Since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, there’s been a lot of confusion about CBD. Some assume that since it comes from a form of cannabis that CBD will get them high.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is 1 of the over 100 helpful compounds found in cannabis. Unlike its cousin THC, CBD isn’t psychoactive. Yes, it works on your brain, but it doesn’t make everything foggy like THC.

Why take CBD if it doesn’t get you high? It helps with a lot of health issues. Even the FDA thinks CBD has therapeutic properties. 

On your journey to better health, learn how to use CBD tincture. It’s one of the easiest ways to consume CBD. 

Where Does Legal CBD Come From?

Before you take any kind of supplement, you need to learn where it comes from. Without doing your homework, you might end up taking something that makes you sick. Some people are allergic to plants like cannabis and find out too late.

In the US, cannabis products are legalized based on the percentage of THC in the plant. Marijuana describes any cannabis plant with more than 0.3% THC. Hemp is the legal term for cannabis strains with low THC levels.

As of 2020, only 11 states in the US have recreational marijuana laws. On the federal level, marijuana is a controlled substance.

Hemp, however, is legal to grow and manufacture in the US. Some farmers grow a thin, tall hemp strain for making textiles. Hemp for consumption comes from a smaller, bushier plant heavy with buds.

Cannabinoids from hemp are identical to cannabinoids from marijuana. Your body can’t tell the difference between hemp-based CBD and CBD from marijuana.

This doesn’t pose much of a problem when consuming CBD products. It does, unfortunately, affect how you buy these magical products. Always read the product label to make sure the CBD product is legal for your state.

What Is CBD Tincture?

CBD, and all cannabinoids, are fat-soluble. That means they don’t dissolve in water but do in any fatty substance like oil. Thanks to this unique property, manufacturers use many methods to extract CBD.

These extraction methods include:

  • Solvent extraction – Hemp soaks in alcohol or butane to melt the plant waxes holding cannabinoids and terpenes. The solvent evaporates, leaving behind pure cannabinoids.
  • Oil extraction – Decarboxylated hemp soaks in heated oils like MCT, olive, and coconut to draw out the CBD. This method doesn’t extract as many cannabinoids as the others.
  • CO2 extraction – CO2 in a state between liquid and vapor runs through hemp to pull out the cannabinoids. The mixture rests after, allowing the CO2 to separate from the CBD oil.

CBD tinctures use the solvent method to extract CBD from hemp buds. Where they differ from regular CBD oil processing is the alcohol isn’t evaporated. Tinctures use food-grade alcohol to make sure it’s safe to eat.

Tinctures aren’t a new way to use cannabis products to help with medical conditions. In the late 1800s, cannabis tinctures were commonplace.

Medical experts saw cannabis as a wonder drug. They prescribed it to treat everything from insomnia to gout.

Conservative opinions changed the public perception about cannabis in the 1930s. Patients who relied on these tinctures couldn’t access the benefits of cannabis. Until recent years, patients like these relied on addictive pain medications instead.

What are the Effects of CBD Tincture?

If you listen to popular opinion about cannabis now, you’d think it could cure anything. CBD and other cannabinoids are indeed powerful, but they’re not a cure-all.

Research into the full benefits of CBD is still underway. Long-term restrictions on cannabis research limited what scientists could do with CBD. 

Because of these delays, the FDA approved just one CBD-based medication so far. Epidiolex treats seizure conditions like Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and tuberous sclerosis complex. 

New research says CBD may help treat conditions like:

  • Anxiety
  • Neuropathic/Inflammatory pain
  • Insomnia
  • Seizures
  • Muscle spasms

These are a small example of the ways CBD may help patients. Anecdotal evidence from CBD users suggests it might ease many more health conditions. 

How Does CBD Work in Your Body?

Human bodies must maintain a condition called homeostasis. This means that every part of your body works in harmony. Throw off one aspect of homeostasis, like body temperature, and you’ll die.

An integral part of maintaining homeostasis is your endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS uses homegrown cannabinoids to relay messages throughout your body. If your elbow swells, the ECS tells the surrounding cells to fix the underlying issue.

The endocannabinoid system regulates:

  • Brain plasticity
  • Stress reactions
  • Liver function
  • Digestion
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Immune system responses
  • Appetite

CBD works in your ECS exactly like the cannabinoids your body already produces. Why would you need more cannabinoids? Some scientists think low levels of endocannabinoids lead to chronic health problems.

Finding the Right CBD Tincture Dosage

CBD is unique when it comes to how it works in our bodies. People tend to think taking more of a supplement would make it work better. When it comes to CBD, less is more.

Human bodies can’t process huge amounts of cannabinoids. Once the ECS feels it has enough to work with, the excess is flushed out. You could end up giving more CBD to the toilet than what’s in your bloodstream.

When you start taking CBD tinctures, go with a small dose of around 20 mg. Give the CBD at least an hour to fully kick in. If you don’t feel that it’s working, take another 10-20 mg.

You cannot overdose on CBD but there are side-effects associated with higher doses. The most common complaint is stomach upset and diarrhea. 

How Long Does it Take for CBD Tincture to Work?

To figure out timing for your CBD tincture doses, you must understand bioavailability. Bioavailability tells you how much of the CBD you take makes it into your bloodstream. Not every method of consuming CBD works at the same speed or lasts the same amount of time.

Here is the bioavailability for the most common ways to take CBD:

  • Inhaling CBD – Works in 10 minutes with 34% to 56% bioavailability
  • Sublingual CBD – Works in 5 minutes with 19% to 35% bioavailability
  • Eating CBD Products – Works in 90 minutes with 6% to 20% bioavailability

When you digest CBD, a lot of it gets flushed from your system through your liver. So while that CBD chocolate bar looks good, it’s not a reliable option. You end up paying 3-4 times more for less bioavailability.  

How to Use CBD Tincture

CBD tinctures come in alcohol-based formulas or MCT oil formulas. Alcohol tinctures remove more CBD from the hemp and are generally stronger. MCT oil is still good for people who should avoid alcohol, though.

The best way to take CBD tincture is through a sublingual application. It takes 3 easy steps:

  • Measure out the CBD tincture and drop it under your tongue
  • Hold the tincture under your tongue for at least 30 seconds
  • Wash down the CBD tincture with water

Holding the tincture under your tongue allows it to absorb into the tongue’s largest vein. This way some of the CBD goes straight to your bloodstream and gets to work. The rest of the CBD kicks in once it passes through your digestive system.

Are There Other Ways to Take CBD Tincture?

Tinctures with an alcohol base mix well with other substances. MCT oil tinctures aren’t as versatile, but you can still get creative with dosing.

If you find you don’t enjoy the taste of the tincture, turn it into an edible. Yes, you lose some of the CBD but remember it only takes 20 mg for a standard dose. 

Fun food ideas for CBD tincture:

  • Add it to your favorite homemade smoothie
  • Toss your pasta in an olive oil and CBD mix topped with Italian herbs and Parmesan cheese
  • Dose your morning coffee with CBD 
  • Drop some CBD in your cake mix and make one-dose cupcakes 
  • Add some CBD to cake frosting
  • Add CBD to any nut butter for a healing PB & J
  • Allow the CBD to soak into store-bought cookies
  • Use CBD in homemade salad dressings

The sky is the limit when it comes to adding CBD to your favorite foods. Some tinctures might taste bitter and this is a great way to mask the problem. Full-spectrum tinctures with the terpenes intact might add a floral taste to food.

When cooking with CBD, or any cannabinoid, you need to watch the heat. CBD’s boiling point is between 320* F and 356*F. Cooking or baking higher than 350* F will weaken the CBD’s effects.

To avoid overheating the CBD tincture in your food experiment, add it at the end. Think of it more like a garnish than an ingredient. 

CBD is a Versatile Natural Supplement

Learning how to use CBD tincture will expand your options for treating certain health concerns. There’s no right or wrong way to take CBD. Do what feels right for your situation.

Before you jump onto the CBD wagon, talk to your doctor. CBD products do affect the way your liver functions. Altering liver function will change the way low-dose medications work.

When buying CBD tincture, look for a trustworthy site. They should have third-party lab results available for all their products. The lab tests prove how much CBD you’re getting and show any contaminates.

Are you ready to go on a health journey with CBD? We have tons of articles to help.