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CBD Oil and CBD Tincture: What’s the Difference?

CBD Oil and CBD Tincture

not all cbd products are the same

By now you probably have heard lots about CBD Oil and CBD tinctures. While that isn’t surprising, it may surprise you that there are differences between these two, and that can be a little confusing when you are shopping for CBD products. That’s because the two terms often go hand in hand. Critically, though, they are not the same. It depends on the content of the bottles, so let’s dive into the similarities and the differences between CBD Oils and CBD tinctures. 

What Is CBD?

There are 100+ known cannabinoids naturally found in hemp. While CBD (also known as Cannabidiol) is rapidly growing in preference, other known cannabinoids include the likes of THC, CBC, CBDa, CBDV, CBG and CBN.

Science is showing that cannabinoids like CBD may interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system to help restore balance and homeostasis. While there are specific health benefits associated with the cannabis plant’s isolated Cannabidiol (CBD) compound, the majority of scientific studies show the greatest range of potential therapeutic benefits occurs when multiple cannabinoids—including CBD, CBDa, CBDV, CBG, CBC and THC—and terpenes work together in a Full Spectrum Hemp Extract Oil

Furthermore, depending on the type of extraction and other ingredients used to create the end product will determine whether it is an oil or a tincture. 

why does CBD need to be extracted?

With most plants, you can enjoy the fruit, vegetable or nut by merely plucking it off the plant and eating it. However, unlike these plants, cannabinoids like CBD can’t be plucked from hemp. Instead, the beneficial hemp compounds need to be extracted first from the plant before they can be safely consumed. 

Top CBD companies usually use one of three methods—solvent extraction, CO2 extraction or steam distillation—to remove the beneficial hemp compounds so that they can create a CBD Oil or CBD tincture. 

It’s in this CBD extraction method that helps to determine whether the product is an oil or tincture. Let’s dive into the differences as we shine a spotlight on oils versus tinctures. 

difference between Cbd oil and cbd tincture

What Is CBD Oil?

CBD Oil is produced through a CO2 extraction, steam distillation or solvent extraction process. What’s the difference? 

In CO2 extraction, carbon dioxide is administered to separate the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids from the hemp plant. The pressurized CO2 is pumped into a chamber containing the raw hemp plant. Here the CO2 strips the valuable oils from the plant material and the CO2 and oils are transferred into another chamber, where the CO2 evaporates. The end result—a pure CBD extract or full spectrum hemp extract that is of the highest concentration. CO2 extraction, while being the most expensive method, is the safest and yields the most potent results. At Veré, we utilize this method to create our high-quality CBD Oil. 

Steam distillation, while it may be one of the oldest methods used, isn’t as potent or efficient. This process includes soaking the raw hemp plant in water and introducing heat to the tank. The hot water generates steam that carries the cannabis oils to the top, passing through a condenser. This creates a mix of water and oil. With another distillation, the water and oil are then separated, resulting in a CBD Oil. 

Thirdly, a CBD Oil may be produced through a solvent-based extraction method with butane, propane or alcohol. This process involves washing the cannabis in the solvent to release the natural waxes and oils from the plant into the solution. The alcohol is then removed, leaving only the cannabis oil itself. Take note, that the alcohol (solvent) is entirely removed here, whereas we will discuss how this specifically differs in a tincture. 

Regardless of extraction methods, CBD Oil comes packaged with a carrier oil to improve the bioavailability, disguise the hemp taste and make it more palatable. MCT Oil is a great carrier oil for CBD.  

What Is CBD Tincture?

CBD tinctures may be produced via a solvent-based extraction method. Here, alcohol, and more specifically ethanol, may be used. This process involves washing the cannabis in cold ethanol to release the natural waxes and oils from the plant into the solution. The alcohol is not removed in this instance. 

The subject of CBD tinctures can be a little confusing because some brands market CBD Oils as CBD tinctures. But these usually contain CBD Oil plus a carrier oil.

By contrast, true CBD tinctures retain the ethanol used in extraction, instead of removing it, as in the case of most CBD Oils. Many tinctures contain 60 to 70 percent alcohol. 

similarities between Cbd oil and cbd tincture

how are oils and tinctures alike?

Both oils and tinctures may come in small glass bottles with a pipette built into the lid (usually in the form of a screw top). On most CBD Oils and tinctures, you squeeze the rubber top of the pipette and then place a few drops under your tongue to absorb. 

Most brands combine CBD with flavoring compounds, such as sweeteners or essential oils, to mask any bitterness of hemp to encourage daily consumption. 

Both oils and tinctures can be either isolated or Full Spectrum CBD. Isolated CBD or Pure CBD means that the extracted oil has gone through an additional fractionalization processes to separate and isolate the CBD cannabinoid. Full Spectrum is less processed and, currently, the more popular version. 

However, you should note that both Full Spectrum and Pure CBD products can contain other ingredients. The term “pure” only refers to hemp-derived compounds, not the other substances that might be present in the product. So, for instance, the ingredients in a Pure CBD tincture might be 70% alcohol, 29% Pure CBD, 1% flavorings. And the ingredients in a Pure CBD Oil may be 65% MCT Oil, 34% Pure CBD, 1% essential oil. 

Which Is Best?

Which is best—a CBD Oil or tincture—depends heavily on your taste preferences and preferred delivery mode. 

If you take CBD Oil in capsules, then taste and flavor properties don’t matter because the active ingredients don’t come into contact with your tongue. Your stomach acids break down the capsule shell and oil passes through your digestive tract into your body. 

However, if you take oil sublingually (under the tongue), then flavor and taste qualities do make a difference. For this reason, some CBD brands use flavorings and other ingredients to make their products taste better, encouraging a daily routine. 

But please note that CBD tinctures may refer to two different things: 

  1. CBD mixed with carrier oils 
  2. Suspension of hemp cannabinoids in alcohol (which we covered above) while retaining the alcohol in the bottle

So why choose an alcohol-based CBD tincture over a regular CBD Oil? Many people do it for the shelf-life. CBD held in 60 to 70 percent alcohol has a shelf-life of three to five years, whereas regular cannabis oils usually only last for one or two years

The reasons for this relate to alcohol’s chemistry. Alcohol is a powerful antiseptic (it’s the main ingredient in most hand sanitizers). So bacteria and other forms of life can’t grow or reproduce in solutions above 60 to 70 percent. This helps to preserve the cannabinoids in suspension, preventing them from breaking down over time. 

Oil is also a good preservative, but it isn’t as good as alcohol. Eventually, over time, it breaks down and turns rancid, giving your CBD Oil a bad taste. 

Despite this, many CBD users see oil-extraction as more natural. The alcohol content of CBD tinctures puts them off, especially if they are in recovery. 

However, you should note that manufacturers can still make CBD Oils using the alcohol-based methods. In this case, they remove the alcohol before bottling or packing the final CBD Oil, whereas tinctures retain the alcohol in the bottle. 

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How Should You Take CBD Oils And Tinctures?

Usually, people take CBD Oils either orally via a capsule or sublingually. With a capsule, it takes around one to two hours for active cannabinoids to get into the body’s system and start taking an effect. Whereas, when people use CBD Oil or tinctures sublingually, under the tongue, the cannabinoids are absorbed rapidly and efficiently, usually entering the body in less than a minute. 

While you can take both CBD Oils and CBD tinctures alone, you can also add them to foods and beverages. 

Depending on the type of carrier oil, you can apply some CBD Oils topically. That means that you can rub them into your skin for relief on specific parts of the body. Many people find that rubbing CBD products into specific areas has a greater effect than taking the substance orally. 

Applying CBD tinctures as a topical, however, won’t work. That’s because alcohol will not pass through the skin.

How To Find Great CBD Oils And Tinctures

As we’ve seen, there are some important differences between CBD Oils and tinctures. Which you choose depends primarily on your personal preferences. Oils are easier to add to other foods and blend into your diet. You can also apply them to the skin. Tinctures, on the other hand, are great for getting CBD into your body fast and have a longer shelf-life.

No matter what kind of CBD product you choose, you should always use products from a reputable manufacturer—not just the first ones you find. So, this begs the question: what to look for when buying CBD Oil

When choosing a CBD Oil or tincture, first check whether its certificate of analysis is recent. All vendors should subject their products to regular independent testing to verify purity and composition. Testing should highlight any heavy metals, molds or pesticides present in the product, so check for these too. 

You’ll also want to consider the cannabinoid profile. As discussed, some CBD Oils and tinctures are isolates. However, many are Full Spectrum and may contain other cannabinoids like 0.3% THC.

Lastly, you’ll want to check the potency of the product. This refers to the amount of cannabinoids in each serving. 

the bottom line

People will often use the terms CBD Oil and CBD tincture interchangeably. However, they are, in reality, different products. CBD tinctures are alcohol-based extracts while CBD Oils are mixed with a carrier oil. 

Which is right for you depends on your preferences. Most CBD users experiment with both and continue using each to some degree. However, you may prefer to settle on one or the other. Those wanting fast-acting CBD should use tinctures while those looking for slow release may prefer oils. 

Finally, whenever you shop for CBD, always choose reputable brands and check the certificate of analysis. Always look for companies offering the purest and most reliable products. 

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