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Is CBD legal? Hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC are legal federally but still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products, on the other hand, are illegal federally but legal under some state laws. Check local legislation, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved nonprescription CBD products, which may be inaccurately labeled.

Cannabidiol (CBD) comes in a wide variety of forms ranging from gummies and capsules to topical creams and balms. However, CBD oils and tinctures are among the most versatile kinds.

CBD is one of over 100 chemical compounds called cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa (C. sativa) plant. CBD has become a popular alternative treatment for numerous medical conditions, including epilepsy, chronic pain, and anxiety.

This article explains 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.

People often use the terms CBD oil and CBD tincture interchangeably. However, although these products have similar appearances and uses, they are different products.

Both CBD oil and tincture are thick liquids that contain CBD, a naturally occurring compound derived from the C. sativa plant.

Both products come in tinted glass bottles with droppers, allowing people to 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.

Despite these differences, most companies within the CBD industry use the terms CBD oil and CBD tincture 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 than 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:

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. People who currently take prescription medications must talk with their doctor before using any CBD products.

According to the FDA, CBD can lead to the following side effects:

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.

CBD tinctures may suit individuals who cannot take pills or capsules, as they use the dropper to place drops under their tongue.

They are convenient and may produce immediate results. According to the Arthritis Foundation, a person is more likely to experience the effects of sublingual medications within 15-45 minutes.

CBD tinctures contain a high alcohol content that can make them bitter in taste. As a result, some companies add sweeteners, vitamins, or herbal extracts to help mask this effect.

When choosing a CBD tincture, we recommend that people look for products that:

  • contain no more than 0.3% THC, per the Agriculture 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
  • price
  • 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.

Read our complete buyer’s guide to CBD here.

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.

Lazarus Naturals High Potency CBD Tincture

Best for relaxation and recovery

This high potency CBD tincture contains 50 milligrams (mg) of CBD per milliliter (ml). The CBD in this tincture comes from a full-spectrum hemp extract suspended in organic hemp seed and coconut oils.

The dropper has markings at every 0.25 ml for precise dosing. Lazarus Naturals recommends 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. According to this 2020 review, humulene 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).

Learn more about Lazarus CBD here.

CBDfx Oil Sleep Tincture

Best for calming the mind for sleeping

This CBD tincture claims to improve a person’s sleep quality, and it contains up to 33 mg of broad-spectrum CBD and 5 mg of melatonin per serving.

It is available in three strengths: 100, 2,000, and 4,000 mg. It is vegan-, gluten-, and cruelty-free and does not contain any solvents.

The CBDfx website states that individuals should avoid driving or using heavy machinery when using this product, as it causes extreme drowsiness or sleepiness.

The manufacturer recommends a person take the tincture 30–60 minutes before going to bed on their first night and adjust the serving time depending on how their body reacts to the ingredients.

Learn more about CBDfx here.

CBDistillery Full-Spectrum CBD Tincture

Best for relieving and reducing discomfort

This product contains 1,000 mg of full-spectrum CBD, and each serving is equivalent to 33 mg.

Other ingredients in this tincture include coconut oil, hemp seed oil, and flavonoids. It also has traces of THC.

Anecdotal reports state that this product provides relief and relaxation and reduces discomfort. There is no medical evidence to back up these reports.

The company states that it uses a CO2 extraction method to extract CBD oil from industrial hemp that contains no genetically modified organisms.

CBDistillery recommends that people start by putting 5-10 mg of the tincture under the tongue. A person should hold the liquid under the tongue for 10–20 seconds before swallowing. Individuals can adjust their dose accordingly.

Learn more about CBDistillery here.

Leaf Remedys 60ML Broad-Spectrum CBD Tincture

Best for relieving pain

Leaf Remedys’ product contains broad-spectrum CBD, and it is available in three different strengths — 1,000, 2,000, and 4,000 mg.

Other ingredients include medium-chain triglyceride oil and hemp extract. It also has natural flavors but does not contain any food fillers or additives. This product is suitable for those who follow a gluten-free diet.

According to the company website, products undergo a Sub-Zero extraction method that ensures the removal of unwanted substances.

Some reviewers claim that this tincture helped them with migraines and knee pain.

Saha Self-Care CBD Oil Tincture

Best for soothing

Saha Self-Care’s CBD oil tincture contains 1,000 mg of broad-spectrum CBD grown and processed in Colorado. The product also comes in strengths of 500, 1,500, and 2,500 mg.

Other ingredients include coconut oil and sunflower oil, with spearmint oil providing the mint flavor. Bottles contain 1 ounce (oz) of the product.

The company displays this product’s certificate of analysis (COA) on its website.

TheraOne Sleep CBD Tincture

Best for supporting deep sleep

TheraOne Sleep CBD Tincture is a full-spectrum CBD product that contains other natural ingredients, including chamomile oil, lavender oil, and valerian root. Some people think it supports deep sleep and improves sleep quality.

The 1 oz bottle contains 1,000 mg of CBD, and the company recommends that people use up to two full droppers per day.

For safety, anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding should discuss this product with their doctor before taking it. Additionally, individuals taking any other kind of medication should also speak with their treating doctor or qualified healthcare professional.

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. People can chew CBD gummies while they swallow capsules 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 containing lower CBD levels 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 to 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.

The below are some frequently asked questions about CBD tinctures.

Are CBD products safe for everyone?

CBD products are generally safe, but a person should always seek medical advice before taking them, as they may interact with prescribed or over-the-counter medications.

Some companies also manufacture products for pets, but it is best to ask a veterinarian for advice before giving CBD products to an animal.

How do you use CBD tinctures?

A person should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

However, many brands recommend adding the servings to food or drinks or placing them under the tongue and waiting for a few seconds before swallowing.

Do CBD tinctures cause side effects?

An older 2014 article notes that CBD is well-tolerated if a person uses up to a 600 mg dose.

However, in a 2017 article, researchers reviewed the effects of CBD in people with epilepsy and psychotic disorders. They found that the most common side effects that the participants experienced were:

  • tiredness
  • diarrhea
  • changes in appetite
  • changes in weight

Who should not take CBD?

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), individuals should not take any CBD products during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Animal tests show detrimental effects to male fetuses, while some chemicals and compounds may transfer to a baby through breast milk. Scientists should carry out further research to establish if the same effects are evident in humans.

CBD tinctures contain alcohol- or CO2-extracted CBD suspended in a carrier oil, such as olive, coconut, or hemp seed 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.