If you've been studying up on the latest cannabidiol (CBD) compounds, you may have run into the term "tincture."
Tincture is an increasingly popular way of applying treatments that use CBD. A natural byproduct of the cannabis plant, CBD can be extracted to use as an herbal treatment that proponents claim can help with a variety of physical and mental ailments, like muscle pain, anxiety, and depression.
Along with vaping, edibles, oils and other cannabis intake options, a tincture gives CBD adherents another good option in ingesting cannabidiols safely and effectively.
And better yet, tincture is also easier to do than many CBD users may think.
How are CBD Treatments Applied?
When extracted from the cannabis plant, CBD can be ingested into the human body in multiple ways, including:
- Vaped through CBD pipes and other inhalation devices.
- Consumed as edibles via chewable gummies.
- Ingested via liquid droplets from tinctures.
- Ingested into the body via creams, ointments, salves and other topicals.
Contrary to other Phytocannabinoids such as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not a hallucinogenic, and doesn't possess the elements that lead to mind-altering mental swings. When culled from hemp, CBD actually has a decidedly low level of THC, much less than the amount that produces the "high" feeling linked to marijuana use.
Advocates and users tout the healthy usage of CBD, noting that it aids significantly in the relief of stress and pain, and can be used without the fear of the aftereffects from biopharmaceutical aids for physical and emotional stress, including lethargy, dizziness, memory loss, and trouble focusing.
Officially, the jury is out on the regular use of CBD aids-- clinical trials have not been done and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regularly issues warnings Americans using unapproved CBD products from companies both inside and outside the U.S.
That said, the market for CBD products is growing, with BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research estimating that U.S. CBD sales will crest $20 billion by 2024.
CBD Tinctures Described
Now let's take a closer look at a tincture and see if it's a good option for you.
A tincture is a herbal treatment that, combined with CBD, offers one of the more potent yet efficient ways to ingest cannabidiols. Tinctures are developed by merging CBD herbs or flowers with high-proof alcohol, then heating the two compounds over low-heat for an extended period of time--often several weeks for a single batch.
The heat acts as a purifier for the alcohol, enabling it to infuse with the CBD dosage and turn it into liquid form, and can be ingested by the user after boiling off the excess spirits from the alcohol used.
In final form, the tincture becomes a liquid that provides an easy way to take and digest the CBD dosage, without having to inhale it, eat it, or ingest it in another form. Tinctures are considered one of the purest (and hence distasteful) forms of CBD ingestion, with many users add "taste enhancers" like orange rinds or mild oils to the mix, to make the taking of the tincture more palatable.
When the concoction is completed, users ingest the tincture in very small doses (which is highly advisable given the high potency involved), via a dropper.
Only several drops of a CBD tincture is usually needed to give the user the preferred dosage, although CBD users may take less or more of a tincture, depending on their ability to absorb a tincture intake.
Different Ways to Absorb a Tincture
Fortunately, absorbing the tincture directly with a dropper as a liquid isn't the only option for CBD users.
More commonly-used methods include:
By food. A tincture can easily be mixed with food to properly and safely ingest the cannabidiol. Dropping into chicken soup or mixing it into a salad is easy to do and serves to curb the often harsh taste of the tincture.
By coffee, tea or ginger ale. A CBD-based tincture can be digested via hot or cold drinks, although heated drinks, like coffee or tea, are likely a better idea. A few drops of a tincture into a hot mug of herbal tea is a great way to get the full effect of a CBD tincture, although a few drops into fruit juice or ginger ale can get the job done, too.
Under the tongue. CBD tinctures can also be placed under the tongue. This method works fast in getting the CBD into the body, but comes with a cost--direct ingestion of a tincture under the tongue can be harsh and distasteful and requires some getting used to for regular CBD users.
Benefits of CBD Tinctures
For CBD enthusiasts, CBD tinctures offer an array of usage benefits.
- It works quickly in the body: As CBD tinctures are extremely concentrated, several droplets will go right to work in the body, delivering CBD significantly faster than other methods.
- The body breaks down CBD consumption better than with vaping or edibles: Tincture droplets are easily digestible in the human body when compared to other CBD consumption vehicles like vaping, gummies, balms and lotions.
- It's smokeless: CBD Tinctures come smoke-free, which is a big attraction for consumers who have health issues with smoking and vaping, and prefer to avoid CBD inhalation devices.
- It's discreet: Tincture droppers can easily be hidden in a purse or pants pocket, and can be easily administered at a moment's notice in private.
- It's precise: CBD users who favor tinctures, after some experimentation, can count on taking the precise, desired dosage of CBD, on a regular basis.
Should You Prepare a Tincture Yourself?
While you can technically make your own CBD tincture batch, the process can be time-consuming and cumbersome, with multiple moving parts involved (i.e., like carefully sorting plant parts, chopping the plants up properly, and getting the mixture ratio right between herbs and liquids used to prepare your CBD tincture.)
By and large, it's easier to let the professionals handle the tincture preparation. Then all you have to do is buy the bottle of CBD, which usually comes with a dropper.
In addition, most commercial CBD tincture bottles come with labels showing what mixtures were used in the preparation and in what dose amounts.
The Takeaway on CBD Tinctures
While CBD tinctures appear to be a safe and easy way to absorb CBD into the human body, it's always a good idea to discuss the treatment with your doctor.
No question, cannabidiols have come a long way as a treatment for various ailments, but a good, candid discussion with your general practitioner can help lead you to the right decision on using CBD tinctures on a regular basis.