Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the active ingredients in cannabis and is part of a class of molecules called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is made up of cannabinoid receptors found throughout the brain and peripheral nervous system. Cannabinoids produced within the body, called endocannabinoids, bind with receptors to excite or inhibit certain regulatory functions (like appetite, sleep, and stress).
CBD, which differs from THC in that it doesn’t have psychoactive properties, can be used to treat several different issues, such as anxiety, depression, seizures, pain and more. Let’s discuss the therapeutic potential of CBD and the best methods of delivery.
How Are Cannabinoids Used Therapeutically?
When certain regulatory systems fall out of sync — often due to neuropsychologic or neurophysiologic illnesses — CBD can be used to help restore balance. In fact, CBD boasts multiple therapeutic properties and has the potential to treat a broad variety of symptoms and conditions, including pain, nausea, sleep problems, muscle spasms, epilepsy, depression and anxiety disorders.
While another well-known cannabinoid, THC, has its own set of therapeutic properties (anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and analgesic), it also has a psychoactive component that is largely unwanted in a therapeutic setting. Many wellness companies today are able to completely extract CBD from cannabis plants to offer CBD isolates and CBD-derived products. However, not all modalities are created equal.
Inhalation as a delivery method is quick, however, the long-term effects from smoking or vaping CBD are still unknown. Topical formulations are effective but specific for managing pain and muscle spasms. Oral modalities may be most popular and come in a wide selection of products, including tinctures, oils, sprays, capsules, edibles, liquids and more. Next, we’ll explore why tinctures may be the most consistent formulation for medical use.
What Is CBD Tincture and How Is it Used?
Tinctures are made by steeping CBD isolates in high-proof grain alcohol and then applying low heat for a long time. The neutral spirit is boiled off, leaving a potent liquid that delivers a concentrated dose of CBD. Because of this formulation, CBD tinctures are meant to be taken in small, carefully measured quantities; most tinctures come with a built-in dropper in order to administer these small but effective doses.
CBD tinctures can be easily added to drinks, like smoothies, tea, or coffee, or mixed into meals, such as soups, dressings, or pasta sauces. They can also be simply taken as is. In fact, research suggests that administering CBD tincture sublingually (applying a drop under the tongue) is the easiest and most consistent method to deliver cannabinoids to the body compared to other oral modalities.
Although current research is limited, CBD tinctures offer dosing that is easy to measure and control, potentiating their use in future studies investigating the ability of CBD to manage conditions like anxiety, insomnia, and epilepsy in adults and children alike.