When it comes to conditions like insomnia, CBD’s clinical research scorecard is more mixed. Some studies have suggested that the substance can actually increase wakefulness. Others, though, have found that a CBD tincture or oil taken a couple of hours before bedtime can help induce a sense of balance that can help sleep come more easily. A 2016 report, for instance, found that a CBD-rich oil, administered orally, helped to alleviate the symptoms of both anxiety and insomnia in one patient suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is one of the many identified cannabinoid molecules found in Cannabis plants. Like all cannabinoid molecules, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the human body. But because CBD isn’t psychoactive, it doesn’t produce the “high” commonly associated with its more famous cannabinoid cousin, THC. That means that CBD, which is often derived from hemp, or male cannabis plants, doesn’t produce the high that cannabis products are often associated with.
What is CBD good for?
Since the doses are relatively small, tinctures can be administered in a variety of ways. For patients looking to take their CBD with food, a dose of tincture can be mixed into a meal like soup or pasta. It can also be added easily to drinks like coffee and tea; an evening cup of chamomile paired with CBD tincture stands to be even more relaxing than usual.
Researchers around the world are investigating CBD’s potential for treating a wide variety of conditions. Near the top of the list is the promise it holds for pain relief. Numerous studies have found that CBD exhibits analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties make it useful in the treatment of both acute pain—like muscle pulls—and chronic conditions such as arthritis.
CBD can be administered in many forms, from smoking a cannabis strain that produces a lot of the molecule to consuming it in edibles. Among the most popular methods—especially for individuals trying a cannabis-based treatment for the first time—is through a tincture.
Homemade tinctures are not as pure as commercial tinctures, which use industrial methods to remove impurities during the extraction process. However, homemade CBD tinctures are less expensive and afford more control over ingredients. Making a homemade tincture allows you to choose your preferred strain of cannabis. It also lets you adjust the potency as desired.
CBD tincture should be potent, with a very high CBD content, and contain no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is different from cannabis tincture, which contains THC and other cannabinoids. Since CBD is not psychotropic, CBD tincture won’t get you high. However, it has plenty of other benefits.
If DIY is your thing, CBD tinctures are also very easy to make at home.
When using CBD tinctures, many people report relaxing or rejuvenating effects. Tinctures offer all the benefits of CBD in a discreet, easy-to-consume format. They don’t need to be smoked or vaporized, and they can be easily added to food or administered under the tongue. The dropper bottles themselves are very small, making them easy to conceal in a purse or pocket. Because tinctures are taken a few drops at a time, it is easy to adjust your dose with precision.
So, how exactly do you make a CBD tincture at home? And how are homemade tinctures different from what you would buy commercially?
With all the CBD products on the market, it can be hard to choose the right one for you. Tinctures, oils, capsules, topicals: what’s the difference? Let us demystify the world of CBD, starting with tinctures. Plus, we’ll give you a simple recipe for making your own CBD tincture at home.
CBD can be taken in many ways, from smoking a high-CBD strain to ingesting CBD capsules or edibles. The plethora of options can be overwhelming, even for seasoned aficionados. Here we’ll focus on CBD tinctures: what are they, what are their benefits, and how can you make a CBD tincture at home? Here’s everything you need to know.
Before taking a CBD tincture, shake the bottle to ensure a proper saturation of CBD mixed in with the liquid. Measure out the amount of fluid using the attached dropper and squeeze the tincture under your tongue. Hold the liquid in your mouth for up to three minutes, rubbed into the tissue of the mouth to maximize absorption, and swallow.
There are known drug interactions with CBD. For example, CBD and grapefruit inhibit the same enzymes (CYP450). They both have the same effect on boosting blood levels of other medications.
A tincture is also a smokeless, vapeless alternative that mitigates the potential harms associated with each of those consumption methods. There’s also virtually zero cleanup involved with a tincture, even when taken with morning coffee or an afternoon tea.
What to keep in mind when taking CBD tincture
CBD tinctures are usually taken sublingually and absorbed into the bloodstream by capillaries in the cheek, gums, and under the tongue. Tinctures should be rubbed into the tissue inside the mouth to promote absorption. Typically, the tincture is then swallowed, and the remainder is absorbed through the digestive system. CBD from the tincture then interacts with the endocannabinoid system possibly helping the body self-regulate and achieve homeostasis.
Finally, it’s virtually impossible to overdose on CBD, tincture or otherwise. Studies found that CBD had no adverse side effects at amounts up to 1200 milligrams daily, even when taken for several months.
For first time users and more experienced consumers alike, the vast array of available CBD options can be confusing. Every day the US market is saturated with new CBD products, particularly since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.
CBD tinctures are usually taken sublingually and absorbed into the bloodstream by capillaries in the cheek, gums, and under the tongue. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps