Are your friends raving about CBD tincture, but you have no idea what they’re talking about? Been smoking so much Blue Dream lately that you’ve lost a few weeks, months, or years?
First of all, high five if you’ve lost years. Second, don’t feel bad. CBD burst onto the scene so quickly that many cannasseurs haven’t had time to learn what it is and what it does.
So before you hang your head in shame and slink away to a dark corner, let the experts at Honest Marijuana fill you in.
In this article, we’ll reveal everything you could possibly want to know about CBD, CBD tincture, and its uses, benefits, and effects. Along the way, we’ll answer questions like:
- What is CBD?
- What is CBD tincture?
- How is CBD tincture made?
- How do you use CBD tincture?
- Will CBD tincture get you high?
- What are the benefits of CBD tincture?
We’ll also talk about the side effects of CBD tincture and show you how to make your very own batch at home.
What Is CBD?
CBD is the abbreviation for the word cannabidiol. Thank goodness for abbreviations, right! If you’re wondering how to pronounce that five-letter word, it’s can-uh-BIH-dee-all (with the stress on the third syllable).
And if you think that’s a mouthful, wait until we introduce you to THC, which is short for tetrahydrocannabinol (teh-truh-high-dro-CAN-uh-bihn-all).
Whew! Try saying that fast 10 times after a few tokes on a Yoda OG bong. Alright, alright, enough levity! We’re here to learn about CBD tincture, so back to the subject at hand.
- Cannabigerol (CBG)
- Cannabinol (CBN)
- Cannabichromene (CBC)
- Cannabivarin (CBV)
Scientists have isolated 113 different cannabinoids from the three species of Cannabis plant (indica, sativa, and ruderalis). Even if you’re new to the world of cannabis, you’ve probably heard about the effects of THC.
And if you don’t use marijuana in one form or another but you’ve been to a Phish or Grateful Dead concert, you’ve probably experienced the effects second-hand. That’s because THC is the cannabinoid responsible for getting you high.
But you may not have heard about CBD because its main effects are medicinal rather than psychedelic. We’ll discuss the benefits and effects of CBD in just a little bit. But first, let’s delve a bit deeper into one of the easiest methods for taking CBD: the CBD tincture.
What Is CBD Tincture, And How Is It Made?
A tincture is a liquid extract made by soaking one substance in another substance. We know that’s a pretty general definition, so allow us to clarify by first focusing on the second substance. The most common liquid used to make tinctures is alcohol.
What could be better than cannabinoids and alcohol? That’s a rhetorical question — please don’t send us your answers.
If you’re leery about making a tincture out of alcohol, you can also use an oil, a vinegar, or a glycerin. Having said that, alcohol really does produce the best finished product. And with the amount you take at one time, you won’t feel anything from the alcohol.
You can also use different types of alcohol such as brandy, vodka, or grain alcohol (Everclear) to produce unique flavors.
So we’ve got the liquid—alcohol—but what are we going to soak in it? If we were making a THC tincture, we would choose a high-THC strain like Fruity Pebbles or Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies. In the case of a CBD tincture, the substance we would choose is a high-CBD/low-THC marijuana strain like Charlotte’s Web or Cannatonic.
Once the alcohol and marijuana plant matter are combined, the alcohol dissolves the trichomes, cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other chemical goodies and holds them in solution (kind of like mixing up a batch of Kool-Aid).
And to be clear, tinctures aren’t just restricted to the marijuana plant. Any plant, combination of plants, or even animal material can be used to make a tincture. In fact, common medicinal tinctures include sage, hyssop, and garlic.
You can even make your own tincture at home. We’ll show you how at the end of this article. But first, let’s discuss how to use a CBD tincture.
How Do You Use CBD Tincture?
Tinctures of any kind are the easiest and most discreet form of marijuana you can take. That’s because CBD tincture is administered a few drops at a time under your tongue.
No more “pot smell” or trying to make up an excuse for not sharing your food (‘cause it’s got pot in it!). Just a few seconds by yourself, and you’re good to go.
Side note: be sure to hold the liquid in your mouth, and don’t swallow. Nothing bad will happen if you do swallow; it will just take longer to feel the effects.
After the drops dissolve under your tongue, they’re absorbed into your sublingual artery, the CBD travels through your external carotid artery, into your internal carotid artery, and then to your brain.
The whole process — from the time you administer the drops to the time you feel their effects — takes about 15 minutes.
Feeling the effects from a tincture is a bit slower than smoking the same plant matter, but it’s a lot faster than using an edible. For an easy way to calculate the right dose for you, check out our article Honest Marijuana CBD Dosage Calculator.
Will CBD Tincture Get You High?
The answer to that question is simple: no, CBD tincture will not get you high. In fact, very few CBD products (e.g. dissolvable strips, wax, shatter, concentrates, tea, butter, pills, etc.) will get you high. This is because they’re prepared with high-CBD/low-THC strains to minimize the psychedelic effects and maximize the health benefits.
For those of us who enjoy a good psychotropic substance, that may be a bummer. But for those of us with medical issues, it’s a life-saver.
What Are The Benefits And Effects Of CBD Tincture?
Because the cannabinoid CBD has so many medical benefits and effects, CBD tincture can be used to treat:
- Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels)
- Nervous system degeneration
- Artery blockage
- Bacterial growth
- Cancer cell growth
- Bone degeneration
- Muscle spasms
- Chronic pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Low appetite
In general, CBD reduces pain and inflammation, which is why it’s so good at treating a large number of physical disorders.
But CBD also has some unique effects on brain activity, which is why it can also be used to treat several neurological disorders, such as PTSD, social phobia, OCD, panic disorder, GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), and a host of others.
Does CBD Tincture Have Any Side Effects?
CBD tincture produces no serious side effects. The worst thing you can expect from any high-CBD product, CBD tincture included, is dry mouth. But if you’re taking a CBD tincture to treat a more debilitating disorder, a little dry mouth is a small price to pay to feel better.
Technically, CBD does produce one other “side effect” of note: it can interfere with your liver’s ability to process other medications (a.k.a. hepatic metabolism). That could have unintended consequences if the CBD you’re taking isn’t meant to completely replace another medication (like heart or blood-pressure medication).
Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking a CBD product.
CBD Is Biphasic
Another variable that might be considered a side effect is that CBD is biphasic. That means that at certain levels, CBD provides a specific list of effects. At other — often higher — levels, CBD provides different effects.
This biphasic idea may be new to some readers, but it isn’t all that uncommon. Alcohol, for example, is biphasic. Below a certain blood alcohol content (BAC), alcohol provides a stimulating effect. Above that blood alcohol content, it provides a depressant effect.
That’s not to say that CBD tincture will act as a stimulant at one dosage level and a depressant at another, but the effects may change as the dosage increases.
Again, that’s why it’s vital to record your experience so you can fine-tune what works for you.
Can You Overdose On CBD Tincture?
It’s important to note that it’s nearly impossible to overdose on CBD tincture if you use it sensibly.
The only repercussion one CBD user felt when he took a high dose was a sense of drowsiness. However, the tendency to want to sleep may not even be considered negative if you suffer from insomnia.
So what’s a high dose of CBD? We’re talking something like 50,000 milligrams of CBD. That works out to about 300 milligrams for every 2.5 pounds of body weight. There’s really no reason you would ever have to take that much CBD.
In fact, your average 180-pound male suffering from severe pain would only need to take 25 milligrams at most to feel relief. That’s a long way from 50,000 milligrams. To put it in perspective, 25 milligrams of CBD equals ⅛ teaspoon, while 50,000 milligrams equals about 33 tablespoons.
And that’s 33 tablespoons of PURE CBD. You’re not going to get that in any CBD tincture on the market.
So it’s safe to say that even doses up to 1,500 milligrams for an extended period of time (eg., four weeks) are safe and won’t cause any negative side effects.
Can You Make Your Own CBD Tincture?
Yes, and the process is really quite simple. There are actually three different methods for making your own CBD tincture:
Sounds like a game we used to play as kids. But anyway…
Here are the basic instructions for each method.
The Cold Method For Making CBD Tincture
- Break, tear, shred, or grind your dry cannabis into a glass canning jar.
- Pour in enough ethyl alcohol (we suggest an ultra-high-proof alcohol like Everclear) to keep the plant matter covered even when it rehydrates and expands.
- Put a lid on the jar, and shake it vigorously for two minutes.
- Stow the jar in your freezer.
- Once or twice a day, take the jar out of the freezer and give it a shake.
- After five days in the freezer, remove the jar from the cold and strain the tincture through a cheesecloth, tea strainer, or silk screen into another jar or bowl.
- Dispose of the leftover plant material.
- Distribute the liquid tincture into a small, dark dropper bottle.
- Store the dropper bottle in a cool, dry place like a closet or kitchen cabinet.
The Warm Method For Making CBD Tincture
- Mix the ingredients (plant matter and alcohol) in a mason jar like you did in steps 1-3 of the cold method.
- Store the jar in a cool, dry place out of the sun for 30 to 60 days.
- Finish the process by straining the tincture into dropper bottles like you did in steps 6-9 of the cold method.
- We suggest starting a new batch of tincture every two to four weeks. If you stagger the brew this way, you’ll have a tincture approaching readiness while you consume another. Then you’re never without enough tincture to get you through your day.
The Hot Method For Making CBD Tincture
Note: Alcohol fumes are combustible, so be sure to perform this recipe in a well-ventilated area.
- Chop your cannabis buds as finely as possible.
- Place the ground buds on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 325°F for five minutes (this is the process of decarboxylation).
- Pour the baked bud into a canning jar and add in your alcohol of choice (just like the other methods).
- Set the opened canning jar in a pan and add 2 inches of water around the jar (don’t put any water IN the jar or you’ll ruin your tincture).
- Bring the water to a boil, and then simmer the uncovered canning jar until the alcohol inside reaches 165°F (you’ll need a candy or cooking thermometer for this step).
- When the alcohol in the canning jar has reached 165°F, remove the jar from the pan (the jar will be hot!), and set it on the stove or a towel to cool.
- When the jar is cool enough to handle with your bare hands, separate the plant matter from the liquid by pouring through a strainer or cheesecloth.
- Let the liquid cool to room temperature, and then pour it into a dropper bottle.
- Store the dropper bottle in a cool, dark place.
How Much CBD Tincture Should You Take?
First and foremost, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to taking CBD. It doesn’t matter if you get that CBD in a tincture, an oil, a wax, or an edible.
The reason we can’t just say, “Take this many drops,” or, “Take this many hits from your bong,” is because there are too many factors that affect what will work best for you.
Those factors include:
- Quality of CBD tincture
- Potency of CBD tincture
- Your weight
- Your metabolism
- Your diet
- The condition being treated
- The severity of your illness
- Your tolerance to CBD
To add to the confusion, many of these factors can’t be quantified. We all know what someone means when they say they have a fast or slow metabolism. But how do you put a number on that?
The same thing goes for tolerance. Just because you’re more or less tolerant to CBD than the next guy, doesn’t give us — or anybody, for that matter — a better idea of how much CBD tincture you should take for your pain.
“But what about the recommended dose on the label of my store-bought CBD tincture?” you ask. Those are just guidelines. They don’t know how much you need. How could they?
They don’t know how much you weigh, what type of metabolism you have, your diet, your tolerance to CBD, the condition being treated, or the severity of that illness. The only thing they know is what’s listed on the label: the potency of their product.
Sure, they give you a recommended dose or suggested use, but that’s just a starting point. You may need less. You may need more.
So here’s the bottom line: The only person who knows how much CBD you need is you.
Going forward, then, you’re going to need to experiment with your CBD tincture dose to find out what is most effective for you.
This is especially true with homemade CBD tinctures (or, really, anything homemade) because you don’t know the exact concentration of CBD in the mix. With store-bought CBD tinctures, it’s a bit easier because of the valuable information on the label.
We’re going to use this chart to help us figure out how much CBD tincture to take.
But remember, these are just guidelines. Think of them as simply a place to begin your experiment.
Starting with a homemade CBD tincture, here’s the best way to figure out how much to take.
Homemade CBD Tincture
This is going to be a trial-and-error situation, although there’s really no “error” to speak of. There’s no danger of serious side effects or overdose. The most you’ll feel is nothing. That’s how you know it’s not working.
The first thing you’ll need — whether you’re using a homemade CBD tincture or a store-bought CBD tincture — is a notebook. You’re going to record your experience so you aren’t taking five drops one day, 20 drops the next day, and eight drops the third day.
You want a little bit of order or you’ll never find the perfect dose.
- Start with five drops (depending on the size of your dropper, that may be about ¼ of a dropper full).
- Record this amount in your notebook.
- Over the course of the next four hours or so, write down what you feel in your notebook.
- If you feel nothing at all, up the dose to 10 drops the next time around.
- If you feel something, increase the dose by two or three drops to see if it gets you where you want to go.
- Repeat this process until you find your perfect CBD tincture dose.
We suggest taking this first dose after breakfast and then waiting until lunch for the next dose. Basing your dosing on main meals gives you landmarks around which to plan your day.
If you need more, you can always dose between meals as well.
Store-Bought CBD Tincture
With a store-bought CBD tincture, the process is a bit more cut-and-dry.
You’re still going to use the chart above to find a starting point, but now you have a bit more information to work with — namely, how much CBD is in each drop.
The label of the CBD tincture isn’t going to state that outright, but with a bit of simple math, you can figure it out. Here’s how.
The label will give you the serving size in milliliters (ml) or droppers. It will also give you the amount of CBD per serving. From there, you can figure out how many milliliters you need to take to reach the number indicated on the chart above.
And just as you did in the Homemade CBD Tincture section, record your dose in your notebook and proceed to raise or lower it from there.
Here’s an example:
- Our hypothetical CBD tincture has a 1 milliliter (or 1 full dropper) serving size.
- The amount of CBD per serving is 20 mg. So for every dropper-full (1 milliliter) you take, you’re getting 20 mg of CBD.
- That’s good for your average adult with mild pain, but what if you weigh less?
- Cut the dose in half (½ dropper-full = 10 mg) and proceed to experiment from there.
If you’re lucky, you’ll find the sweet spot in two or three tries.
CBD Tincture: Start Small And Wait Three Days
Whether you choose to make your own CBD tincture or buy one from your local dispensary, we highly recommend starting small (as we tried to make clear above). The least amount of CBD tincture you can take and feel relief from your symptoms the better.
And when you think about it, the less you take, the longer each bottle will last. That’s good news for your wallet.
So maybe start with half-an-eye-dropper-full. See how your body reacts. Maintain that dose for three days to give your body time to get accustomed to the medication. Then adjust the dose up or down accordingly for the next three-day period.
If you feel any discomfort from a dose, decrease it the next time you take the CBD tincture. You can always increase gradually again from there.
Give CBD Tinctures A Try
CBD tinctures don’t have any major side effects, so you don’t have to worry about feeling bad after just a few drops. And CBD tinctures are readily available at your local dispensary, so you don’t have to worry about where your supply will come from.
For more information on all things marijuana and to check out our 100-percent all-natural cannabis products, visit HonestMarijuana.com today.