There are many different ways to use CBD as a supplement, including vaping, eating foods with it in them, and even using CBD oil or tinctures for topical use.

But what exactly is the difference between these three methods of consumption? And which one should you be choosing when looking to take the benefits of CBD?

CBD Oil vs. Tincture: What’s the Difference?

Cannabidiol (or CBD) has been found to have a wide variety of medicinal properties, but the most common form of CBD today is sold as an oil or a tincture.

Oil-based CBD products are often preferred over tinctures because they tend to be more potent and longer-lasting than tinctures. However, if you choose to go this route, you can add your own drops of liquid CBD into food and drink, such as smoothies, coffee, tea, etc.

Tinctures on the other hand are usually made from CBD alone and then added to another substance that will allow it to dissolve easily. They are typically administered directly under the tongue or mixed with food and drinks.

With either method, you can expect to find a variety of CBD products on the market, including oils, edibles, creams, beauty products, etc. The main difference between CBD oils and tinctures is how they are ingested. While both are considered “CBD,” they also come in very different forms.

Here, we’ll cover some of the differences between CBD oils and tinctures so you know what to look out for when making a purchase.

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CBD Oils

CBD oils are generally derived from hemp plants, although there are currently no laws preventing companies from creating CBD oil from marijuana plants

  • CBD oils are available in a range of concentrations, including full spectrum oils, light spectrum oils, and isolate based
  • CBD oils are usually extracted through supercritical CO2 extraction (SCCO2)
  • Since they contain cannabinoids, CBD oils are not psychoactive by nature
  • Due to their potency, you may need to take smaller doses of CBD compared to a tincture, which makes them ideal for those who struggle with anxiety or insomnia
  • Unlike tinctures, CBD oils do not require refrigeration since they are already diluted, unlike tinctures which can only be stored at room temperature.


  • Tinctures are made from CBD alone, and they are typically consumed orally
  • You can add CBD tinctures to food and beverages like coffee, tea, alcohol, and water
  • They are highly concentrated, so you may need to take larger amounts than CBD oils in order to get the same effect
  • Because they are made from CBD alone, tinctures are considered non-psychoactive
  • Tinctures are often used for medical purposes, but they can also be used recreationally

Dosing Information

The amount of CBD you should consume depends on whether you are taking CBD oil or a tincture, and the way you take it. As mentioned above, tinctures are typically taken orally, while CBD oils are usually absorbed through the digestive system. Here are some general guidelines for dosing:

CBD Oil – Start small and work your way up: If you are new to CBD oil, start off with a tiny dose, maybe 0.5mg per day, and gradually increase it until you find the right dosage for you. Be sure to keep track of how much you are consuming, and make note of any potential side effects.

Tincture – Take 1mg every 4 hours: Again, start off small and work your way up as needed. For example, if you are dealing with pain, you might start at 2ml once per day and build your dose up to 4ml per day over time.

Again, remember that everyone’s body is different, so consult a doctor before making any changes to your dosage. You can always ask your physician about starting low and working your way up if you are unsure about what you should be taking.

How Long Does It Last?

CBD oil and tinctures often last anywhere from several hours to several days, depending on the type of product you are purchasing and how much you use. Since tinctures are made from CBD itself, it can be difficult to pinpoint exact times because it is highly dependent on the individual person.

For example, a tincture designed to last 8 hours could potentially last 12 hours, whereas a tincture designed to last 30 minutes can last just around 5 minutes after being applied to your skin.

Keep in mind that the effects of CBD depend entirely on the person. Some people might experience a stronger reaction to CBD based on their body chemistry, and others might experience less of a response compared to others.

If you take a tincture to help relieve stress, you might not feel anything within 15 minutes, but someone else might feel something almost immediately. This is why it is important to pay attention to your own reactions to CBD, and how long it takes for your desired effects to kick in.

What Are the Side Effects?

While CBD is not necessarily harmful in its purest form, it’s still best to check with a doctor or herbalist before adding it to your diet or using it as a supplement.

Some CBD users report feeling anxious or jittery, but this is typically due to the fact that CBD is not psychoactive and doesn’t interact with other substances in the brain. On the flip side, CBD does interact with substances in the brain, such as CB1 receptors, so it’s possible that taking too much CBD (or taking too high a concentration of CBD) could lead to negative side effects.

As always, it’s best to talk to a professional about how much you should be consuming and how to avoid negative side effects.

Final Thoughts

CBD oil and tinctures are two popular ways of consuming CBD, and each offers its own unique set of pros and cons. If you are looking for a quick fix, a tincture might be the better option, since it allows you to ingest CBD quickly and easily. If you prefer a slower release of CBD, however, you might want to opt for CBD oil instead.

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