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CBD tinctures are easy-to-dose and portable options that people may use as an alternative treatment for conditions such as chronic pain and anxiety. Here, we discuss our top picks.

Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.

Medical News Today chooses CBD tinctures that meet the following criteria:

  • Ingredients: MNT chooses CBD products containing safe and high quality, clearly labeled ingredients. They should also confirm they are free from pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
  • Dosage: MNT chooses tinctures that must clearly state the CBD dosage and THC content.
  • Serving size: MNT selects CBD products in which manufacturers recommend a dosage and how to take it.
  • Third-party labs: MNT chooses tinctures that must undergo third-party testing for contaminants by an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
  • Available certificate of analysis: MNT chooses companies that demonstrate transparency and share a product’s certificate of analysis (COA) after receiving its third-party lab results.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more.

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Companies may use CBD tinctures and oils interchangeably, which makes it difficult to know the differences between these products. Some CBD ‘oils’ may be tinctures, and vice versa.

However, these products have different manufacturing processes and ingredients.

CBD tinctures contain ethanol-extracted CBD. Manufacturers will infuse CBD with alcohol, heat it up, and then boil or dilute it.

Tinctures are often more bitter than CBD oils due to the extraction process. To mask this bitterness, manufacturers may add extra ingredients like glycerin, flavorings, and sweeteners.

Oils are more readily available than tinctures and often have a shorter ingredient list. They contain CBD extract and a carrier oil, usually olive, coconut, or hempseed oil.

Learn more about the differences between CBD tinctures and oils here.

CBD oils and tinctures are not the same product. However, readily available tinctures do not pass Medical News Today‘s strict vetting process.

Instead, we have included our top picks of CBD oils. While companies may advertise these oils as tinctures, they do not undergo the manufacturing process that creates a tincture.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

The following table compares the CBD tinctures in this article.

PriceCBD contentCBD per doseCBD type
Lazarus Naturals$39.991,500 mg12.5 mgfull spectrum
CBDistillery$2605,000 mg167 mgfull spectrum
Leaf Remedys$59.991,000 mg17 mgbroad spectrum
Extract Labs$69.992,000 mg66 mgisolate
Joy Organics$44.95900 mg30 mgbroad spectrum
CBDFx$69.991,000 mg33 mgfull spectrum
Zatural$6212,000 mg100 mgfull spectrum

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 manufacturers provide certificates of analysis (COAs) for all 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 product.

A COA contains the following information:

  • the content of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids
  • the content of terpenes
  • the results of safety tests for pesticides, heavy metals, microbes, and chemicals

In addition to laboratory test results, people should consider:

  • CBD potency
  • price
  • the reputation of the retailer and manufacturer
  • customer reviews

All of the products discussed in this article have undergone third-party testing and feature strong recommendations from previous customers.

Read our complete buyer’s guide to CBD.

The requirements for a CBD label vary by state. However, most labels require the following information:

  • CBD dosage, including the amount of CBD per serving and the amount in the whole bottle
  • servings per container
  • source of the CBD oil, for example, made in the U.S.
  • batch numbers
  • manufacturing date
  • license numbers
  • third party testing information

If the information above is not clear on the label, the CBD oil may not be from a trusted source.

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 about 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. They can gradually increase the dosage once they know how their body reacts to CBD.

People must follow the directions and dosage information printed on the outside of the bottle.

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 antitumor 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 antitumor 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 the 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

A wide selection of high-quality, third-party-tested CBD tinctures is 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 the manufacturer has directed.

Below, we answer some common questions about CBD tinctures.

The most effective type of CBD depends on why a person wants to use a product.

If a person has localized pain, such as a sore joint, topical CBD that they can apply directly to the area may be more effective than ingestible products that support more general wellness.

Full-spectrum CBD products may be more effective than CBD isolate or broad-spectrum ones due to the inclusion of terpenes and other cannabinoids. These extra compounds cause an “entourage effect”.

Yes, CBD tinctures work in the same way as CBD oils.

The best oral CBD will be the product that best suits a person’s needs.

People should consider flavors and potencies, as these can elevate one product over another.

Alongside third-party lab testing and COAs, a person may also consider other factors when choosing a CBD tincture.

A person should always check the CBD potency and THC content when purchasing a product. People who prefer using CBD without THC may wish to purchase CBD isolate products.

Additionally, people may wish to consider their budget and whether the company offers a discount subscription.

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

It is important to note that people should only purchase from reputable retailers and manufacturers when buying CBD tincture or any other CBD product. Reputable sources provide transparent COAs for all of their products.

CBD is generally safe but can lead to potentially serious side effects if combined with alcohol and certain medications.

People taking prescription medications should consult their doctor before they start using CBD in any form.

CBD resources

Visit our dedicated hub for more research-backed information and in-depth resources on CBD.

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