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What's the Difference Between CBD Oil and CBD Tincture?

What’s the Difference Between CBD Oil and CBD Tincture?

Thanks to recent years of legalization and campaigning, more and more places in the world are learning about the benefits of marijuana and, most importantly, CBD.

Whether through combating medical issues, physical pain or mental health problems, CBD has been demonstrated to have the potential to be incredibly helpful for people’s health.

However, as often happens when you want to learn about and try something new, you will find a small barrier to entry:

  • How are you supposed to take it?
  • Lots of people smoke their marijuana – indeed, it’s the most commonly associated form of marijuana imbibing – but what about if you don’t want to smoke?

Well, thankfully, there are CBD oils you can purchase that allow you to get your CBD intake much more easily.

Hang on, though… What are CBD tinctures? Are they the same as CBD oil? If not, what are the differences? Which should you get?

Let’s explore what the real differences are between oils or tinctures with regard to CBD.

Firstly though, what actually is CBD, and what does it do?

Let’s Start with What is CBD?

CBD is the non-psychoactive component of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Cannabis has been used for thousands of years as a medicine, but only in the last few decades has it finally been accepted by governments and the general population as something helpful and useful, rather than criminal and dangerous.

CBD works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), as discussed in a study conducted by the Journal for Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research in which their 2017 review describes the ECS as a health system that exists throughout the human body and is responsible for allowing positive regulation of your health, promoting pain suppression, reduction of inflammation, and more.

CBD triggers receptors in the endocannabinoid system known as CB1 and CB2. These receptors help propagate the body’s healing mechanisms, but due to their location throughout the body, they can interact and encourage the healing of a variety of different ailments. For example, CB1 receptors are located largely in the nervous system and brain, allowing for them to help treat such conditions as depression and anxiety*.

CBD works to encourage these receptors and help trigger their beneficial properties by acting as antagonists to the chemicals that turn off the CB1 and CB2 receptors. While that might seem a bit roundabout, it works to encourage your body to begin healing itself naturally.

Now that we know more about CBD however, what exactly is the difference between taking CBD as oil or as a tincture?

Ok, So What is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is the most common form of taking pure CBD for medicinal purposes. Essentially, CBD oil is pure CBD, extracted from cannabis plants, suspended in an inert oil solution.

The process of collecting the oil from the Cannabis Sativa plant is quite similar to other oil gathering processes. Some manufacturers isolate pure CBD from individual hemp plants, whereas others extract the entire plant and seek to ring out every last drop of potential cannabinoids.

Generally speaking, the CBD within Cannabis Sativa plants is encased within the buds, the same as the THC in marijuana. However, according to the United Nations report on cannabis, the rest of the plant does contain trace amounts of both THC and CBD, so it is possible to extract small amounts of the important compounds from the leaves and stems.

The method of extraction is quite commonly done using CO2. Essentially, temperature control is utilized so as to force concentrated CO2 through the plant, which isolates the CBD molecules from the other plant nutrients and compounds. This avoids corrupting the final product, leaving a pure, distilled form of CBD which can then be suspended in a food-safe oil.

CBD oil is generally used for the purpose of either oral ingestion or through application in food. It is commonly sold in a small bottle with a dropper, allowing you to administer it a few drops at a time.

One of the most frequent applications of CBD oil is actually to use it as fuel for a vaporizer pen, allowing you to imbibe your CBD through vaping it.

What is CBD Tincture?

CBD tinctures are a bit different from CBD oil. While it is still a concentrated form of CBD, with tinctures, the CBD is actually suspended in a small amount of distilled alcohol.

The word tincture itself describes any kind of medicine kept in an alcohol solution.

The benefits of suspending your CBD in alcohol are primarily the fact that it is extremely easy to administer it into food or take it straight. However, CBD oil does win over tinctures when using the substance in fat-soluble foods like butter-based sauces and the like, due to the fact that alcohol will not mix with fats.

With CBD oil, the inert oil does nothing to disguise the somewhat concentrated, off-putting taste of pure CBD. By using a tincture, you are able to avoid that unwanted bad taste, instead letting it fall easily onto your tongue.

A big problem with tinctures is that they cannot be vaporized using an e-pen – to do so can be potentially quite dangerous, as the alcohol is not designed to combust in the same way that oil is. They should let you know about this on the packet of your tincture, but it’s still very important to remember.

Pros & Cons Between the Two?

CBD oil is great when administered however you like it, but there are some clear advantages and disadvantages to choosing either oil or tincture.
Here’s a short list of the pros and cons of each:



  • CBD oil is easily vaporized and thus imbibed through vaping. A very easy to method to get the CBD inside you.
  • CBD oil is ubiquitous and sold in almost every marijuana retailer.
  • As it is suspended in inert oil, it does nothing whatsoever to affect the CBD.
  • Certain foods benefit from using oil, rather than a tincture, for example if you’re administering your CBD using fat-soluble recipes, like in cookies.


  • CBD oil has a distinctive, somewhat unpleasant taste.
  • Oil, when applied to food, can change its properties somewhat – not every dish benefits from some drops of oil in it!

CBD Tincture


  • Tincture is excellent for applying to food; the alcohol disguises the prominent flavor of the CBD, allowing it to more easily mix into whatever dish you want.
  • Tincture is much better than oil when taken orally, as again it lacks that distinctive taste or oily mouth feel when you drop it directly under your tongue.


  • Tincture must absolutely not be vaped. Almost every supplier of CBD tincture will inform you somewhere on the packaging, but tinctures can be dangerous if they are vaped using a vaporizer pen.
  • Not everyone wants to be constantly imbibing a small amount of alcohol when they’re trying to get their CBD.

Final Thoughts and Verdict.

CBD is a remarkably useful medication, but the problem still remains as to what is the best way to administer it?

CBD oil is a fantastic choice for those seeking to vape their CBD oil. Vaping has recently become incredibly popular as a way to ingest CBD, as it is more discreet than smoking a normal marijuana joint, as well as more mobile and easily accessible.

However, CBD oil isn’t as good as a CBD tincture for administering in food or through oral use. Tincture is by far the best way to discreetly imbibe CBD, as you can easily, stealthily, put the tincture into your food and not notice any discernible taste or textural difference.

That said, as is frequently stressed when buying CBD tinctures, they cannot under any circumstances be used in vaporizing pens, due to the danger they can cause when ignited by the vape pen.

Essentially, CBD oil is best if you’re planning on vaporizing or in any way smoking your oil, or is you just want the easiest, most available option and don’t want the hassle.

If you’re willing to put in a little more work in finding a reputable seller – not all establishments sell tinctures, sadly – then CBD tinctures are the best if you want to apply your CBD orally, or for use in food.

The only thing you need to bear in mind is that a tincture, due to the fact that it is simply an alcohol solution with CBD infused within it, can alter the quality of your food if it is based primarily on fats, such as when baking with butter or oil. In those cases, stick to using CBD oil.

Whatever you preferences, both CBD oil and CBD tinctures have their place in your lives. Whether you prefer to vape, mix in with your food or simply take orally, CBD has numerous ways to ingest it.

All you need to do is pick what works best for you.

CBD oils that work

Customer Reviews Based on 8 reviews

  • Brian Flowers

    I never knew about all these differences, I always thought that tinctures are more concentrated versions of oil. Have now understood properly, and I now feel that it is always better to clarify concepts rather than assuming things when it comes to CBD and weed. It can lead to some serious problems like the wrong dosage sometimes.

  • Marilyn chilton
    Urine test

    How long does 1/4 dropper tincture 9 percent show in urine test

  • Grekka
    Which is the cheaper alternative?

    I have been taking CBD oil for a few months now. A one ounce bottle lasts almost 30 days, taking it twice a day. At $50 a month, that is a substantial cost. Would using a tincture be cheaper?

    • Marsha
      CBD Tincture

      The Lazarus Naturals CBD Tincture I take is 2 oz & it lasts a month, taking it twice a day. It is $110 a month. I use the 1.0 mg line on the dropper.

  • Lynn Denison

    I think the efficacy, and the smell, both are more intense for the tincture. I usually take this under my tongue, and do not take anything before or after.

  • Sue Corneilson

    This article was very helpful. I’ve had trouble with the taste of oil, however Tinctures are very difficult to find in any of New Jersey’s 6 Medical Marajuana Dispensaries!! I’ve searched 2 of them and will be checking a 3rd dispensary in 2 weeks.

  • pete shields
    try it

    How long till active results feel/show ?

    • Steve Wilson
      Use it sublingually

      If taken sublingually, a tincture will start working in less than 15 minutes.

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