CBD oil tinctures: A guide for beginners

Learn everything you need to know about CBD oil tinctures, what benefits they offer, and how to work one into your routine.

CBD oil tinctures: a guide for beginners
minute read

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a one-of-a-kind compound derived from the cannabis plant. From the medical field to athletics and mental health, CBD has benefits that we’ve only just begun to unlock.*

But like many products in the fast-growing cannabis industry, CBD comes in a wide variety of formats and methods of delivery, leaving users wondering which one is best for their needs. CBD oil tinctures might be the most versatile format for experiencing the benefits of this compound and making the most of its effects in daily life.*

Even in this niche of CBD products, it’s easy to get confused by labels, formulations, and other variables related to quality, purity, functionality, and more. Let’s make sense of CBD oil tinctures so you can finally find the one that fits your needs and use it correctly.

What are CBD oil tinctures?

CBD oil tinctures are a subset of CBD products that utilize extraction processes to create a highly concentrated version of key cannabis compounds. The products vary in potency and formulations, featuring different amounts and ratios of active cannabinoids and other useful compounds.*

By definition, tinctures are any type of concentrated herbal extract with a solvent concentration range typically between 25 and 60%. However, some tinctures can go up to 90% concentrations to achieve an even higher degree of potency.*

With some CBD oil tinctures, the plant material of Cannabis sativa is soaked in ethanol to derive a significant amount of CBD found naturally in the plant. The more of the plant utilized in this process, the more unique compounds will result in the final preparation, including other phytocannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and more.*

At Sunmed, our broad spectrum tinctures have an ethanol extraction process, which works to efficiently remove THC while retaining other beneficial cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. We use third-party, batch-specific lab testing to confirm that no ethanol remains in the final product. 

For our full spectrum tinctures, we use a supercritical CO2 extraction process—the cleanest, purest form of extraction—to allow for a high-quality extract free of solvents or contaminants.

That said, CBD oil tinctures vary between manufacturers, and certain brands may use unique terms to describe and market their products to highlight their advantages. Keep in mind that the term “CBD oil tincture” can mean many different things depending on who you ask or the product in question!

We’ll do our best to outline the various categories of CBD oil tinctures to make the selection process easier to understand and guide you toward the product that matches your lifestyle and goals.

How are CBD oil tinctures and hemp seed oil different?

One common distinction you’ll find in the cannabis marketplace is between CBD oil tinctures and hemp seed oil, or “hemp oil”. 

The main difference in these products is in the compounds that they include. CBD derived from the hemp plant is federally legal thanks to the Farm Bill, which is where much of the confusion between CBD oil and hemp seed oil stems from.*

Hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant—and though this type of oil does contain healthy fatty acids, it doesn’t contain cannabinoids like CBD. You don’t want to go for this type of hemp product if you are looking for the cannabinoid benefits of the plant.

CBD oil, on the other hand, is extracted from the green parts of the hemp plant and is rich in CBD and sometimes other cannabinoids. Ideally, CBD oil utilizes the entire cannabis plant to harness its full range of cannabinoids and other compounds.* 

Remember that these terms aren’t set in stone for every type of liquid hemp or CBD product that comes in a small bottle with a dropper.

Here’s the golden rule: instead of fixating on the names of the products you’re browsing, instead examine how they’re made and what’s contained in the ingredients list and lab reports. This is far more valuable information that will tell you more than a product name ever could.

Most importantly, you’ll want to prioritize product quality and supporting ingredients when looking for the perfect CBD oil or tincture. At Sunmed, we use the umbrella term “hemp extract,” which serves as the premium foundation for our oil tinctures, water solubles, gummies, and capsules. 

For instance, this Full Spectrum Organic Tincture is one of our foundational hemp supplements that features the perfect starting amount of CBD, minor cannabinoids, and a PowerTERP blend of black pepper and other essential oils.* You’ll find trace amounts of THC in full spectrum products, while broad spectrum tinctures contain next to none.

Alternatively, our Full Spectrum Rest Tincture is designed for getting a full night’s sleep thanks to lavender, valerian root, and other sleep-promoting terpenes.* The takeaway is that you need to look closer at what’s really in your CBD products and pick the one that supports your goals, from general well-being to specific use cases.

How do you use CBD tinctures?

Seeing as CBD tinctures are a liquid form of hemp extract, they’re fundamentally different from edibles, gummies, cannabidiollotion, and other methods of delivery. 

Thankfully, it’s rather intuitive to use CBD tinctures and incorporate them as you see fit into your lifestyle.

For starters, get comfortable with the measurements and conversions provided on the label of your chosen CBD tincture. This will ensure you’re using the exact amount of CBD necessary for your desired effects and eliminate any guesswork. Every product has a different potency, and it’s always worth refreshing yourself on proper serving sizes before diving in.* 

Once you know how much you need and the amount of liquid required, you can administer the tincture in your preferred method. Here are three of our favorite ways to use CBD tinctures and some product recommendations for yourself.


The sublingual delivery method is arguably the best way to ensure direct and consistent ingestion of CBD and other hemp plant compounds. If you’re just starting to familiarize yourself with hemp extracts, sublingual consumption offers precision, convenience, and consistent rapid absorption for longfast-acting effects.*

The sublingual method involves dropping your desired amount of CBD tincture on the area beneath your tongue and holding the liquid in place for up to a minute. This allows for a high degree of bioavailability compared to the digestive route of edibles.*

Sublingual consumption is also exceptionally discrete, and some find it to be more enjoyable than chewing a gummy since the effects are more noticeable in a slightly shorter timeframe.

Mixed into beverages

If you prefer to sip your CBD slowly and let the effects take hold over a longer period of time, mixing tinctures into your beverage is one way to do this. 

However, oil tends to separate in water, so this might not be the best option available.

If you’re looking to get your daily CBD in a beverage delivery, some products are designed with mixing in mind—such as our Full Spectrum Neuro Water Soluble. Just one drop goes a long way and will help you get charged up for the day ahead with a potent serving of hemp compounds and other premium ingredients.* 

Added to foods

Your favorite snack foods can be another delivery device for taking CBD with a slower onset of effects thanks to extended digestion.

While the bioavailability of CBD is diminished as it navigates the digestive tract, you can still reap some of the health benefits of pure CBD when dropping your favorite tincture into oatmeal or yogurt. Maybe mix it into your salad dressing or another oil-based edible. 

That said, this might not bethe most effective way to use your oil tincture, and it could result in wasted product. You’ll more commonly find people using hemp seed oil for food and cooking as opposed to CBD oil.

What are the benefits of CBD tinctures?

Whether looking at CBD tinctures, oils, or other liquid formats, you can expect some universal benefits, provided you choose a trusted, high-quality product. Let’s look at some benefits you can expect from adding tinctures to your routine.

Generalized wellness support

The endocannabinoid system covers a lot of ground in our neural networks, from the brain to the rest of the body. Even the immune system and various organs have ECS receptors that can be balanced and supported by whole-plant hemp extracts.* 

This general wellness support creates a great baseline to live life on your terms, from pursuing fitness goals to getting into the zone at work.

Sleep support

The ECS is closely connected to the systems that support sleep and recovery, so CBD tinctures can be a great way to wind down at the end of the day.* 

Find a tincture created for sleep support and try mixing it in with your evening herbal tea.

Support for emotional wellness

Emotional wellness is a universal goal, and CBD tincture can help you feel more mentally balanced when facing life’s challenges. 

The right hemp extract in liquid form can help manage our mood, keep us even-keeled, and even reduce feelings of discomfort in stressful settings.* 

The bottom line

The lack of consistency when it comes to labeling CBD oil tinctures and related products can be frustrating to anyone who wants to learn more about cannabis. Even longtime CBD users can find themselves in a house of mirrors when looking at labels and making sense of the names that manufacturers use to describe their products.

In short, “tincture” and “oil” generally just mean an “oil” form of a cannabis plant, and it’s up to you to find out more about the details of the product and its applications. 

That’s why Sunmed prioritizes quality, transparency, education, and providing options for tinctures and other formats. Remember that the best CBD is the one that gives you the results you want while supporting your goals and keeping the process simple.


Towards Better Delivery of Cannabidiol (CBD) | NIH

Therapeutic Efficacy of Cannabidiol | NIH

Processing and extraction methods of medicinal cannabis: a narrative review | NIH

CBD as a Sleep Aid | Sleep Foundation

'An entourage effect': new clues on how low-dose CBD products work | The University of Sydney

Clinicians' Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils | NCBI

Herbal Medicine: How to Make Tinctures | ACHS

Farm Bill | USDA

The Effects of Food on Cannabidiol Bioaccessibility | PMC