CBD is a valuable compound extracted from the cannabis sativa plant. The sister molecule to THC, CBD offers benefits balanced further toward the medical than the recreational. The most common way to enjoy CBD is in an oil form. CBD oil can be vaped, used on skin, and cooked with for edibles. It can also be taken like a tincture with a dropper under the tongue. But wait. what’s the difference between CBD oil in a dropper and a CBD tincture?

Good question. CBD is often found in bottle droppers but there is an important difference between the two types of dropper products. The confusion comes from a lack of clarity about just what a tincture is.

Quick Answer: What is the difference between CBD Oil and CBD Tincture?

CBD oil is oil-based and can be taken sublingually. CBD tinctures are alcohol-extracted and should be taken sublingually.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is made in a few different ways. Full-spectrum CBD oil is pressed directly out of the hemp plant, filtered for clarity and bottled. Broad-spectrum CBD oil has been processed to remove the THC and, as a result, some of the terpenes and flavonoids. CBD oil can also be an oil carrier like coconut or hemp seed oil combined with CBD isolate extracted with CO2.
CBD oil can be used as a vape, a skin topical, or ingested in drops or edibles. Individual CBD oil products will do each of these things better. CBD oil is sold in many forms, but often in little dropper bottles – which is part of what created the initial confusion.

What is a CBD Tincture?

Now let’s get into the heart of the difference. A tincture is a much older concept than CBD oil. A tincture is an herbal extract made by soaking the herbs in alcohol, then reducing (evaporating) the alcohol to leave the extracted plant-based molecules. The remainder tends to be a little bitter, and is often mixed with flavors and vegetable glycerine.
An herbal alcohol extraction is a tincture. Tinctures are typically administered under the tongue, sublingually, to absorb through the lining of the mouth. You are supposed to hold a tincture in the mouth for about 90 seconds, then swallow.

The Dropper Bottle: Both Oil and Tinctures

The confusion comes from the fact that both flavored CBD oil and flavored CBD tinctures are sold in sublingual dropper bottles. You can take them both this way. Both help you absorb CBD through the lining of your mouth under the tongue. Both tend to be flavored when sold in dropper bottles and both contain a comparable potential amount of CBD for the extraction process.
However, a sublingual dropper does not a tincture make. A dropper of CBD taken sublingually could be either oil or tincture.

Safe for Skin? CBD Oil Yes, Tinctures No

One of the biggest differences between CBD oil and CBD tinctures is versatility. CBD oil in most of its forms is safe to eat, vape, or to put on your skin. CBD tinctures, being oil-based, should not be put on your skin, vaped, or cooked with. A tincture can be part of other things, but the only advised personal dosing of CBD tinctures should be the sublingual dropper.
So the difference is that CBD oil can be taken by dropper, but also by skin, vape, or edibles. CBD tinctures should only be taken sublingually.

CBD Oil or CBD Tinctures: Which is Better?

If you enjoy a flavored dropper of CBD, which is the better choice? CBD tinctures have a longer shelf-life and may be preferable if swallowing oil upsets your stomach. However, CBD oil is versatile and may be the better option for those who are uncomfortable with an alcohol-based extraction process. In terms of price, availability, potential strength, and flavor selection, they are otherwise very close to identical products when sold in the same bottle.

Looking to discover the difference for yourself? Find out with Transformative Health.

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