What’s the Difference Between CBD Oil and CBD Tincture?

The difference between CBD oil and tincture products may be a difficult concept to grasp. They both look very similar to one another and are consumed in the same way in many cases.

At their core, they share the same ideals and intended effects on the body. But we can promise you that they are an entirely different product from a technical perspective. We’ll try to simplify it as much as possible, and hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll know which one is the better fit for you.

We’ll start by revisiting what CBD actually is and then get into the weeds of what makes oils and tinctures.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a part of the Cannabis Sativa plant's main components, also known as 'cannabinoids.' There are a total of 113 identified cannabinoids to date. CBD is one of the 112 non-psychoactive cannabinoids. CBD is found in more significant amounts in the hemp plant.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another crucial cannabinoid. THC is the only psychoactive component found in cannabis. Unlike CBD, THC is found in more significant amounts in the marijuana plant.

The Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana

Hemp and Marijuana are different types of the same plant family; Cannabis Sativa. Marijuana is the colloquial name used to refer to psychoactive cannabis. Hemp is a non-psychoactive version of cannabis.

Marijuana and Hemp are mainly differentiated by their CBD and THC content. Marijuana has a high THC content and low CBD content. Hemp, on the other hand, has a high CBD content and a negligibly low THC content.

Hemp is a federally legal crop, which means that Hemp can be grown and harvested legally in all 50 states across the U.S. Marijuana has been popular for longer than Hemp has in the mainstream market; however, because of its highly intoxicating effects on the body, it does not possess the federally legal status that Hemp does.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is a viscous liquid dosed with high concentrations of CBD. CBD oil is made by taking CBD extracted from hemp and diluting it into a carrier oil. The type of carrier oil used to make CBD oil can vary depending on the manufacturer.

Some of the most popular types of carrier oils used to make CBD oils are MCT oil and Hemp Seed oil. This allows the CBD oil to have a quicker onset, more effective absorption, and in many cases, a broader range of application methods (edible, sublingual, topical, etc.).

What is a CBD Tincture?

CBD tinctures also come in dropper bottles and have an appearance that resembles that of CBD oils. The concentration of CBD per milliliter is similar to that of CBD oil.

However, CBD tinctures are not diluted into a carrier oil. Unlike oils, CBD tinctures are alcohol-based solutions that do not contain any trace amounts of other cannabis-derived compounds like terpenes and flavonoids.

Tinctures are usually made to be consumed sublingually and are not usually designed for edible and topical consumption. The lack of a carrier oil may make tinctures less flexible in terms of application and harder to absorb by the body.

How to Take CBD Oil

Users may consume CBD in a variety of ways, including edible consumption (mixing it into your favorite drinks or recipes), sublingual administration (placing a few drops under the tongue), or topical application (rubbing it directly on the skin). 

Other CBD products like capsules and skin creams are also made using CBD oil as their main ingredient. Because there are many alternative goods made with CBD oil, it would be impossible for us to list them out in their entirety.

The main consumption/application methods (sublingual, topical, edible, etc.) for CBD oil do not change and remain the same regardless of the product you purchase.

How to Take a CBD Tincture

CBD tinctures don’t have as broad a spectrum of consumption methods as CBD oils because of the lack of carrier oil that can help CBD be absorbed by the body more effectively.

CBD tinctures are usually taken by applying a few drops under the tongue. This way, CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream through the capillaries in the cheek, gums, and under the tongue. Companies commonly suggest keeping the oil under the tongue for at least a minute to promote absorption.

CBD Oil vs. CBD Tincture: What’s the Difference Between CBD Oil and Tincture

CBD oil and tincture products both contain CBD in high proportion. The main difference between them is that oils are made with a carrier oil base. At the same time, CBD tinctures are made with an alcohol base.

While this makes the end product chemically different, it does not change the chemical composition of CBD itself. Regardless of the CBD product you buy, CBD will always maintain the same effects on the body.

Another difference between CBD oil and CBD tincture is that oils may come with various cannabis-derived compounds in their formula. Not only that, but oils may also be dosed with additional functional components like amino acids and antioxidants.

CBD tinctures are characterized for having a purely CBD based formula. The content of terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids in CBD tinctures is reduced to 0%.

The effects of CBD on the body will not vary regardless of the type of product you purchase, but its potency will be dependent on the amount of CBD consumed and the other products you consume. If combined with prescription medications, CBD may alter the effects of the medication and vice-versa. It’s essential to consult with a licensed physician before consuming CBD (in any format) if you have a pre-existing condition that requires medication.

So, what’s the difference between CBD oil and tincture? Here’s a bird’s eye view of the whole situation.

1. Base

As discussed above, CBD oil is made with a carrier/base. CBD tinctures are alcohol-based products.

2. Ingestion Method

With CBD oil, you may enjoy a more diverse approach to consumption. Widely due to the base used in them, CBD oil may be ingested like an edible, vaped, sublingually absorbed, and in some cases topically applied to the skin. Tinctures may also be consumed in several different ways but are commonly produced as a sublingual product.

3. Taste

The taste of CBD oil and tincture is extraordinarily similar to one another. Flavoring can be added to both products, ultimately making them different depending on the manufacturer.

4. Texture

CBD oils feel much more greasy and dense, usually leaving an oily feel on the lips and mouth. CBD tinctures tend to be lighter in texture and don’t leave the same oily sensation on the mouth that CBD oils do. 

5. Price

CBD tincture vs. oil cost will depend on the CBD contained (potency) in the product. CBD oils tend to be a bit more expensive because they often contain additives that add value to the product, like MCT oil, amino acids, and antioxidants.

6. Shelf Life

The alcohol base found in tinctures acts as a preservative, thus granting tinctures an extended shelf life compared to CBD oils. To extend any CBD product's life, it must be kept away from direct sunlight and stored in a cool, dry place.


The difference between oil and tinctures has nothing to do with the chemical structure of each product. The CBD found in oils can be the same as those found in medicines. The main differences between both products are in additional ingredients, ingestion method, taste, texture, price, and shelf life.

Hemmfy articles and blogs are meant to entertain and educate. However, we are not medical professionals and do not intend to give medical advice through them.

The knowledge around CBD and other cannabis-derived products is growing and constantly changing, as does their legal status. Hence, we recommend checking with your local authorities and a licensed physician prior to consumption.

Simon Cartagena

Simon Cartagena is a full-time cannabis copywriter. This has led him to write for companies like Hemmfy.com where he acts as Senior Content Writer and other world-renowned cannabis publications. Simon has created Content Marketing strategies and articles that have helped company revenues increase by up to 1,000%. Simon’s goal is to help people understand cannabis in an industry where misinformation seems to be predominant.