Have you been curious about what is the difference between a CBD oil versus a CBD tincture? If you have don’t worry because many do not know the difference. Heck some brands even use the terms interchangeably, which can lead to confusion.
The way the products look doesn’t make it any less confusing. A CBD oil or a CBD tincture are generally going to have the same appearance. They will both be packaged in a glass bottle that is typically either brown, green, or some other dark color. The dark bottle is simply to keep light out of the bottle which helps the CBD to retain its potency and freshness. Both bottles will also have an eye dropper in them to allow the consumer to take the product sublingually.
So, it’s not appearance that separates these products so it must be something else about them that is different. In fact, it is how they are made that separates the two. For us to understand that we must first look a little more at what CBD is.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD as it is commonly known, is one of over 100 cannabinoids that is found in the hemp plant. You may not have heard of CBD before, but many have heard of another cannabinoid called THC. THC is the part of the marijuana plant that gives you the euphoric or high feeling. While hemp is a cannabis plant like marijuana it only has trace amounts of THC in it, meaning that you cannot get high from hemp.
Is Hemp Legal?
Any CBD oil or CBD tincture made from the hemp plant is completely legal. The legality of hemp, though, is a relatively new thing. In 2018 hemp was completely legalized with the passage of the federal government Farm Bill. This bill eliminated any remaining prohibitions against hemp and said that any hemp plant that contains .3% THC or less is completely federally legal. Hemp is also legal at the state level as well in most states including Maryland.
How Does A CBD Oil or Tincture Work?
CBD no matter what form it comes in works by interacting with your body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system was first discovered in the 1990s. It is a complex system of receptors located throughout the body in areas such as the brain, nervous system, digestive system, skin, and more that helps regulate balance in the body. CBD works through these receptors to help with things such as pain, inflammation, and anxiety.
What Is A CBD Oil?
CBD oil is typically defined as CBD pulled from the hemp plant through a CO2 extraction method and diffused into a carrier oil for easier consumption. These carrier oils are usually natural such as MCT oil, a coconut-based oil, hemp seed oil, or olive oil.
What Is A CBD Tincture?
Ok so we know what a CBD oil is so, what is a CBD tincture? There are a couple things to examine to know if a product is an oil or a tincture. First, how was the product made. A tincture by definition is something that is a solution of alcohol or of alcohol and water. In the context of CBD, this means that the CBD would be extracted from the hemp using an alcohol method. Typically, this means the hemp is saturated in a high proof alcohol and then heated to extract the CBD.
In this process the CBD will fuse with the alcohol, which is then boiled out of the solution. This then leaves a liquid that can deliver CBD through the body. Typically, many manufacturers will substitute the alcohol with a carrier oil and add other ingredients, including natural flavorings, for better taste.
Generally, the difference between a CBD oil and CBD tincture is that it does not use a CO2 extraction method to pull the CBD from the hemp. There are some companies using other methods like vinegar or glycerin as a stripping agent instead of alcohol. Still, the most significant difference is that a tincture will use a liquid solvent to grab CBD while a CBD oil utilizes a carbon dioxide extraction method.
What Are The Benefits of CO2 Extraction?
There are benefits to a carbon dioxide-based extraction method for CBD over an alcohol-based process. The primary benefit for a manufacturer is that it is more cost effective to use CO2 over alcohol. You may think it is just about cost, but it is not. A CO2 extraction method tends to create higher quality products and is more sustainable. In addition to these benefits, a carbon dioxide method allows the product to be used by a larger amount of people. Some individuals may have a sensitivity to alcohol-based products or simply do not like the alcohol taste, which can limit the tincture method.
What Are CBD Tinctures and Oils Made With?
The general makeup of a CBD oil and tincture will be somewhat similar. Whether it is a tincture product or a CBD oil, both will have CBD in them. In addition, both will also typically have a carrier oil to help deliver the CBD or give it a better taste. Whether it is an oil or tincture the carrier oil that is typically used is either an MCT oil, which is coconut oil, hemp seed oil, or olive oil.
How Do You Take Them?
Whether you are taking CBD oil or CBD tinctures you will take the products in the same way. They are both taken sublingually with a couple of drops placed under the tongue and held there for about 30 to 90 seconds before swallowing.
Is There Really A Difference?
The two main differences for CBD oil vs CBD tincture consist of the alcohol-based solution used for CBD tinctures and the additional ingredients that tinctures will always have like flavoring or terpenes added to the product. These differences become incredibly murky because nearly all commercially labeled CBD tinctures do not use alcohol in the production process.
And to add confusion to whether something is a tincture or oil is whether it is infused with something. So, if a product is infused with flavoring, terpenes, or some other elements it also becomes a tincture. What does this mean practically? It means that any product that is a CBD oil that has been infused with a flavoring for taste or terpenes is also a tincture. This means that most products you will find on the marketplace are tinctures because they typically at least have a flavoring added.
Where To Get Oils Or Tinctures?
Most CBD stores in the Baltimore area are likely to sell products that are created using a CO2 extraction method. This means that you are not likely to find any products that utilize alcohol as an extraction method. However, you are likely to find products that infuse flavors, terpenes, or other elements to CBD oil. This means that most products you will find in the Baltimore area will likely be tinctures. There are some products you will see in the stores that just CBD and a career oil, so in this case you would be using only a CBD oil.
Generally, you will likely utilize a tincture. It then comes down to quality of the products and reputation of the store. In this case, it is always beneficial to go to a store that only sells products that are third-party lab tested so you know exactly what you are getting.