What is a CBD Tincture? October 2020 Guide

Definition of CBD tincture

What, exactly, is a CBD tincture? Tinctures have been around far longer than CBD, but you’d be forgiven if you weren’t sure what a tincture was before the advent of the hemp revolution. Simply put, a tincture is an oil-based, orally ingested substance that’s usually designed to have beneficial attributes. Before CBD became popular, tinctures commonly contained essential oils and other types of botanical extracts.

While it’s possible to package tinctures in a wide variety of different ways, the term “CBD tincture” has become practically synonymous with a small, brown bottle capped with an eyedropper. A popular dispersal mechanism for tinctures prior to CBD, eyedroppers feature glass droppers connected to rubber bulbs that you squeeze to fill the dropper with CBD tincture or another liquid. Some eyedroppers feature measurement markings on their sides.

CBD tinctures can come in a wide variety of sizes and concentrations. Some CBD tinctures feature clear, informative labeling, and others do not. Some companies add artificial flavors and coloring to their tinctures, but it’s best to stick with botanical extracts and substances that are naturally present in hemp flower. CBD tinctures are almost always oil-based.

CBD tincture dosage

CBD tinctures come in a wide variety of different dosage options. Some CBD tinctures contain as much as 3,000-5,000mg of CBD, and others may contain as little as 100mg of CBD. Throughout the industry, however, CBD tincture concentrations of approximately 800-1,600mg are the most common with 1,000-1,200mg being the average.

The vast majority of CBD tinctures contain total fluid volumes of approximately 1oz (30ml). Some tinctures might contain 2oz, 3oz, or even 4oz of fluid, but larger tinctures are much less common. A 1oz tincture that contains 1,200mg of CBD, for instance, contains around 4% CBD per fluid volume.

One of the best ways to determine the proper dosage for a CBD tincture is to calculate the number of milligrams of CBD per milliliter of fluid. Performing this calculation is easy—our theoretical 1oz, 1200mg CBD tincture, for instance, contains 40mg CBD per 1ml of fluid. If your tincture’s eyedropper features milliliter markings on its side, it’s easy to determine how much CBD is in each drop of tincture with this simple calculation.

There is no official consensus on the amount of CBD you should use. To get a general idea, we can take a look at the official insert for Epidiolex, the first CBD-based drug to be approved by the FDA. According to this insert, people who have been prescribed Epidiolex should consume between 2.5mg and 10mg of this drug per kilogram of bodyweight every day. Future FDA approvals of CBD products may feature similar suggestions.

CBD tincture effects

The effects of CBD tinctures vary depending on the tincture you use and how much tincture you consume at a time. Most CBD users report that tinctures provide mild, long-lasting effects, and these effects might be modulated by the other ingredients present in CBD tinctures. Regardless of which type of product it’s in, CBD almost always provides relaxing effects that might make you feel mildly sleepy.

CBD tinctures shouldn’t make you feel high or intoxicated in any way. By law, CBD products must contain less than 0.3% THC, and at concentrations this low, THC will not cause intoxication. Disreputable CBD producers, however, might not take enough care to prevent THC contamination in their products. That’s why it’s so important to work with brands that provide independent, third-party lab testing proving that their CBD products contain less than 0.3% THC.

CBD tincture pros and cons

CBD tinctures have undeniable benefits, but these types of CBD products might not be perfect for every conceivable situation. Learn about the potential benefits and detractors of CBD tinctures to accurately determine the best ways to use these hemp products:

Benefits of CBD tinctures

  • Easy to use: Plenty of CBD consumers enjoy the convenience of placing a few drops of tincture under their tongue whenever they want to indulge in the benefits of this non-intoxicating cannabinoid. CBD tinctures are also easy to add to drinks and food.
  • Pinpoint dosing: With drop-by-drop dosing, CBD tinctures make it easy to control the amount of cannabidiol you ingest.
  • Better bioavailability with sublingual administration: The lingual artery flows under your tongue, and this major blood vessel leads directly to your brain. Holding CBD tincture under your tongue allows cannabidiol to absorb directly into you lingual artery.
  • Lots of product variety: CBD tinctures come in tons of different flavors, sizes, and dosage options. You’ll never get tired of the amount of variety present within the CBD tincture market.
  • Potential issues with CBD tinctures

  • Lower bioavailability than smoked or vaped CBD products: Despite absorbing directly into your lingual artery via sublingual administration, CBD tinctures still have lower bioavailability than CBD flower or CBD vape cartridges. At the same time, the effects of oral administration last longer than the effects of inhaled CBD.
  • Relatively long activation time: Compared to smoked or vaped CBD products, which kick in almost immediately, it may take 30-45 minutes to notice the effects of your CBD tincture after you swallow it.
  • Can be messy: Don’t try using a CBD tincture while you’re driving a car or walking your dog. These CBD products have a tendency to be messy, but it’s easy to avoid this unfortunate drawback with a little bit of practice.
  • Other CBD tincture factors to consider

    Even though CBD tinctures might not be the most potent hemp products on the market, these CBD products certainly provide unique benefits that make them relevant even if you decide to use CBD in other ways as well. While CBD tinctures have lower bioavailability than smoked or vaped hemp products, for instance, the effects provided by swallowing a CBD tincture may last as long as 2-3 hours. Therefore, you might want to use a CBD tincture in tandem with a vaped or smoked CBD products to enjoy a combination of immediate, potent effects, and long-lasting, mild benefits.

    CBD tincture side effects

    Like other types of CBD products, CBD tinctures do not appear to have any significant side effects. Since CBD tinctures commonly contain other ingredients, however, it’s important to check the full ingredients list of a CBD tincture you’re considering to make sure that none of its components have harmful effects.

    The most commonly noted side effects of CBD are tiredness or mild gastrointestinal distress. Serious CBD side effects are incredibly rare, but this cannabinoid can interact negatively with certain prescription medications. If you are currently taking any medications that come with “grapefruit warnings,” you should consult with your doctor before trying a CBD tincture. 

    Alternatives to CBD tinctures

    In general, we wouldn’t recommend any alternatives to CBD tinctures. Even though these CBD products have minor detractors, they also offer unique benefits that can complement any hemp user’s CBD routine. If you simply can’t stand the taste of CBD oil, however, you might want to try using CBD capsules, which enter your gastrointestinal tract without CBD oil ever coming in contact with your taste buds.

    Additionally, if you find the effects of CBD tinctures to be too slow to kick in and too mild once they’re in effect, we’d recommend that you try an inhalable CBD product such as CBD flower or a CBD vape cartridge. Since the effects of CBD tinctures last longer than inhalable CBD products, however, it’s more useful to use CBD tinctures and inhalable CBD products in tandem. As a final note, you might want to use a CBD topical instead of a CBD tincture if you’re trying to target skin conditions or an ailment that’s limited to a particular area of your body.

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