There are many different ways to take CBD, from edibles to vaping to letting it be absorbed through the skin. One of the most popular ways to get your dose, however, is through CBD tinctures. Due to the fact that CBD has only really been around as a product that can be bought and sold legally for a couple of years, we are all on a bit of a learning curve with regards to consuming it.

Tinctures might be a new thing for some people, but they are becoming very popular amongst CBD users – and for good reason.

What is a CBD Tincture?

CBD or cannabidiol is a natural cannabinoid which is found in the cannabis plant. When it is taken, it can interact with our endocannabinoid system to enhance its functionality. The endocannabinoid system is useful for many things, including helping to regulate systems such as the immune system, central nervous system, our mood, inflammation, bone density and sleep.

We are still near the beginning of medical research about the endocannabinoid system and how it affects the body, but research shows that CBD can help it to work properly, giving our general health a boost, as well as help to deal with other more specific health problems.

This article explains more about CBD and how it can help our health – What is CBD?

A tincture, by definition, is “a solution of alcohol or of alcohol and water, containing animal, vegetable, or chemical drugs.” [1] In this case it is infused with CBD.

People quite often use the words ‘CBD tincture’ and ‘CBD oil’ interchangeably, but there is a slight difference between the two. Pure CBD oil often doesn’t include alcohol, with the two main ingredients being CBD and a carrier oil for better absorption into the body. The amount of alcohol is a tincture is so low that you won’t feel any effect from it.

CBD tinctures often include some sort of flavouring, due to the fact that CBD on its own is a somewhat ‘acquired taste’ – or a little bit unpleasant for many people. Common flavours include peppermint or citrus flavours.

How CBD Tinctures are made

CBD tinctures are made by steeping hemp flowers which are rich in CBD in alcohol. This is then left to infuse for a certain amount of time, before the alcohol is burned off, leaving a very potent liquid, brimming with CBD and other compounds of the cannabis plant. Some producers prefer to use CBD isolate, which will give you a ‘pure’ CBD – which might sound great, but actually can be less effective than CBD products made with some of the other compounds in the plant.

Once the alcohol has been burnt off, any additional flavourings are added to the mixture, which is then bottled to give you a potent, effective, CBD rich tincture. Some people will then mix in an oil which will help the CBD to be absorbed into the body (as CBD isn’t water soluble and would, therefore, have difficulty on its own).

How to use CBD tinctures

CBD tinctures are designed to be used sub-lingually. This means that the dosage should be dropped under the tongue and held there for 2-3 minutes. Although it won’t cause you harm if you swallow it, the effect will take a lot longer to work. If taken sub-lingually, the CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream through the lining of the mouth, meaning that it will come into effect within about 15 minutes.

Some people like to add drops of CBD to their food to make edibles. However, just as if you were to swallow the oil, this will take a lot longer to come into effect – normally about 2 hours. If you wish to, however, you can add it to sauces, batter mixes or dressings for an interesting way to take your CBD.

One of the good things about CBD tinctures is that the bottles are generally small enough to be carried around in your pocket and can be taken in a matter of seconds. This means that they are also a discrete way to take it if you’re out and about.

Why use a CBD tincture?

There are many reasons why people decide that they want to try CBD, from wanting to give themselves more energy to help with pain relief [2] or anxiety [3]. This is understandable as it is non-addictive, safe to take and won’t get you high (unlike THC, another compound in the cannabis plant). However, the way that people decide to take CBD varies from person to person.

Here are some of the reasons why a CBD tincture might be the delivery method for you:

· It is small, portable and discrete – Compared to some other CBD delivery methods, a tincture is small and compact, coming in a small bottle and usually with its dropper included. You can fit it into your bag or pocket and get a top up wherever you are. There is no smoke or vapor to draw attention to you and can be administered quickly.

· Easy to calculate dosage – Taking your CBD through a tincture makes it is easy to accurately calculate your dosage. Just fill up the dropper with your desired amount then ensure that you take the total amount under our tongue.

· Quick to work – After vaping (and injecting which is very rare), CBD taken sub-lingually is the next quickest way to get it working. Instead of having to go through the digestive system or the skin, the CBD is absorbed through the lining of the mouth, which has many blood vessels near the surface, meaning that it is effective very quickly. This means that it is a good option for people hoping that it will help them with pain relief, stemming anxiety [4] or helping to sleep [5].

· Taste – Compared to some CBD oils, tinctures often come with flavours added to take away the bitter and ‘grassy’ taste of the CBD.

· Longer shelf-life – In comparison to other CBD products, CBD tinctures have a longer shelf-life. This means that even if you take very small doses you won’t waste any, as well as meaning that you can buy in bulk if you wish – which might turn out to be cheaper for you.

Some CBD tincture tips

If you are thinking about taking CBD tinctures for the first time, here are some tips on how to take it safely and to get the best outcome for you.

· Everybody is different and so one dose for one person won’t necessarily have the same effects for someone else. When you start taking CBD, begin with a very small dose and gradually increase it every 2/3 days. Note down your dose and how it’s made you feel. Once that you feel that it is becoming less effective, you have discovered what the best dose is for you.

· Although CBD is safe, and no-one has ever died from taking too much, it is important to know that it can sometimes have side effects. These can include fatigue, dry mouth, light-headedness. These side effects aren’t severe or do long term harm, however.

· If you are trying CBD for the first time, it is important that you speak to your doctor before you start. CBD can affect the way that your body metabolises some medications, meaning that it can actually leave more of it in your bloodstream – making the effects of the medication stronger. It is therefore important to talk it through with your doctor beforehand – and, of course, let them know that you are taking it if they want to give you a new medication.

· One of the most important things about buying CBD is to make sure that you have a good quality product. The best way to get this is to check that it has been independently lab tested. The lab report will give you an accurate breakdown of what exactly is included in that little bottle, ensuring that you get what it says on the tin.

CBD tinctures are an easy and effective way to take CBD, especially for those who are trying it for the first time. It can give you accurate doses and are now being specially designed to make consuming CBD as pleasant an experience as possible.

Sources

1 https://www.dictionary.com/browse/tincture

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2430692/

3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604171/

4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604171/

5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/

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