A Comprehensive Guide to CBD Tinctures
Written by Cathy Rozyczko
Edited by Jason Brett on
September 27, 2021
If you’re new to the world of CBD oil, there’s a lot of new terminology to take in; one term that may be particularly new or confusing is “CBD tincture.” What is a CBD tincture? And how do you use it?
If you’re not sure how CBD tinctures differ from other CBD oil products, or whether you should be choosing one CBD tincture over the another, read on to find out everything you need to know.
What Is a CBD Tincture?
CBD tinctures are one of the many ways you can purchase cannabidiol oil (CBD oil). Usually provided in a glass bottle with convenient dropper lid, CBD tinctures come in liquid form and contain highly concentrated CBD, the cannabinoid making a name for itself worldwide due to its many health properties, including its ability to relieve pain and inflammation.
CBD tinctures are a convenient method for taking high-strength CBD if you need a stronger, more potent dose.
The process for creating CBD tinctures involves steeping flowers from the hemp plant in alcohol and cooking the mixture over low heat for a period of time. The hemp flowers used contain high amounts of CBD, ensuring the final tincture has a rich CBD content while also being naturally low in THC*.
Full-spectrum CBD tinctures may also contain other non-intoxicating compounds from the cannabis plant like terpenes and other cannabinoids. All of the elements work together in a process called the entourage effect that ultimately produces more numerous and stronger benefits compared to if you had just taken a pure substance, like CBD isolate. However, if you’re concerned about having THC in your product, a pure CBD tincture will be the way to go.
After many hours, the hemp flower/alcohol mixture reduces down into a concentrated liquid which is then mixed with a carrier oil. Coconut oil, as well as peppermint and orange oils, are commonly used due to their enjoyable taste, as the unflavored tincture can have a strong hemp taste that some people may find unpleasant.
*Note: While CBD tinctures contain only trace amounts of THC (typically under 0.3%), cannabis tinctures include higher concentrations of THC. Be sure you read the label before making a purchase.
What Are the Benefits of CBD Tinctures?
A high-strength CBD tincture can be incredibly effective at treating chronic pain and inflammation. Working with the body’s own endocannabinoid system, cannabidiol helps to restore homeostasis by both directly and indirectly affecting hormone receptors and cells throughout the body.
One of the true benefits of a CBD tincture is its convenience and discretion. The small bottle can be easily stored in a purse or a pocket, and the tincture itself can be added to food or beverages if it is not convenient to take it sublingually (under the tongue).
Another benefit of CBD tinctures is the relatively short amount of time it takes for the CBD to take effect. The CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream directly through the thin skin under your tongue, bypassing the digestive system and going to work in as little as 15 minutes; from there, you can expect the effects to last anywhere from two to four hours. However, if you opt to add the tincture to food or drink, it will take longer for you to feel the effects because the CBD must pass through your digestive system.
Because of their strength and convenience, CBD tinctures are great if you have a chronic health condition, but can also be used to support a healthy lifestyle. From building muscle mass to promoting relaxation, CBD tinctures can be a valuable supplement for general wellness.
How to Use a CBD Tincture
Using a CBD tincture is similar to using CBD oil drops. You’ll first need to figure out your ideal dose (more on that below) then, simply drop the desired amount of tincture under your tongue and hold it there for 60 seconds.
If you’re really struggling with the taste, or are culinarily inclined, you can add your CBD tincture to food or drink. If the tincture is high in terpenes, the cannabis compounds that produce a number of different, naturally occurring flavors, you might find creative ways to work your CBD into beverages or meals. Just be mindful of the heat, as cannabidiol starts to break down at higher temperatures.
Before you begin supplementing with a CBD tincture, it is important that you first discuss your plans with your doctor. While CBD oil has little to no side effects, it can interact with certain medications you may already be taking.
CBD inhibits the cytochrome P450 enzyme system, causing come medications to be processed more slowly, leading to a greater amount of them being present in the body for a longer period of time. This increase increasing the likelihood that you will experience the side effects of that medication. Always play it safe and make sure that you know any of the potential risks before you begin using CBD tinctures.
CBD Tincture Dosage
CBD tinctures provide superior dose control. While it can be difficult to ensure dose consistency, it is far and away the easiest format for increasing or decreasing dosage to meet an immediate need.
For example, if you use a CBD tincture to reduce anxiety symptoms, it’s dropper lid makes it easy to measure and take a little more when anxiety and stress levels are especially high. Same goes for chronic pain that flares up or becomes worse at certain points in the day.
If you’re just starting out with CBD oil and CBD tinctures, it’s best to start with a low dosage, at a lower concentration. You may find CBD tinctures to be more expensive than other products, but because they are likely to contain more CBD and have a greater bioavailability, you are likely to use less at a time.
If you need to increase your dosage, do so methodically. You’ll want to keep track of how each dose makes you feel, physically and mentally, so you can gauge what the perfect amount is to yield the benefits you’ve been searching for.
What Are the Best CBD Tinctures?
When it comes to choosing the best CBD tinctures, you’ll first want to focus on finding a trustworthy CBD company. A good litmus test for this is whether or not the company provides Certificates of Analysis, which are reports on the potency and purity of any given batch of CBD products. The Certificates of Analysis should come from a third-party laboratory so you can be sure the results are unbiased, and be no older than six months old so you can be sure the tests are still relevant.
Look into a brand’s growing practices and philosophy to ensure their methodologies align with your values. If you are having a hard time knowing where to start, visit our reviews page for an in-depth analysis of some of the best and most trusted CBD oil producers in the market.
You will also have to decide between a CBD isolate and a full-spectrum CBD tincture. Your decision in this instance will rely heavily on the legal status of CBD oil in your state, and whether or not you’re worried about having THC in your product. A full-spectrum CBD product contains other cannabinoids and terpenes, and may have a THC concentration higher than the federally approved 0.3%.
At the end of the day, you’ll want to find a CBD brand with values and practices you trust, and a tincture with the potency and ingredients to deliver the benefits you’ve been looking for.
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