What to Look For in a CBD Tincture

By Melis­sa Sturgess

So, you’ve com­plete­ly over­done it dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son and you are over­due (par­don the pun) for some New Year’s Res­o­lu­tions that will get you swift­ly back in shape and on your A game.  You have some sol­id plans to make the start of the new decade your best year yet, and you’ve been read­ing up on how to set res­o­lu­tions that you can keep and part of this is try­ing to get to grips with a decent self-care rou­tine.  You’ve also pos­si­bly been watch­ing, with inter­est, the mete­oric rise in the num­ber of CBD prod­ucts that have become avail­able over the past year or so and won­der­ing how this might fit into your plans.

If you’ve been curi­ous about try­ing a CBD tinc­ture or oil, but you just have no idea where to start or you’ve tried a few and you can’t work out what all the fuss is about then read on.  I hope this will help you.

To start off let’s do a lit­tle refresh­er on CBD.  CBD stands for cannabid­i­ol, one of more than 100 so far known cannabi­noids which can be found in the cannabis plant.  CBD will not get you high and there is an increas­ing body of knowl­edge about CBD show­ing that it can assist with anx­i­ety, sleep, improved mood, bet­ter diges­tion and a host of oth­er ‘well­ness’ issues that we all seem to expe­ri­ence in the mod­ern world.  CBD inter­acts with a par­tic­u­lar set of recep­tors in the body, called endo­cannabi­noid recep­tors, to help the body’s nat­ur­al sys­tems restore bal­ance in all these areas.  CBD acts as a boost­er to the body’s own nat­ur­al sys­tems when they are not cop­ing with the stress­es and strains of a busy or demand­ing life.

One of the best ways to ingest CBD is to use a tinc­ture, plac­ing drops of oil under the tongue.  This will get it into the body’s sys­tem quick­ly so that you can get max­i­mum ben­e­fits, fast.

If you think a CBD tinc­ture is worth try­ing, or you have tried a few and not found one that gives you any results then do a quick check below to see if your choice meets these cri­te­ria and that you are tak­ing the tinc­ture cor­rect­ly:

Clear infor­ma­tion about for­mu­la­tion strength

All CBD is not alike.  Read labels very care­ful­ly – you will find that some tinc­tures will have almost no CBD in them and this may be why you are not get­ting any results.  Do the cal­cu­la­tions – work out how many mg of CBD you will be get­ting per drop and there­fore how many drops you will need to take.  A dose of 8–10mg twice a day will be an ide­al start­ing place.

Clear infor­ma­tion about for­mu­la­tion ingre­di­ents

Some CBD tinc­tures have only CBD, some have CBD and oth­er cannabi­noids, some have ter­penes (the things that give flavour and addi­tion­al effect to the tinc­ture), they are mixed in dif­fer­ent oils (MCT oil or olive oil for exam­ple).  You have a right to know exact­ly what you are tak­ing so that if it does work you can buy the exact same thing again and if it doesn’t work you can avoid that par­tic­u­lar for­mu­la­tion or brand.

A sci­en­tif­ic basis for the for­mu­la­tion

This is a big one for me.  You will read about full spec­trum CBD, broad spec­trum CBD and CBD iso­late.  They are all dif­fer­ent.  Full spec­trum CBD con­tains a range of cannabi­noids (with very low lev­els of THC, the psy­choac­tive part of the plant) and ter­penes con­tained in the cannabis plant.  It will usu­al­ly be a dark colour and taste quite bit­ter and earthy.  Broad spec­trum is essen­tial­ly a dis­tilled ver­sion of a full spec­trum plant, with unde­tectable amounts of THC, and can be near­ly colour­less and taste a bit bet­ter than a full spec­trum prod­uct.  Iso­late has no THC, no taste and is clear.

There is a lot of media atten­tion on full spec­trum as the ‘best’ form of CBD.  This is debat­able for a cou­ple of rea­sons.  First­ly, it means that the user will nev­er be able to get EXACTLY the same prod­uct time after time.  Each cannabis plant is sub­tly dif­fer­ent and there­fore each batch of full spec­trum tinc­ture will be sub­tly dif­fer­ent (even if it is the same brand).  Sec­ond­ly there is, so far, quite a lot of research on CBD and less on the oth­er cannabi­noids and so I believe it is safer to stick what the sci­ence is uncov­er­ing – and that is large­ly about CBD at this point in time.

I do believe in the effi­ca­cy of ter­penes and so have a look to see if the prod­uct you want to buy has some added.  Ter­penes are the active mol­e­cules in many of the herbs we use in the nat­ur­al heal­ing and aro­mather­a­py worlds.  They can be very ben­e­fi­cial and are some­thing I have spent a lot of time work­ing on over the past cou­ple of years.

Third-par­ty lab test­ing to ensure there are no harm­ful ele­ments in the prod­uct

This is pret­ty impor­tant.  As all CBD tinc­tures are essen­tial­ly a con­cen­trat­ed ver­sion of what is in the cannabis plant you want to make sure you are NOT also get­ting a con­cen­trat­ed dose of heavy met­als and pes­ti­cides along with your CBD!  A good brand will either pro­vide details of the third par­ty tests on its web­site or it will make them avail­able if you ask.


Your deci­sion about full spec­trum or iso­late or some­thing in between may be dri­ven by the taste of the for­mu­la­tion.  Some peo­ple don’t mind the taste of full spec­trum tinc­ture.  I per­son­al­ly don’t like it one lit­tle bit.  I take my evening dose of CBD last thing at night, before turn­ing out my read­ing light, and I hate wak­ing in the morn­ing with the after taste of full spec­trum CBD.  But that’s just me.


I’ve been work­ing in the med­ical cannabis and CBD are­na for the past 2 and a bit years and I am a self-con­fessed CBD well­ness devo­tee.  If you have any ques­tions on CBD at all, please don’t hes­i­tate to get in touch.  You can find me on the email below or any of my Socials.  Hap­py New CBD Year.

Melis­sa Sturgess