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Humankind has used hemp in various forms for thousands of years. Despite a brief period of prohibition in the 20th century, hemp has almost always been a critical resource, providing nutrition through seeds and strong, durable fibers for textiles. However, humans have also long known of the healing powers of hemp, using powerful hemp compounds to treat all manner of ailments.

Through history, one of the most popular ways of administering hemp for its healing properties has been through tinctures. Yet, many people today are unfamiliar with the concept of the tincture and wary of using a product that might contain cannabis. Here is a guide to cannabis tinctures — and why everyone should have a hemp oil tincture on their medicine cabinet shelf.

Hemp vs. Cannabis

First, there is an important distinction to be made regarding cannabis tinctures and hemp tinctures. Though technically hemp is a form of cannabis, within the cannabis industry — and the tincture community — cannabis and hemp tinctures could not be more different.

Cannabis is the term most often applied to products that have a psychoactive effect. One of the most prominent compounds in cannabis flowers is THC, which causes users to experience some degree of euphoria, heightened senses, altered time perception and more. Cannabis tinctures almost always contain a dose of THC with the intention of generating some degree of this psychoactive experience. Of course, THC does have some health benefits, to include stress relief and appetite stimulation.

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In contrast, hemp is the term for cannabis plants that are not grown or processed for their psychoactive components. By law, hemp plants cannot have more than .3 percent THC, which is so little that the body does not manifest any discernible psychoactive effects. Thus, hemp tinctures are produced using other beneficial compounds within cannabis, especially CBD, which has been shown to have effects related to pain and inflammation relief, as well as many of the high-quality oils that can be used for skin, hair and nail treatments.

How Tinctures Are Made

Tinctures are some of the oldest forms of medicines, which means they are some of the simplest and most natural tools for health. All it takes to produce a tincture is a high-proof potable alcohol, an appropriate amount of herbal material, a sealable jar and time. In fact, cannabis users interested in creating their own extracts often begin by making tinctures at home because the process can be so easy and enjoyable.

However, many cannabis tincture users tend to prefer the tinctures available at dispensaries and other shops dedicated to high-quality hemp products. Tincture manufacturers have perfected recipes for achieving different effects, which involves utilizing specific varieties of cannabis or hemp in specific quantities and mixing them with other types of herbs and natural compounds. Some cannabis tinctures also require pre-processing of the plant material to remove unwanted compounds. For example, both CBD isolate tinctures and broad-spectrum CBD tinctures have all THC removed to prevent any psychoactive response whatsoever.