CBD tinctures are generally made from high CBD strains of hemp, with 60 to 70 percent alcohol, and are primarily used to help relieve anxiety or ease pain. “Tinctures are convenient, have a long shelf life, and are absorbed easily when taken under the tongue. The dose can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the number of drops taken,” notes Low Dog.
But first, a little CBD 101…
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.
How are CBD tinctures made and what are the benefits of using them?
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.
Here, Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., an expert on herbal medicine and women’s health, and Kevin Hill, M.D., Director of the Division of Addiction Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, get to the bottom of CBD tinctures’ mystique.
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.
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.
According to a 2012 study in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, rats injected with inflammatory chemicals in their hind feet experienced less inflammation and neuropathic pain when treated with an oral dose and spinal injection of CBD.
Common symptoms include:
There are no guidelines for the appropriate use of CBD oil. CBD oil is usually delivered sublingually (under the tongue). Most oils are sold in 30-milliliter (mL) bottles with a dropper cap.
Among the few human trials evaluating CBD’s anxiolytic effects was one published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry in 2019. For this study, 57 men were given either CBD oil or a placebo before a public-speaking event. Anxiety was evaluated using physiological measures (such as blood pressure, heart rate, etc.) and a relatively reliable test for mood states known as the Visual Analog Mood Scale (VAMS).
To use CBD oil, place one or more drops under the tongue and hold the dose there for 30 to 60 seconds without swallowing. Capsules and gummies are easier to dose, although they tend to be more costly. CBD sublingual sprays are available as well.
Now that you know what a CBD oil tincture is, let’s talk about CBD tincture use and why people consume it. In terms of using CBD tinctures, every person’s reason will vary depending on why they need the cannabinoid in the first place. However, here are some of the main reasons why people enjoy this plant-based substance.
First, it’s essential to establish what a CBD oil tincture is before we talk about actually using one. When we talk about CBD tinctures, we refer to an alcohol-based extract containing varying amounts of cannabidiol and sometimes other cannabinoids and terpenes. Manufacturers use alcohol or other solvents to craft these tinctures because of their ability to help isolate the CBD from the rest of the plant substance. With CBD tinctures, you’re not consuming the whole plant— just the cannabidiol!
On the flip side, if you’re someone who struggles to quiet their brain before bed, the therapeutic properties of CBD may also help with this, too. As we mentioned above, CBD is terrific for reducing anxious feelings and promoting a sense of calm that may be worth consuming before bed! With CBD, thoughts tend to be more rational, comfortable, and easier to fall asleep to.
One of the main appeals of hemp oil tincture is its potential to help achieve inner balance, otherwise known as homeostasis. Homeostasis is the state of being where all of your internal functions are balanced, healthy, and working just as they’re meant to. Unfortunately, achieving this type of inner balance on your own isn’t always easy. Sometimes, you just need a little bit of support to help get your body on the right track, and CBD tinctures might be able to do that for you.
Broad-spectrum CBD tinctures include minor cannabinoids and terpenes, but they do not have any levels of THC whatsoever. Even without the THC, these types of tinctures still produce full, potent effects that are wonderful for every kind of consumer, both new and old.