I only use cannabis tinctures and these 5 CBD oils are my favorite – Leafly

As a cannabis journalist, I’ve tried several tinctures (liquid cannabis extracts), but after being hospitalized last July for an esophagus-related health issue, I started using hemp and cannabis oils exclusively. To be clear: my hospitalization was in no way caused by consuming cannabis, but my recent health issues have required me to switch from inhaling cannabis to ingesting it.


Cannabis tinctures 101: What are they, how to make them, and how to use them

Below are my five favorite hemp and cannabis CBD tinctures, along with their pros, cons, and what health issues and occasions I like to use them for. I’ve found that several of my picks can effectively help treat the same health issues, so the best CBD oil for you will probably boil down to personal preference.

Most of my recommendations are created by companies that are very transparent about having their products tested for safety and potency, and half of the picks below ship all over the United States as well. That said, my personal favorites are the Rosebud CBD oil and Uplift CBD oil by Humboldt Apothecary.

What I use it for: Reducing anxiety, managing stress, sleeping well, relieving pain, and increasing focus

Pros: Smells deliciously like weed, and the bottle cap design is fantastic—it’s one of  the most leak-proof CBD oils in this list. This pick is rigorously tested for safety and potency, and Rosebud makes their test results available to the public. Each Rosebud CBD oil purchase comes with a handy dosing chart as well. Also, Rosebud ships anywhere in the United States.

Cons: The bottles are on the smaller side, but the company might be changing that soon.


Are you getting the CBD you paid for? We put 47 products to the test

While Rosebud CBD oil may be helpful for those treating pain, I’ve found it to be the most effective at reducing anxiety, managing stress, increasing focus, and promoting a good night’s sleep. This is my favorite CBD oil overall; it’s the tincture I reach for when I want to unwind but I also want to remain 100% sober, and it’s also what I take when I’m struggling to focus on an article. (I actually took a dose right before I started writing this piece, because my anxiety was stealing my focus.)

I love how quickly it reduces my anxiety, and I appreciate that it helps me decompress after a long day. As someone who misses being able to light up, I also thoroughly enjoy that this tincture smells more like weed than any other tincture I’ve used. The dosing chart that comes with every Rosebud CBD oil order (and lives on the Rosebud website) is super helpful as well. Plus, Rosebud is a woman-founded company.

Also good to know: this pick contains no additives, preservatives, or fillers, and it only has two ingredients: certified organic MCT (coconut) oil, and organically grown hemp extract. It’s also a full-spectrum hemp extract that’s been third-party lab tested for cannabinoid profile and potency, terpenes profile, bacteria and mold, pesticides and solvents, and heavy metals. Additionally, it’s vegan and gluten-free, containing less than 0.3% THC.

What I use it for: Managing pain and boosting mood

Pros: Eases my most severe pain (migraines, menstrual cramps, etc.) relatively quickly, and provides a noticeable mood boost without impairment. Plus, all Humboldt Apothecary products go through third-party lab testing.

Cons: The bottle cap design isn’t great—this oil will leak if you’re not careful. Also, this option is currently only available in California.


What types of pain can cannabidiol (CBD) treat?

All of the tinctures featured in this list are likely to help relieve pain, but Humboldt Apothecary Uplift CBD is hands down the best option for managing pain and boosting mood. When I recently woke up with a migraine, one 0.5ml dose of this stuff took all of my pain away in about 60 to 90 minutes. This is also my go-to pain reliever when I’m suffering from menstrual cramps. Since it’s a 1:1, I also enjoy taking this tincture for fun on some nights and weekends, or when I’m feeling blue.

The only real cons to this tincture are it’s currently not available for purchase outside of California, and the bottle cap’s design could use some work. (If you’re not careful, this pick will definitely leak.) When I take it with me on the go, I always screw the cap on tightly and store the bottle in an upright position, but even that doesn’t guarantee a leak-free experience.


What’s the difference between CBD derived from hemp and cannabis?

One full dropper of this pick (1ml) contains 4.2mg of CBD and 4.2mg of THC, but since I’m currently in a microdosing phase, I typically stick with 0.5ml doses.

Also good to know: this tincture is made with whole flower, and it’s sugar-free, gluten-free, alcohol-free, and vegan.

What I use it for: Reducing anxiety, managing stress, sleeping well, relieving pain, and increasing focus

Pros: Works beautifully for easing anxiety and managing stress, and I’ve used it for pain management and sleep issues as well. It also smells and tastes delicious, and the bottle cap design is one of the most leak-proof on this list. Plus, Populum is packed with antioxidants and ships anywhere in the United States. Populum CBD oil is also third-party lab tested for quality, and the company makes their lab reports available to the public.

Cons: Might not be ideal for people who don’t like added flavoring.

Although Populum’s CBD oil has absolutely helped me manage pain, I like it best for managing anxiety and stress. I also like to take it for fun on weekends, or anytime when social anxiety might become a problem. On two separate occasions, I’ve taken a full dropper (17mg) before attending my favorite local festivals, and it significantly helped mitigate the anxiety and overstimulation I typically experience in large crowds. I’ve found that a full dropper of this pick feels fantastic, but I usually take a smaller dose if I know I’ll be working on an article.

The cold-pressed orange oil adds a nice citrus flavor that I enjoy, but since I generally prefer to consume CBD oils without added flavors, I usually reach for Rosebud CBD oil over this one. (That’s just my personal preference, however, and shouldn’t deter you from giving Populum a try.)


CBD Tincture for Beginners

Also good to know: Populum CBD oil is non-GMO and gluten-free. Because it contains grape seed oil and hempseed oil in addition to full-spectrum hemp extract, coconut oil, and cold-pressed orange oil, it offers omega-6 fatty acids and antioxidants.

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?Magic Monday? Autumn Equinox Manifesting Ritual? . On this day, there’s equal day and equal night. A natural balance of light + dark, warm + cool, memories of past + daydreams of the future. This is a day to reminisce on the past, release what’s no longer serving you, and ruminate on what’s to come. It’s a day for manifesting. It’s a day for TONIC OG + Carnelian☯️? . There’s a reason why the symbol of OG is a yin-yang. It brings you back to that sweet balance your mind, body & soul are always craving. The synergistic CBD+Ashwagandha combo calms those racing thoughts and helps you drop back into yourself with a confident knowing. It lets your guard down and allows creativity through, to bring you to that sweet space of endless possibilities. That space is what propels your manifestations into reality. . Ever heard the saying, ‘The vibration of desperation blocks manifestation’? It’s difficult to not feel a bit desperate when you want something you don’t have.. yet? What helps is to be PLAYFUL about it. Carnelian helps you tap into that child-like sense of imagination and wonder, bringing forth a vision of your life that you may never have thought possible. . Whatever it is you’re trying to manifest use carnelian to help EXPAND it. @tiatag says, ‘take your idea out of the box and let it grow to infinite potential.’ There’s no shortage of abundance in this beautiful world unless you’re approaching life with a lack mentality. Release the stories you’re telling yourself that there’s not enough for you/you have to compete to get it/you’re not deserving. You’re a badass motherfucking manifester. Don’t prove it to the world, prove it to yourself. . Write it all down. How would you feel if this all came true and this is your life now? Step into it & truly feel it. You got this. . Shoutout to @jenmazer for teaching me to expand my dreams & have fun along the way??‍♀️ . with love + magic, @hayllianais

A post shared by TONIC (@tonic_cbd) on

What I use it for: Reducing anxiety, managing stress, sleeping well, and increasing focus

Pros: Full-spectrum, organic, and sun-grown in the US, TONIC OG works like a charm to ease anxiety and reduce stress while also improving focus and promoting a good night’s rest. It’s also packed with cortisol-reducing Ashwagandha root extract and antioxidant-rich black seed oil. The bottle cap design is one of the most leak-proof on this list, and TONIC ships to all 50 US states. Plus, TONIC is lab-tested for potency and safety, and their lab reports are available to the public.

Cons: Might not be ideal for people who don’t like added flavoring.

I used TONIC OG last spring when I was job hunting after being laid off. Not only did it help me manage the severe anxiety and stress I was dealing with during the job hunting process, TONIC OG also helped me stay as calm and focused as possible after I got a new writing job. I would take half a dropper before each shift, and it always worked beautifully to help me manage my performance anxiety. I also used it to help me fall asleep and stay asleep on work nights, since new job jitters were interfering with my ability to rest.


Does CBD help or hinder sleep?

Additionally, TONIC OG contains Ashwagandha root extract, which has been shown to lower cortisol levels while also boosting focus and improving mental clarity. It contains organic maple syrup and black seed oil as well, and the latter has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Personally, I now prefer CBD oils with shorter ingredients lists that don’t contain added flavoring. But if you like the taste of maple syrup and you’re looking for a CBD oil that can double as an antioxidant-rich supplement, TONIC OG might be for you. (My sister is a very loyal customer, so it really just comes down to personal taste.)

What I use it for: Reducing anxiety, managing stress, sleeping well, and increasing focus

Pros: This pick is a full-spectrum CBD extract and it works great for managing stress, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping. Plus, while it does contain some THC, its THC content is so low that novice cannabis consumers should feel comfortable using it.

Cons: I don’t love the bottle cap’s design—it’s definitely not as leak-proof as it could be. Also, this tincture is currently only available in California, and I couldn’t find much information regarding Care By Design’s testing process or lab results. Dosage details aren’t as clear as they could be for this tincture either.


Seven ways to make sure you get the CBD you paid for

While I enjoy this tincture and feel like it does everything I expect a good, CBD-dominant cannabis tincture to do (reduce anxiety and stress, increase focus, promote a good night’s sleep, help relieve pain, etc.), Care By Design’s 18:1 tincture is my least favorite for one simple reason: I couldn’t find much information regarding Care By Design’s testing process or lab results. It’s also true that this pick’s dosage details aren’t as clear as they could be, which isn’t ideal.

That said, I wouldn’t have included this product if it didn’t yield positive results; and my mom and sister have also tried this pick and enjoyed it.


Elizabeth Enochs's Bio Image

Elizabeth Enochs

Elizabeth Enochs is a Los Angeles-based writer and journalist from a small town in Missouri that you’ve probably never heard of. Liz writes about everything from cannabis culture to animal welfare. You can read more of her work over at The Green Plate, Bustle, Girlboss, The Dodo, Mercy For Animals, and a few others.

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