Oils, balms, edibles, tinctures, capsules — cannabidiol, better known as CBD, comes in a variety of forms, and researching the difference between products can feel pretty overwhelming for those that are new to the CBD world. CBD is naturally found in hemp plants, but unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it doesn’t have psychoactive or intoxicating effects.
CBD is usually associated with promoting an overall sense of calm, as it may help bring the body back into balance. It has a wide range of benefits; it’s especially helpful for people suffering from insomnia, muscle pain, skin problems, anxiety, and other health-related issues.
When shopping around for products, you’ve probably stumbled across CBD oils as well as tinctures. Both products are described in similar ways, and the terms are often used interchangeably, but there are some important distinctions between the two.
Here are some key differences between CBD oils and CBD tinctures, so you can decide which product best fits your needs.
CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant and then it’s diluted with a carrier oil, like hemp seed or coconut oil. Sometimes, essential oils are added for flavor. CBD oils are more common than CBD tinctures, and they’re very easy to find.
Aside from cannabinoids, you can also find fatty acids, protein, essential vitamins, and nutrients in some CBD oils. And to consume CBD more naturally, people are now infusing CBD oils in food and drink recipes.
While derived from hemp, CBD tinctures are not the same as CBD oil. CBD tinctures are alcohol-based extracts. High-proof alcohol is used as a solvent to extract natural compounds of the cannabis plant, and it’s also used in the finished product.
In tinctures, CBD is suspended in 60–70% alcohol. Because of the alcohol base, tinctures have a longer shelf life (around three to five years). Tinctures also taste very bitter — because of the alcohol — so they’re often mixed with sweeteners, flavoring, or vegetable glycerin. Some businesses even add herbal extracts, vitamins (like B12), or supplements to tinctures, depending on the purpose of the product.
Even though tinctures are based on alcohol, they offer the same therapeutic properties as CBD oils — inflammation, stress, anxiety, and pain relief.
CBD tinctures are not as common as CBD oils, and many products labeled as “tinctures” are often actually oils.
How Do You Take CBD Oils and Tinctures?
You can take CBD oils orally; it usually takes one to two hours for oils to fully take effect. CBD tinctures are often taken sublingually (under the tongue) for the most efficient and fastest absorption. You can also add CBD tinctures to food and drinks, just like CBD oils.
You can also use CBD oils topically for on-the-spot relief instead of full-body effects; these are especially great for muscle pain and skincare products. CBD tinctures have no benefit when rubbed into your skin, so they’re not great for topical use.
Which One is Better?
Of course, it all depends on your preferences, concerns, and goals. Both CBD oils and tinctures are effective, the biggest difference is the base of each product and the process of how they’re made.
Some people are sensitive to alcohol or they don’t enjoy the taste of alcohol-based tinctures, so they often opt for CBD oils instead. And others may actually prefer tinctures due to stomach issues or sensitivities when consuming oil.
Other Ways to Try CBD
If oils and tinctures aren’t your thing, don’t worry — there are plenty of ways you can try out CBD and fully enjoy its health benefits:
- Edibles: If you’re looking for a natural way to improve your well-being, CBD edibles are a great place to start. Edibles combine the powerful benefits of cannabidiol infused with delicious food. Edibles typically come in a variety of chocolates, minty lozenges, and fruity chews.
- Capsules: CBD capsules combine the wellness benefits of pure hemp extract with the convenience of a capsule form. More than just a familiar way to add nutrients to your daily routine, CBD oil capsules deliver a consistent amount of cannabidiol, every single time. This makes it easy to get the exact amount of CBD you’re looking for.
- Skincare & Topicals: The anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids, along with the antioxidants found in full-spectrum hemp extract, makes CBD cream a great addition to any all-natural beauty regimen.
Are you ready to test out some CBD oils, tinctures, or other products? We’ve got you covered. Visit our shop for all of your CBD needs.