Here’s some good news, which many of us in the pro-CBD community are already aware of and which learned folk in general have realized for millennia: cannabidiol (CBD) is helpful in treating several afflictions. This is important for two reasons. First, the public declaration (by the World Health Organization, no less!) that CBD is a “harm-free,” non-psychotropic/psychoactive substance” has brought CBD into the mainstream as an acceptable natural dietary supplement.

Secondly, as public perception about the hemp plant has changed, both its popularity and people’s curiosity about its potential uses have gained exponential traction. These two pieces together—CBD’s change in legal status and its embrace by the public—have allowed scientists and researchers to feel free to publish research on the health benefits of CBD. What we’re learning about what CBD tinctures can do for the human body is truly amazing.


CBD tinctures: the basics

Apart from being a solid SAT vocab word and one that’s just kind of fun to say, “tincture” is really just a term for a plant-derived medicine or substance that has been dissolved and is suspended in ethanol. In other words, a natural remedy in liquid form. They are used in small doses, often dispensed by a dropper.

While all high-CBD products sourced from reputable producers and suppliers have their benefits, some forms are better for anyone seeking the effects of CBD oil. When it comes to quick delivery, tinctures may be your best option. This is due to several factors, all contained in one term:



Bioavailability simply means the degree and the rate at which something is absorbed into your bloodstream. It is affected by a couple of things: how much it has to pass through the body’s metabolic and digestive systems, and how much of the active substance is present in the remedy to begin with.  

Virtually every medicine has some “filler” in it, in order to stabilize and/or suspend the pharmaceutical portion of the product in a way that it can be reliably reproduced and manufactured. The bioavailability of drugs your doctor prescribes for you has already been determined when you get them, and it’s how they determine (according to your age, height, weight and sometimes other medications you may be taking) what dosage to prescribe.

Different forms of any extract or medication have differing bioavailability. That’s why you might be prescribed, say, three capsules of such-and-such to take three times a day, or five milliliters of the same thing to be taken twice a day—it all depends on how much the medicine’s medium affects its bioavailability.


cbd tincture array of apothecary bottles on wall

Sublingual delivery: how to use a CBD tincture

When it comes to bioavailability—which in this case means how much of and how quickly the CBD medical benefits hit your system—sublingual administration is definitely the most effective method. Sublingual means taken under the tongue, where the sublingual gland lives.

Tinctures placed under the tongue hit the sublingual gland, where they are then dispersed by the surrounding capillaries, directly into the body’s bloodstream. Meaning they bypass the “first-pass” metabolism that other oral medications face (where at least some of the active ingredients are absorbed and thus “lost”).

Therefore, the active ingredients in the CBD tincture can go directly to work wherever they’re needed in the ECS. Equally importantly, because they don’t first have to be routed through the body’s digestive system, CBD tinctures also get to their final destination much more quickly than other forms can.


cbd tinctures small dark brown bottles

CBD tinctures or something else? Choosing the right CBD product for you

CBD products are used to help with everything from acne to anxiety (as well as other mental health issues and even serious, life-threatening diseases). So, just as with traditionally prescribed medications, both the form of the remedy and its method of delivery are critical considerations when deciding which CBD product you require. We’ve already covered why CBD tinctures are wonderful for most CBD-relief related issues. But that’s not to say that tinctures are—or should be—your only option. As with everything, always remember: it’s important to match the form to the function.


Oral CBD: edibles, capsules, and beverages

Unsurprisingly, edible forms of CBD have the lowest bioavailability—which makes sense, because they have the farthest to go. In fact, a 2009 study reported it at somewhere between four and 20 percent. This range has quite a bit to do with the amount and quality of CBD present in the product—yet another reason you should always make sure you’re buying from a supplier you can trust. It can take from 20 minutes to two hours to take effect.

This makes oral CBD products a great choice for low-grade anxiety issues (CBD gummies are often referred to as nature’s “chill pills”), for general uplift, and when the urgency for relief is low.


Topicals: creams, rubs, sprays, and ointments

Topical CBD “medical” products are great at reducing inflammation and providing specific pain relief to the spot where they are administered. They work because the skin contains cannabinoid receptors, so the remedy can get to work without having to be taken internally.

The ability to get this kind of targeted effect makes them an ideal choice for solving a specific problem—and in fact, topicals are a first choice for many arthritis sufferers. Replicated studies using rats (which is the standard human replacement model) have had great, demonstrated success with the method. However, many topicals are stuffed with fillers, which reduce the product’s bioavailability and general efficacy.


Taking CBD tinctures “off-roading:” how they can help when serious topical relief is critical

Although CBD tinctures are usually taken sublingually for immediate relief, they also work very well as topicals. Not only is the bioavailability of a CBD tincture higher than that of a “general” option, but the effects may also last much longer—some estimates put relief time at up to five hours.


cbd tinctures small brown bottles labeled oil

Got pain? Get CBD tinctures.

There’s no doubt about it: CBD tinctures are the big guns in CBD’s arsenal. CBD For Life provides the best in CBD health products formulated to maximize the benefit to your entire endocannabinoid system. Still have questions? Reach out online, or leave a comment below!

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