The legalization of cannabis products containing less than 0.3% THC in 2018 has led to a slew of hemp shops expanding their brand presence both online and in store. Cannabinol (CBD) products are no more popular than they have ever been. Everyone wants to know how CBD can transform their lives and whether or not its worth incorporating into their routines.

CBD is one the major cannabinoids produced in the cannabis plant, along with THC. CBD is favored for its non-psychoactive properties, whereas THC products can get you high. When taken by mouth, CBD binds to the receptors in the body and may effective in many different ways.

CBD can be used in various ways and in this article, we are covering two popular methods that are often confused with one another. CBD oils and CBD tinctures are two products that people mention interchangeably. You may have heard of one or both of these and probably didn’t know that there is a difference between them. CBD oils and CBD tinctures are similar in their purpose but they have some differences. CBD oils and tinctures are unlike any other CBD product out there.

If you have been debating on incorporating CBD into your lifestyle and you think CBD oils or tinctures may be the best product to start with, this article will be the deciding factor. Let’s dive into how these products differ from one another, and which one may be the better choice for you.

What is CBD oil?

CBD oil can be found at most places that carry CBD products and they are becoming popular due to how quickly some of them take effect. Many people have heard of CBD oil, but there remains question on exactly what it is.

A CBD oil is typically made by extracting CBD from hemp and blending it with a carrier oil, such as medium chain triglyceride (MCT) coconut oil. Along with CBD, other compounds like terpenes and flavonoids are extracted and blended with the CBD oil. Some CBD oils add natural lot artificial flavors into the blends as well. CBD oils retain all compounds of the hemp plant, which allows all elements of the plant to work together synergistically in one product.

When considering CBD oils, you have to look at the pros and cons.

Pros for using CBD oils

  • Can be used topically
  • Are easy to measure
  • May take effect quickly
  • Can be mixed with beverages and food
  • Typically contains minimal ingredients
  • Available in many potencies and flavors

Cons for using CBD oils

  • May be pricey
  • Often contains coconut oil, a known allergen

When shopping for a CBD oil, know that these products are often labeled as tinctures. If the product does not contain alcohol and instead contains an oil such as coconut oil, then it is considered a CBD oil. Additionally, learn more about the grade of coconut oil used in these products and any other ingredients to ensure top quality.

What is a CBD tincture?

CBD tinctures are common among those that want a quick and simple way to use CBD! Often confused with CBD oils, CBD tinctures are actually different. A CBD tincture is an extract made with an alcohol base instead of an oil base. CBD tinctures are made by extracting the natural compounds of the cannabis plant into high proof alcohol. Alcohol is also used in the finished product. Because of this, CBD tinctures typically have somewhat of a bitter flavor. Some CBD tinctures are mixed with additives to mask the bitterness like vegetable glycerin, sweeteners and other flavorings.

When considering CBD tinctures, you have to look at the pros and cons.

Pros for using CBD tinctures

  • Can be measured easily
  • May take effect quickly
  • Can be mixed with beverages and food
  • Available in many potencies and flavors

Cons for using CBD tinctures

  • Bitter flavor
  • Not effective as a topical

When shopping for a tincture, double check that the product is made using high proof alcohol. This helps to ensure that the product is indeed a CBD tincture and not a CBD oil.

CBD Oils Vs CBD Tinctures

CBD oils and CBD tinctures may appear the same on the shelf, but these are two different products. If you wondering if CBD oils or CBD tinctures are for you, then you are not the only one. These two products share many similarities, so it may be tough to know which two would best suit your needs.

CBD oils and CBD tinctures share similar packaging styles, which often results in confusion. Both of these products are usually packaged in a small glass bottle with a dropper top. So it’s easy to confuse the two. But how can you really distinguish these two products from each other, and how do you know which one is best for you?

The difference between the two lies in how the hemp is extracted and used in the process, as well as the additional ingredients used. Determining which one of these is best for you depends on a number of factors, beginning with your base preference. CBD oil is made with an oil base, while CBD tinctures are based with alcohol.

In CBD tinctures, high proof alcohol is used as a solvent to extract the CBD. This CBD-infused alcohol is then mixed with a few other ingredients to complete the product which is then capped off with more alcohol. These alcohol based products are preferred by those that prefer an oil-free option with more of a neutral taste. Some CBD tinctures may be flavored, but these products are typically flavorless.

CBD oils, on the other hand, may taste like whichever oil is used to make them, which is most often coconut oil. CBD oils are made via a similar process though the CBD is extracted from the hemp plant and blended with oil and other ingredients.

Not only do the bases impact the flavor of these products, but also the consistency. Although both of these products are taken in very small amounts, their consistencies may make a big difference to some. Some people may find it undesirable to consume oil, so if this describes you, then you may rethink CBD oils. On the other hand, some people may not like the flavor of CBD tinctures, as they tend to be bitter, which may cross them out as a potential option Take your flavor preferences into consideration when choosing either of these products.

There are flavored options for each of these so this can be another way to determine which is best for you. Finding a CBD oil or tincture in a flavor that you enjoy can make a huge difference.

Another factor that you should consider when determining which of these is best for you is how you intend to use the product. CBD oils and CBD tinctures can be used in the same way, but CBD oils slightly differ. CBD oils can be taken by mouth and used as a topical product. CBD tinctures on the other hand, can only be taken by mouth and not as a topical, as alcohol dries out the skin.

CBD oils and tinctures are both easy to find. Most places that sell CBD products will carry at least one of these options. These products can be expensive, especially if they are made with certain ingredients or are available in various sizes. However, it is often possible to find both CBD oils and tinctures at an affordable price.

Ultimately, whether you choose CBD oils and CBD tinctures depends on which base ingredient appeals most to you and your intentions for using the product.

How do you take CBD oils and tinctures?

CBD oils and tinctures have some similarities and differences when it comes to how they can be used. Both of these products can be taken by mouth, and that is the most common way. You can place a few drops of a CBD oil or a CBD tincture beneath your tongue, which helps them bypass the digestive system and take effect much quicker.

If you prefer not to take these products directly by mouth ,you may enjoy adding them to a beverage or food. Adding a few drops of a CBD tincture or CBD oil to your favorite beverage is one way to mask the bitterness of high proof alcohol or the hints of coconut, if made with a MCT oil base. These products can also be added to foods, though they may impact the overall flavor.

If you are feeling especially crafty with your CBD, you might want to use it to make gummies, another popular way to use CBD. Making CBD gummies requires properly measuring the CBD to ensure that you are getting a safe and efficient amount per gummy. So take your time and do some research on how to do this properly.

One difference between the two is that CBD oils may also be applied topically to the skin. CBD oil can interact with the receptors through the skin pores. CBD tinctures, on the other hand, are not effective this way. Despite this though, taking either of the two sublingually is the best way for optimal results.

CBD oils or CBD tinctures can be used whenever you wish to experience the effects of CBD. Unlike other psychaoctive cannabinoids produced in cannabis, CBD isn’t intoxicating, so this isn’t something you have to worry about with tinctures or oils. Some CBD oils and tinctures may contain THC though, so read labels and choose a product that best suit your needs. It is advisable to use these products responsibly and only take the necessary amount to avoid potential side effects like drowsiness or nausea.

Choosing a quality CBD oil or tincture

CBD oils or tinctures may be easy to find but it’s important to only choose quality products. Below we have included some factors to consider when selecting the best CBD oil or tincture.


A Certification of Analysis (COA) should be obtained by any brand that sells CBD oils or tinctures. This is a document that is received following a series of laboratory tests performed by an independent third part lab. Every product should have a COA and some brands may even provide a COA for every product and batch they make. The more COAs and details provided on a COA, the better. This informs the customer on what ingredients are present in the product and at what levels. A COA is used to determine strength and safety of a product, so they must be accurate and completed within the following year.


Potency refers to the overall strength of the CBD oil or tincture which is determined by how much CBD is included per tincture bottle and per 1 mL dropper. CBD tinctures and oils are available in a variety of potencies to match your comfort level. Additionally, the amount of CBD listed on the label should match what is listed on the COA. The same applies if the product contains THC. This is important to ensure that the you know exactly how much CBD or THC you are using. The amount of CBD or THC may vary from batch to batch but should match the COA and be off by no more than 10-20%.

Cannabinoid Profile

The cannabinoid profile is an important factor to find the ultimate CBD oil or tincture for you. Cannabinoid profiles are essentially how the products are flavored. There are various cannabinoid profiles available and different oils and tinctures will appeal to different CBD users. One might select their CBD oil or tincture based on their flavor preferences. You can learn more about the cannabinoid profile of a product by reading the package, as well as the brand website.

Another big part of the cannabinoid profile is whether the products contain other cannabinoids like THC (usually less than 0.3%). Broad spectrum CBD products should not include THC but they may include other cannabinoids like cannabigerol (CBG) or cannabinol (CBN) and terpenes. Learning what ingredients are used in a CBD oil or tincture is important.

Besides just the cannabinoids and flavor, you may also need to know whether the product contains any ingredients you should avoid. For example, some CBD oils are made with MCT oil, which is derived from coconuts. If you have a nut allergy, then this may not be the product for you. Learning the cannabinoid profile of a product can help you select a product based on your preference, as well as your safety.

Source of the Hemp

As you may know, CBD is derived from a hemp plant. When choosing a quality CBD oil or tincture, you should consider the source of the hemp. Some brands will specify that their products are made with organic, US grown hemp. These details can make a huge difference in the overall quality of a CBD oil or tincture.

Recommendations and reviews

Chances are, there's someone that has tried a CBD oil or CBD tincture before you have. This is a great way to avoid buying products that are no good. If you have any CBD lovers or experts in your circle, they may be able to recommend a quality CBD oil or tincture. Even if you don’t, product reviews are another useful way to learn which products are worth buying. Before considering a CBD oil or CBD tincture, use your resources to learn more about a product and experiences that others have had with it.

The legal status of CBD

CBD products have been legalized in most states following the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized the sell and use of hemp-derived products containing no more than 0.3% THC. CBD is naturally low in THC and some products contain no THC at all. Some states have only legalized CBD for specific medicinal purposes, so the legal status will vary from state to state. Keep this in mind as it pertains to your local state and any states where you may be traveling. As long as a CBD oil or tincture falls below the maximum of THC, then that product should be in the clear!

Does CBD tincture work the same way as CBD oil?

Yes. CBD tinctures and CBD oils work the same way. Both of these products bind to the endocannabinoid receptors in the body when they are used. CBD tinctures and CBD oils are made to help people use a more concentrated version of CBD with fewer ingredients.

Do CBD tinctures and CBD oils have similar effects?

Yes. CBD tinctures and oils have similar effects. These different CBD products share a lot of similarities, mainly that they both contain CBD. You can experience the same or closely similar effects with both CBD tinctures and CBD oils. The effects may differ depending on how much CBD is added.

How long does CBD oil or tincture take to start working?

CBD oils and CBD tinctures are fast-acting when consumed sublingually (under the tongue). A CBD oil or tincture tends to take 1 to 2 hours to take full effect, as they have to first travel through the digestive system. The time it takes for a CBD oil or tincture to take effect may differ depending on the person as well.


Incorporating CBD into your lifestyle is more appealing as the number of products available increase. CBD oils and CBD tinctures are two popular products, but people have confused them with one another for quite some time. These products are not interchangeable, though they do share some similarities. Packaging, purpose, and having the same star ingredient (CBD) are some ways they are similar! They have different bases and some of the other ingredients used are different as well. CBD oils and CBD tinctures are made differently and thus will appeal to different CBD users. Adding either of these products to your regimen is an effective way to get CBD into your system. Both products are available in hemp shops and you can even purchase CBD oils and tinctures online. Thoroughly reading product labels, descriptions and reviews is necessary to ensure that you are purchasing the right product. Now that you know the difference between CBD oils and tinctures, you can make an informed decision on which would best complement your lifestyle.