If you’re on the hunt for a great CBD product, you may have noticed that you have lots of choices. Not only are there different types of products — including oils, gummies, lotions, and even beauty products — but there are also different types of CBD.

Although CBD isolate, broad-spectrum CBD, and full-spectrum CBD each have their own unique qualities, full-spectrum CBD is the only one that has all compounds of the cannabis plant, including both cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). That may make it particularly beneficial, thanks to the entourage effect.

Read on to learn more about the benefits of full-spectrum CBD and get our take on some of the best full-spectrum CBD tinctures out there.

While the term “CBD tincture” is often used interchangeably with “CBD oil,” the two are actually different.

Tinctures are made by soaking cannabis in alcohol, while oils are made by suspending CBD in a carrier oil, like olive oil or coconut oil.

Read more about CBD tinctures vs. CBD oils.

The entourage effect is a theory that CBD works better when it’s combined with other parts of the Cannabis plant. That can include other cannabinoids (like THC), terpenes, and flavonoids.

While research is ongoing, some studies support this theory.

A 2018 study compared the effects of CBD-rich cannabis extracts and CBD isolate extracts in people with refractory epilepsy. Participants appeared to respond better with CBD-rich cannabis extracts at a lower dosage than they did with purified or CBD isolate extracts. The study authors believed the mixture of CBD and THC created an entourage effect, resulting in a more potent extract.

Full-spectrum CBD is unique because it’s the only type of CBD that contains everything found in the Cannabis plant. That means that, if you’re looking to reap the benefits of the entourage effect, it may be the best choice.

We chose these products based on criteria that the manufacturers are prioritizing safety and quality and are honest about their products.

Each product in this article:

  • is made by a company that provides proof of third-party testing by an ISO 17025-compliant lab
  • is made by a company that’s transparent about where their hemp is grown
  • contains no more than 0.3 percent THC, according to the certificate of analysis (COA)
  • passes tests for pesticides, heavy metals, and molds, according to the COA

We also considered:

  • certifications and manufacturing processes
  • product potency
  • overall ingredients
  • indicators of user trust and brand reputation, such as:

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $45
  • $$ = $45–$70
  • $$$ = over $70

Best unflavored full-spectrum CBD tincture

RE Botanicals Hemp CBD Tincture Full Spectrum Classic

  • Price: $$$
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 2,500 mg per 100-mL bottle
  • COA: available online

Just two simple ingredients make up this tincture: coconut oil and hemp extract. The COA shows small amounts of THC, cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabinol (CBN).

RE Botanicals is U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) certified organic, which is hard to find in the CBD world. While many companies use organic farming practices, the USDA certification gives you an extra layer of quality assurance.

In addition to ensuring high quality ingredients, RE Botanicals donates 1 percent of sales to regenerative agriculture to help farmers create healthier soils.

Best flavored full-spectrum CBD tincture

Joy Organics Organic CBD Oil, Tropical Sunrise

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 900 mg per 30-mL bottle
  • COA: available online

Natural coconut and pineapple flavors give this full-spectrum tincture a pleasantly tropical taste, and Joy Organics still manages to keep the ingredients simple.

In addition to MCT oil and hemp extract, this tincture is made with sunflower oil, natural flavors, and stevia. It’s also USDA certified organic.

Reviewers have nothing but positive things to say about this tincture, with many praising the flavor and texture.

Best high potency full-spectrum CBD tincture

Lazarus Naturals High Potency CBD Tincture

  • Price: $
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 1,500 mg per 30-mL bottle
  • COA: available on product page

According to the COA, this tincture contains beta-caryophyllene and humulene, two potentially beneficial terpenes.

While more research is needed, a 2016 review of research suggested that beta-caryophyllene may have anti-cancer and pain-relieving properties.

As with all CBD tinctures, this one is made using ethanol (alcohol) extraction. One drawback to ethanol extraction is that it can leave trace amounts of solvents behind. However, Lazarus Naturals tests all its products for residual solvents to make sure you aren’t ingesting anything that could be dangerous.

This particular tincture is unflavored, but it also comes in French vanilla mocha and chocolate mint flavors.

The company offers assistance programs for veterans, people with long-term medical disabilities, and people from low income households.

There are a lot of claims about the benefits of CBD. Apart from anecdotal evidence, here’s what research backs up.

Pain management

There are multiple studies that link CBD with improved pain management. A 2018 review of studies examining cannabis (including both CBD and THC) and pain between 1975 and early 2018 concluded that CBD may help relieve pain related to cancer, neuropathy, and fibromyalgia.

Similarly, a 2020 review noted that animal studies have shown CBD to relieve pain and inflammation. However, it cautions that more human studies are needed to confirm CBD’s effects.

Anxiety and sleep

Research from 2019 reviewed CBD’s efficacy for anxiety and sleep. The study looked at the effects of 25 mg of CBD per day in 72 adults, with 79.2 percent reporting lower anxiety levels and 66.7 percent experiencing better sleep after 4 weeks of use.

Other studies indicate CBD may help moderate anxiety during public speaking and reduce anxiety levels overall.

Keep in mind that, even though CBD shows promise as a complementary treatment for certain conditions, as well as helping people sleep better and manage pain, it still requires more research.

There’s only one FDA approved CBD medication, which is approved to treat two types of seizures associated with epilepsy. Currently, there are no FDA approved over-the-counter CBD products, and the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD the same way it does supplements and other over-the-counter medications.

That’s why it’s important to do research to find the best quality CBD products.

The first thing you’ll want to do is check for a COA. This should be from a reputable third-party lab, and it should be up to date — usually no more than 12 months old.

You can use the COA to verify that the product actually contains the amount of CBD and THC as the label says it does. The COA will also tell you whether the product has passed contaminant testing.

Additionally, look for a company that’s transparent about how it makes its products and where it sources its hemp. The more information it can provide to you, the better.

If you’re still uncertain about whether you can trust a brand, browse any reviews you can find about them, and do a Google search to see whether they’ve been involved in any lawsuits. Another warning sign is if the company is making false health claims and has been given an FDA warning letter.

CBD exists in various forms. You’ve probably seen it in oils, tinctures, creams, pills, and gummies.

While pills and gummies are pretty self-explanatory, tinctures can be a little more mystifying. But don’t worry — they’re easy to use. You can add them to food or drinks, or you can place them under your tongue and hold them there for up to 1 minute before swallowing.

Dosage

Figuring out the correct dosage for you will depend on:

  • your body weight
  • the concentration of the CBD you’re taking
  • the reason you’re taking it

Make sure to follow the directions on the bottle. If you’re uncertain, it’s best to be cautious and take the smallest dosage recommended. Once you understand how your body reacts to this amount, you can gradually increase it over time.

According to the World Health Organization, CBD is generally considered safe. But it’s still important to take precautions and discuss any medications, vitamins, or supplements you’re taking with your doctor. Some medications can negatively interact with CBD.

In rare circumstances, some people may experience side effects from CBD. These can include:

  • fatigue
  • diarrhea
  • changes in appetite
  • changes in weight

It’s advised to avoid ingesting CBD with higher fat meals. A 2020 study found that there was an increased risk of higher CBD concentrations in the bloodstream when CBD was taken with a high fat meal. This can increase your chances of side effects.

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, don’t take CBD.

What’s full-spectrum CBD tincture used for?

People use full-spectrum CBD tincture for all sorts of issues, ranging from pain to anxiety and more. While limited research shows that it may be helpful, more research is needed to say for sure.

What’s the strongest CBD tincture you can get?

CBD tinctures range from low potency (less than 15 mg per mL) to high potency (more than 50 mg per mL). You can find CBD oils with as much as 100 mg of CBD per mL of product.

The difference is in the way each product is made. While CBD oils are made by extracting CBD through carbon dioxide extraction and then infusing it in a carrier oil, CBD tinctures are made by soaking CBD in alcohol.

Whether it’s your first time taking CBD or you have experience, it’s helpful to be well informed about the products you buy. Look for a tincture that comes with a clear, comprehensive COA.

If you take any medications, consult your doctor before adding CBD to your regimen.

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 percent THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3 percent 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.

Giselle Castro is a freelance writer who lives in New York. She’s been published in Shape, Fitness, Women’s Health, and Hip Latina, among other sites. She is an avid runner and ran the New York City Marathon in 2019. She is passionate about wellness and fitness, and hopes to influence others through her writing.