Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is one of the many identified cannabinoid molecules found in Cannabis plants. Like all cannabinoid molecules, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the human body. But because CBD isn’t psychoactive, it doesn’t produce the “high” commonly associated with its more famous cannabinoid cousin, THC. That means that CBD, which is often derived from hemp, or male cannabis plants, doesn’t produce the high that cannabis products are often associated with.
Since the doses are relatively small, tinctures can be administered in a variety of ways. For patients looking to take their CBD with food, a dose of tincture can be mixed into a meal like soup or pasta. It can also be added easily to drinks like coffee and tea; an evening cup of chamomile paired with CBD tincture stands to be even more relaxing than usual.
What is CBD?
Because a CBD tincture is concentrated, it’s designed to be taken in small doses. This is why most tinctures come with a built-in dropper that allows users to take small, carefully measured quantities.
A field of non-psychoactive, industrial hemp, the male variety of the cannabis plant. (torstengrieger/iStock)
Researchers around the world are investigating CBD’s potential for treating a wide variety of conditions. Near the top of the list is the promise it holds for pain relief. Numerous studies have found that CBD exhibits analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties make it useful in the treatment of both acute pain—like muscle pulls—and chronic conditions such as arthritis.
Read the label to understand more about the CBD in your tincture. Remember there are many different products available today, so pay attention to the type of CBD extract you’re purchasing. There are three primary types of extract:
One of the potentially confusing areas in the world of CBD has to do with CBD tincture vs CBD oil. The primary difference between the two has to do with how they are produced.
Ultimately, tinctures and CBD oil are similar in that they are both liquid forms of CBD extract, which can both be consumed in a variety of ways. The main differences have to do with how they are produced, and the type of liquid used to deliver the CBD to a consumer’s body.
What to keep in mind
A tincture is a concentrated plant extract made by soaking plant material in a potable alcohol solvent for several weeks. As it soaks, the solvent pulls out many of the chemical compounds in the plant material, creating a substance that is rich in the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other chemicals produced by the cannabis plant.
One final note: if you’re currently taking medication, it’s important to discuss CBD use with your doctor to determine if there might be any possible interactions between the CBD and your medication.
CBD tinctures are usually taken sublingually and absorbed into the bloodstream by capillaries in the cheek, gums, and under the tongue. To promote maximal absorption, the liquid should be rubbed into the tissue inside your mouth. After letting it soak under your tongue, you can swallow the tincture so that the remainder of the CBD is absorbed through your digestive system. Once in your bloodstream, the CBD in the tincture interacts with your endocannabinoid system, potentially helping your body self-regulate and achieve homeostasis.
Tinctures are made using alcohol as a solvent. Plant material is soaked in high-proof alcohol for an extended period of time. As it soaks, the alcohol pulls out many of the chemicals contained in the plant material. The final product contains a very high percentage of alcohol plus all the chemicals extracted from the plant — including cannabinoids and terpenes. Producers sometimes add flavors, sweeteners, essential oils, or other chemicals to the final product to enhance the flavor or create a different set of effects.
Educational resources to help find the product that’s right for you.
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