to add their tincture to sweet treats they’re preparing, such as brownies, cakes, cupcakes and cookies.
Of course, this and the above method mean your tincture will need to pass through your digestive tract before being absorbed by your body. This will increase onset time but may also increase the duration of the effects.
Topical use of CBD products isn’t usually linked to a tincture. CBD oils and creams tend to be more popular. But you can use your tincture topically by spreading it on the parts of your body which are experiencing things like joint pain or muscle spasms.
A topical alternative is to put some drops of tincture into a warm bath and use it essentially as a not very explosive bath bomb!
CBD tincture vs CBD oil (if necessary)
It’s important to know that, despite the fact they both contain cannabidiol and that both tend to come in small, often brown glass bottles for UV protection, CBD oils and CBD tinctures are actually two different things. Bear in mind:
- Base – CBD oil has an oil base. CBD tincture has an alcohol one. An alcohol base maximizes bioavailability and preserves the final product for a long period of time, resulting in a lengthy shelf life.
- Potency – a CBD tincture is almost always going to be more potent than an oil.
- Topical use – on the downside, a tincture is likely to be less useful for topical application than an oil. This is because a tincture will often contain extra ingredients which may lead to skin irritation.
Where can I find CBD tincture for sale?
You can find CBD tincture for sale in your local licensed dispensary as well as from numerous vendors online. Just be sure you know what you’re getting before you buy:
- Legality – you should always check to see what the cannabidiol in your product was made from. Ideally, hemp, which means it’s federally legal as long as it falls beneath the 0.3% THC limit.
- Quality – where and how was that cannabis grown? For the highest quality, you’re looking for something like the K.I.N.D. production process. All K.I.N.D. products are made from cannabis that’s grown in the good old US of A using natural, organic farming methods.
- Strength – how much cannabidiol is in that suspension in milligrams? A similar quantity of liquid can have a dramatically different amount of active ingredient suspended in it. Check the label and work it out. There aren’t really any serious side-effects of a CBD overdose, but it’s still not a good idea.
If you’re looking for advice, you can always consider consulting your local budtender about CBD tinctures. It’s their job to advise you on the best product for your needs without any kind of bias.