What is CBD Tincture? Benefits & Precautions

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the major non-psychoactive chemical constituents of Cannabis plants.

Its robust anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties have gained massive popularity in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.

Cannabis plants can be grouped into two varieties: hemp and marijuana.

Hemp and hemp-derived CBD do not produce the feeling of a ‘high’ that is commonly associated with marijuana. This is because they lack THC, the cannabinoid responsible for intoxication.

CBD closely resembles some of the hormones produced in the body known as endocannabinoids.

This allows CBD to interact with the endocannabinoid signaling system in the body.[1]

CBD’s ability to affect many different parts of the body all together allows its therapeutic value to multiply.

One of the most historic moments for CBD came in June 2018, when the US FDA approved the first-ever CBD oral supplement, Epidiolex, for the treatment of two types of epilepsies: Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes.[2]

This article will use scientific studies to justify the effectiveness of CBD tinctures and it will consider which illnesses are more suitable for this product type.

Towards the end of the article, there is information on how to use CBD tinctures and the precautions you must take.

Note: Hemp and CBD are not the same. Always check the ingredients of the product before purchasing it.

What is a CBD Tincture?

It is highly likely that you would have come across CBD tinctures soon after beginning to explore the medicinal world of CBD.

Tinctures, edibles and oral supplements are some of the most common modes of administration.[3]

Literary evidence for the use of Cannabis tinctures in herbal medicines by the Native Americans to the Europeans has existed for over 100 years.[4]

To make tinctures, first, the hemp plant is grinded up and dried. Then, carbon dioxide gas or special fluids are used to extract all the different cannabinoids.

To separate CBD from the other cannabinoids, multiple rounds of chromatography and recrystallization are done.[5]

CBD is isolated as a solid white powder. The final tincture product is made by soaking the CBD solid in alcohol or glycerin.[6]

The concentration of the tincture depends on the ratio of solvent to CBD used.

How Beneficial are CBD Tinctures?

The current understanding is that no matter which recognized mode of administration you use, you should be able to gain the benefits of CBD through all of them.

It all boils down to your own preferences which, are to a large extent shaped by the knowledge and exposure you hold.

For most conditions known to be helped by CBD, tinctures will be beneficial.

However, in some illnesses, there may be a more effective mode of administration than tinctures. Additionally, the effectiveness of tinctures can vary from person to person.

One other very important thing to consider when deciding whether CBD tinctures are the right option for you or not is how fast you require relief from the symptoms.

For example, for individuals taking CBD to cope with anxiety triggers will find tinctures to be the most effective method as, it can produce its effects almost immediately.[7]

Similarly, for soothing pain and dealing with the onset of nausea and vomiting in cancer patients, tinctures can be one of the fastest responders.[8]

Tinctures have shown to effectively reduce the intensity of pain in patients experiencing extremely severe pain.[9]

The reason for this is very simple. The CBD tincture solution will be dropped under the tongue.

From there it can rapidly be absorbed into the bloodstream and can circulate around the body.[10]

The 3 examples given above are all cases where the patient requires quick relief. But, there are other illnesses where you require prolonged, long-term effects of CBD.

These include: helping to reduce seizure frequency in epilepsy, muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis, withdrawal symptoms for alcoholism, treating acne and psoriasis, weakening tumor aggressiveness, improving quality of sleep and, alleviating pain in arthritis.

It is completely justified to use CBD tinctures for such conditions. Yes, it will take 30 – 90 minutes for the onset of the effects but, they can last for 4 hours or more.[11]

Vaping CBD can impart the benefits within 2 minutes. Yet, the effects last for a much shorter time than those seen with tinctures.

Tinctures have repeatedly shown to be highly effective in reducing seizure frequency for infantile epilepsies. In some cases, the patient has been completely treated.[12]

CBD tinctures can either be directly applied under the tongue or they can be added to food/drink. In most cases, the former method is preferred.

Consuming it through food and drink can definitely help mask the taste but, it is likely to be less effective.

Oral CBD has poor water solubility and it is vulnerable to first-pass metabolism.[13]

This is a process by which, the stomach or liver destroys the oil before it can be absorbed into the blood.

As a result, only 6% of the total CBD ingested enters the bloodstream and is available to produce active effects.[14]

CBD tinctures avoid first-pass metabolism. So, you may be able to take smaller doses and there may be longer intervals between each dose.

Furthermore, absorption through the intestines will be more irregular than that through the mouth.[15]

Tinctures can provide overall health benefits as; the CBD can circulate throughout the body.

However, in some skin conditions like, eczema and psoriasis, it may be more beneficial to use topical CBD products.

It is important to note that topically applied CBD can never enter the bloodstream.[16] Thus, it is best for localized treatments as, it can provide relatively faster relief.

Nonetheless, effectiveness will vary person to person. Some people will prefer to use tinctures over topical products for skin conditions.

How to Use CBD Tinctures?

Like any other mode of administration, tinctures should too allow you to successfully harness the robust anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties of CBD.

Before buying a tincture, make sure you are clear about what kind of CBD you want. You can go for CBD isolates, full-spectrum CBD or broad-spectrum CBD.

Next consider whether you want to apply the tincture directly under the tongue or mix it with food/drink.

Finally, CBD naturally has quite an earthy flavor which, many people do not like. So, you may opt for a flavored tincture product.

Although, some experts believe that the less a CBD product is modified with other chemicals, the better.

The way to use CBD tinctures is very straightforward. The tincture will come with a dropper. Use the dropper to apply the solution directly under your tongue or to add it in food/drinks.[17]

The CBD can rapidly enter the bloodstream.[18]

There is a large variety in the concentrations of CBD available. Depending on your required dosage, you will have to calculate the number of drops to apply.[19]


There are no precautions to take with the actual product type (tincture). The precautions given below are those that generally need to be taken with CBD itself, no matter what mode of administration is being used.

Read up on the legal status of CBD tinctures in your country before buying a product. Generally, CBD products with less than 0.3% THC are legal.

As more and more people are expressing interest in CBD, the market for it is growing enormously in terms of profit.

Companies are false marketing their products and there have been cases of inaccurate labelling.

It is essential that you only buy CBD tinctures from trusted companies.

We advise you to start with low doses (5 – 10 mg/kg) and then slowly increase it if you are experiencing positive results.[20]

Sometimes, it may be difficult to work out how many drops you should be taking according to your required dosage.[21]

So, consult a doctor for advice on dosage.

Some people are allergic to glycerin. If that is the case, you should look for glycerin-free tinctures.

Pregnant and breast-feeding women are not advised to use CBD.

CBD can disrupt the metabolism and effectiveness of medicines broken down by the liver.[22]

You must consult a doctor for dosage before using CBD tinctures with your regular medicine.


CBD tinctures have long been in use and this is a good indication of its effectiveness.

They can be used by both, those who require quick relief and those who need its long-term effects.

Scientists agree that the beneficial effects of CBD for a multitude of diseases can be accessed through tinctures.

It is imperative that you only buy CBD tinctures from trustworthy companies. Consult a doctor before starting to use CBD tinctures and always start with low doses.