Are you thinking of trying CBD, but aren’t quite sure where to start?
You’re not alone.
As the CBD industry continues to boom, CBD products are appearing everywhere—in your local coffee shop, at the Walgreens on the corner, or even by the register at your gas station.
With all the products out there, it can be hard to choose which one to try, or know how it can actually help you.
For beginners, a CBD tincture is the perfect place to start.
It’s no wonder that 44% of CBD users prefer using a tincture, according to a 2019 survey by the investment banking company Cowen.
We’ll walk you through all the ways a CBD tincture can improve your life, backed by science.
1. You Want Something Fast-Acting
If you’re on the go, you don’t have time to wait for the relief from your CBD to kick in. You certainly don’t have the two hours necessary for some topical products, like lotions and ointments, or edibles to interact with your body.
On the other hand, the effects of CBD oil from a tincture can be felt within fifteen minutes if taken sublingually (meaning “under the tongue”). When CBD is taken sublingually, it’s absorbed through the blood vessels under the tongue instead of through the digestive tract.
A 2011 study revealed taking CBD sublingually is “generally much faster and more efficient,” and increases the overall amount of CBD that is absorbed by the body. This is due to the large surface area of the floor of the mouth that CBD comes in contact with.
For best results, hold the CBD oil under your tongue for at least 60 seconds before swallowing.
2. You Want a Product That's Easy to Use
Because CBD tinctures are equipped with their own measurement system, dosing is easy and convenient. Simply lift and squeeze the head of the dropper to empty it, submerge the tip in the CBD oil, then release and watch the CBD rise until it fills the dropper completely.
A full dropper equates to a 1mL dose, but be aware the amount of CBD is dependent on how potent your tincture is. For example, a mL drop from a 200mg tincture of CBD is only equal to 7mg of CBD, while a 2,000mg CBD tincture packs 67mg of CBD into each 1mL drop. Check each product listing on PHD Organics to clearly see the amount of milligrams of CBD per full dropper.
With a CBD tincture, you have many different options for consumption. While the sublingual method promises the fastest results, CBD oil can also be added to any food or beverage, such as into baked goods, a morning cup of coffee, or a post-workout smoothie. Create your own custom topical products by mixing CBD oil into your favorite lotions and creams.
3. You Want to Relieve Aches and Pains
CBD possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can provide relief for many health issues, such as osteoarthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), epilepsy, and Parkinson’s disease .
In a 2018 clinical study , researchers gave CBD to dogs with osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. As a result, “veterinary assessment showed decreased pain” as well as an increase in activity and mobility with no adverse side effects.
The evidence is promising for the estimated 32.5 million Americans that suffer from osteoarthritis (OA), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC ).
Athletes also gravitate towards CBD for a variety of health benefits, including relieving pain, reducing inflammation, and improving sleep and gut health.
Chris Carmichael, CEO of Carmichael Training Systems (CTS) and former professional cyclist, elaborates on the benefits of CBD for athletes on his site Train Right. Carmichael explains how too much inflammation can negatively impact an athlete’s recovery and performance, but when CBD binds to CB2 receptors in the body, it “[helps] to dial down the response when your immune system sounds the alarm after hard workouts.”
CBD is also a great alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like ibuprofen and Aleve, or addictive pain-relieving opioids, notes Carmichael.
Furthermore, CBD is safe to use, non-addictive, and not psychoactive like THC; CBD is even supported as a tool for addiction management.
4. You Want to Sleep Deeper
If you suffer from insomnia or simply want to achieve deeper, higher quality sleep, CBD oil can help.
A 2019 case series in an outpatient facility in Fort Collins, CO measured the effects of CBD on patient’s anxiety and sleep scores. In terms of sleep, researchers found “sleep scores improved within the first month in 48 patients (66.7%).” Considering the dosage was low, with patients taking between only 25-175mg of CBD daily (clinical doses can range from 300-600mg), the results are impressive.
Additionally, CBD’s interaction with the body-wide signaling system known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been studied closely as a treatment for insomnia.
A literature review exploring the influence of the ECS on sleep concluded the ECS plays a “critical” role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle, and can be influenced by cannabinoids, or active ingredients in cannabis, such as CBD.
Researchers also pointed out CBD can help users with anxiety to reach previously blocked REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, the deepest stage of sleep in which dreams occur.
According to TIME, REM sleep can affect “how accurately people can read emotions and process external stimuli,” including fear response. Additionally, TIME reports poor-quality REM sleep has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and depression.
5. You Want to Reduce Feelings of Anxiety and Depression
If you experience anxious or depressing feelings, CBD may be a good fit for you; the anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and antidepressant properties of CBD have been extensively studied.
Research supports the use of CBD for a variety of anxiety and anxiety-related disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), just to name a few.
In the Colorado case series mentioned earlier, “anxiety scores decreased within the first month in 57 patients (79.2%) and remained decreased during the study duration,” providing patients with long-term relief at relatively low doses.
Additionally, in a study in Japan where teenagers with social anxiety disorder (SAD) were given CBD, the CBD was found to “significantly reduce” the teens’ anxiety across multiple measurements.
For those suffering from depression, which often co-occurs with other disorders , an animal study revealed CBD behaves similarly to antidepressants like imipramine by interacting with serotonin receptors in the brain.
Furthermore, the terpenes and waxes pulled out during the extraction process are also included in CBD tinctures. Terpenes have also been found to behave similarly to antidepressants such as Prozac and Elavil by influencing activity related to “happy hormones” serotonin and dopamine, and norepinephrine (part of the body’s stress response), notes cannabis resource Medical Jane.
When terpenes, cannabinoids (such as THC and CBD), and other parts of the cannabis plant are taken together, the “entourage effect” suggests the therapeutic potential is higher.
The theory, based on synergy between the components, boasts benefits such as the ability to target more areas of the body, further absorb ingredients, fight off bad bacteria, and cancel out negative side effects. For example, CBD is known to reduce paranoia and anxiety associated with THC use.
Over to You
The case for CBD tinctures is as follows:
CBD tinctures are fast, safe, and easy to use.
Studies support the use of CBD to relieve aches and pains by reducing inflammation; CBD can help those with health issues such as osteoarthritis, or athletes that are looking to up their game with better recovery and performance.
CBD can help users reach valuable deep REM sleep, which may help prevent the development of Alzheimer’s and depression.
Multiple studies have explored CBD’s positive impact on anxiety and depression, and research indicates CBD behaves similarly to existing antidepressant medications.
CBD tinctures also contain terpenes and waxes from the cannabis plant that work in collaboration with cannabinoids through the “entourage effect,” increasing their overall therapeutic potential.
If any of these outcomes appeal to you, a CBD tincture may be just what you need.
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, July 27). Osteoarthritis (OA). Retrieved October 23, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/osteoarthritis.htm
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About the Author
Lily Kiepke is a freelance writer and blogger based in the Denver metropolitan area. She enjoys using CBD to relieve anxiety and improve sleep. When she is not writing about cannabis, she can be found hiking in the Rocky Mountains or curled up with a good true crime book.