When it comes to buying a CBD product for sublingual use, the terms "CBD oil" and "CBD tincture" are often used interchangeably. They both look the same and they are both taken the same way.
You're probably wondering what the differences are and which one is better. It's important to know what they are so you know what you're buying.
By the end of this post, you will find out everything you need to know about CBD tinctures vs oils.
What Is CBD?
CBD is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. In cannabis, there are hundreds of cannabinoids but the most common ones are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). Have a look below to see the cannabinoid difference.
Many people associate cannabis with getting high but this is due to THC. THC is the only cannabinoid in cannabis that gives you mind-altering effects. THC can be great for some people with severe conditions but not everyone enjoys that mind-altering effect.
CBD alone however cannot get you high at all. Some cannabis strains may have CBD and THC in them. But different ratios of THC to CBD give you different effects.
When you buy CBD products they mostly derive from hemp plants. This is also known as a hemp extract. Hemp is a name used to describe cannabis that has trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3 percent THC content). This is also known as industrial hemp which has been federally legalized due to the signed 2018 Farm Bill.
So this means you can buy CBD anywhere without a need for a medical card.
How Does CBD Affect The Body?
We all have something called an Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This is a network of receptors located all around the body, your brain, organs, you name it. So when you use CBD oil it works on your ECS. The effects you feel comes down to dosage consumed. If you take too much you may experience some negative side effects, like with anything else.
As CBD products are CBD dominant and very low in THC, you will experience the effects of CBD. There are numerous benefits of CBD. But the most common things it helps with is pain, anxiety, sleep, and neurological conditions such as seizures.
The problem with CBD however is that it's sold as a supplement and not medicine. It isn't well regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). So you need to be extremely careful who you buy CBD from. I will talk more about this soon.
How CBD Is Extracted?
Every CBD product goes through an extraction process. This extraction process involves pulling cannabinoids out of the plant.
The extraction method used for this process is either solvent or solventless. The solvent method usually involves alcohol. The solventless method uses things such as co2 machines or rosin press machines to avoid using a solvent.
Regardless of which extraction method is used, the purpose of it is to isolate those cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant material.
What Is CBD Oil
CBD oil is basically extracted CBD that has been placed into a carrier oil.
Co2 extraction is the highest quality method used for extracting cannabinoids. It's also the most expensive. If you're buying CBD oils it's best to buy them from a company that uses this method. Why? Because it's the most organic way of doing so.
A co2 machine uses highly pressurized carbon dioxide to separate the cannabinoids from the plant without the use of any solvents. This leaves you with a full-spectrum extract of pure cannabinoids and terpenes.
Once the cannabinoids and terpenes are extracted it gets placed into carrier oils. The most common carrier oil used is MCT oil. This type of oil helps the cannabinoids to be absorbed into the bloodstream a lot better than standard oils and CBD tinctures.
What Is A CBD Tincture?
CBD tinctures are extracts of CBD that are alcohol-based.
Tinctures are a much cheaper way of producing the final CBD product. Alcohol does a very good job of pulling cannabinoids from the plant. It's so easy that you could probably do it yourself at home. All it involves is soaking cannabis in alcohol over time and it separates the cannabinoids from the plant material. The most common solvent used to make tinctures is ethanol or some sort of high proof grain alcohol.
A tincture has more ingredients added to mask the taste of alcohol. Usually things like flavorings or sweeteners and glycerin.
CBD Oil Vs CBD Tinctures: Similarities & Differences
When you're buying CBD products, oils and CBD tinctures look the same. They both come in tinted dropper bottles and have similar labeling. You probably couldn't tell the difference at all just by looking at them. That's why so many people are confused.
They are both hemp-derived CBD products so you will feel the same thing. They both act on the ECS which provides relief from a whole range of conditions.
Taken the same way
They both come in dropper bottles and both are taken sublingually. How it works is, the glands in your mouth absorb CBD into the bloodstream and have a quick onset of effects. These effects can last anywhere between 2-4 hours.
The quality of hemp extract you get from CBD oil vs tinctures is uncomparable. Oils that use co2 extraction is the most organic and pure way of extracting cannabinoids and terpenes. As tinctures use alcohol there are leftover solvents.
Oils absorb much better with cannabinoids compared to alcohol so the effects of oils are greater. When it comes to effects, bioavailability is everything. Bioavailability refers to how much cannabinoids are actually present in the bloodstream. If you're absorbing more cannabinoids from oils then you will have a greater effect compared to tinctures.
A CBD tincture has extra ingredients including flavorings that make them taste better. As tinctures have more ingredients which makes them have a longer shelf life.
Organic CBD oil is quite bitter and plant-like. Some customers hate this taste so they go with a tincture instead. CBD oil however can include some flavoring but it's not common.
How Can You Tell If You Have Tincture Or Oil
The best way you can tell whether you're buying a CBD tincture vs oil is to look at the ingredients.
CBD tinctures will have more ingredients since it has an alcohol base. It will contain things like:
CBD oil will have the fewest ingredients possible. It will contain the extract and carrier oil such as:
Another way you can tell is to simply ask the company or have a look at their farming methods on their website. Any reputable company will have some information about their farming practices. If not you should be able to reach out to them and ask them.
Which One Is Better?
It comes down to personal preference. For the best effect and better value for money, CBD oils are better. However, the taste might put you off so you might prefer a tincture in this case.
Another reason why someone might choose oils over tinctures is the alcohol content alone. Some customers simply prefer to not have alcohol, either for health reasons or if they're recovering from alcoholism.
What Type Of CBD Oil Or Tincture Is The Best?
There are 3 types of extracts:
Remember earlier when I mentioned the CBD extraction process? When the whole plant is extracted it's called full-spectrum. This means that all the cannabinoids and terpenes are extracted. Broad-spectrum or PCR is another type of extraction that involves removing tetrahydrocannabinol from the full-spectrum extract.
Some customers prefer to have no THC in their extract because they may have extreme sensitivities or they simply don't want it. When all other cannabinoids and terpenes a removed except CBD, this is called CBD isolate.
CBD alone isn't as beneficial compared to when it's present with all the other cannabinoids and terpenes. That's because it misses out on the entourage effect. The entourage effect is when all the cannabinoids and terpenes work in synergy with your ECS.
So in this case using an isolate alone is pointless and has to be combined with a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum extract. This is also known as CBD infusion. This helps to boost the CBD profile of the product.
How Can I Pick Good CBD Oil/CBD Tinctures?
We have already made a list of the best CBD oils and tinctures on the market. But here are some things to make sure that you pick a good CBD product.
Make sure it's a CBD extract and not seed extract
Lots of customers are buying hemp oil thinking they're buying CBD oil. They are both different extracts. Hemp oil, also known as hemp seed oil is an extract of only the seeds of the hemp plant.
CBD oil is the entire plant extract that has all the cannabinoids and terpenes that hemp oil doesn't. Some CBD oils might have the term "derived from hemp" but the word hemp is just a term used to describe cannabis that has less than 0.3% THC content and contains high CBD levels.
CBD tinctures are not oils but they should say how the plant was extracted.
Does the company you're buying from have any social proof? Is their website all professional and tell you exactly who they are and how their products are made?
The best places to buy CBD products online is from an already well-established company within the industry.
The CBD industry isn't well regulated by the FDA. This leaves doors open for entrepreneurs trying to make some quick money. They will make wild health and wellness claims to push their products out. A company can never say that a product is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Lab-testing is crucial in this industry. This is the only way that you can verify the potency and whether or not the products are safe to take or not. 3rd party lab-testing involves sending samples to a testing facility. When products are tested, the company gets given an official report which they can show to their customers. Lab reports show the amount of CBD and other cannabinoids that are present in the sample. It also shows a test for contamination such as heavy metals and other impurities.
This post is already as longer than it needs to be. Remember that the main difference between CBD oil and tinctures is what the CBD extract is mixed with. CBD tinctures are mixed with alcohol and oils are mixed with oils.
Oils offer more benefits in terms of bioavailability and high-quality extraction. But that comes with a bitter taste. So some people prefer CBD tinctures because they taste better.