CBD Tincture vs. Oil

A CBD tincture is a hemp extraction mixed with a carrier oil, such as coconut or olive. CBD oil is often used as the standard term to describe multiple CBD products, including tinctures, tanks, distillate, etc. The term CBD oil also describes an extraction itself. Just like how all bourbons are whiskeys, but not all whiskeys are bourbons, all tinctures are oils, but not all oils are tinctures. 

This article gives a detailed distinction between the two terms.

An Extraction


CBD oil is the byproduct of the extraction process. The process pulls out targeted compounds, in our case CBD, from the plant material and converts it to a liquid. The CBD oil includes other desirable minorcannabinoids and terpenes as well.   

Alcohol and CO2 extraction are the two most popular methods to achieve CBD oil from raw plant material. We use CO2 extraction because it is the cleanest way to extract cannabinoids without going through higher levels of refinement to yield similar results. A series of processes, including extraction, winterization, decarboxylation, distillation, results in clean, ingestible hemp CBD oil.

As mentioned, CBD oil describes an extraction, but it is also the umbrella phrase to explain what is in all CBD products. 

Cannabis Concoction

CBD Tincture

The word tincture often describes alcohol or vinegar infused with a medicinal plant substance. Alcohol pulls an active ingredient out of a plant and concentrates it in a liquid form. While there are alcohol-based CBD tinctures, it is not common. In the CBD world, a hemp oil tincture is mixed with another oil, not alcohol. We already have concentrated CBD oil through CO2-extraction. To make a tincture, we simply blend CBD oil with coconut oil. 

The CBD industry adopted the term tincture to describe the product because of its packaging, a traditional glass tincture bottle with a rubber-topped dropper.

Digesting Cannabinoids

Why are CBD Tinctures mixed with Carrier Oils?

CBD is fat-soluble and requires a carrier substance (fat) to absorb cannabinoids into the bloodstream. This is a process called bioavailability, the rate and degree with which an active ingredient is absorbed. Ingesting CBD oil alone without a carrier would result in lower bioavailability. A tincture has around a 30 percent bioavailability rate, meaning the body makes use of 30 percent of the cannabinoids consumed.

You may be wondering why some of our other types of CBD products, like tanks, are not blended with a carrier oil. That’s because smoking CBD results in a higher bioavailability than tinctures, around 40 percent. A carrier oil is not necessary for the body to absorb a suitable amount of CBD via smoking or vaping. 

Sublingual Method

How to take a CBD Oil Tincture?

Tinctures are typically taken sublingually, under the tongue. This is thought to enhance the rate of absorption. Blood vessels called capillaries cover the tongue and cheeks. The capillaries absorb the active ingredient into the bloodstream faster than the digestive system. 

To take a CBD tincture, fill up the dropper halfway to the .5 millimeter mark for a half-dose or fill up the entire 1-milliliter vial for a full dose. Aim the dropper under your tongue, squeeze the rubber top and hold the liquid under the tongue for a minimum of 30 seconds to 1 minute before swallowing. 

Tincture formulas can also be added to drinks, drizzled on food, or mixed with other formulas.

Full Spectrum CBD, Broad Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate

Size, Strength, and Types of CBD Tinctures

Sizes and Strength

Tinctures also come in a multitude of sizes, strengths and types. Thirty milliliters is the standard size, but they may also come in 15 or 60-millimeter sizes. Our goal is to provide potent products, so our standard strength includes 1000 milligrams of CBD and 2000 milligrams for extra strength. One dropperful of regular strength is equal to a 33-milligram dose. One extra strength dose equals 66 milligrams of CBD.

Full Spectrum CBD Tinctures

The three types of oils include full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD and CBD isolate.Full spectrum CBD tinctures refer to oil that includes other organic plant compounds, including less than 0.3 percent THC that naturally comes from hemp. People often prefer full spectrum oils because it is believed that CBD works better when used with THC and other compounds, a biological event known as the entourage effect.

Broad Spectrum CBD Tinctures

Broad spectrum CBD refers to an extraction that includes CBD plus other plant compounds but without the THC. This option is for those who prefer THC free products.

CBD Isolate Tinctures

A CBD isolate tincture is pure CBD with no other plant compounds. Isolate tinctures also include coconut oil but are mostly tasteless. They are a versatile THC free option. 

Our Daily Support Isolate Tincture contains our award-winning CBD isolate and is 100% THC free. Contains 2000mg CBD per 30mL bottle.

In a nutshell, deciding which of the three types of tinctures to buy boils down to whether or not someone prefers the inclusion or exclusion of THC and the inclusion or exclusion of additional plant compounds in their product. Each has its benefits and limitations, which you can read about in detail in our blog post about full spectrum CBD.

Beyond oil type, some full spectrum and broad spectrum tinctures are infused with flavors to enhance or mask the natural plant taste. We offer original, lemon, raspberry, and banana foster. These natural flavors are all organic and do not affect the CBD in any other way

Cannabigerol Tincture


We also provide CBG oil formulas in addition to CBD tinctures. CBG is short for cannabigerol, the molecule that eventually converts into all other cannabinoids found in hemp. While not as prevalent as CBD, CBG is more plentiful in young plants. The two cannabinoids are thought to have similar effects and enhance each other when used together. (Read more about the differences between CBG vs. CBD on our blog.) Our CBG oil tincture includes a 1:1 ratio of CBG to CBD, resulting in a high-potency product. 

Both our CBG oil and our CBD tincture undergo the same CO2 extraction process. 

We describe our CBG tincture as an oil, rather than tincture, simply because the “G” in CBG can be elusive to the eye, we felt that using “oil” in this case would help alert our customers to the fact the cannabinoid included is CBG, not CBD. This is a perfect example of how the two terms, tincture and oil, can be used to mean the same thing.

These are the main components you should consider before buying a CBD oil tincture.

Extraction methods: CO2 or alcohol
The three types of oils: full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate
Cannabinoids: CBD, CBG or other compounds
Carrier oils: Usually coconut 
Potency: Usually around 1000 milligrams per 30-milliliter bottle, but often come in extra strength options
Flavors: Original or infused with fruity, citrusy, or other flavors

If you understand all of these factors, then you will know how to buy the right tincture for you.

Related Posts
Craig Henderson CEO of Extract Labs head shot
CEO | Craig Henderson

Extract Labs CEO Craig Henderson is one of the country’s top experts in cannabis CO2 extraction. After serving in the U.S. Army, Henderson received his master’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Louisville before becoming a sales engineer at one of the nation’s leading extraction technology companies. Sensing an opportunity, Henderson began extracting CBD in his garage in 2016, putting him at the forefront of the hemp movement. He’s been featured in Rolling StoneMilitary TimesThe Today Show, High Times, the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies, and many more. 

Connect with Craig


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