CBD tinctures: What they are, and 6 top options
Cannabidiol (CBD) comes in a wide variety of forms ranging from gummies and capsules to topical creams and balms. However, CBD oils, and now tinctures, are among the most versatile kinds.
CBD is one of over 100 chemical compounds called cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD has become a popular alternative treatment for numerous medical conditions, including epilepsy, chronic pain, and anxiety.
In this article, we explain what a CBD tincture is and how it differs from a CBD oil. We also cover six CBD tinctures available on the market today and discuss how consumers can choose a high quality CBD tincture.
Both CBD oil and tincture are thick liquids that contain CBD, a naturally occurring compound derived from the Cannabis sativa plant.
Both products come in tinted glass bottles with droppers, so people can use CBD sublingually by dropping it under their tongues.
Traditionally, the main difference between CBD oil and tincture has been their composition. CBD oil contains a CBD suspended in a carrier oil, such as olive, coconut, or hempseed oil.
CBD tinctures, on the other hand, are typically glycerin- or alcohol-based solutions. To make them, manufacturers soak cannabis in high-proof alcohol, such as ethanol. Then, they either dilute or suspend the resulting CBD extract in a carrier oil.
That said, most companies within the CBD industry use the terms “CBD oil” and “CBD tincture” for products interchangeably.
CBD is one of the hundreds of cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), unique to the cannabis plant.
CBD tinctures contain either broad-spectrum CBD, full-spectrum CBD, or CBD isolate. Full-spectrum CBD contains other cannabinoids, including very low THC levels, and smaller organic molecules called terpenes.
Several studies suggest that combining CBD, THC, and terpenes is more effective than using CBD or THC alone.
In one 2018 study, researchers compared the anti-tumor effects of pure THC with a cannabis-derived drug containing CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids and terpenes. The combined effects of the cannabinoids and terpenes produced superior anti-tumor effects on breast cancer cell cultures and animal models.
In a 2018 meta-analysis of observational clinical studies, researchers found that CBD-rich extracts led to better therapeutic effects and fewer reports of mild and severe side effects compared with extracts that contained only CBD.
It is also of note that both these studies looked at treatment-resistant epilepsy, which is further proof of CBD’s effectiveness in treating said condition.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, cannabinoid-based drugs may help treat the following conditions:
- chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
- loss of appetite and weight loss due to HIV or AIDS
- chronic pain
- multiple sclerosis (MS)
- sleeping problems
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), people generally tolerate CBD well. However, scientists need to conduct more research to fully understand CBD’s role in treating conditions such as epilepsy and MS.
It is also worth noting that CBD may interact with certain medications, so it is important that people who currently take prescription medications talk with their doctor before using any CBD products.
According to the FDA, CBD can lead to the following side effects:
- drowsiness or sleepiness
- changes in appetite
- irritability or agitation
More severe side effects of CBD include:
- liver damage
- interactions with alcohol and other drugs that slow brain activity
- fertility problems in males
CBD tincture is an easy-to-use and versatile product. People can ingest CBD tincture orally by placing one full dropper of oil under the tongue and holding the oil for 30–90 seconds before swallowing.
People can also mix a dropper of CBD tincture into a warm or cold beverage. However, if the CBD tincture is oil based, it will likely not mix well in liquid.
The dosage varies depending on a person’s body weight and the potency of the CBD tincture. People who are new to CBD should start with the lowest possible dosage. Once they know how their body reacts to CBD, they can gradually increase the dosage.
It is important that people follow the directions and dosage information printed on the outside of the bottle.
When choosing a CBD tincture, we recommend that people look for products that:
- contain no more than 0.3% THC, per the Agricultural Improvement Act
- have proof of third-party testing by an ISO/IEC 17025-accredited laboratory
- pass tests for pesticides, heavy metals, mold, and microbes
- pass product potency evaluations and safety testing
Reputable manufactures provide certificates of analysis (COAs) for all of their products. A COA is a document that shows that an unbiased laboratory has tested a CBD product. People can find COAs on product websites or by scanning a QR code on the physical product.
A COA contains the following information:
- content of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids
- content of terpenes
- results of safety tests for pesticides, heavy metals, microbes, and chemicals
In addition to laboratory test results, people should consider:
- CBD potency
- retailer’s and manufacturer’s reputation
- customer reviews
All of the products discussed in this article have undergone third-party testing and come highly recommended by previous customers.
Here are six of the best CBD tinctures available on the market.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All product information is purely research-based.
Veritas Farms Full Spectrum CBD Tincture
This tincture comes in various strengths and flavors. The unflavored option contains full-spectrum hempseed oil and coconut oil. The flavored options also include these ingredients, as well as stevia, essential oils, and natural flavors.
Veritas Farms provide COAs for their tinctures. The COA for the 250 milligrams (mg) strength shows that the tincture contains another cannabinoid called cannabigerol (CBG). A 2019 study showed that the combination of CBD and CBG reduced inflammation in motor neuron cells.
Lazarus Naturals High Potency CBD Tincture
This high potency CBD tincture contains 50 mg of CBD per milliliter (ml). The CBD used in this tincture comes from a full-spectrum hemp extract suspended in organic hempseed and coconut oils.
The dropper has markings at every 0.25 ml for precise dosing. Lazarus Naturals recommend that people start with 25–50 mg and slowly increase their dosage as needed.
The COA provided on the company’s website shows that their tincture contains a terpene called humulene, which, according to this 2020 review, exhibits neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties.
In addition to CBD, this tincture contains up to 0.187% THC and other cannabinoids, such as CBG, cannabichromene, and cannabinol (CBN).
Premium Jane citrus CBD tincture
This CBD tincture offers 300 mg of CBD per 1-ounce bottle and 7.5 mg of CBD per half-dropper.
Premium Jane use CBD isolate, and they infuse their product with natural citrus flavor for a subtle, refreshing taste.
Although the company’s website states that this product is free from pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals, these claims were not tested in their latest lab report. However, their product passed safety tests for microbes, foreign matter, and water activity.
4 Corners Cannabis Oral Tincture
4 Corners Cannabis offer an array of CBD tinctures. Their oral tincture is a full-spectrum CBD oil with hints of coconut and citrus. They also offer avocado oil, glycerin, and cinnamon tinctures.
People can find two THC-free tinctures in two flavors: chocolate mint and coconut citrus.
Absolute Nature CBD Full Spectrum 1,000mg CBD Oil Drops / Tincture
This full-spectrum CBD tincture provides 33 mg of CBD and 5–10 mg of additional cannabinoids, such as CBG and CBN, per 1-ml serving. There is a lower strength option of 500 mg available as well.
According to the company’s most recent COA, this tincture contains 0.216% THC. It passed safety tests for pesticides, microbes, mycotoxins, solvents, and heavy metals.
RE: Botanicals Hemp CBD Tincture Full Spectrum
RE: Botanicals offer a full-spectrum CBD tincture with 15 mg, 25 mg, or 50 mg of CBD per serving.
They use the United States Department of Agriculture-certified organic hemp, which means that their products should be non-GMO and free of pesticides, fertilizers, and artificial preservatives.
There is a wide selection of high quality, third-party tested CBD tinctures available on the market. Many retailers listed in this article sell other CBD products, such as oils, gummies, capsules, and topicals.
CBD tinctures and oils are easy to use and versatile. People can use oils and tinctures alone or mixed in a beverage. Gummies and capsules are also for oral use. CBD gummies are chewable, while capsules are swallowable like a pill.
People may have less flexibility with the dosing when using CBD gummies and capsules. As a result, people may want to look for products that contain lower levels of CBD per serving.
Topical CBD products include CBD-infused creams, balms, and salves designed for external use only. Companies often market these products as spot treatments for muscle or joint pain. People can also mix CBD oil with a carrier oil and apply the mixture on their skin.
It is important to carefully read the manufacturer’s label before using any CBD product. People should use these products only as directed by the manufacturer.
CBD tinctures contain alcohol- or CO2-extracted CBD suspended in a carrier oil, such as olive, coconut, or hempseed oil.
It is important to note that when buying CBD tincture or any other CBD product, people should only purchase from reputable retailers and manufacturers. Reputable sources provide transparent COAs for all of their products.
CBD is generally safe to use, but it can lead to potentially serious side effects if combined with alcohol and certain medications.
People who currently take prescription medications should consult their doctor before they start using CBD in any form.