Without a doubt, CBD tinctures have powerful benefits, but don’t be seduced by lower price points. Higher-quality CBD tinctures are necessarily expensive. You may see some cheaper CBD tinctures out there, but they likely only contain isolates and not terpenes, and thus won't be as effective.
In simple terms, a tincture is dervied by soaking the cannabis plant in an alcohol and water solution, while to concoct CBD oil, plant extracts are are infused in a carrier oil, like coconut, olive or hemp seed.
An interesting study by the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that only 30 percent of CBD products are accurately labeled. That means you need to be extra careful when buying your tincture. One of the things to look out for is the Certificate of Analysis, or COA, which indicates the tincture's level of cannabinoid and its overall purity. If you don’t see those two on the tincture, then it's likely that that brand is not being transparent with its consumers. Another thing to look out for is whether food-grade alcohol was used. Since tinctures are ingested, it’s extremely important that they're safe to consume.
4. Potent tinctures contain terpenes.
But just because tinctures are gaining popularity doesn’t mean you should rush to the store and get a bottle for yourself. There are some key things you need to know before considering them, starting with these five essentials.
It’s no longer surprising that CBD is gaining popularity, as its purported health benefits are almost mind-blowing, with some derivatives even thought to help ease cancer-related symptoms. However, with the wide range of CBD products out there, it’s hard to not feel overwhelmed. There's CBD oil, CBD-infused gummy bears and chocolates, and now we have CBD tinctures, which contain all the rich benefits of the cannabis plant in high concentrations and are administered orally.
Tinctures are extremely concentrated, so it's vital that you take the them in small doses. Although you can’t overdose on a tincture, it’s better to stay safe and restrict yourself. In fact, if you’re taking a tincture for therapeutic purposes, a large dose isn't even necessary. Plus, tinctures typically come with droppers that make it easy to administer and control.
The cannabis plant contains medicinal constituents called terpenes that provide the tincture's aroma and flavor. To boost its medicinal value, terpenes from other plants or herbs are often added to it. Since tinctures are usually taken to help ease a specific ailment, the the kind of terpenes added is targeted to those particular symptoms. For example, myrcene is added to help reduce anxiety, while limonene is added to help improve your mood.
But first, a little CBD 101…
Tinctures, though, remain somewhat shrouded in mystery, in part because of their old-school apothecary-style packaging, but more likely because of how they’re taken: a few drops at a time, under the tongue.
What are tinctures specifically?
According to Low Dog, a tincture may offer a broader range of compounds from hemp than an oil extraction. “Consumers who are alcohol-sensitive often prefer hemp oil over tincture. While both can be used topically, hemp oil is generally easier to apply and less irritating,” she says.
“At the end of the day [CBD] is a fairly safe compound,” Hill says. “Although, we still need to know a lot more about it, like how it interacts with other medications people may be taking and what are the long-term effects,” he adds. And perhaps his biggest concern: “Sometimes people want to use it instead of evidence-based treatment and that can be a problem clinically in certain situations.”
At a plant level, the two chemicals operate as opposites, with CBD acting as a buffer of sorts to the effects of THC. “It’s sort of a ying and yang. THC is responsible for the high and CBD doesn’t do that,” Hill explains.