Guide to CBD Tinctures - What are They and How We Can Use?

Guide to CBD Tinctures - What are They and How We Can Use?

Published by Katie Thomas on May 25, 2021

Guide to CBD Tinctures - What are They and How We Can Use?

You've probably heard of the praises sung about CBD tinctures. They've become quite the rave ever since the legalization of medicinal and recreational hemp in the US at the state level. If you're having a stressful day, or feel anxious, CBD tinctures can help you calm your nerves. You also get better sleep using it as compared to the prescribed sleeping pill.

They are a clean and effective way of enjoying the benefits of hemp without the aggressive side effects brought about by the THC component. For most people thinking of trying CBD, these tinctures are the perfect way to start that journey. They are the simplest CBD products to use as a beginner. To help you with your exploration of CBD tinctures, this post contains useful information to guide you on how to use CBD tinctures. You’ll get everything you need to know about them, including the possible side effects.

What are CBD tinctures?

Before we discuss anything else, you must understand the meaning of CBD tinctures. To begin with, the term tincture refers to a herbal extract that has been dissolved in ethyl alcohol. In this case, the herbal extract is a high-CBD strain of hemp. Therefore, CBD tinctures are alcohol-based made up of high-proof grain alcohol and high CBD hemp.

The resulting liquid is potent, so you still enjoy the effects and benefits of CBD without having to smoke it. Since it's normally green in color, it has earned the name Green dragon. Some people, however, make the mistake of referring to it as CBD oil or hemp oil. The two are different. While CBD tinctures are alcohol-based, CBD oil involves the CBD extract suspended in fruit oil, or sometimes vegetable oil or glycerin.

Some CBD tinctures do, however, contain some vegetable glycerin. This is to help mask the bitter taste it has that most people are not a fan of. Some manufacturers use sweeteners or flavoring instead. Others also add vitamins and supplements to increase the health benefits of the tincture.

Making CBD tinctures: Commercial & Homemade CBD Tinctures

The process of making CBD tinctures is so simple that it would make the perfect DIY projects. With that said, there are two ways in which the tincture is made, either commercially or homemade.

Commercial CBD tinctures are those produced by manufacturers for commercial purposes. It involves using commercial methods to extract CBD oil from the hemp plant. Normally the process is regulated with strict standards of quality. Homemade CBD tinctures, on the other hand, simply involve dissolving parts of the hemp plant (it can be the flowers or the plants) in an alcoholic or non-alcoholic solvent (like coconut oil).

Both methods of preparation offer certain benefits. With commercially made tinctures, you get convenience and assurance of purity. On the other hand, homemade tinctures give you control over the desired potency and what ingredients to include. You can play around with the amount of hemp plant and solvent to create your signature tincture from the comfort of your home.

To make CBD tinctures at home, there are certain considerations you need to make. To begin with, you need to decide on which solvent you prefer. While alcohol is the traditional choice, you may have a sensitivity to alcohol. In that case, you can consider using vegetable oil or food-grade glycerin. Both are cheaper alternatives and readily available, and not to mention, the best solvents when it comes to tinctures you would wish to add to food later.

Another consideration to make is the type of hemp you wish to use. You can use the trim of the hemp plant for a high strain of CBD or the flowers and leaves. Chances are, you may get traces of THC in your tincture. If you want assurance that there is no THC in your hemp, you may want to consider using Industrial hemp. That way, you are guaranteed the trace of THC is less than 0.3%.

You also have a choice of what steeping method to use. This is the process of dissolving the parts of the hemp plant in a solvent. There's the simple but lengthy process of traditional maceration. This involves dissolving the hemp in a solvent, putting it in an airtight jar, and placing it in a cool, dark, dry place for six weeks or more. Alternatively, you could opt for the quicker but complicated method of percolation whereby you place the air-tight jar in a water bath and let it simmer.

Once you've made your choice for the ingredients and process, then the rest is easy. This is especially when you have all the necessary tools. Also, do not forget to decarboxylate your hemp to activate the CBD before dissolving.

Types of tinctures

When it comes to CBD tinctures, there are three main types. These types differ based on the content of CBD in them, their chemical composition, and their most common state. They include full-spectrum, isolate, and broad-spectrum CBD tinctures.

Also known as the whole extract, full-spectrum CBD tinctures, like the name suggest, contain all the chemical components of hemp, including THC. Other elements present include the fatty acids and terpenes that naturally occur in a hemp plant. The benefit of a full spectrum tincture is that you get to experience all the benefits of the hemp plant. While there is THC present, its level is too low to results in psychoactive effects, so you don't need to worry. You do however get to experience the entourage effect, which are the positive effects that come about when all the chemical compounds synergize.

The broad spectrum has all the chemical compounds of a hemp plant without the THC. You can still enjoy most of the benefits as with the full spectrum, including the entourage effect. You simply don't have to worry about the psychoactive effects of THC. What's more, you won't fail a drug test after taking the broad-spectrum tincture due to the lack of THC.

As for Isolate CBD tinctures, they only contain CBD and not any other hemp extract. While you may find them in liquid forms, most manufacturers sell them in powder or crystal forms. Aside from tinctures, you can use the powder form of isolate CBD for vaping or administer it directly by placing the crystal form under your tongue. The main benefit isolate CBD has over the others is that it's cheaper, and you'll be least likely to fail a drug test. Otherwise, its biggest downside is that you'll miss out on the entourage effect.

How to take CBD Tincture?

CBD tinctures should be taken in small dosages at a time. They come in small glass or plastic bottles that have a dropper for easier and more accurate usage. There are mainly two ways to take CBD tinctures, that is, either directly or indirectly.

To take it directly, simply use the dropper to drop the right dosage underneath your tongue and give it 1-2 minutes to dissolve. It's considered the quickest way for CBD to reach the bloodstream. So, you should feel the effects in about 5-10 minutes. The effects will last for about 10 hours maximum after that.

Indirectly, you can ingest the tincture by adding it to your food or beverage. It could be anything from soups, ice cream, tea, or salads. Normally, the fattier the food, the better the effects. However, this method is the longest since the CBD has to travel through the digestive system before getting to the bloodstream. You'll, therefore, feel the effects in an hour, and they should also last for a maximum of 10 hours.

Of course, you should keep in mind that other factors will affect how fast you feel the effects and how long they will last. Some of the main factors include potency, body weight, tolerance, and quality. For example, you can consume more CBD and hold it for longer if you have a higher body weight.


As mentioned before, CBD tinctures are highly potent. This is because they are a high concentration of CBD. As a result, the tinctures should be taken in small dosages. Unlike the stable dosage of an edible, you have to calculate the dosage of a tincture with every use. The dropper that comes with the bottle usually has a 1ml marking that serves as the baseline.

The strength of a CBD tincture is measured in mg, indicating the total amount of CBD in that tincture. Based on the mg indicated on the bottle, you can determine the dosage that's appropriate for you. For example, for a 30ml bottle indicating 3000mg, it means that a 1ml dose using the dropper contains 300mg of CBD. Similarly, a 30ml bottle containing 500mg will contain about 16mg per 1ml dose.

To determine your ideal dosage, you should use your body weight to calculate. Normally the calculation is done in terms of mg of CBD per kilogram of your weight. It's however, complicated since you have to calculate each dose you take based on your weight. Therefore, a beginner should start with the lowest possible dose and keep increasing depending on its effect on you.

Medicinal Benefits

Aside from helping you relax, CBD tinctures have been observed to have various health benefits and healing properties. As a result, in some places, CBD tinctures aren't just used for recreational purposes but are prescribed as a form of treatment. The following are several medical benefits from using CBD tinctures:


The use of CBD tinctures has been observed to help with managing this disorder. Through research, it's been shown that the CBD in the tinctures alters the brain's response to serotine, a chemical commonly linked to mental health. Therefore, you'll begin feeling more relaxed and at ease after taking a dose of the tincture.


Although more studies are being done to evaluate the relationship between CBD and seizures, researchers believe that CBD can help manage them. They believe that by taking CBD, a patient experiences a reduced number of seizures, especially patients with Epilepsy. The FDA approved the first hemp-derived drug called Epidiolex for Epilepsy treatment.

Chronic Pain

For those people who suffer from constant muscle, bone, or joint pain, CBD is believed to help. This is especially for people suffering from conditions like arthritis, spinal cord injuries, or rheumatic disorder. The CBD is said to reduce inflammation in the affected area hence offering pain relief.


Insomnia is normally characterized by the inability to get regular and restful sleep. By taking CBD tinctures, the body is more relaxed for you to get better restful sleep. Some people prefer using CBD to sleeping pills.

Side Effects

Like with everything, there is always a downside. While you may get many benefits from CBD tinctures, there are also some likely side effects that you may experience. Among them are as follows:

  1. Dry mouth – also referred to as cottonmouth. It's a common side effect when taking any form of hemp, whether it has THC or CBD or both. You should, therefore, always stay hydrated.
  2. Nausea – this is another common feeling that is usually stronger when you first use CBD. With regular use, however, the feeling starts to subside.
  3. Drowsiness – this side effect should not be confused with the high feeling you get as it's more uncomfortable than relaxing. It often occurs when you first start taking CBD or when you alter your normal dosage. It's a result of your body reacting to CBD as an unfamiliar substance.
  4. Gastrointestinal issues – for a new user, this is a common side effect. You experience discomforts like indigestion, diarrhea, and other stomach discomforts. It's therefore advisable to eat light and stay hydrated before using the tincture.


CBD tinctures are a safe and healthy way of using hemp. It comes with many great health benefits and is a great option for stress relief and better sleep. While it does have some side effects, most of them go away with regular use. Sometimes the side effects indicate a high dosage, so you should be careful and calculate each dose you take.