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What is a Tincture?

by Sonja Soderlund February 22, 2021 5 min read

A bottle of Kanibi CBD oil on green background.

One of the oldest forms of medicine is plant medicine, and of all the plant medicines out there, cannabis goes waaay back. At Kanibi, we stand proudly in the tradition of natural plant extracts and their healing benefits.  

Over the centuries, tinctures have been one of the best ways to take advantage of the goodness inside of a plant. But what is a tincture? And why is it such a popular way to take CBD?

Read on for all the nerdy details.

What Is a Tincture? 

First, let’s clear up some linguistic confusion. Historically, a tincture is a plant extract that has been dissolved in some kind of alcohol. That definition still stands—technically. 

But the reality is that in the CBD industry, we use the word much more broadly, since many companies (like Kanibi) use methods other than alcohol to extract our cannabinoids. At Kanibi, we use CO2 extraction because it’s a super clean, effective, and versatile extraction method.

So, the technology of extraction has come a long way, but the long and varied history of creating plant tinctures goes way back into the mists of time. There’s evidence of ancient Egyptians soaking herbs in alcohol to create tinctures, as well as ancient Arabic alchemists making tinctures by macerating flowers and herbs and letting them boil over the fire. 

And why not? Tinctures are an ideal way to benefit from the goodness inside a plant. The process dissolves the plant cell walls and concentrates the phytonutrients into a potent liquid. It also allows us to preserve the nutrients in the plant, which would otherwise degrade.

What to Look for in a Tincture

So, there are a lot of options out there when it comes to CBD tinctures. And that is a massive understatement. We hope you’ll give our Kanibi Tinctures a try, but whatever you choose, here are some key things to look for in any CBD tincture you buy:

  • Organically grown hemp: If a CBD tincture isn’t extracted from organically grown hemp, then you have no idea what could be in it. It’s that simple. Hemp is a bioaccumulator, which means it literally sucks impurities out of the soil. It’s still extremely difficult for hemp farmers to get USDA organic certification, but many farmers are farming ethically because they know it’s the right thing to do. Make sure to ask questions if you’re not sure!
  • Third-party lab tests: Most CBD tinctures have been mixed with other carrier oils to a specified potency (like 750mg or 1,000mg, for example). But how do you know if a CBD company is really selling you what they say? There’s no way to know if they are dosing their tinctures precisely without looking at independent lab reports. Kanibi posts ours publicly on our product pages, so you don’t even have to ask.
  • Customer service: Did you have to wait a week to hear back from a company when you had a question? Do you get the feeling that they’re withholding information from customers? Shop elsewhere! At Kanibi, we know that the only way to keep coming back is to be highly transparent and make sure we treat our customers right. 

Benefits of CBD Tinctures

 

You’ve probably noticed that there are many, many ways to take CBD. Every day, it seems like someone has a new way to get it into your system (no matter how silly or suspect the method). But there’s a good reason that tinctures remain the mainstay of the CBD industry.

The thing about tinctures is that they combine multiple benefits and avoid a couple of pitfalls. 

First of all, CBD tinctures act relatively quickly. They don’t act as fast as vaping or smoking, but as we’ve seen in the last couple of years, inhaling CBD isn’t always the safest way to take it. If you take a tincture under your tongue, sublingual absorption only takes a couple of minutes, and it doesn’t take long (around 30 to 45 minutes) to reach peak absorption in your bloodstream.

That’s a lot faster than digested CBD. If you like to take your CBD in a gummy or a capsule, that’s fine (and our Kanibi Gummies and Softgels are great options)—you just need to prepare for it to take a little longer to get into your bloodstream.

Also, taking CBD sublingually (under your tongue) is a pretty highly bioavailable method of taking CBD. That means that you’ll benefit from more of the CBD in the tincture than if you just swallow it right away. The digestive process can destroy some of the CBD before it makes it into your bloodstream, so tinctures are a bit more cost-effective (in terms of how much CBD you’ll actually be able to benefit from).

How to Take a CBD Tincture

If you’ve never taken a CBD tincture before, there’s really not much to learn. Basically, the best way to benefit from as much of the CBD as possible is to place it under your tongue and hold it there. 

For how long? Well, we really recommend keeping it there for up to a minute to make sure you absorb as much of the CBD as possible. There are plenty of blood vessels hanging out under your tongue, and when you use a tincture in this way, the CBD is able to enter directly into your bloodstream.

We make sure our tinctures taste delicious, so holding them in your mouth shouldn’t be a chore. You might even want to swish it around in your mouth before swallowing since there are also blood vessels in your cheeks.

Once you swallow the tincture,the remaining CBD will go through the digestive process and be absorbed into your bloodstream later (in an hour or two, depending on factors like your metabolism and what you’ve eaten lately).

Why Does Kanibi Put MCT Oil in Our Tinctures?

Pure CBD extract is extremely potent, and as we mentioned above, we have to dilute it with some kind of oil in order to create tinctures of varying potencies. 

There are lots of options for carrier oils, but we chose MCT oil for a couple of good reasons. For one thing, MCT oil is super easy to digest, so it may help your body absorb more of the CBD that is dissolved in it. 

But also, it’s just really good for you. MCT oil has all kinds of advantages on its own, which we don’t have time or space to go into here. It’s worth looking into, though!  

We think it makes the perfect partner for our cleanly extracted, precision-dosed CBD oil.

 

Sonja Soderlund
Sonja Soderlund

Sonja Soderlund is an Oregon-based freelance writer and CBD researcher. Her work has appeared in BrainWorld, CBD Hacker, Bloom & Oil, and elsewhere.