CBD Tincture vs. Oil What's The Difference?

 CBD Tincture vs. Oil – What’s The Difference?

To meet the growing demands of the market, CBD manufacturers and sellers eagerly expand their range of CBD products, offering customers more versatility and flexibility. Buyers get to choose what form of CBD application is the most favorable to them. Whether it is through oral consumption or in cosmetics and products for self-care, CBD is becoming more accessible than ever before.

That is the case with CBD oil, one of the most popular CBD formulations available on the market. CBD oil is easy to use and dose, which holds a significant value for consumers. And it is often the case that CBD oils get mistaken for CBD tinctures, both of which share some notable similarities.

Both formulations can be consumed in the same manner, not to mention that it is a widespread practice amongst producers and sellers to use the terms ‘CBD oil’ and ‘CBD tincture’ interchangeably.

Oftentimes these products are sold in very similar packaging and advertised in the same way — all of which leads customers to the misconception that CBD oils and tinctures are the exact same product.

Although the CBD that is present in these formulas comes from the same source, which is the hemp plant, the final products are quite different in their composition. Below we explain the main distinctions between CBD oil vs. tincture, as well as talk about the similarities these products share.

What Is CBD Oil?

In the very beginning, it’s beneficial to briefly go over basic terms and definitions. CBD oil is often characterized as a CBD  obtained from Cannabis sativa plant material through CO2 extraction. It may or may not be diffused into a carrier oil base.

Carrier oils used with  CBD oil facilitate easier human consumption. The oils we will often see listed on the ingredient lists are hemp seed oil, coconut oil, or MCT oil. CBD oils are taken orally, can be added to foods and drinks (although they can’t be treated as food supplements), and can be applied directly on the skin.

CBD Oil Ingredients

  • MCT oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Vegetable glycerin base
  • Jojoba oil
  • Hemp seed oil

What Are CBD Tinctures?

We define CBD tinctures as alcohol-based or alcohol and water-based solutions that contain CBD isolates extracted from Cannabis sativa. Alcohol is present and required at the beginning of a production stage. It serves as an effective medium to extract CBD from the plant material.

CBD tincture is derived from the process of soaking hemp plant material in 60 to 70% distilled alcohol, which separates the cannabinoids from the plant. Some manufacturers use vinegar or glycerin as well, as one of the solvents.

In other instances, producers will use some kind of plant-based oil to make a CBD tincture. This type of product will often be referred to as a CBD oil tincture since the liquid (often ethanol alcohol) is used to extract the CBD compound from the plant material before the compound is mixed with the oil.

Traditional CBD tinctures are based on an alcohol solution, with the addition of ingredients that better the taste and absorption of the product. These are sweeteners, various flavorings, and glycerin, among other substances.

CBD Tincture Ingredients

  • Water
  • Melatonin
  • Natural and artificial sweeteners
  • Herbs
  • Vitamins like C, B12, and D3
  • Essential oils (lavender, basil, etc.)

CBD Oil vs. Tincture – Key Differences

The significant differences between CBD oil and CBD tinctures are easily noticeable when we take a closer look at how both types of products are being manufactured. The two different methods of obtaining CBD compounds for CBD oil and tincture offer solutions with different shelf lives and potential application methods.

Here are the most prominent differences between CBD oils and CBD tinctures.


The base of all CBD oils are various oils. Amongst the most commonly used are coconut oil, hemp seed oil, or MCT oil. In tinctures, the base is usually high-proof alcohol. Customers with allergies to a base oil can choose a CBD tincture as an alternative to CBD oil. Similarly, consumers who wish to avoid alcohol will receive the same benefits of taking CBD compounds in the form of tincture when consuming CBD oil.

Manufacturing Process

CBD oil is made with CO2 extraction methods. In the manufacturing process, cannabis plant material is heated up to high temperatures, which helps isolate the CBD compound. Alternatively, plan-based material can be mixed with carbon dioxide, which offers us the same outcomes. CBD extract is then mixed with carrier oil.

To create CBD tinctures, producers use some form of a liquid solvent. In this extraction method, the plant is soaked in the solvent, which results in the separation of the CBD compound. The product resulting from such a process is a mix of CBD compound, alcohol or another solvent, and additional ingredients that are used to better the taste of CBD tincture.

Number of Ingredients

Most CBD oils available on the market include a concise list of ingredients. Usually, this list is limited to the CBD compound and carrier oil. CBD oils might be a good proposition for consumers with allergies that want to reduce the number of potentially harmful components in their diets.

CBD tinctures often contain more ingredients, such as essential oils, vitamins, and sweeteners. Of course, one of the most prominent ingredients in these CBD products is alcohol. For this reason, CBD tinctures might not be suitable for some consumers.


The two products are also different when it comes to their flavor profiles. CBD oil will taste like carrier oil. It might taste bitter and unpleasant for some consumers. CBD tinctures offer different flavor sensations depending on the product’s composition. Most producers choose to add sweeteners to their tinctures to mask or alleviate the strong taste of other components that can be found in these formulations.

Application Methods

Both CBD oil and CBD tinctures can be ingested orally. Still, topical application is mainly reserved for CBD oils (although it is advisable to ensure a user is not allergic to the carrier oil), as alcohol-based CBD tinctures can be too drying for the skin.

One of the most effective application methods is applying a dose of a product under a tongue. CBD products taken sublingually are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, offering much quicker effects.

Shelf Life

Due to the high alcohol content, CBD tinctures offer longer shelf life than CBD oils do. Most CBD oil products are sold in tinted glass bottles to extend their expiry date. Still, a CBD tincture will be fit for consumption for longer.


When discussing the potency of different CBD products, one should always consider the most important factor — the amount of CBD compound present in a product. Therefore, the potency of CBD oils and CBD tinctures can be comparable, depending on the concentration of CBD extract in both formulas.

Still, oils used in the production of CBD oils, for example, MCT oil, are much better at absorbing CBD extract than alcohol. It is believed that quality CBD oils contain more CBD extract than most CBD tinctures and CBD oil tinctures.

However, the alcohol present in traditional CBD tinctures ensures better absorption of the CBD compound, making this CBD product as effective as many CBD oils.

The choice between CBD oil vs. CBD tincture will very much depend on the individual preferences of a customer, as both products offer similar potency and can be applied using the same method.

CBD Tincture vs. Oil – Similarities

Since many customers and producers in the CBD industry often see CBD tinctures and CBD oils as the same exact product, it’s relatively easy to draw the conclusion that there are some significant similarities between them.

That stance is valid. Here are some of the essential similarities these products share.

Delivery Method

As mentioned before, CBD oil and CBD tincture can both be administered through oral ingestion. Both products are in liquid form. A drop of the formula is placed under the tongue for quick absorption through blood vessels in the mouth.

Packaging and Marketing

CBD oils and tinctures are sold in very similar packaging (usually glass dropper bottles) and placed in the same category of products. CBD oil tinctures, that don’t contain any alcohol, are often grouped with and treated as CBD oils.

This is not the correct nomenclature from the definition standpoint, but it is used for marketing purposes.

Potential Effects

Although it is hard to talk about CBD effects since the research on the topic is still in its early stages, generally speaking, there are no significant differences in the potency of both formulas.

Which Is Better – CBD Oil or Tincture?

This question can be considered with various aspects in mind. The main difference between these products lies in their manufacturing methods, which result in formulas that are different from each other, despite what is widely believed.

Still, there are not any considerable enough differences in how CBD oil and CBD tincture work to deem one less effective or of significantly lesser quality than the other.

In most cases, the choice between these CBD products will be the result of the personal preferences of the buyer. Customers who look for a CBD product with a longer shelf life and more pleasant taste may be inclined to try CBD tinctures.

Those who wish to limit the number of ingredients to the minimum, and want to avoid alcohol in their CBD product, should consider purchasing CBD oil.

In both cases, the paramount importance has the quality of the product, the amount of CBD extract present in it, and the reputability of the source from where the product originates.

What Characterizes a High-Quality CBD Tincture or Oil?

There are some quality markers worth looking out for when choosing the products that will be included in your assortment. Since the CBD industry is not very heavily regulated (almost all available CBD products are not FDA-approved to use as medications or dietary supplements), there is a lot of room for very low-quality formulations with slight traces of CBD compound in them, which do not provide any major effects on the human body.

How to determine which CBD producer is worth cooperating with? Manufacturers who offer full transparency, work with certified entities and conduct third-party testing can offer you the quality you’re looking for in CBD full spectrum oils, CBD distillates, and CBD isolates.

Certified Hemp Providers

Everything starts from the roots. A good CBD product can’t exist without healthy and quality hemp plants. To ensure the best possible quality of the hemp extract, Vantage Hemp works only with certified hemp providers to deliver pharmaceutical-grade CBD extracts to our clients.

Third-Party Testing

Trustworthy companies invest in and conduct regular testing of their products, receiving a Certificate of Analysis from third-party laboratories. Vantage Hemp is certified with WHO GMP, FDA 21 CFR 210/211, and ICH Q7, offering pure and quality CBD extracts in various forms.

Final Thoughts

Despite popular belief, CBD oils and tinctures are not the same type of product. To produce one, manufacturers use CO2 extraction methods, while in the production of the other, the same goal is achieved using a liquid solvent, which in most cases is alcohol. Not the same in nature, CBD oils and tinctures share some significant similarities, offering comparable effects and application methods.

Both formulas offer something valuable to the consumer, and enjoy a fair amount of popularity, with more known CBD oil being one of the most eagerly bought CBD products available on the market today.

If you’re looking for the most qualitative CBD extracts, whether it is in the full-spectrum, or CBD isolate, contact us. Vantage Hemp offers superb quality CBD extracts suitable for pharmaceutical use. 

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