According to Low Dog, a tincture may offer a broader range of compounds from hemp than an oil extraction. “Consumers who are alcohol-sensitive often prefer hemp oil over tincture. While both can be used topically, hemp oil is generally easier to apply and less irritating,” she says.
At a plant level, the two chemicals operate as opposites, with CBD acting as a buffer of sorts to the effects of THC. “It’s sort of a ying and yang. THC is responsible for the high and CBD doesn’t do that,” Hill explains.
Tinctures, though, remain somewhat shrouded in mystery, in part because of their old-school apothecary-style packaging, but more likely because of how they’re taken: a few drops at a time, under the tongue.
CBD tincture vs. CBD oil—which is better?
The cannabis plant has hundreds of chemicals in it, including more than 120 cannabinoids, Hill explains. Of those cannabinoids, two are most familiar: THC, which produces the euphoric effects or “high” people experience from marijuana, and cannabidiol or CBD, which has some anti-inflammatory, anti-seizure, anxiety-relieving and analgesic properties, according to Low Dog.
“Sometimes, you will find extracts called tinctures that use glycerin, vinegar, or oil as the solvent, instead of alcohol,” Low Dog says. “These offer the advantage of being alcohol-free, but may not always offer the same potency as an alcohol-water extract.”
Despite its relatively recent place in our collective consciousness, CBD has been at work delivering its calming agents as far back as the ‘80s by some estimates and the ancient world by others. With it, an almost endless menu of formulations has emerged—from capsules and oils to lotions and seltzer—each promising an even more effective dose of CBD than the last.
On that note, Hill cautions to know what you’re getting: “If you’re rubbing a CBD cream onto your skin, it’s not going to be absorbed into your bloodstream,” he says. “It can operate as a local anti-inflammatory, like other over-the-counter products… but CBD may not provide any more relief than those products, and it probably will be considerably more expensive.”
According to a 2017 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, only 30.95% of CBD products sold online were correctly labeled. Most contained less CBD than advertised, while 21.43% had significant amounts of THC.
Remember, because CBD oils are largely unregulated, there is no guarantee that a product is either safe or effective.
There is some evidence that CBD interacts with seizure medications such as Onfi (clobazam) and boosts their concentration in the blood. Further research is needed.
What to Look For
CBD’s exact mechanism of action is unclear. Unlike THC, CBD has a relatively low affinity for cannabinoid receptors in the brain. These are the molecules to which THC binds to elicit its psychoactive effects.
In June 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex, a CBD oral solution used for the treatment of certain rare forms of epilepsy in children under 2—Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Both are exceptionally rare genetic disorders causing lifelong catastrophic seizures that begin during the first year of life.
Here are a few tips to help you find the best CBD oil:
CBD oil contains CBD mixed with an inert carrier oil, such as coconut oil or hemp seed oil. The bottled oil, called a tincture, is sold in various concentrations. There are also CBD capsules, CBD gummies, and under-the-tongue CBD sprays.
This is going to be a trial-and-error situation, although there’s really no “error” to speak of. There’s no danger of serious side effects or overdose. The most you’ll feel is nothing. That’s how you know it’s not working.
The label of the CBD tincture isn’t going to state that outright, but with a bit of simple math, you can figure it out. Here’s how.
If you feel any discomfort from a dose, decrease it the next time you take the CBD tincture. You can always increase gradually again from there.
The Hot Method For Making CBD Tincture
The only repercussion one CBD user felt when he took a high dose was a sense of drowsiness. However, the tendency to want to sleep may not even be considered negative if you suffer from insomnia.
Here are the basic instructions for each method.
The label will give you the serving size in milliliters (ml) or droppers. It will also give you the amount of CBD per serving. From there, you can figure out how many milliliters you need to take to reach the number indicated on the chart above.
So we’ve got the liquid—alcohol—but what are we going to soak in it? If we were making a THC tincture , we would choose a high-THC strain like Fruity Pebbles or Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies . In the case of a CBD tincture, the substance we would choose is a high-CBD/low-THC marijuana strain like Charlotte’s Web or Cannatonic.