Not all CBD tinctures are created equally. There are both high and low quality options available online. It is important to know what to look for when buying CBD tinctures online. The reason that THC tinctures are not included in this buying guide is that they are not legal to purchase online.
While CBD tincture manufacturers don’t provide their actual formulas, because it’s a trade secret, they do provide as much information as possible. Some manufacturers offer just a general CBD tincture, but you may not be aware of what symptoms/conditions it is supposed to be able to help. General CBD tinctures are typically for inflammation, calm and general health and wellness.
Some of these general CBD formulas do help with reducing/stopping seizures, reducing inflammation and improving your immune system. Using CBD in general does help your immune system properly regulate itself.
Read all of the information provided to see what the manufacturer suggests using the tincture for. Manufacturers are not permitted to make actual medical claims such as “This tincture will reduce your inflammation” because CBD products are not regulated or overseen by the FDA. So, legally, CBD manufacturers cannot make any actual medical claims, all that can be said is that a product may help reduce inflammation or a specific symptom.
Manufacturers producing multiple formulas do use a different combination of ingredients in each formula to help put the most effective combination of CBD, essential oils and/or terpenes into a formula to help consumers achieve results.
Always read the ingredients on your tinctures. There should not be any unnatural/artificial ingredients in your tincture. The CBD oil used in the tincture should be full-spectrum and not an isolate. Isolates undergo different extraction processes which leaves the CBD oil lacking necessary terpenes and cannabinoids, so essentially, they are less effective.
You may seem some products listing sunflower lecithin, lecithin or other natural ingredients on their labels. These are okay. Sunflower lecithin helps the body absorb more of the cannabinoids. Products without the sunflower lecithin are not lacking in efficiency at all, unless it is a CBD isolate, so those should not be avoided. Terpenes help the body absorb cannabinoids just as well.
Natural essential oils may be used in some formulas. These essential oils help improve the flavor of the tincture liquid and may also offer some terpenoids to further benefit the formula and your body.
Legal vs. Illegal
CBD tinctures derived from cannabis are not legal to purchase online because the CBD is from cannabis (marijuana) plants and not hemp. Only CBD tinctures derived from hemp are legal to purchase online. It is important to view the source of the CBD before making your purchase. If your seller does not mention a source of the CBD oil used, ask.
CBD oil may have trace amounts of THC in them, but this is okay as long as it is within the allotted limit of 0.3-percent THC. The amount of THC that may be listed on a bottle is so miniscule that even if you ingested the entire bottle, you still won’t get high from it.
It is difficult to extract just CBD from cannabis plants, so tinctures made from cannabis CBD are likely an isolate.
Always view the source of the CBD used. Most CBD oil derived from hemp is imported from Europe. This is a good thing. In Europe, especially in Germany, the soil and climate are ideal for growing hemp. European guidelines for purity and clean extraction are very strict. All products must be tested before they can be exported to any other country. So, if you are purchasing a CBD tincture and the manufacturer says it is European-derived hemp, know that you are getting a quality product.
Most CBD tinctures include terpenes. In cannabis plants, terpenes help provide the aroma and flavor of the different strains. But, naturally-derived terpenes from other natural sources are added to tinctures to help them be more effective. There are thousands of plants, trees, herbs and flowers that contain terpenes – which is where most terpenes for tinctures are sourced from.
Terpenes have medicinal value. This is important to know, because it only helps the formula better suit the ailment it has been designed for.
Common terpenes used in CBD tinctures include:
- Myrcene – reduces anxiety, sedative properties (calming, sleep aid)
- Linalool – reduces stress and anxiety, improves mood
- Limonene – improves mood, helps absorb other terpenes, reduces stress
- Beta-caryophyllene – reduces anxiety, may help increase bone mass, improves depression
- Alpha-pinene – anti-inflammatory, improves depression
- Nerolidol – helps the body absorb other terpenes/cannabinoids, sedative (calming, sleep aid)
- Terpineol – anti-inflammatory, aids relaxation, sedative (calming, sleep aid), anticonvulsant (seizure reduction)
- Humulene – anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant (seizure reduction), analgesic
The use of these terpenes also helps the flavor of the tincture to be more palatable.
The extraction method is important. Supercritical CO2 extraction and CO2 extraction are ideal methods as they leave behind no chemicals or toxins. Butane-free extraction methods are also desired. These three methods are the cleanest extraction methods. These yield the safest, purest CBD oil to use in tinctures, vape and other CBD products.
Pay close attention to suggested dosages. Typically, 1-dropper full is suggested. The droppers used in tincture bottle hold roughly 13mg of the solution.
Manufacturers should suggest a dose and how often to take that dose on the bottle. Since frequency of dosage varies by individual, the standard suggestion of 1 -2 doses daily is often used.
Along with the suggested dosage, the label should also mention how many servings are in one bottle and the total CBD per bottle.
CBD tinctures vary greatly in price. In this case, price does matter. Low-quality products have lower price tags on them. These are often made from isolates or don’t include terpenes to help the product be more effective.
View Full Product Descriptions
Always view the full product descriptions of CBD tinctures. Manufacturers can’t put everything you need to know on a label, there just isn’t enough room. In the product description, a manufacturer is able to go into more detail about the products and their ingredients. Look for things like explanations of the terpenes used so that you have a better understanding of why they are in a specific formula.
What to Avoid
If you see any tiny print on your tincture bottle that says something like 1000mg CBD oil at 20%, avoid it. These numbers are just used as examples. Tinctures are typically 1-fluid ounce. Anytime you see an amount of CBD oil at a percentage, that means that it is not pure CBD oil, it is only the percentage mentioned. So, if a 1000mg at 20-percent is mentioned, you’re only getting 200mg active CBD oil per bottle.
Avoid any product that is not full-spectrum CBD. Full spectrum means that the entire plant has been used to create the oil.
If you notice any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives listed in the ingredients, avoid the product. These are not all natural and may not be effective.
If you are unsure of an ingredient listed on a bottle or in a description, always contact your seller and ask what it is. You can also do a little homework yourself and look up the ingredient you don’t recognize. Names of terpenes often come across as being chemicals, just because many consumers do not know about terpenes. Terpenes are a great thing to have in your tincture and are not harmful.
If a CBD tincture does not have any mentions of being lab tested on the label – do not buy it. Products that are lab tested are tested for purity to ensure that no toxins, chemicals or unwanted elements are in the product.
How to Use CBD Tinctures
CBD tinctures are very easy to use. Always shake the bottle well first. Then, fill the dropper all of the way. Next, empty the dropper under your tongue. Hold the liquid under your tongue for 1 to 2 minutes, then swallow.
Try not to take a tincture without food in your stomach. Some formulas are very rich and may cause stomach upset or excess gas (burps). With food on your stomach, it’s less likely to cause these minor aggravations. For those with digestive issues, having something on your stomach no matter what medication you take is ideal – it acts as a buffer.
Benefits of CBD Tinctures
Tinctures work fast. If you should have a sudden onset of anxiety, pain or can’t fall asleep, tinctures do work well. Typically, the sublingual absorption of the CBD liquid starts to relieve symptoms within a few minutes. For those with seizure disorders, it is not ideal to take the tincture during a seizure because you may not be able to control your motions, so choking may occur. It is best to wait until the seizure is over or take it a soon as you feel your symptoms (warning signs) coming on.
CBD tinctures can be taken as often as needed. If you are attempting to control symptoms of a chronic ailment, such as inflammation and/or seizures, it is ideal to use CBD tinctures daily – and start your day with a dose.