Do you know the difference between CBD tincture vs CBD oil? If not, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. It seems to be the most commonly asked questions about CBD tincture vs oil. These two words can often cause confusion for many, and some businesses even use them interchangeably.

Just know, you’re not alone on this CBD oils and tinctures quest for clarification. In this blog post, we’ll discuss many of the differences between CBD oil and tincture. So let’s dive into the details that will help you make an informed decision about which product is right for you!

Is CBD oil different from CBD tinctures?

Yes, although there are a lot of similarities too. CBD oils are almost identical in their packaging and are actually used in CBD tincture. Typically, both are stored in tinted glass containers to help protect them from direct sunlight, which also helps give them a longer shelf life. Both can also be taken orally putting a few drops under the tongue (depending on the concentration of the formula). So how are they different?

CBD oil is made using an extraction method that removes CBD molecules from the hemp plant. Then the CBD is added to an inert carrier oil like MCT oil, coconut oil or other common carrier oils. This process creates a variety of hemp derived CBD products that can be used in many different ways.

Unlike CBD oil, CBD tinctures contain a high proof alcohol base. They’re made by combining CBD extract with a food grade alcohol, like ethyl alcohol, and water. This mixture is then left to sit for weeks or even months, allowing the CBD to infuse into the liquid. The infused combination helps the CBD to be absorbed into your system quickly. Tinctures are basically a concentrated, liquid form of CBD that’s designed to be taken orally. They usually come in a small bottle with a built-in dropper, making it easier to measure your dosage.

Knowing how both CBD oils and CBD tinctures are made, helps explain some of the differences between the two. But the main difference between CBD oil and tincture is the way they are used! A tincture is mainly designed to be taken orally, and you can take CBD oil orally too, but there are many other ways it’s used as well.

How do CBD oils compare to tinctures?

A comparison would be based on a variety of categories like taste, ease of use, packaging, shelf life, and potency. Which is better would depend on the individual user and their specific needs, but let’s discuss some of these a bit more:


CBD tinctures can have a strong taste because of the alcohol base. Some people don’t like the taste and prefer the oil because it’s sometimes flavorless. There’s also a wide flavor variety for CBD oil products. In fact, many CBD-containing products have flavor variations to help mask the bitter taste that CBD oils are known for having.

Ease of Use

Both are pretty easy to use. Both tinctures and oils can be used by putting a few drops under your tongue. It can be added to food and drinks or used topically, which might take just a bit more effort.


CBD oil can be just as potent as tinctures, depending on how it’s made and what type of carrier oil is used. However, CBD tinctures are often more potent because the alcohol allows for a higher concentration of CBD. Tinctures also tend to have a faster absorption rate, which means you’ll feel the effects quicker.

What’s the CBD extraction process: CBD tincture vs oil

There are different types of CBD oils and different methods for extracting CBD. The biggest difference between CBD oils are in the extraction methods. For CBD oils, Supercritical CO2 has become the most commonly used method to extract CBD from the cannabis plant. This method involves using pressurized CO² in a chamber to extract CBD oils. The main benefit of using this method is that it yields a very pure form of CBD.

The herbal extracts natural compounds are added to an oil base or carrier oil. A carrier oil can be one of many different essential oils like MCT oil, coconut oil, olive oil, hemp seed oil and more. Vegetable glycerin can also be used as a carrier oil, but has a higher chance of degrading which leaves you with a CBD oil that expires quicker.

CBD tinctures are made using alcohol. The material is soaked with alcohol for extraction and dissipated by the compound. In the extraction process, it pulls out the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial phytochemicals from the hemp plants. After the initial extraction, the solution is added to carrier oils and then left to infuse for weeks or even months. This process allows all of the beneficial properties of CBD to infuse into the alcohol base.

Once the CBD has infused, the solution is then strained and bottled. CBD tinctures are a very versatile product and can be used in different ways or traditionally by taking a few drops orally.

What are other CBD products, besides CBD oil or tinctures?

CBD isolate is another product that can be used to make oil or tinctures. CBD isolate is considered more of a pure CBD oil, because it’s a pure form of CBD that contains no other cannabinoids or plant material. Given it’s pure contents, it’s perfect for a baseline to make other products with.

As this industry grows rapidly the possibilities of CBD are endless. There are balms, lotions, patches, soaps,topical creams, or you can even vaporize it. If you would rather ingest your CBD, you can use standard oils and CBD tinctures, but some users complain of a very bitter taste. You can also get CBD gummies, Kombucha, CBD capsules, and CBD coffee. Newer products on the market like CBD-infused water and pet treats!

A dog siting on someones lap with a bag of CBD pet treats nearby.

As you can see, there are a wide variety of CBD products to choose from. All of these products are made with CBD compounds, and use a variety of different processes that we will explore in other blog posts.

How to Use CBD Oil and Tincture?

The main way to take a CBD oil or tincture is orally. Taking it beneath the tongue, let’s it pass into small capillaries in the mouth. The CBD bypasses the first-pass metabolic system and bypasses the liver. Ingesting CBD in food and drinks can give effects, but less CBD is released into your blood after it passes through the digestive system. Some other ways to use them are edibles or capsules, including gummies which have either CBD oils or tinctures as bases for them.

What to look for When Buying CBD tincture and Oil?

Image of the USDA Organic label that appears on products the FDA has certified to be orgnaic.You want to be confident in your purchase, so research is a must! Be mindful of what your expectations and needs are when working with CBD oils and tinctures. High quality CBD oils and tinctures are best and often mean a longer shelf life, but it’s important to have knowledge about the shelf life of your CBD product. To learn more about CBD oil shelf life check out our article on CBD expiration & proper storage.

Be sure to check different CBD brands and compare them. What extraction method was used? Do they do third party testing? Knowing how they make their products from start to finish is very important. You want to be sure they aren’t using harmful pesticides, which can create heavy metals in your oils or tinctures. Be sure to research the benefits of USDA certified organic CBD oil. Remember, a good brand is open to unbiased third party testing to show details behind their products.

Which is better tincture or oil?

The term “better” may vary from one individual to the other since different people have different preferences and needs. Some people choose one for the taste, while others prefer another for the benefits. The purpose of the CBD is different for every person. You can use CBD oils in oral or topical doses. Some people choose CBD oil if they need to avoid the high proof alcohol that’s in CBD tinctures. Additionally, as the CBD industry grows it may change our needs and general definition of the CBD product. The bottom line is, to do your research so you can buy which ever CBD products that fit your lifestyle needs the most.

A review of CBD Tincture vs Oil

CBD products generally consist of carriers containing CBD plant compounds, they can also contain ingredients and natural flavorings that make them more fun and tasty to consume. There are a variety of CBD products on the market, but CBD oil and CBD tinctures are two of the most common, and are often referred to interchangeably. They share many similar features, however both have separate features too. CBD oil is produced by removing hemp plant isolates using CO2 extracts and then adding carrier oils to extract them, such as MCT oils. CBD tinctures use alcohol and solvent for the extraction method to get CBD isolate.

We hope we’ve helped explain the difference between tincture and oil. Choosing a product that is the best, depends on your preferences and needs overall. Be sure to do your research on the brands and their processes. Once you do choose a brand, compare their different products until you find which one works best for you. If you are interested in browsing South Central Hemp Co-op’s CBD products, be sure to check out our online store!

The logo for South Central Hemp Co-op.