Did you know that CBD-infused oils and CBD tinctures are not the same? Read on to find out the key difference and which one is better. Are CBD oils and tinctures the same thing? What are they made of? What do they do? Let’s take a look at the differences between CBD oils and tinctures. Understand the difference between alcohol cannabis tinctures and oil tinctures. Find premium cannabis tinctures from Moss Crossing.
CBD Oil vs Tincture: What’s the Difference?
Did you know that CBD-infused oils and CBD tinctures are not the same? Unfortunately, companies often use both terms interchangeably, furthering the misunderstanding of two closely resembled products.
CBD tinctures and CBD oils are advertised in similar packaging and are used for similar purposes. However, they differ in a variety of significant ways. In this article, we analyze the various distinctions between CBD-infused oils and CBD tinctures. But first, a little background.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the numerous active compounds naturally secreted by cannabis and hemp plants. Unlike its infamous counterpart, delta-nine-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not induce any intoxicating effects.
Research into the therapeutic potential of CBD has thus far yielded promising results. While more studies are required to substantiate any CBD-related health claim, much anecdotal evidence suggests its potential effectiveness.
The Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a network of receptors within our neurological system. These receptors can be found in every part of the body, including vital organs. Scientists discovered that these receptors respond favorably to endogenous (body-produced) substances known as “endocannabinoids.”
The response of these receptors to endocannabinoids may aid in the restoration of bodily homeostasis. Hemp-derived cannabinoids, such as CBD, are currently at the forefront of health research because the compounds behave similarly to the endocannabinoids already naturally produced by the body.
How is CBD Extracted?
Cannabinoids such as CBD can be extracted from hemp using various extraction methods. Here at Luce Farm we make CBD from carefully trimmed hemp flowers using CO2 extraction. We feel this produces the highest quality CBD products.
Regardless of the CBD extraction method, the goal is to separate the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant material.
Types of CBD
Depending on the type of CBD product, it falls into one of three categories:
- Full-spectrum: refers to the extraction of the entire plant. All cannabinoids and terpenes are extracted and remain in the final product.
- Broad-spectrum: contains all cannabinoids and terpenes except THC, which is filtered and removed from the final product.
- CBD isolate: Pure CBD – all other compounds are filtered and removed from the final product.
CBD is more effective when combined with other cannabinoids and terpenes. Consuming multiple compounds simultaneously induces a phenomenon called the entourage effect. This synergistic relationship shared between all cannabinoids and terpenes makes full-spectrum products superior to CBD isolates.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is typically extracted from hemp and combined with a carrier oil.
The highest grade method for extracting plant-based compounds is known as supercritical CO2 extraction. Unfortunately, this technique is also the most costly. If you’re looking to buy CBD oils, look for a company that employs this procedure. Why? Because it creates the most natural and chemically sound product.
Supercritical CO2 extraction utilizes highly compressed carbon dioxide to separate cannabinoids from plant matter (typically hemp) without employing potentially dangerous solvents. The extracted cannabinoids and terpenes are mixed with carrier oils, such as medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil. Unlike regular oils and CBD tinctures, MCT oil is more easily absorbed by the human body.
CBD Oil Ingredients
CBD oils are made up of base oils and carrier oils. These base oils are responsible for diluting the cannabidiol, making it easier to be absorbed by the body. These oils generally include:
- MCT oil
- Coconut oil
- Vegetable glycerin base
- Hemp seed oil
What Is A CBD Tincture?
Unlike CBD-infused oils, CBD tinctures are alcohol-based.
Tinctures utilize a considerably less expensive technique, and alcohol is particularly effective at extracting cannabinoids from plant matter. The procedure entails soaking hemp in alcohol to separate the cannabinoids from the plant matter. Ethanol or high-proof grain alcohol is the most frequent solvent used to produce tinctures.
Other substances are often added to a tincture to conceal the taste of alcohol. Sweeteners, glycerin, and other flavorings are common examples.
CBD Tincture Ingredients
In comparison to oil, the CBD ratio in a tincture is lower. It is primarily due to the addition of other compounds incorporated to enhance flavor and prolong shelf life. The following are some of the most commonly added ingredients:
- Essential oils (lavender, basil, etc.)
- Natural and artificial sweeteners
CBD Oil vs. Tincture: Shared Similarities
Before discussing the differences between CBD-infused oils and CBD tinctures, we must first note a few shared similarities.
CBD-infused oils and CBD tinctures both have similar labeling and are sold in colored dropper bottles. However, you wouldn’t be able to identify the difference just by looking at them. No wonder so many people get confused!
Method of Consumption
CBD-infused oils and CBD tinctures are administered sublingually (under the tongue) or buccally (against the inner cheek). The compounds are then absorbed into the bloodstream through the glands in your mouth.
CBD Oil vs. Tincture: What’s the Difference?
Now that we have discussed how CBD-infused oils are similar to CBD tinctures, we can analyze how they differ.
When comparing CBD oil to tinctures, the purity of hemp extract obtained from CBD oil is unrivaled. CO2 is the most natural and pure approach to extracting cannabinoids and terpenes. Because tinctures are made using alcohol, there are solvents left over.
Oils such as MCT oil absorb cannabinoids considerably better than alcohol. Therefore, the effects of CBD-infused oils are thought to be superior in comparison to CBD tinctures.
A CBD tincture contains additional ingredients, such as flavorings to improve taste and preservatives to elongate shelf life.
Organic CBD-infused oil has a plant-like flavor that some consumers may regard as harsh, but others enjoy. Some companies have opted to add additional flavoring ingredients, though this is not yet standard practice. A good example is our Peppermint CBD Oil.
CBD Oil or Tincture?
Looking at the active ingredients is the easiest method to identify a CBD-infused oil from a tincture.
Because CBD tinctures are made with alcohol, they will contain additional compounds such as:
- Essential oils
The CBD oil will be made with as few ingredients as possible. It will include the extract as well as a carrier oil, such as:
- MCT oil
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
You can also ask the company or look at their agricultural procedures on their website to find out. Any credible business will be able to provide you with information regarding their farming procedures. If not, you should be able to contact them to inquire about it.
How to Choose Quality CBD Oil/CBD Tinctures?
When searching for high-quality CBD oil or tinctures, remember the following points:
Avoid Hemp Seed Oils
Many consumers mistakenly believe they are purchasing CBD oil when purchasing hemp seed oil. However, these are two different extracts entirely. Hemp oil, commonly known as hemp seed oil, is a concentrated extract of the hemp plant’s seeds and contains no cannabinoids.
CBD oil is a plant extract that includes all cannabinoids and terpenes produced within the hemp plant. The highest quality CBD oils are made exclusively from cannabinoid rich hemp flowers.
Choose a Reputable Source
Are you purchasing from a reputable company? Is their website well-designed and informative, describing who they are and how their products are made? Are they already well known in the industry?
Unfortunately, the popularity of CBD has been an opening for unethical entrepreneurs looking to make a quick buck. To sell their products, they make outrageous health claims. Remember that a corporation cannot claim that its product is designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Here at Luce Farm Wellness, we have combined our dedication to sustainable agriculture with our passion for holistic health. Our hemp is grown from seed and harvested by hand on certified organic Vermont farmland. Each product utilizes the supercritical CO2 extraction technique, a natural and environmentally-friendly process that yields the purest products.
The critical difference between CBD oil and CBD tincture is that CBD tinctures are alcohol-based, whereas CBD oils are oil-based. This affects how they are produced and what ingredients make up the final product. CBD oils have advantages in terms of bioavailability and extraction quality.
We have always chosen to produce CBD oil because we place a premium on quality. We use organic mother oils following extraction to handcraft our entire product range in our own manufacturing facility. From seed to shelf, we maintain quality control. Our focus on integrity, quality, and consistency shows in all of our products.
CBD Tincture vs. CBD Oil: What’s the Difference?
The use of CBD is an increasingly popular but controversial topic, sparking numerous debates around the world. Previously misunderstood and held among controlled substances, CBD is now said to have numerous benefits for our well-being.
In light of this, a myriad of CBD products keeps popping up in the market today — including CBD oils, tinctures, hair creams, gummies, soft gels, salves, vapes, and so on. Each of these forms has its pros and cons, but there are two product types that are notoriously confused with each other.
We’re talking about CBD oils and tinctures.
Despite being two different products, they are often mistaken for each other due to a similar route of administration. However, based on their method of extraction, taste, and other factors, they are miles apart.
In this article, we will be taking an in-depth look at CBD oils and tinctures, what they are and how they differ. We’ll also cover their ingredients, health benefits, and how to use them.
What is CBD?
CBD is an acronym for cannabidiol — a natural compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant. It’s one of the two major cannabinoids in hemp and marijuana — the two sources that are used for extraction. As more research bodies, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), continue to share information about the purported benefits and side-effects of CBD, scientists are fueling more resources into the research on its potential applications.
CBD is said to have myriads of health benefits:
- Stress relief
- Clearing of Acne
- Anxiety relief
- Pain reduction
- Improved sleep
- Inflammation relief
What Is CBD Tincture?
A tincture is a herbal extract that is made by using alcohol and water to extract compounds from a plant.
In the same vein, a CBD tincture is a herbal extract that is made by using alcohol and water to extract CBD from the Cannabis sativa plant.
A CBD tincture is more or less a suspension of CBD in alcohol. CBD is usually suspended in about 60 to 70% distilled alcohol. Tinctures are incredibly bitter, so you can commonly find them loaded with additives to improve the taste. Such additives include cinnamon, vegetable glycerin, peppermint, sweeteners, or other flavorings. Other ingredients such as vitamins or supplements may be added to further support or boost the said health benefits of CBD.
Despite the taste, the use of alcohol in a CBD suspension increases the shelf life of CBD. CBD tinctures can be preserved for as long as three to five years.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is made from oils that have been extracted from different parts of the hemp plant such as flowers and leaves. When these oils are extracted, they are also suspended in a carrier oil such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, or olive oil. Due to this method of extraction, CBD oils are the most potent and expensive CBD products. The extracted oil may also contain other substances such as adjunctive cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, proteins, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Ingredients Found in CBD Tincture vs CBD Oil
Ingredients in CBD Tincture
CBD Tinctures are less potent than CBD oils because of their composition. While CBD oils are a mixture of hemp extract and carrier oils, CBD tinctures are made up of the following:
- Distilled alcohol (60-70%)
- Essential vitamins
- Essential oils
Ingredients in CBD Oil
CBD oil is made from an oily resin containing cannabinoids and terpenes. Other ingredients that you may find in CBD oils include:
- Carrier oils
- Supportive ingredients (vitamins, minerals, etc.)
- Essential oils
Differences between CBD Tincture and Oil
With the same active ingredient, CBD oil and tinctures have many similarities. Some of these similarities include their methods of use and their alleged therapeutic effects. However, there are also some obvious differences, such as:
Both CBD oil and tinctures taste relatively bitter, although tinctures are said to have a stronger flavor. Since CBD oils are also diluted in a carrier oil, they taste milder than tinctures. For that reason, both formats are often flavored with essential oils or sweeteners.
CBD oils have an oil base. It is usually made of carrier oils like coconut oil, olive oil, or hemp seed oil.
CBD tincture has alcohol as its base. CBD is usually suspended in 60 to 70% distilled alcohol to make a tincture.
3. Shelf Life
CBD tinctures have a much longer shelf life than CBD oils. This is caused by the alcohol content of the tincture. Ethyl alcohol acts as a preservative and can make CBD last for as long as five years. CBD oil does expire as it shows signs to determine if it has gone bad. An extra tip for the preservation of any CBD products is to keep them away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
Which is Better: CBD Oil or Tincture?
CBD oils and tinctures have the same uses and benefits. There is no clear-cut way to determine which is better than the other. It all depends on personal preferences and sensitivities.
CBD oils may be a better choice if you do not fancy the taste of alcohol and are looking for something with consistent potency throughout batches. CBD tinctures might be better if you’re looking for a product with a longer shelf life and don’t mind the harshness of alcohol.
How to Use CBD Oil and Tincture
The main route of administration for CBD oils and tinctures is through sublingual use. In other words, you need to take the extract under the tongue, where it gets absorbed through tiny capillaries in your mouth. This allows CBD to bypass the first-pass metabolism by avoiding the liver.
If you don’t like the flavor of CBD oils and tinctures, you can add a few drops to your beverages or mix them with food. However, this way, less CBD will enter your bloodstream because it will have to pass through the digestive system first.
There are also products like capsules and edibles such as gummies, both of which can contain CBD oil or tincture as a base. Finally, you can infuse CBD oils and tinctures into topical formulations if you’re looking for relief from localized problems.
CBD tinctures and oils should never be vaped because they are not suitable for this consumption method. There are special CBD vape oils made from distillates and terpenes; however, food-grade tinctures and oils contain additional ingredients that may turn out toxic when you heat them, so always make sure that you’re vaping a product that’s designed specifically for that purpose.
How CBD Oils and Tinctures Work
After absorption into the body, CBD oils and tinctures interact with the endogenous cannabinoid system, also called the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system is a cell-signaling system that was discovered in the 1990s. It is not as extensively understood as other systems in the body such as the central nervous system. More research needs to be carried out to learn more about it.
The endocannabinoid system works through the synergistic actions of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids produced by the body, and enzymes. Two of the most important endocannabinoids produced by the body are anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG).
Two of the major cannabinoid receptors discovered thus far are the CB1 and CB2 receptors. The CB1 receptors are mostly found in the central nervous system. The CB2 receptors are found in the peripheral nervous system, such as the cells of the immune system.
Endocannabinoids bind to the cannabinoid receptors to elicit certain effects on the body. The type of effects depends on the location of the cannabinoid receptor.
When they are done with their work, the endocannabinoids are broken down by enzymes. The enzymes responsible for this are fatty acid amide hydrolase, which degrades AEA and monoacylglycerol acid lipase, which degrades 2-AG.
At the moment, researchers have found out that the endocannabinoid system affects several aspects of our well-being such as our appetite, digestion, sleep, fertility, and memory. It is said to exert effects on the central nervous system and immune system as well.
CBD oils and tinctures work on the endocannabinoid system as exogenous cannabinoids. They mimic the actions of the endocannabinoids produced by the body by binding to the cannabinoid receptors and eliciting effects on the body.
This is especially beneficial when the human body is lacking in these endocannabinoids. A deficiency in endocannabinoids is said to cause illness in some people.
How to Choose CBD Oil and Tincture
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations on CBD are not as straightforward as they are with many other foods and drugs — so it’s important to be diligent and do your research on whatever brand you intend to purchase from. And no, a celebrity or influencer’s promotion of a product does not count.
1. Hemp Source
It is important to know the sources of the hemp plants used to source the CBD used in oils and tinctures. You want to be sure the CBD is of good quality. You also want to be sure that you are getting good value for your money. Manufacturers of CBD oils and tinctures should be transparent about the sources of the hemp plants they use. US-grown hemp plants are the preferred option.
2. Third-party Testing
Third-party testing simply means testing that is carried out on CBD oils and tinctures by a lab that is not affiliated with the manufacturer’s company in any way. These independent labs check that the level of THC is less than 0.3% and for the presence of contaminants such as pesticides or heavy metals. Third-party lab testing is an extra source of confirmation that you are purchasing a safe product. As such, it is very important for you to ensure that any CBD oils or tinctures you buy have undergone third-party testing.
3. Cannabinoid Spectrum
Other cannabinoid compounds can be present in some oils and tinctures. The labels and the actual ingredient list must show the same thing. For instance, a product that is labeled a CBD isolate should have CBD as the only cannabinoid listed. Products that have been labeled broad-spectrum products will have other cannabinoids like cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG) and terpenes, but not Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Products that are labeled full-spectrum will have a small amount of THC, less than 0.3%.
4. Customer Feedback
Whatever CBD brands you are trying to purchase should have a lot of positive reviews. A lot more positive ones than negative at least. These customer reviews should also be easy to find. There should be feedback on their website and perhaps on their social media as well. Customer feedback can help you know what to expect from a particular manufacturer. You can even get insights on additional information such as their delivery times, etc. In the case of negative comments, it is a good opportunity to see how they respond and hopefully resolve the issues. Signs of attempts to stifle customer feedback such as limiting comments on Instagram posts should make you very suspicious.
CBD oils and tinctures are two different products with similar uses and routes of administration. They differ based on their methods of extraction, carriers, shelf life, and taste.
If you don’t mind a stronger flavor, tinctures are a good option for a long-lasting product due to their longer shelf life. However, they also contain chlorophyll and other plant compounds that bind with alcohol — and they aren’t necessary to maintain the therapeutic value of CBD.
That’s why many people prefer CBD oils over tinctures. Not only do they taste milder, but they also are more consistent when it comes to potency and the overall phytochemical profile of the product. They are also carefully filtered to get rid of unwanted plant matter.
Since the FDA regulations concerning CBD products are unclear compared to other foods and drugs, it’s important to do your research if you want to choose safe products. Some pointers to help you purchase safe CBD products include organic hemp, third-party testing, positive customer feedback, and information about the cannabinoid spectrum.
- Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in anxiety and sleep: a large case series. The Permanente Journal , 23 .
- Hurd, Y.L., Yoon, M., Manini, A.F. et al. (2015). Early Phase in the Development of Cannabidiol as a Treatment for Addiction: Opioid Relapse Takes Initial Center Stage. Neurotherapeutics 12.
- Flachenecker, P., Henze, T., & Zettl, U. K. (2014). Nabiximols (THC/CBD oromucosal spray, Sativex®) in clinical practice-results of a multicenter, non-interventional study (MOVE 2) in patients with multiple sclerosis spasticity. European neurology , 71 (5-6), 271-279.
Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.
Cannabis Tinctures: Alcohol vs Oil Tinctures
Tinctures have been around for many years. These orally dosed agents can be made from a range of medicinal and botanical agents, including cannabis. While traditionally all tinctures were made using alcohol, today in the world of cannabis, the word “tincture” can imply one of two types of products: an alcohol tincture or an oil tincture. So, what’s the difference, and does the difference matter as far as potency, dosage, or effects? Let’s take a closer look.
First, why cannabis tinctures?
Cannabis tinctures offer an alternative way to reap the benefits of or simply enjoy the effects of cannabis. Instead of smoking flower, you can simply take the dose in a discreet way—no grinding, no rolling, and no ash, smoke, or smell. Tinctures also offer a more precise way of dosing cannabis, which can be useful for people who use cannabis for medical purposes or prefer to microdose. It can be difficult to measure a precise level of cannabinoids if you are smoking flower, even though you could potentially get a rough estimate when you know the potency of your strain.
Health Benefits of Cannabis Tinctures
Studies have shown that cannabis tinctures show a lot of promise for certain health benefits. Tinctures are the main type of cannabis product that include THCa, CBDa and CBGa. These are cannabinoid acids that have not yet been decarboxylated, a process where cannabis is heated to activate cannabinoids. Though the exact benefits have yet to be confirmed, it is notable that these are starting to be studied—including this recent COVID-related study—and the only way you can get them currently is in a tincture, most notably Peak tinctures.
A Look at Cannabis Tincture Made with Alcohol
A cannabis alcohol tincture is essentially an alcohol-based extract. The alcohol used to make these products is high-proof, so the end result is often a product containing 60 to 70 percent alcohol. The alcohol acts as a natural solvent, so to make an alcohol tincture, the cannabis plant is basically soaked in alcohol, the plant matter is strained, and the desirable cannabinoids remain in the alcohol.
Cannabis alcohol tinctures are actually not as common as oil tinctures, and that is not without reason. Not only do some people prefer to avoid alcohol, but the alcohol tincture can also have a bit more of a bitter or harsh taste that requires flavor additives to mask. So, while tinctures are traditionally known to have alcohol in them, the majority of cannabis tinctures are usually made with oil.
A Look at Cannabis Tincture Made with Oil
Cannabis tinctures made with oil are cannabinoids that have been extracted from cannabis and then incorporated into a carrier oil. Even though several different types of carrier oils may be used, including hemp seed oil, the most common oil is something like MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) coconut oil. In addition, other terpenes or essential oils may be added to the tincture for additional flavoring.
The cannabinoids found in cannabis, such as CBD (cannabidiol) or THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), can be extracted from the cannabis plant in a number of ways. Many modern-day processors utilize distillation or supercritical CO2 extraction to prevent the possibility of lingering solvents. In general terms, an oil tincture will have a more palatable taste than an alcohol tincture and tends to have fewer ingredients.
Alcohol vs Oil Tincture – Which is better?
While most people prefer an oil-based tincture over an alcohol tincture and oil tinctures are easier to find, which is best can be a matter of preference. For the most part, tinctures made with alcohol or oil are going to deliver the same cannabinoid profiles, and the effects can be pretty much the same. The primary difference is how the cannabinoids were extracted and the main ingredient in the product.
Some prefer cannabis oil tinctures because they don’t like the taste of alcohol or they are sensitive to alcohol. Just the same, some may prefer an alcohol tincture because they have sensitivities to carrier oils. Alcohol tinctures do have a longer shelf life (generally 3-5 years) so if you are a very occasional user, alcohol tinctures may be the way to go.
How to Take Cannabis Tincture
All cannabis tinctures can be taken orally or sublingually. When taken orally, you simply place your remeasured dose on your tongue and swallow. When taken sublingually, you place the dose under your tongue, hold it in place for about 30 seconds, and then swallow. It should be noted that some alcohol tinctures are best swallowed, especially those that have a higher alcohol content, because it is uncomfortable to hold the dose under your tongue.
The ingested or swallowed tincture can take an hour or two to kick in, much like a cannabis edible. By contrast, sublingual dosing under the tongue offers faster absorption and transition into the bloodstream. Therefore, you may feel the effects in as little as 15 minutes.
Dosage levels with tinctures vary from person to person. Always look at the potency of the product you are using and determine how much you need. Remember, tinctures can be highly potent. For example, something like Siskiyou Sungrown Alcohol Tincture contains 380mg of THC in a one-ounce bottle. Therefore, one bottle can contain as much as 128 0.25 ml servings, depending on your dosage needs specifically.
Find Premium Cannabis Tinctures at Moss Crossing
At Moss Crossing, we do all we can to bring all the ways to enjoy cannabis to our customers. Therefore, in addition to some of the top-requested flower strains, pre-rolls, and vapes, we also include a full lineup of cannabis tinctures on our menu. Be sure to take a look at our menu to reserve your preferred tincture for pickup.
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