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CBD Oils & Tinctures 101

Among all the ways one can take CBD, CBD oils and tinctures continue to be the most popular, but the average shopper ca easily find themselves overwhelmed with questions, like “how is CBD oil different from CBD tinctures?” or “how do I shop for CBD?” or “what does CBD do anyway?”

In this article, we’ll answer all of these questions and more!

CBD and Its Benefits

Before we go into the distinctions of CBD tinctures and oils, let’s go over what exactly CBD is.
So…what is CBD?

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is part of a large group of fascinating components known as cannabinoids, and this is the same group that THC comes from.

However, CBD is different from THC, in that it does not possess the same psychoactive effects that are responsible for getting the user high, or for creating those associated euphoric effects.

Rather, CBD has become largely associated with the wellness field, due to its purportedly calming and anti-inflammatory effects, making its potential benefits highly versatile.

What is CBD Oil?

When it comes to distinguishing CBD oils from tinctures, CBD is most often identified as being extracted from hemp through CO2-based methods and thereby added to a carrier oil for better preservation and easier human consumption.

In this process, the CBD is extracted from not only the flowers, but also the stalks and seeds, as well, resulting in a form of CBD that’s especially potent, and that’s why it tends to be one of the most expensive.

What are CBD Tinctures?

Tinctures, on the other hand, are still a form of CBD, but the difference lies in what else it contains.

In the CBD industry, tinctures are, by definition, alcohol-based, meaning that its manufacturing process involves distilling hemp into a high-proof alcohol over a slow heat process

Now that you’ve learned about CBD oil, what is CBD tincture? When distinguishing a CBD tincture vs. oil, there are a few factors to determine. By definition, a tincture is an alcohol-based or alcohol and water-type solution. In the CBD industry, the process of creating a CBD tincture involves saturating hemp material into high-proof alcohol–typically a 60=70% distilled alcohol solution, and heating it slowly for some amount of time.

CBD tinctures can be consumed in the same ways that CBD oils can, and while they typically don’t contain the same concentraitons as a CBD oil, they still tend to possess a higher bioavailability, and they tend to have a comparatively longer shelf life.

CBD Carrier Oils

When talking about CBD oils, we briefly mentioned the fact that they’re based on a carrier oil. Here, we’ll explain why this is so important.

As suggested, a carrier oil carries, or hold CBD and any other components that may be derived from hemp.

In other words, a carrier oil acts as a solvent, meant to contain the compounds for easier consumption in the future.

But one thing you’ll learn when choosing a CBD oil is that there are many different carrier oils to choose from. And as you’ll also quickly notice, no two carrier oils are the same, but instead come with their own array of benefits and disadvantages.

While we won’t go over every possible carrier oil, we’re still going to focus on a few of the most popular choices in a CBD oil product.

Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil is sometimes referred to as “hemp oil”, but don’t let this nomenclature confuse you with the CBD-concentrated product, as it tends to contain only trace amounts of CBD, if any at all.

That being said, hemp seed oil still has its uses as a carrier oil.

Hemp seeds are known as a superfood, since they possess high levels of proteins and healthy fats, which may help promote skin health while keeping inflammation down.

On top of that, hep seed oil may possess benefits for preventing heart disease, although research is still in its infancy.

Hemp seed oil tends to possess a naturally green color and a nutty, herbaceous flavor, and while many find it enjoyable, it might not be as palatable to others.

Coconut/MCT Oil

Coconut oil is an especially popular choice when it comes to CBD carrier oils, more so when it’s in the form of its extracted medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs.

Individuals favors MCts party for their physical stability: unlike traditional coconut oil, MCT oil stays more readily in its liquid form. More importantly, MCTs are distinguished for what their structure does for our bodies.

While most fats and oils are made up of long-chain triglycerides, or LCTs, and consist of at least 14 carbon atoms, MCTs tend to have around 12. And because of this smaller molecular composition, MCTs tend to blend more readily with water, i.e., the water making up most of our body’s content, which means better bioavailability.

dstream quickly without needing to be digested first, you will feel the effects far sooner.

Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil is another popular carrier oil choice. As a byproduct of winemaking, grapeseed oil is pressed from leftover grapeseeds, resulting in an oil that’s especially high in vitamin C, vitamin E, and omega-6 fatty acids, and could also make for an excellent source of antioxidants, Additionally, grapeseed oil is quite affordable, and could spell a cheaper CBD oil that still offers a range of benefits, but it should be noted that it tends to have a lower bioavailability and solvency rate compared to MCT oil.

Shopping for CBD Oils & Tinctures

Shopping for anything you’re unfamiliar with can always be daunting; especially if you’re doing it online. And in the case of shopping for CBD oils, it’s important to understand the brand you’re considering, since CBD is not regulated by the FDA.

So here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for CBD oils and tinctures.
Third-Party Testing
No matter the CBD product, third-party lab testing is always a must, as this is the biggest factor that will determine whether a brand’s reputable or not. This is because while CBD’s been made legal, it’s still not regulated by the FDA, so it’s up to every individual brand to prove their own credibility.

And they do so by partnering with independent labs that test a product for its CBD and THC levels, the other cannabinoids it might contain, as well as any other additives and if the soil contained any metals ot pesticides.

THC Amount
THC isn’t legal everywhere, and besides that, not everyone wants to consume it when they’re trying to relax.

Those are two major reasons as to why THC is a huge factor in determining a quality CBD oil or tincture brand. Depending on where you are, a CBD oil should ideally contain no more than 0.3%, and this is required in states where marijuana’s banned.

Meanwhile, there are some who’d rather have no THC at all: many individuals have a heightened sensitivity to THC, and experience paranoia, depression, or mania when consuming it. Meanwhile, there are some of us whose jobs require rigorous drug testing, and while a CBD oil with 0.3% THC shouldn’t really affect the user, it may still affect the results on a drug test.

For this reason, it’s better if some CBD users simply acquire a CBD oil with 0% THC–in other words, a CBD isolate.

Ingredients Used
It should be noted still, that hemp is not the only ingredient in CBD oils and tinctures. In the simplest oils, you’ll likely see two ingredients: hemp extract or CBD isolate, and a carrier oil. Likewise, a CBD tincture may only have CBD and alcohol, although it’s quite common for brands to add additional herbs, melatonin, vitamins, etc.

Bottom line: if there’s an ingredient in your CBD oil or tincture that you aren’t familiar with, it’s recommended that you consult your search engine online.

Hemp Source
Of course, hemp is key with CBD products, and quality hemp depends on quality cultivation. This means knowing where it came from, what their cultivation practices look like, and how experienced their farmers are.

US-grown hemp is the best out there, as the soil quality’s perfect for growing healthy, potent strains of hemp to create CBD oils and tinctures.

We cannot assume that all CBD brands put in the care that we deserve: due to the vastly growing industry, a lot of opportunistic folks have cashed in on hemp to make a quick buck, and as a result, they don’t always maintain close relationships with growers, and instead focus on maximizing their revenue.

Additionally, brands might also boast that their hemp is organically grown in the United States, and will use buzz-words like “quality,” “innovative,” and “cutting-edge,” but won’t deliver the hard facts. Always stick with brands that list the exact farms they sourced, and from what state.

This is also why a certificate of analysis comes in handy: this will ensure that the hemp wasn’t exposed to any pesticides, metals, or toxins that might compromise the quality of your CBD tincture or CBD oil.

How to Use CBD Oils & Tinctures

One of the great things about CBD oils and tinctures is their versatility, but it should also be noted that they tend to be more potent as well. So if you’re not used to CBD, it’s best to start with the lowest dosage possible and work your way from there.

And because pretty much all CBD oils and tinctures come with a convenient dropper for measuring and dosing. On top of that, it’s worth noting that there’s no evidence that one can overdose on CBD, but taking too much too quickly can potentially lead to an increased tolerance, which can lead you to buying CBD more often, and this will get quite expensive.

That being said, it’s always recommended that you talk to your doctor when considering CBD dosage, as they’re going to give the most accurate recommendation based on your metabolism, weight, and reason for taking CBD.

Determining your CBD oil or tincture also depends on how you consume them. There are several ways you can use these versatile products, but here are the main three:

Where do I buy CBD Oil Tinctures near me?

  1. The Sublingual/Under the Tongue Method:
    Those new to CBD oils might think that you’re supposed to just swallow it, but this method can take away a lot of the bioavailability. Instead, it’s more recommended to take it under the tongue and hold it there for at least 30 seconds. This way, CBD is absorbed by the sublingual gland, and the CBD doesn’t have to undergo digestion before absorbing into your bloodstream.
  2. Add to Edibles
    Tinctures and oils can be easily added to a number of different foods; not only for baking, but you can add it to yout favorite beverages as well. Keep in mind, though, that when you use CBD oils, they’re going to be fat-based, so it might blend best into fat-based foods like butters and nut butters.
  3. Topical Application
    Generally, if you want to use CBD on your skin, it’s more recommended to use a specially-formulated CBD topical, since these products will use more ingredients that can benefit your skin and muscle tissue.

However, if you find yourself in need of pain relief in a specific area, you can absolutely rub some CBD oil in that area, where the CBD’s effects can be delivered locally. CBD is also quite soothing in a bath, especially when combined with essential oils.

CBD Tincture Side Effects

While you shouldn’t have to worry about overdosing on CBD, it’s still worth mentioning that some side effects can still occur.

CBD is also not meant for everyone, particularly those who take certain medications. Those taking beta-blockers, antidepressants, SSRIs, antipsychotics, or opioids should avoid CBD oil, as an undesired interaction may occur.

That aside, those taking CBD oils or tinctures may experience some of the following side effects:

  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Nausea


Will CBD oil make me feel high?

While CBD’s been known to produce a relaxing effect, it shouldn’t create any sense of intoxication, or a “high,” since CBD oils and tinctures don’t contain THC.

Yes, so long as the product is derived from hemp and contains less than 0.3% THC.

Can I cook with CBD oils and tinctures?

Absolutely! CBD is great for cooking and incorporating into foods.

Is CBD Oil Safe?

It’s important to understand that at this point in time, the only CBD product that’s been approved by the Food and Drug Administration is the prescription anti-seizure medication, Epidiolex, which is approved for the treatment of two different types of epilepsy.

But aside from that, laws regarding the usage and sale of CBD vary from state to state.

Still, CBD is also being studied for its treatment abilities for a number of conditions, such as schizophrenia, anxiety, and insomnia.

That being said, the research on CBD and its efficacy is constantly growing, and as more states are beginning to legalize cannabis, it’s growing easier for scientists to conduct trials and experiments.

But we’re still left with the question: Is CBD oil safe?

In short, yes. According to Harvard Health, CBD has been shown to be safe for adults over the age of 21, although extreme doses may cause side effects such as nausea, fatigue, and a negative mood. It’s also important to note that for children and adolescents under 21, the safety and efficacy of CBD is still not fully clear.

CBD may also interact with certain medications, including beta-blockers, antidepressants, and blood thinners, so make sure to consult your doctor about taking CBD if you’re taking any kind of medication.

Which CBD Oil Dosage is Best for Me?

While there is no officially recommended dosage for CBD, individuals tend to experience the most success at a dose based on your body weight x 0.25. For instance, someone with a body weight of 180 lbs would use a dosage of 45mg, since 180 x 0.25= 45.

Bhen it comes to CBD oils and tinctures, determining the exact dosage per drop can be tricky, but we’ll break it down here.

For this example, let’s use a 1000mg CBD tincture. From our bottles, you’ll get about 600 drops, with each drop holding about 1.6mg CBD.

To understand your dosage in drops, you take the dosage based on your bodyweight–we’ll use the example we got earlier, which was 45mg. Divide the 45mg by 1.6, and you’ll end up with approximately 28 drops.

Is CBD Oil and Hemp Oil the Same?

While more individuals are becoming acquainted with CBD and its nuances, there is still much confusion around the differences between CBD oils and hemp oil.

That being said, it’s important to note that hemp oil and CBD oil are two different things.

For starters, CBD oil is made up of the stalks, leaves, and flowers of the plant, since these are the parts that are naturally high in CBD.

But you may have encountered hemp oil before, as well. Hemp oil, also known as hemp seed oil, is made from the seeds of the hemp plant. Now, hemp seeds are highly nutritious, and they’re loaded with healthy fats, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, amino acids and protein. However, they contain virtually no CBD at all.

It’s important to understand the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil, because there are dishonest sellers in the industry who will sell hemp oil with marketing that implies it to be a CBD product.

When shopping for CBD oils, avoid the sellers who post vague information about their products (or none at all), and stick with the ones that clearly label their products as “full-spectrum” or “broad-spectrum,” and make sure that they practice third-party testing, and that they offer lab reports for each batch.

Can I Use CBD Oil for Pain?

does CBD oil work for pain?

First off, it’s important to understand that CBD is not approved for pain relief by the FDA, and vendors cannot make any claims related to medical benefits about CBD.

That being said, CBD’s popularity for discomfort and inflammation has only continued to grow, as has the research.

In a 2021 survey from The Journal of Pain Research, researchers found that subjects overall reported that CBD helped them manage their chronic pain, and some evidence indicated that CBD may help address America’s opioid crisis as a non-intoxicating source of pain relief.

Meanwhile, in a 2020 study from Frontiers in Pharmacology, the results indicated a promising future in pain management, particularly for chronic conditions in which traditional anti-inflammatory agents don’t work.

There have also been a few studies on the effects of CBD on inflammation related to arthritis. In one 2016 animal study from the European Journal of Pain, it was concluded that the transdermal application of CBD had lasting therapeutic effects without psychoactive side-effects.

How Does CBD Help With Pain?

As the therapeutic effects of CBD still need further research, there is still much to learn about how CBD works for pain. However, experts have a general understanding, based on CBD’s relationship with the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS is something that everyone has; it’s a cell-signaling system found throughout the body to maintain homeostasis, and it does so by moderating functions like inflammation, stress levels, mood, and appetite.

Some researchers believe that CBD interacts with the ECS specifically through specific receptors in your brain and immune system, CB1 and CB2, which help cells respond to different stimuli through anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects.

Can I Use CBD Oil for Anxiety?

CBD has become popular for a number of uses, but one of its most commonly-mentioned uses is for anxiety, and many consumers have enjoyed it as a non-intoxicating means of relaxation, or as a way to ease the nerves before an action-packed day.

But can CBD be used for anxiety?

As is the case for pain management, there is currently not enough evidence to prove that CBD can help manage anxiety, and it’s not approved by the FDA for this purpose.

Still, the research at hand indicates potential.

In one 2011 trial, participants with generalized social anxiety disorder (SAD) and healthy control patients were given CBD before taking a simulated public speaking test. It was found in the trial that compared to the placebo group, participants with SAD who were given CBD exhibited significantly fewer symptoms of anxiety. In fact, the study notes that their anxiety levels were similar to those of the control group who did not have SAD.

And in a 2019 study, tests were done with far lower doses than in previous clinical trials, with doses ranging from 25-75mg, with the intention of determining whether individuals could experience therapeutic effects from a lower, less expensive amount of CBD. In the study, it was found that anxiety symptoms were reduced within the first 30 days, and some sujects noticed an improvement in sleep quality.

And more recently, in a 2020 study, researchers in New Zealand evaluated CBD’s effects in 397 adults. In this study, participants were prescribed medical CBD for a variety of ailments, including several forms of chronic and acute pain, along with mental health disorders.

After three weeks, all groups displayed improvements in their overall quality of life, including those with different forms of anxiety.

All in all, it’s too early to say that CBD oils can be used to help manage anxiety, but they still may be worth trying if you’re looking to unwind without getting high.

Will CBD Oil Make Me Tired?

As we’ve discussed above, CBD is ultimately used to help provide a balanced endocannabinoid system, and through this function, there may be the potential to influence issures related to sleep, whether it’s for falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. And as a result, you can find a wide range of CBD products on the market specifically formulated for sleep, and they’re often made with ingredients like melatonin and lemon balm.

Because of the growing interest in CBD as a means of assistance for sleep, it’s led some individuals to worry that CBD will make them feel tired or drowsy.

However, this might not necessarily be true; this is because CBD is theorized to not encourage sleepiness itself, but rather to address the root cause that’s preventing sleep, such as a mental health condition like anxiety.

For example, one 2019 study of 72 adults with anxiety and/or poor sleep found that most patients experienced relief from both troubles within the first month of taking CBD.

And even more notably, the study’s researchers observed that few side effects were caused by CBD, especially when compared to psychiatric drugs that are commonly used to address anxiety and sleep issues.

In short, there is no evidence indicating that CBD will make you sleepy, but it still may help with your sleep quality in the long run.


Although CBD derived from Hemp is permitted under federal law, the use of any cannabis product or possession of cannabis-related items is prohibited by some states. In other states, medical marijuana is the only kind of legal CBD use.
Harvard Health reports that while CBD is safe for healthy persons over 21, it can have significant side effects if taken in large enough quantities. Furthermore, the safety and effectiveness of CBD are still being debated, especially for those under the age of 21.
When CBD oils are sublingually administered, as opposed to orally, the CBD is swiftly absorbed by the body through the sublingual gland. This means that the tinctures of CBD oil will take effect considerably more quickly than capsules.
Since CBD does not possess the psychoactive features that are associated with THC, it will not result in any adverse effects, such as excessive sedation, drowsiness, or sensations of tiredness.
If CBD helps users feel more relaxed, that could be good news for their stress levels. A growing body of evidence suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) may alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. This is true even though studies on CBD were only begun in the past few years.