What is the Difference Between CBD Oil and Tincture?

August 6, 2022


The terms CBD oil and CBD tincture are used interchangeably within the CBD industry. Sometimes products are even referred to as CBD oil tinctures. However, CBD oils and CBD tinctures are not the same things.

So, what is going on? Why are the two products marketed as though they are the same?

What are CBD oils and CBD tinctures, and how are they different?

What is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol and is one of the many cannabinoids found within hemp plants. Unlike other compounds in hemp plants, like THC, CBD does not cause intoxicating effects. Instead, CBD boasts several potential health benefits.

CBD can have a positive impact on both a person’s mental and physical health. It’s most commonly used to help manage pain, treat areas of inflammation within the body, reduce the effects of anxiety, and improve sleep quality.

CBD may also be a helpful treatment for more specific health conditions, including epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

What is Cannabidiol (CBD) oil?

CBD oil is a CBD extract suspended in an inert carrier oil. Most of the time, a medium-chain triglyceride is used, for example, coconut oil. By containing CBD in a carrier oil, it becomes much easier to consume CBD. CBD oil can either be used as drops administered orally or mixed into recipes and topicals.

Additional terpenes, flavonoids, and other ingredients are often added to CBD oil like this: https://premiumjane.com/cbd-oils/300mg-cbd-tincture-natural-full-spectrum/, to give it a more pleasing flavor and enhance its benefits.

What are CBD tinctures?

A tincture is when a herbal extract is suspended in an ethanol solution. Tinctures are often used for supplements and medicinal products because they can hold active compounds, like CBD, allowing them to be easily consumed sublingually. When CBD is consumed sublingually in drop form, it makes its way into the bloodstream much quicker than when ingested in other ways.

A common concern is that because tinctures contain ethanol, they will interact with the body in the same way alcoholic drinks do. But this is not possible since the amount of ethanol contained in CBD tinctures is so tiny that it does not affect the body.

Why are CBD oils and CBD tinctures marketed as the same thing?

When people learn about the differences between CBD oils and CBD tinctures, they are often confused about why the two are commonly referred to as the same thing. No one knows where the tradition started or why the two products are allowed to be sold under interchangeable names.

One proposed explanation is that traditional medicine was always sold in small glass bottles with dropper lids. Regardless of whether the glass bottles contained ethanol, they were referred to as tinctures.

Over time people have kept up the tradition of calling small glass bottles tinctures. CBD oils and ethanol tinctures are typically sold in similar bottles, and as a result, they have become known as tinctures.

Some people argue that the word tincture now has two meanings in a modern context. First, a tincture is an ethanol solution containing a herbal extract. In contrast, the second definition is simply a liquid contained in a small, often brown, glass bottle with a built-in dropper lid.

When applying the second definition, it makes sense that CBD oils are often sold as CBD oil tinctures.

How to tell the difference between CBD oils and CBD tinctures

Customers must know what they are purchasing, especially when buying supplements. But, if the terms tincture and oil are used interchangeably, how are customers supposed to tell the two products apart?

Annoyingly, the name of a product is not always a good indication of what it is. The only real way to determine whether a particular product is a tincture or oil is to read through the listed ingredients carefully.

Primarily, CBD oils contain CBD extract and MCT oil (carrier oil). These should be the first two ingredients mentioned, with additional ingredients added for flavor or effects listed next.

In the case of ethanol-based CBD tinctures, CBD extract and ethanol are the two primary ingredients. Any additional ingredients added are listed in order of quantity.

Which one is better?

CBD oils and tinctures offer the same range of hemp cannabinoids and, consequently, the same potential health benefits. The main difference is how the two products are made and the solution in which the CBD is suspended.

Some people choose to use CBD oils because they do not like consuming even very small amounts of alcohol. In contrast, others opt for ethanol tinctures as they dislike the taste of specific oils or are allergic to them.

Neither oils nor tinctures are considered better than the other. It is very much thought to be a matter of taste as to which one people prefer.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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