A row of CBD oil vs CBD tincture glass bottles.

CBD Tincture vs Oil: What’s the Difference?

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The question of CBD tincture vs oil can be confusing — especially when companies regularly equate the two. Even though both of these products are extracted from hemp and used sublingually, the process used to create each form of CBD and the final results are quite different. Read on to learn about CBD oil vs tincture and find out which one is right for you!

CBD Tincture vs Oil: Understanding Cannabinoids

All CBD starts with the Cannabis sativa plant — whether it’s marijuana (plants with more than 0.3% THC) or industrial hemp (plants with less than 0.3% THC). The flowers, leaves, buds, and stems of these plants contain a rich combination of cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as well as other ingredients including terpenes, flavonoids, chlorophyll, fiber, proteins, and fatty acids.

Of more than 100 identified cannabinoids in the plant, CBD is one of the most therapeutic ones and is not psychoactive, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the cannabinoid known to get you “high.”

A woman scientist works on the extract process that separates out CBD oils vs CBD tinctures.

CBD Tinctures vs Oils: Extraction Methods

Whether you begin with marijuana or hemp, the CBD in the plant can be extracted either with supercritical CO2 or a solvent such as ethanol from sugar cane. This is the stage at which CBD oils vs tinctures often get separated.

CO2 Extraction

In hemp CBD products, the CBD oil is extracted as an isolate, full-spectrum, or broad-spectrum oil using supercritical CO2. In the case of CBD isolates, the resulting oil no longer contains the terpenes, flavonoids, or other cannabinoids like THC. This option is ideal for anyone who cannot ingest even trace amounts of THC.

Ethanol Extraction

In CBD tinctures, the active ingredients are extracted from the fresh flower and bud material using a strong alcohol like ethanol or a similar solvent. Rather than isolating any particular cannabinoid, alcohol extraction pulls out all of the active ingredients (cannabinoids, terpenes, etc.), creating a full-spectrum cannabis tincture. In some cases, the THC is removed in a second stage using liquid chromatography. The resulting tincture, in this case, is referred to as a “broad-spectrum” tincture rather than a “full-spectrum” tincture because it has had one of the original cannabinoids removed.

A dropper full of CBD oil posed above a small, brown bottle.

CBD Tincture vs Oils: Creating the Final Mix

Depending on the process used, the resulting hemp CBD extract will need more ingredients to be added to turn it into a liquid.

Creating A CBD Oil

In the case of CBD isolate, the isolate that comes out of the extraction process is mixed with a carrier oil such as:

  • Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil
  • Fractionated coconut oil
  • Hemp oil
  • Olive oil

Out of these four options, MCT oil (from coconut) is the preferred carrier oil for CBD as it helps the CBD to be absorbed more effectively.

Creating A CBD Tincture

Whereas CBD oil is simply CBD isolate plus a carrier oil, a CBD tincture is made with the help of ethanol and/or other solvents. These chemicals first need to be stripped and cleared from the tincture before it can be mixed with a carrier oil and other flavorings.

How CBD Tinctures vs Oils Are Used

In general, both CBD oil and CBD tincture are used sublingually — meaning that you hold the liquid under your tongue for 30 seconds before swallowing. This method delivers the CBD to the capillaries under the tongue, which take the oil directly to the bloodstream without having to be processed by the digestive system.

The main difference in usage is that CBD oil can be used topically, whereas CBD tincture cannot. High-quality CBD oil is the ingredient that we use in our CBD topicals — along with other beneficial botanical skincare ingredients. You wouldn’t want to rub CBD tincture on your skin because the solvents used could cause topical irritation.


How to Choose a CBD Tincture or Oil

When shopping for a CBD tincture vs oil, the most important thing is to make sure you know what you’re getting. Even if a product is labeled as a “CBD tincture” or “CBD oil,” make sure to check the ingredient list and read about the extraction process used on the company’s website.

Shop Worry-Free CBD at Kratora

At Kratora, we offer CBD oils in seven tasty flavors as well as natural, flavorless CBD oil and CBD oil for pets. Our oils contain CBD isolate and 0.0% THC — so it’s the perfect option for people who wish to benefit from CBD’s numerous properties but aren’t allowed any amount of THC because of their professional obligations.

Place your order before 3 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday and 1 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturdays (excluding holidays) to receive fast, same-day shipping.


The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.

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