Back to Basics: What is a CBD Tincture and What are the Benefits?
Wouldn’t it be great if you could find a non-smokable and straightforward way to take CBD? The conventional methods (smoking the flower and vaping a concentrate) have downsides. What you if can’t or don’t want to inhale your medicine? What if you need an accurate, measurable dose every time? If this sounds like you need cannabidiol (CBD) tincture in your life.
Pure CBD tinctures are suitable in many therapeutic situations where smokables are not. Maybe in a care facility, in pediatric care, and for people with respiratory issues.
Even if you don’t fall into one of the subcategories, you might still want a CBD oil tincture for its potency. Tinctures are naturally concentrated versions of the raw material – making high doses a snap to take.
Need a review of the fundamentals of tincture CBD options? Let’s review.
What is a CBD Tincture?
According to the expert herbalists at Mountain Rose Herbs, “All tinctures are extracts, but not all extracts are tinctures!” There are 101 different ways to extract valuable compounds from cannabis, but a tincture requires one key ingredient: alcohol.
Alcohol, of any variety, is a traditional method of pulling medicinal parts of a plant out of the loose herb. If you are making tinctures at home, any pure grain alcohol works well. Grain alcohol is essentially vodka. Most of the time, you’ll want to source organic grain alcohol with the highest alcohol content if you are using it therapeutically.
Mountain Rose Herbs recommends at least 40 to 50 percent alcohol by volume, which translates into 80 to 90 proof vodka. If you want to pull even the most volatile compounds out of the product, go even higher – 67.5 to 70 percent alcohol by volume. When you are working with cannabis, volatile compounds are the aromatic terpenes like limonene, pinene, and linalool. Terpenes contain medicinal value as well.
At the commercial level, most producers use ethanol as the alcohol base. Ethanol is a high-grade laboratory quality of alcohol. These types of processes use highly sophisticated lab equipment which might look more at home in the Space Station then here on earth. However, these extraction machines produce highly potent and extremely pure CBD tinctures.
Either way, the extraction process always includes mixing the dried flower with the alcohol. Over time, the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other materials dissolve into the alcohol. After extraction, the plant material is discarded and the liquid strained. A pure CBD tincture remains.
How to Consume a CBD Tincture
The vast majority of CBD tinctures you’ll find come in a glass bottle, with a measured dose dropper. You might find this is a very familiar format if you take any other herbal tinctures or extracts. It’s easy to pull tincture from the bottle in a perfect size dose using the dropper.
The dropper is precisely why many prefer to take CBD tincture, over smoking dried flower or vaping a CBD concentrate. Because the doses are measured (ex: 10 drops or 1 ml) you know exactly how much to take. If you are trying to figure out the right serving (more on this later), you’ll also know a starting point for the next rough.
Once pulled from the bottle, take the dropper and place it under your tongue. Release the liquid and allow the CBD tincture to pool under your tongue. This technique is called sublingual absorption. It’s one of the most effective methods of consumption to reap the most benefits out of your medicine.
Here is a quick step-by-step summary of how to consume CBD tincture:
- Using the dose dropper, squeeze the top to pull the pure CBD tincture out of the bottle in the dose desired.
- Release the CBD tincture under your tongue.
- Allow to sit under your tongue for roughly 60 seconds, swallow any remaining liquid.
What Are the Benefits & Effects
The lining of your mouth is permeable. The lining releases saliva while you eat, but it also works in the opposite direction. Your gums and tongue readily absorb nutrients, vitamins (and medicines) directly into your bloodstream.
If you are used to edibles, you’ll find you get much more bang for your buck out of sublingual delivery of a CBD il tincture. Instead of passing through the digestive tract, the cannabinoids – like CBD – head straight into the bloodstream. Edibles are notoriously dependant on your metabolism and what you had for lunch. You often absorb far less medicinal benefit than what you consumed. A tincture skips the stomach altogether – and you absorb much more value.
But what about the active compound CBD? The benefits of a CBD tincture are many, as CBD works with the endocannabinoid system. This system, if you’ve never heard of it before, manages a whole host of essential physiological processes. It controls the inflammatory response, it manages pain, it regulates mood, it modulates appetite, and much more. It’s the little known bodywide network that keeps our health and wellbeing in balance.
Cannabinoids, like CBD, seamlessly integrate with this system. They mimic our own naturally produced cannabinoids (endocannabinoids). If our system is out of wack, CBD helps to realign it.
The most important benefits CBD is under investigation for is for fighting inflammation, soothing pain, reducing anxiety, calming Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and regulating mood. Its already approved for use in pediatric epilepsy, and when combined with THC used for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. If you haven’t noticed, there is a lot of excitement these days about the benefits of CBD, and the many other cannabinoids found in cannabis.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Because so many people are already using CBD as an at-home remedy to treat a wide variety of health issues, there is a lot of interest in its safety record.
If you’ve read this far, and keep reading the word ‘cannabis,’ rest assured CBD tincture is not intoxicating. Cannabis contains hundreds of different molecules, but only one causes the stoned effect. That molecule, THC, is valuable as well – but is intoxicating. It’s not always useful or wanted.
Most CBD tincture you’ll come across today is from hemp plants, not THC-rich strains of medical marijuana. It should contain no measurable levels of THC. Hemp is technically a cannabis strain though, which is why we keep referring to CBD tincture as a cannabis tincture.
So you won’t get high from taking CBD tincture, is there anything else you should know about the side effects? Qualified research teams have reviewed the body of literature and concluded CBD is generally very safe with minimal side effects.
We can pull some helpful opinions from a publication called “An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies.” After an in-depth review, the authors state, “In general, the often described favorable safety profile of CBD in humans was confirmed and extended by the reviewed research.”
That isn’t to say there aren’t any adverse reactions, but they are very mild and rarely occur. If you are one of the few folks who react to CBD tincture, you may experience tiredness, diarrhea, and changes to appetite. The review goes on to say that “In comparison with other drugs, used for the treatment of these medical conditions, CBD has a better side effect profile.”
How Do You Properly Dose Your CBD Tincture
People take CBD oil tincture for chronic illness like epilepsy as well as mild medical conditions like inflammation. Because there is such a spread of therapeutic applications, there is also a wide range of doses.
If you aren’t working with a doctor, how do you figure out a correct dose for CBD? Thankfully, because CBD is so safe for everyday use, if you follow a few guidelines, you’ll be able to figure out your perfect dose as well safely.
Interesting side note, in clinical trials CBD has been well tolerated in people up to 1500 mg a day. Most folks will likely settle on a daily dose of 100 mg or less – although this does depend on what medical conditions you want to treat. If you are managing a chronic disease and wish to incorporate tincture CBD products alongside other pharmaceuticals, speak with a doctor beforehand. A doctor can help balance all your medications to avoid any problematic interactions.
To start using CBD tincture safely, review the bottle for instructions. The best CBD tinctures will outline a starting dose, and some will even describe a low, medium, and high dose.
The CBD tincture will also tell you how many milligrams of active CBD are available per dose or serving. Depending on strength, this will vary from brand to brand. The best CBD tincture brands very clearly state how much CBD you are getting on a per serving basis. If there are no instructions at all, you should be wary about the product quality.
For those still asking, “Okay, but what’s a starter dose?” an adult around 150 lbs would want to start with 10 to 15 mg of CBD. The dose size will vary because every brand has different potency. Again, look at how many milligrams of CBD there is per serving size.
Step by Step Instructions for Dosing CBD Tincture
If there are no guidelines provided, or you’ve made your own CBD tincture – here are three basic rules:
- Start Low and Go Slow: This is the mantra for all cannabis products. Start with the lowest suggested dose, and slowly increase.
- Maintain for at Least Three Days: Keep the same dose for three days, as it can take some time to notice the effects of the CBD tincture. After three days, increase the dose by half. For example, go from 20 drops a day to 30. In three days, go up to 45 drops.
- Divide the Daily Dose: This is especially important for higher doses, you’ll want to divide it up throughout the day. Usually, this means half in the morning and another half at night. Feel free to break it up more if needed. Breaking it up allows the body to adjust, and prevents mild adverse reactions like tiredness or tummy trouble.
How to Make Your Own Tincture
Sure you can buy CBD tincture, but you can also make it at home with little to no skill. For some people, the best CBD tinctures are the homemade ones, because they get complete control over the entire process. With minimal kitchen equipment, a little alcohol, and CBD-rich bud, you’ll have a constant supply of CBD oil tincture for your medicine cabinet.
- 1/8 ounce CBD-rich cannabis, roughly ground
- 2 ounces high-proof alcohol (see above for strength)
- Shallow pan (cookie sheet)
- Jar or any opaque glass container
- Strainer (coffee filter or cheesecloth)
- Decarboxylate the herb, which means heat it to activate the CBD. Spread the cannabis on a baking sheet and cover with tinfoil. Bake for 45 minutes at 230-degrees Fahrenheit. Allow cooling.
- Pour the herb into a glass jar, and pour the alcohol over the top.
- Close the container, and shake well.
- Store in a cool dark place for a month. Don’t forget to shake every day.
- After 30 days, use a cheesecloth to strain the infused alcohol from the plant material. You can discard the leftover cannabis material.
- Enjoy your very own CBD tincture. Keep in a cool dark place for six months or more.
Have you read all the above, and are still curious? It’s not surprising! Considering CBD tincture is so easy to make at home, yet has so many therapeutic benefits, it’s only natural. If you need more resources on how to make tinctures at home, we’ve covered four favorite recipes in Four Easy Methods of Making Your Own Cannabis Tincture (don’t worry, it applies to THC-rich and CBD-rich options).
Still confused about the differences between hemp and marijuana, and why they are still both referred to as cannabis? Read Hemp vs. Marijuana – What are the Key Differences? We’d also suggest learning about The Health Benefits of CBD Oil before making your own pure CBD tinctures at home.
Interested but you don’t want to create your own tincture? Visit sundayscaries.com and check out what CBD can do for you. We’ll even throw in a discount: Enter “international” at checkout and save 10% off your order.