how to use a tincture of cbdDecember 15, 2021
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.
Producers like Populum offer several ways to try CBD, including tried and tested tinctures sourced from Colorado-grown cannabis plants and made in the USA. Populum’s signature tincture is available in a variety of strengths, appropriate for dipping a toe into CBD or stepping up a dose to provide more effective relief.
When taken to relief the symptoms of epilepsy, CBD is typically administered orally. Researchers have found that this same method of dosing may be effective in using CBD to treat social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and related conditions. Evidence also suggests that this cannabinoid could be helpful in treating the symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder.
What is CBD?
As cannabis–based therapeutic products become more widely available and accepted, it’s natural to have questions. After all, a lot of the treatments on the market today weren’t around just a couple of years ago. While cannabinoids like CBD show a lot of promise in treating a host of conditions, it can be hard to know how to introduce them into an existing healthcare routine. Today, we explore the role CBD tinctures can play in your well-being.
A field of non-psychoactive, industrial hemp, the male variety of the cannabis plant. (torstengrieger/iStock)
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.
Tinctures are produced by steeping cannabis flowers or isolates in a high-proof grain alcohol, then applying low heat for a significant span of time. This allows the active compounds in cannabis to infuse into the neutral spirit, much of which is then boiled off. The result is a potent liquid that delivers the effects of the cannabinoid molecules without any smoking or other form of combustion. In the growing consumer market, producers will often add carrier oils and other complementary ingredients, such as an orange oil to improve the taste of a tincture.
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.
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.
How to take a tincture.
Because a CBD tincture is concentrated, it’s designed to be taken in small doses. This is why most tinctures come with a built-in dropper that allows users to take small, carefully measured quantities.
Instead, CBD possesses a wide variety of medical applications. While research is ongoing, studies have already demonstrated that CBD is an effective treatment for epilepsy. But this cannabinoid is what’s known as a promiscuous molecule, meaning that it interacts with many different types of neuroreceptors. That suggests that current studies may just be scratching the surface of CBD’s therapeutic potential.
If you’ve still got questions about CBD tinctures, watch Leafly editor Emily Resling discuss the topic a little further in the review below.
(Courtesy of Populum)
What is CBD good for?
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.
Tinctures can also be taken sublingually, or by applying them underneath the tongue. This method of delivering CBD tincture is already common in epilepsy treatments. Some research has found that this delivery method makes cannabinoids more easily and consistently available to the body than other oral alternatives.
Populum and others also offer further options for CBD administration, such as gels, ointments, and other topical products, all of which can help curious consumers find out if this curative cannabinoid is right for them.
In very simplified terms, a tincture is a concentrated herbal extract that’s made by soaking herbs in a liquid. Over several weeks, the fluid becomes infused with herbal extracts, and when the herbs are strained out, you get a potent, ingestible tincture.
According to researchers, a person will absorb a great deal more CBD if he or she ingests it in a pure tincture. You may also feel the effects sooner. “Due to the way you take tinctures versus other forms of administration, you get a high rate of absorption often starting as soon as the tincture is dropped onto the oral mucosa lining your mouth,” Kater explains.
Over time, the solvent used to make tinctures has changed, but the basic method has remained the same. “In traditional herbal remedies, tinctures were most often made with alcohol,” says Jessie Kater, senior vice president of manufacturing at Curaleaf , a cannabis company lead by practitioners, pharmacists, and medical experts. “Today most cannabinoid tinctures use food grade plant-based oils and flavors as a solvent.”
Got it. So, what’s a tincture?
While there’s not a ton of research out there yet, what CBD could give you is possible relief from stress , joint pain due to inflammation , or a better night’s rest .
By now you’ve probably seen thousands of them, whether on specialty store shelves or while scrolling through your Instagram feed. Most are self-explanatory—like CBD lotion, which is obviously something you just rub on your skin, and gummies and cookies. Just pop them in your mouth and enjoy.
If it seems like cannabidiol (CBD) products are everywhere these days, you’re definitely not wrong. CBD has been gaining in popularity over the past few years, but it really peaked in September 2018 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex, an anti-seizure drug made with cannabis-sourced CBD.
Assuming you’re given the go-ahead to try CBD, there are two ways to consume a tincture. After squeezing the liquid into the dropper, you can either place it under your tongue (this is known as taking something sublingually) or rub it on your skin. People trying to remedy arthritis, tendonitis, joint pain, and muscle soreness tend to use the latter method, whereas those using CBD for other reasons might take it orally.
However, CBD tinctures, which are sold in those pretty glass bottles sealed with a dropper, are more ambiguous. What the heck do you do with those ? And why would someone want to buy them? Read on to learn more about CBD tinctures, and what you need to know before trying this trendy health product.
These days, there are plenty of tasty CBD tinctures on the market. Curaleaf, for example, sells vanilla , lavender-orange , and ginger-cinnamon flavored drops. However, if you aren’t a huge fan of the taste, you can always mix your tincture into a drink, a smoothie, or your favorite food to make it more palatable.
CBD is one of many chemical compounds found within the cannabis plant. It’s a close relative of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive chemical found in cannabis. However, unlike THC, CBD cannot get you high—no matter how much you take.
Should I use tinctures instead of other CBD products?
When looking at any CBD product, it’s important to do a bit of research to find out how and where it’s made. A CBD product meant for human consumption should come with third-party independent testing information, to ensure their safety and purity.
While Epidiolex is a Schedule V drug (meaning it can be used to treat health issues), regular cannabis is a Schedule I substance. This means it doesn’t have any accepted medical use. Despite this (not so) tiny detail, countless companies chose to ride on Epidiolex’s coattails to bring a slew of CBD products to the marketplace.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, just a quick reminder: Like any new supplement, it’s important to talk to your doctor before starting a CBD regime. CBD isn’t ideal for everyone, and it can interact with certain medications, such as Warfarin . Make sure a medical professional knows exactly what you’re taking and in what combination before you start experimenting with CBD in any form.
Compared to other popular products like CBD chocolates and lotions, tinctures have extremely high bioavailability, so they’re very easy for the body to absorb. According to a National Center for Biotechnology Information study, CBD edibles, like gummies or cookies, have less bioavailability because the body has to process both the CBD and the ingredients used to make the treat.
What they are, what they do, and what you should know before buying one.
How do I take a tincture?
Wondering how much should you take? This is a bit of a tricky question, as there are no official dosing guidelines for CBD. Dr. Steve Patierno, Chair of CuraLeaf’s Medical Advisory Board and the Deputy Director of the Duke Cancer Institute, suggests starting with a lower strength product and taking just 1 milliliter. (For a 30-milliliter bottle that’s likely a full dropper, but check the bottle to be sure.) You can always take a bit more next time if you don’t feel the effects.
Asking where a CBD company’s industrial hemp is grown, processed, and produced, couldn’t hurt either to see just how transparent a CBD company is willing to be with its potential clients.