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. CBD oils and CBD tinctures are almost the same but not quite. Find out how they differ and which is better for you.
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.
What’s the Difference Between CBD Tincture and CBD Oil?
CBD oil uses an oil carrier and has a mild taste, while CBD tincture uses an alcohol base with a very bitter taste.
CBD oil and CBD tincture are terms used interchangeably, but they’re not the same thing. While both products contain CBD hemp extract – and are equally effective for pain relief, sleep, and anxiety – the extraction method manufacturers use is different, as are the baseline ingredients, consistency, flavor profile, and shelf-life.
CBD tincture vs. CBD oil
|CBD Oil||CBD Tincture|
|CBD in oil base||CBD in alcohol base|
|Mild, earthy hemp flavor||Very bitter taste|
|Slower absorption||Faster absorption|
|Takes over 10 minutes for onset of effects||Immediate relief, similar to taking a hit of a joint|
|Heavier, oily consistency||Thinner, less oily consistency|
|Shorter shelf life: 12-18 months||Longer shelf life: 3-5 years|
|Useful if you want to avoid alcohol completely||Useful if you’re allergic to coconut|
|Equally effective for pain, anxiety, sleep||Equally effective for pain, anxiety, sleep|
|More popular, wider product options available||Less common than CBD oils|
What is CBD oil?
As the name suggests, CBD oil is an oil-based product carrying a CBD hemp extract. The CBD hemp extract is pulled from the stalks, leaves, and flowers of hemp plants, a type of Cannabis sativa L. variety carrying no more than the legal 0.3% THC limit. Manufacturers dilute the extract in a carrier oil. Common carrier oils include medium-chain triglyceride (MCT), hempseed, coconut, or olive oil.
Oil-based CBD oil. Photo: Cornbread Hemp
What are CBD tinctures?
CBD tinctures are similar to CBD oils but with CBD hemp extract dissolved in 60-70% distilled alcohol and water. The CBD hemp extract and food-grade alcohol solution are typically mixed with other additives such as sweeteners, flavorings, or vegetable glycerin to mask the strong taste. Manufacturers might also add botanicals, herbs, supplements, or natural substances. Typical additional ingredients include melatonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and peppermint extract.
Alcohol-based CBD tincture. Photo: Sisters of the Valley
CBD oil vs. CBD tincture: What are the differences?
As mentioned, there are several differences between CBD oil and CBD tinctures. Knowing the differences gives you a better idea of which one suits your CBD requirements the best. The differences between CBD oil and CBD tinctures include:
CBD oil stays fresh for roughly 12-18 months if stored correctly with the lid on away from heat, humidity, and direct sunlight. If stored incorrectly, the shelf-life can diminish significantly (6-12 months).
CBD tinctures have a shelf-life of up to 5 years, if not more. The high-grade alcohol acts as a robust preservative preventing bacteria, contaminants, and other pathogens from growing inside the bottle or container.
If your CBD oil or tincture is past its shelf-life date and you’ve consumed it, the strength, potency, and flavor profile reduces. You likely won’t experience any adverse health problems or side effects. However, we recommend you buy a new one to be on the safe side.
2. Taste and flavor
As a general rule, CBD tinctures have a better taste and flavor profile simply because natural flavorings are often blended in with alcohol and CBD extract. Without additional flavorings, CBD tinctures are very bitter and pungent without a harsh hemp taste. CBD oils are less bitter but have a much stronger earthy hemp flavor. Of course, this is all dependent on the product you purchase and the additional ingredients.
3. Consistency and texture
CBD tinctures are thinner and less oily, while CBD oils are thicker and a little more on the greasy side, especially when MCT is used as a carrier. Neither is better than the other here. It’s all about preference. If you dislike consuming thicker, more viscous substances, stay away from CBD oils. Likewise, if you prefer a thinner consistency when it comes to liquids or drops, go for CBD tinctures.
Which is better: CBD oil or CBD tincture?
CBD oils and CBD tinctures are equally effective and efficient at delivering your body the much-needed CBD it needs. The choice really comes down to your own personal requirements.
If you’re particularly sensitive to alcohol-based products or dislike the idea of consuming anything alcohol-related, CBD oils are your best bet. They’re also highly versatile and better than CBD tinctures when you add them to food and drinks.
However, CBD tinctures have one major benefit over CBD oils: enhanced solubility. The alcohol held in hemp tinctures is water-soluble, allowing CBD and other valuable plant compounds better absorption in your body.
What’s the best way to take CBD oils and tinctures?
The best way to take CBD oils and tinctures is sublingually or under the tongue.
Sublingual application of any CBD product, be it oils, tinctures, or concentrates, is far better and more efficient than simply placing it in your mouth and swallowing. The reason why sublingual application is more efficient is the way it enters your body.
Under your tongue, there’s a surface of soft tissue, which is primarily a mucous gland. When oils and tinctures come into contact with the soft tissue, CBD and other valuable plant compounds diffuse into its microcapillaries and enter directly into the bloodstream, resulting in a quicker onset of effects (within 15-20 minutes).
The best way to consume CBD oils and tinctures is by placing 1-3 drops under your tongue for 20-30 seconds, allowing the CBD and all other beneficial plant compounds time to absorb into the soft tissue and directly enter the bloodstream.
Enjoy your CBD oil or tincture with fats
For best results, consume the oil or tincture with a meal rich in fats. Salmon, eggs, cheese, avocados, and meats are excellent sources of good, nutritious fats.
The reason why this is beneficial is that CBD isn’t water-soluble; it’s fat-soluble. Your body is made up of roughly 60% water, making it a less-than-ideal environment for CBD to absorb into the body. Fatty foods help facilitate better CBD solubility and absorption, causing more enhanced effects and benefits.
Research shows CBD taken with fatty foods increases the CBD content in your body by at least four times (maximum 14-times).
Are CBD oils and tinctures safe?
Yes, CBD oils and tinctures are generally safe, well-tolerated, and won’t cause you harm.
However, always be aware CBD oils and tinctures aren’t created equal. Knowing what to look for is easy, but only with the proper guidance and foreknowledge before making a purchase.
How to find high-quality CBD oils and tinctures
As mentioned, finding high-quality CBD oils and tinctures is easy, but only if you’re armed with prior knowledge before buying. If you jump straight in and pick the first CBD product you come across, you might end up with something unsafe or packing more THC than you bargained for.
For you to find the best CBD oils and tinctures on the market, we recommend looking for the following:
Third-party testing — Third-party testing is among the most important things to look out for when purchasing CBD oils and CBD tinctures. Third-party testing refers to CBD companies sending their products to accredited, independent laboratories for testing and analysis. Laboratories ensure the CBD and THC levels are correct and no contaminants are present in the extract. Once testing is complete, Certificates of Analysis (COAs) are issued, proving product testing is complete, and everything is above-board.
Certifications — Similar to third-party testing, certifications from accredited regulatory hemp agencies and organizations are vital. The two most common and well-respected are the USDA and the US Hemp Authority certifications. Companies obtaining either or both show a commitment to proper manufacturing and production practices, which is vital in an industry lacking regulatory oversight.
Hemp source — Knowing where a company sources its hemp is essential. Some hemp source locations are better than others, such as California, Oregon, Washington, and Kentucky. Each of these US states has long-standing hemp pilot programs and years of experience in hemp cultivation. Be wary of imported hemp from international locations. Some international countries have less stringent hemp regulations and could produce contaminated hemp.
Extraction method — The extraction method goes hand-in-hand with the hemp source. Knowing how manufacturers pull the CBD hemp extract from the hemp plant gives you an idea of how clean and rich in plant compounds it is. Many consider carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction the pinnacle of extraction methods. It’s clean, effective, and produces safe extracts for CBD oils. Ethanol is also a decent extraction method.
Which is better, CBD oils or tinctures?
Whether it’s reducing stress, helping with sleep or boosting appetite, both CBD tinctures and oils work well and only really differ on taste and quality of ingredients. CBD oils and CBD tinctures are two great ways of consuming all the goodness of hemp and its valuable compounds. You won’t feel intoxicated, nor will you experience a high from consuming them.
Based on what we’ve discussed here in the article, we believe the choice between CBD oils and CBD tinctures is yours. Just remember, no matter which one you go for, always make sure the company you buy it from is legitimate. Always check for third-party testing and certifications from regulatory organizations. You should also find out where the company sources its hemp and which extraction method it uses.