CBD Oil vs CBD Tinctures: What Is the Difference?

CBD has become an increasingly popular health supplement of late. Many companies nowadays are selling a wide variety of CBD products, including CBD oils and CBD tinctures. Many people take CBD tinctures and oil to mean the same product, especially since they may be packaged in the same way. However, this is a common mistake many make. The fact is, although both products have similarities and share potential benefits of CBD, there are many important distinctions between them. From manufacturing methods to composition, usage methods and shelf life, let’s take a look at CBD oil vs CBD tinctures – all the possible differences between them and which are best for you.

Before we delve into the differences between CBD oil and CBD tinctures, it’s helpful to get a brief idea of what CBD is.

CBD: What Is It?

One of hundreds of cannabinoids found in the Cannabis Sativa plant, CBD, short for cannabidiol, is non-intoxicating and has potential health benefits. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another active cannabinoid found in the plant, CBD does not make you ‘high’ or cause euphoric sensations.

All CBD products are legal in the UK as long as the CBD extract is derived from an EU-approved industrial hemp strain. Moreover, they should also adhere to the restrictions regarding THC content. All finished CBD products, including tinctures and CBD oil, should contain less than 1 mg THC per product. Any amount exceeding that remains illegal and its use is prohibited.

According to anecdotal evidence by CBD users, as well as some medical research and animal studies, CBD may have potential therapeutic benefits for alleviating health concerns, such as:

  • Minor aches and pains
  • Stress
  • Irritation and redness
  • Skin conditions such as acne
  • Migraines
  • Neurological disorders such as seizures

Both CBD oil and CBD tinctures are two different ways to gain these potential benefits.

CBD Oil vs CBD Tinctures

The only similarity between CBD oil and CBD tincture is that they both contain CBD extract derived from hemp or other strains of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Let’s briefly understand what both products are before we analyse the differences between the two.


CBD is composed of CBD extract blended with inert carrier oils like MCT oil, olive oil or hemp seed oil. The carrier oils make it easier for the body to absorb the CBD. In full-spectrum CBD oil, other cannabinoids, terpenes,  amino acids and compounds found in the hemp plant are also utilised. Once all desired compounds are extracted, they are then mixed with a carrier oil. An example is Greenheart CBD Full Spectrum Hemp Oil. Sometimes, essential oils like peppermint, lavender and sandalwood are also added for flavour purposes.

CBD Tincture

A CBD tincture is a CBD extract suspended in 60-70% alcohol solution. Typically, manufacturers use ethanol, a high-proof alcohol, as a solvent to first extract the desired compounds from the hemp plant and again in the finished product.

CBD tinctures are often mixed with different flavourings, sweeteners and sometimes vegetable glycerine to mask CBD’s bitter taste. Some CBD tincture brands may also have additives like herbal extracts, vitamins, and melatonin.

Difference Between CBD Oil and CBD Tinctures 

The major difference between CBD oil and CBD tinctures is the method of extracting CBD from the hemp plant. For CBD oil, manufacturers typically use the CO2 method. This is a favoured method not only because it is the quickest, but also an extremely safe (no flammable solvents involved) and efficient way to extract CBD. This method is also environmentally friendly, and the end product is both potent and chlorophyll-free.

On the other hand, the manufacturing process of CBD tincture involves soaking cannabis in high-proof alcohol such as ethanol and then slowly heating it. This results in a CBD-alcohol infusion, which is later boiled or diluted.

These different extraction methods thus result in different products. CBD oil contains cannabidiol suspended in a carrier oil, while a CBD tincture is an alcohol or glycerin base solution.


The differences don’t stop there. The method of ingestion and general usage is also slightly different. CBD oil can be taken orally and also added to fat-soluble foods, such as cookies and butter-based sauces. Such foods respond better to CBD oil rather than CBD tinctures since alcohol doesn’t mix well with fats. However, for other foods, CBD oil may leave an unpleasant taste and may not mix well.

CBD tinctures, on the other hand, can be taken sublingually, by putting a few drops under the tongue and holding them for 30-90 seconds before swallowing. This increases the bioavailability of CBD and ensures fast absorption. Since CBD tinctures lack the distinctive earthy taste and oily mouth feel of pure CBD oil (the carrier oil does little to disguise the flavour of CBD), they can be dropped directly underneath the tongue without any discomfort. CBD tinctures are also available in different flavours which make them easy to consume. Canndid CBD tinctures, with their mixed berry flavour, are a popular tincture used sublingually.

Moreover, water-soluble CBD tinctures can also be used in a variety of foods and drinks as they mix well with the food.

Another noteworthy difference between the two is that CBD oil can also be vaped and, depending on the carrier oil and specific design of the product, even used topically (keep in mind that this may only provide on-the-spot relief rather than any extended effects).

CBD tinctures, on the other hand, cannot be vaped, because of the alcohol base. In fact, they can be downright dangerous if exposed to any sort of combustion in a vaporiser pen.

It is not advisable to use CBD tinctures on the skin. They are not designed for topical use. Using a tincture in this manner may not be effective and may irritate the skin.


Compared to CBD oil, CBD tinctures generally have a longer shelf life of around three to five years. This is because the alcohol base acts as a preservative. However, CBD tinctures have a lower CBD potency than CBD oils.

CBD oil vs CBD tinctures: Is one better than the other?

Both CBD oils and CBD tinctures are equally effective. Every individual has their particular preferences and needs and thus may favour one over the other. For instance, some people may choose alcohol-based CBD tinctures because CBD oil might not work as well for them and cause stomach sensitivity. Others may choose CBD oil, because they may not wish to consume anything with an alcohol base.

If you are a beginner, CBD oil may be a better choice for you, as it typically contains fewer ingredients and is more potent than CBD tinctures.

Other factors that people consider when choosing between CBD tincture or CBD oil are:

  • Price
  • CBD potency
  • Retailer and brand reputation
  • Customer reviews

CBD Village UK stocks the best CBD oil and CBD tinctures. All brands sold here adhere to UK CBD laws and regulations and are third-party lab tested. Explore the wide variety of options available here, and get started on your CBD journey.

Key Takeaways

When it comes to CBD oil vs CBD tinctures, there are marked differences between the two regarding the manufacturing process and the base ingredient. Even though the terms may be used interchangeably, the fact remains that CBD tinctures and CBD oils are different products. 

What product is best for you depends on your particular needs and preferences. However, whatever your choice, always purchase from authentic, renowned brands that meet all UK CBD regulations. Also, it is wise to consult your doctor before using CBD, as it may interfere with any other medication you may be taking.

The post CBD Oil vs CBD Tinctures: What Is the Difference? first appeared on CBD Village UK.

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