Understand the difference between alcohol cannabis tinctures and oil tinctures. Find premium cannabis tinctures from Moss Crossing. CBD Tincture and CBD Oil are terms often used interchangeably, however, they are not the same thing. Read our post to learn how they are different.
Cannabis Tinctures: Alcohol vs Oil Tinctures
Tinctures have been around for many years. These orally dosed agents can be made from a range of medicinal and botanical agents, including cannabis. While traditionally all tinctures were made using alcohol, today in the world of cannabis, the word “tincture” can imply one of two types of products: an alcohol tincture or an oil tincture. So, what’s the difference, and does the difference matter as far as potency, dosage, or effects? Let’s take a closer look.
First, why cannabis tinctures?
Cannabis tinctures offer an alternative way to reap the benefits of or simply enjoy the effects of cannabis. Instead of smoking flower, you can simply take the dose in a discreet way—no grinding, no rolling, and no ash, smoke, or smell. Tinctures also offer a more precise way of dosing cannabis, which can be useful for people who use cannabis for medical purposes or prefer to microdose. It can be difficult to measure a precise level of cannabinoids if you are smoking flower, even though you could potentially get a rough estimate when you know the potency of your strain.
Health Benefits of Cannabis Tinctures
Studies have shown that cannabis tinctures show a lot of promise for certain health benefits. Tinctures are the main type of cannabis product that include THCa, CBDa and CBGa. These are cannabinoid acids that have not yet been decarboxylated, a process where cannabis is heated to activate cannabinoids. Though the exact benefits have yet to be confirmed, it is notable that these are starting to be studied—including this recent COVID-related study—and the only way you can get them currently is in a tincture, most notably Peak tinctures.
A Look at Cannabis Tincture Made with Alcohol
A cannabis alcohol tincture is essentially an alcohol-based extract. The alcohol used to make these products is high-proof, so the end result is often a product containing 60 to 70 percent alcohol. The alcohol acts as a natural solvent, so to make an alcohol tincture, the cannabis plant is basically soaked in alcohol, the plant matter is strained, and the desirable cannabinoids remain in the alcohol.
Cannabis alcohol tinctures are actually not as common as oil tinctures, and that is not without reason. Not only do some people prefer to avoid alcohol, but the alcohol tincture can also have a bit more of a bitter or harsh taste that requires flavor additives to mask. So, while tinctures are traditionally known to have alcohol in them, the majority of cannabis tinctures are usually made with oil.
A Look at Cannabis Tincture Made with Oil
Cannabis tinctures made with oil are cannabinoids that have been extracted from cannabis and then incorporated into a carrier oil. Even though several different types of carrier oils may be used, including hemp seed oil, the most common oil is something like MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) coconut oil. In addition, other terpenes or essential oils may be added to the tincture for additional flavoring.
The cannabinoids found in cannabis, such as CBD (cannabidiol) or THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), can be extracted from the cannabis plant in a number of ways. Many modern-day processors utilize distillation or supercritical CO2 extraction to prevent the possibility of lingering solvents. In general terms, an oil tincture will have a more palatable taste than an alcohol tincture and tends to have fewer ingredients.
Alcohol vs Oil Tincture – Which is better?
While most people prefer an oil-based tincture over an alcohol tincture and oil tinctures are easier to find, which is best can be a matter of preference. For the most part, tinctures made with alcohol or oil are going to deliver the same cannabinoid profiles, and the effects can be pretty much the same. The primary difference is how the cannabinoids were extracted and the main ingredient in the product.
Some prefer cannabis oil tinctures because they don’t like the taste of alcohol or they are sensitive to alcohol. Just the same, some may prefer an alcohol tincture because they have sensitivities to carrier oils. Alcohol tinctures do have a longer shelf life (generally 3-5 years) so if you are a very occasional user, alcohol tinctures may be the way to go.
How to Take Cannabis Tincture
All cannabis tinctures can be taken orally or sublingually. When taken orally, you simply place your remeasured dose on your tongue and swallow. When taken sublingually, you place the dose under your tongue, hold it in place for about 30 seconds, and then swallow. It should be noted that some alcohol tinctures are best swallowed, especially those that have a higher alcohol content, because it is uncomfortable to hold the dose under your tongue.
The ingested or swallowed tincture can take an hour or two to kick in, much like a cannabis edible. By contrast, sublingual dosing under the tongue offers faster absorption and transition into the bloodstream. Therefore, you may feel the effects in as little as 15 minutes.
Dosage levels with tinctures vary from person to person. Always look at the potency of the product you are using and determine how much you need. Remember, tinctures can be highly potent. For example, something like Siskiyou Sungrown Alcohol Tincture contains 380mg of THC in a one-ounce bottle. Therefore, one bottle can contain as much as 128 0.25 ml servings, depending on your dosage needs specifically.
Find Premium Cannabis Tinctures at Moss Crossing
At Moss Crossing, we do all we can to bring all the ways to enjoy cannabis to our customers. Therefore, in addition to some of the top-requested flower strains, pre-rolls, and vapes, we also include a full lineup of cannabis tinctures on our menu. Be sure to take a look at our menu to reserve your preferred tincture for pickup.
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CBD Tincture vs. Oil
A CBD tincture is a hemp extraction mixed with a carrier oil, such as coconut or olive. CBD oil is often used as the standard term to describe multiple CBD products, including tinctures, tanks, distillate, etc. The term CBD oil also describes an extraction itself. Just like how all bourbons are whiskeys, but not all whiskeys are bourbons, all tinctures are oils, but not all oils are tinctures.
This article gives a detailed distinction between the two terms.
CBD oil is the byproduct of the extraction process. The process pulls out targeted compounds, in our case CBD, from the plant material and converts it to a liquid. The CBD oil includes other desirable minorcannabinoids and terpenes as well.
Alcohol and CO2 extraction are the two most popular methods to achieve CBD oil from raw plant material. We use CO2 extraction because it is the cleanest way to extract cannabinoids without going through higher levels of refinement to yield similar results. A series of processes, including extraction, winterization, decarboxylation, distillation, results in clean, ingestible hemp CBD oil.
As mentioned, CBD oil describes an extraction, but it is also the umbrella phrase to explain what is in all CBD products.
The word tincture often describes alcohol or vinegar infused with a medicinal plant substance. Alcohol pulls an active ingredient out of a plant and concentrates it in a liquid form. While there are alcohol-based CBD tinctures, it is not common. In the CBD world, a hemp oil tincture is mixed with another oil, not alcohol. We already have concentrated CBD oil through CO2-extraction. To make a tincture, we simply blend CBD oil with coconut oil.
The CBD industry adopted the term tincture to describe the product because of its packaging, a traditional glass tincture bottle with a rubber-topped dropper.
Why are CBD Tinctures mixed with Carrier Oils?
CBD is fat-soluble and requires a carrier substance (fat) to absorb cannabinoids into the bloodstream. This is a process called bioavailability , the rate and degree with which an active ingredient is absorbed. Ingesting CBD oil alone without a carrier would result in lower bioavailability. A tincture has around a 30 percent bioavailability rate, meaning the body makes use of 30 percent of the cannabinoids consumed.
You may be wondering why some of our other types of CBD products, like tanks, are not blended with a carrier oil. That’s because smoking CBD results in a higher bioavailability than tinctures, around 40 percent. A carrier oil is not necessary for the body to absorb a suitable amount of CBD via smoking or vaping.
How to take a CBD Oil Tincture?
Tinctures are typically taken sublingually, under the tongue. This is thought to enhance the rate of absorption. Blood vessels called capillaries cover the tongue and cheeks. The capillaries absorb the active ingredient into the bloodstream faster than the digestive system.
To take a CBD tincture, fill up the dropper halfway to the .5 millimeter mark for a half-dose or fill up the entire 1-milliliter vial for a full dose. Aim the dropper under your tongue, squeeze the rubber top and hold the liquid under the tongue for a minimum of 30 seconds to 1 minute before swallowing.
Tincture formulas can also be added to drinks, drizzled on food, or mixed with other formulas.
Full Spectrum CBD, Broad Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate
Size, Strength, and Types of CBD Tinctures
Sizes and Strength
Tinctures also come in a multitude of sizes, strengths and types. Thirty milliliters is the standard size, but they may also come in 15 or 60-millimeter sizes. Our goal is to provide potent products, so our standard strength includes 1000 milligrams of CBD and 2000 milligrams for extra strength. One dropperful of regular strength is equal to a 33-milligram dose. One extra strength dose equals 66 milligrams of CBD.
Full Spectrum CBD Tinctures
The three types of oils include full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD and CBD isolate. Full spectrum CBD tinctures refer to oil that includes other organic plant compounds, including less than 0.3 percent THC that naturally comes from hemp. People often prefer full spectrum oils because it is believed that CBD works better when used with THC and other compounds, a biological event known as the entourage effect.
Broad Spectrum CBD Tinctures
Broad spectrum CBD refers to an extraction that includes CBD plus other plant compounds but without the THC. This option is for those who prefer THC free products.
CBD Isolate Tinctures
A CBD isolate tincture is pure CBD with no other plant compounds. Isolate tinctures also include coconut oil but are mostly tasteless. They are a versatile THC free option. In a nutshell, deciding which of the three types of tinctures to buy boils down to whether or not someone prefers the inclusion or exclusion of THC and the inclusion or exclusion of additional plant compounds in their product. Each has its benefits and limitations, which yo u can read about in detail in our blog post about full spectrum CBD. Beyond oil type, some full spectrum and broad spectrum tinctures are infused with flavors to enhance or mask the natural plant taste. We offer original, lemon, raspberry, and banana foster. These natural flavors are all organic and do not affect the CBD in any other way
We also provide CBG oil formulas in addition to CBD tinctures. CBG is short for cannabigerol, the molecule that eventually converts into all other cannabinoids found in hemp. While not as prevalent as CBD, CBG is more plentiful in young plants. The two cannabinoids are thought to have similar effects and enhance each other when used together. (Read more about the differences between CBG vs. CBD on our blog.) Our CBG oil tincture includes a 1:1 ratio of CBG to CBD, resulting in a high-potency product.
Both our CBG oil and our CBD tincture undergo the same CO2 extraction process.
We describe our CBG tincture as an oil, rather than tincture, simply because the “G” in CBG can be elusive to the eye, we felt that using “oil” in this case would help alert our customers to the fact the cannabinoid included is CBG, not CBD. This is a perfect example of how the two terms, tincture and oil, can be used to mean the same thing.
These are the main components you should consider before buying a CBD oil tincture.
Extraction methods: CO2 or alcohol
The three types of oils: full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate
Cannabinoids: CBD, CBG or other compounds
Carrier oils: Usually coconut
Potency: Usually around 1000 milligrams per 30-milliliter bottle, but often come in extra strength options
Flavors: Original or infused with fruity, citrusy, or other flavors
If you understand all of these factors, then you will know how to buy the right tincture for you.