Updated: Feb 20
Author: A.J. Varela, Biologist
CBD Oil vs CBD Tincture: The Facts
As people become aware of the many benefits of CBD, one of the compounds found in the hemp and cannabis plants, they are also becoming overwhelmed with the way the information is being shared. With limited laws and regulations, it has been difficult for many manufacturers to convey the proper product information. It has also become a way for some to take advantage and provide misinformation about the products available, or false information entirely. It is quite a journey to begin, but it can be simple if you have the right information from the start. Today we hope to clear up some of the confusion that might be causing some hesitation in making the choice for health.
Is it CBD Oil or CBD Tincture?
Simply put, they are being used interchangeably, but really should not. Traditionally, a tincture is an alcohol based extraction. An oil has no alcohol, but rather is a pure form of CBD oil extract, or another combination of CBD extract mixed with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil. This is a simple explanation with more details about the differences to be found below.
Where Does CBD Come From?
The research that has occurred over the last 50 years has led to some amazing discoveries in the benefits found within the cannabis plant, including the hemp variety. This plant has been used for centuries, from times of Ancient Egypt to the isolate technologies of today. As you will find, there are countless benefits that have been found and researched. As science has been able to break plants into smaller and smaller parts, they have been able to isolate particular compounds and study their effects on humans and animals.
How is CBD extracted?
There are many methods used for extraction, ranging from simply pressing the oils out of the plant using extreme pressure, to using solvents, like CO2, butane or ethanol, and other compounds, like water, that can pull the CBD and other valuable cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis and hemp plants. The purity of the final product and how much CBD it has compared to plant oil and other plant matter, can vary the potency greatly. For instance, CBD isolate, which is from a CO2, or carbon dioxide extraction, can have a purity of 99%. This, compared to a heat press or other stripping method, will have a potency closer to 80% due to the plant lipids (oils) that remain from the pressing.
What is CBD?
One of these compounds found is called a cannabinoid. A cannabinoid is a molecule that has the potential to have a wide range of benefits within the body. One of these cannabinoids, Cannabidiol, or CBD, has been researched and been found to have binding receptors within the human body, as well as many other animals, including cats, dogs and horses. This binding receptor is part of the body system called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This means that CBD is a natural molecule that your own body has created a way to utilize and will naturally has an affinity to accept into the whole body system.
What is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?
The Endocannabinoid System is a series of receptors that run throughout the body, overlaying the nervous system. This system is specifically responsible for and manages the use of endocannabinoids, created by the body itself. The ECS is believed to help keep the body in balance, just like many other vitamins and minerals, and is an essential part of the whole body system. Just as with vitamins and minerals, we can be deficient at times, and this is where CBD and other cannabinoids come into play, as they mimic the body's own endocannabinoids.
Does CBD Oil or Tincture have THC?
The national 2018 Farm Bill has made it legal for famers to grow industrial hemp, as long as it contains no more than 0.3 percent THC. The reason for this is because THC is a psychoactive compound that is not federally legal at this juncture. It is also not something that many people are looking to consume as there are many beneficial cannabinoids, without needing to consume THC.
What is CBD Oil?
There are two types of varieties manufacturers and retailers are using to describe CBD Oil. One is a pure extraction of CBD oil, the other is CBD extract infused into a carrier oil, such as coconut, MCT, olive, shea butter, etc. We will discuss both here. The first type of CBD Oil is the most potent and pure form. It is an extract that is pulled directly from a cannabis or hemp plant. It will be a very thick substance and may or may not have terpenes and lipids. This will be dependent on extraction methods. We explain above how CBD is extracted, above. The second type of CBD Oil is one that is much more common to see available as products. These products are carrier oils that are infused with CBD isolate or the CBD oil mentioned above. The carrier oils are commonly seen to be hemp seed oil, MCT oil, olive oil, shea butter and many other oils. The use of the the carrier oils is to help the body absorb the benefits. Check out our Botanix Hemp Therapy CBD Oil.
What is CBD Tincture?
Although the word is being used less stringently, a tincture, by definition must include an alcohol, or alcohol and water, as the extraction method. This is different than pressure solvents like butane and ethanol. When under pressure, things behave differently. When we talk about an alcohol tincture, we mean a process of using simple distilling methods that have been used for centuries, which includes slow heating methods. The type of alcohol most commonly used will be 50-120 proof. Creating a CBD tincture then involves slowing removing the alcohol from the CBD tincture once the CBD has had time to be pulled from the plant material. This removal of the alcohol results in a product that is liquid and contains all the cannabinoids of the plant, plus lipids and other compounds such as terpenes. Other such liquids that may be used in place of alcohol include vinegar and glycerin.
Which Is Better, CBD Oil or Tincture?
CBD Tinctures will have lower potency, but a higher bioavailability in the body. This is due to the distilled alcohol in the product. Tincture is best ingested by mixing in food or taken sublingually. Water based tinctures also allow for the creation of beverages and other water-soluble products. CBD Oils can have a much higher potency and can be used in vape pens (as long as it's not in a carrier oil), food, skin care, and many other applications. When taken sublingually, it will have a bitter taste if it is not infused into a carrier oil. It is best used with other products or in a vaporizer. Either option could be best but that all depends on your body system. Be sure to educate yourself on your options and experiment. No matter which method you choose, you will be heading down the road to having a healthy and balanced body and mind.