CBD Oil vs Tinctures: What’s the Difference?

With the popularity of cannabidiol (CBD) increasing, interested users need to know the difference between certain CBD products. It’s common to see people referring to CBD oil as CBD tincture and vice-versa to mean the same product. However, these two liquid formulations with CBD content aren’t the same. 

Even though they produce almost similar benefits, there is a significant difference between them.  From ingredients to extraction technique to effectiveness, CBD tincture and CBD oil have different profiles. This article offers a comparative review of CBD tincture vs. CBD oil and how to use them.

What is CBD Tincture?

CBD tincture is an alcohol-based solution that contains CBD as its primary ingredient. During the extraction process, manufacturers usually saturate the hemp material with high-proof alcohol. This combination then undergoes slow heating for a certain period to allow the CBD molecules and the alcohol to infuse. 

The solution is boiled to leave behind a liquid that can be used in tincture. Note that some manufacturers usually substitute the alcohol with another carrier oil in addition to ingredients such as natural flavorings.

What is CBD oil?

CBD oil consists of an isolated cannabinoid extract that’s infused with carrier oil to enhance its bioavailability. Note that manufacturers normally use carrier oils such as olive oil, hemp seed oil, and MCT coconut oil. Extraction of CBD oil involves the use of CO2.

You can find CBD oils as isolate, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum formulations. Medical CBD oil products may contain plant compounds such as flavonoids, terpenes, trace amounts of THC, and other additional compounds such as melatonin. Generally, CBD oils are popular and easy to find since they are more common than tinctures.

CBD Tinctures VS CBD Oil: Differences

While people often mix and interchange these two products, they are not the same. Their ingredients, manufacturing process, and effectiveness are completely different. 

  • Ingredients: CBD oils generally contain two main ingredients, CBD extract and carrier oil. On the other hand, CBD tinctures may contain other plant materials and additional additives to customize the flavor. 
  • Manufacturing process: Typically, most manufacturers use the carbon dioxide extraction technique for CBD. This usually produces high-quality and contaminant-free CBD extracts. Meanwhile, the manufacturing of tinctures involves alcohol-based solvents. This usually leads to the risk of residue and extraction of low-quality CBD. 
  • Effectiveness: Both CBD oils and tinctures are almost equally effective. The main difference between them is the suspension liquid.  This is because their manufacturing process involves different mediums. However, you can experience the same benefits of CBD oil by using tinctures and vice-versa.

Cons of CBD Tinctures VS CBD Oil

Even though these two products contain CBD as their primary ingredients, their profiles give them different characteristics. As a result, utilizing either of them comes with certain downsides.

Cons of CBD tinctures

  • Produce short-term effects
  • Bitter flavor
  • Tinctures aren’t readily available
  • Not ideal for users who are alcohol-sensitive

Cons of CBD oil

  • Some of them tend to have a stronger flavor
  • Quite pricey than other forms of CBD

How to use CBD Tinctures vs. CBD Oil

To use CBD oil, apply a few drops in the mouth and then swallow them. However, most people usually mix the oil drops with their favorite beverages or food items. It usually takes 1-2 hours for the effects of CBD oil to kickstart after ingestion. This is because ingested oil has to pass through the digestive tract and the liver before finally reaching the bloodstream.

On the other hand, CBD tinctures are made for the sublingual application. Place the recommended number of oil drops under the tongue, and wait for a minute or so before spitting. CBD compound will reach the bloodstream via the mucous membranes found underneath the tongue.

CBD tinctures are ideal for providing faster effects due to the efficient absorption process. It should be noted that there are CBD oil products for topical application. Such products are suitable for providing on-the-spot or localized relief. 

Things to consider before buying CBD Tinctures and CBD oil

Both CBD oil and tinctures are popular forms of cannabis plant extract. They are readily available, and most retailers in the industry usually have them in stock. But generally, purchasing a high-quality product requires certain quality checks. To ensure you buy CBD oil or tincture that offers value for money, here are the important things to consider:

Brand Reputation: highly reputable companies have built a name for themselves with quality products. They normally sell organic CBD products with high levels of effectiveness. Besides that, their products are less likely to be contaminated or result in unwanted side effects. For instance, FAB CBD tinctures are popularly known for their tremendous effectiveness in improving overall wellness.

Potency: the amount of CBD and other ingredients, such as THC, usually determine the strength of the CBD product. Check the product label to determine if the product’s potency can effectively cater to your wellness needs. 

Cannabinoid types: You can find CBD tincture or oil in three forms: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate. Full-spectrum contains CBD, other cannabinoids, terpenes, and trace amounts of THC. Broad-spectrum CBD contains all the ingredients found in full-spectrum CBD except THC. CBD isolates only contain CBD compounds. 

Recent COA: Reputable brands usually conduct regular independent 3rd-party lab tests. Ensure that you look for a recent certificate of analysis (COA) that’s not over a year old.


  • What are other ways to take CBD?

Alternatively, you can ingest CBD in the form of capsules, soft gels, and gummies. They are easy to use and come in pre-dosed servings. CBD topicals are suitable alternatives for those who want an external application on the skin and for specific parts where there is discomfort. CBD vape oils are for inhalation and tend to produce effects quickly.

  • Can CBD tincture make me High? 

No. High-quality CBD extract from industrial hemp plants won’t make you high. This is because cannabinoid is non-psychoactive and doesn’t induce any euphoric intoxication.

Final Thoughts 

CBD forms like CBD oil and CBD tincture are the two popular forms with the same hemp compound extract but different profiles. They have different ingredients, manufacturing processes, and levels of effectiveness. So, before buying any one of these, it’s best to know the difference first. And the ideal thing before using any is to consult the doctor. Because consulting a doctor can save you from avoiding risks that can negatively affect your health! So, CBD oil or CBD tincture, what is your choice? 

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