CBD’s popularity with the general public has skyrocketed in the last few years. With that boom, the number of products available has also soared, leaving some consumers to ask, “What’s the difference?”. One such instance of this is CBD capsules vs oil, which is better? What are the benefits?
There are multiple factors that weigh in on the answer to these questions. You need to consider your individual reason for taking the product and your overall wellness goals first, so you can combine the right product with the benefits you are looking for with the right consumption method.
In this article we dive deep into what CBD actually is, the benefits of both CBD capsules and CBD oils, the differences between them, and why you may want to take one over the other!
What is CBD?
Before we can define what each product is, you should have a little background on what CBD itself actually is.
CBD is a cannabinoid, which is a compound that naturally occurs in the cannabis plant. While CBD might be new to you, the more infamous cannabinoid, THC, probably isn’t. THC is responsible for the psychoactive effects that is normally associated with smoking the plant.
CBD will not get you high without the presence of THC, but has many of the same health benefits and acts in the body similarly.
In order to take CBD without the THC present, an extraction process is required. The gold standard is a CO2 extraction process, but there are several others often used. Depending on how this process is finished, you can either end up with an isolate product or a wax concentrate.
What is CBD Oil?
It’s likely that the CBD product you are familiar with is CBD Oil. This is the first way that CBD was produced and packaged for the retail consumer and is still the most widespread.
To make CBD Oil the substance that you’re left with after the extraction process is combined with a carrier oil such as a MCT Oil. If a high-quality carrier oil is used you are left with a product that has both the health benefits of CBD and that of the oil.
The result is an oily substance that you take by placing the dropper of oil under your tongue. By holding the oil there for about 90 seconds before swallowing, a lot the CBD is absorbed directly into your bloodstream via the mucus membranes found in that area.
What is in CBD Capsules?
Most adults have taken a capsule before, many medications and pain relievers can be found in gel cap form. CBD brands started doing this because of the ease of use and familiarity it brought to their products and the average consumer.
The gelatin substance that is used to suspend the CBD protects and preserves the cannabinoids until it reaches your digestive track.
Brands like Joy Organics have started adding other beneficial substances to the gelatin. They have a product that incorporates curcumin, a substance often used for joint health and reducing inflammation. Combine with the inflammation fighting properties of CBD this can be a powerful combination for those suffering from arthritis or athletes fighting the daily strain of tough workouts.
Benefits of CBD Oils
There are a few key reasons that CBD oils are still the most popular way to ingest CBD, despite all the other delivery methods that have been developed. In fact, most of the other methods have been developed specifically to overcome the objections people have to taking oils.
By far the biggest benefit of CBD oils is the bioavailability. Bioavailability is a term used to described how easy it is for the body to use a substance ingested and how much of that substance makes it to the cells and bloodstream.
CBD oil has two benefits when it comes to bioavailability. The first comes from the sublingual ingestion method. When the CBD is absorbed by the mucus membranes under your tongue it is absorbed directly into your bloodstream and bypasses the digestive system.
Most MCT oils, including olive, grapeseed, coconut and avocado oils have the benefit of bypassing the digestive system and going right to the liver.
Both of these factors give CBD oil an enormous advantage over something like a CBD Capsule that has to be digested before reaching the liver, the bloodstream, and being shuttled to cells.
Variety of Concentrations
CBD oil was the first way that CBD was consumed for health purposes, and is still by far the most widespread way to take the product.
This allows you to choose from a huge number of companies. The terpene profile of different strains of hemp can change the way a CBD oil affects you, so this allows you to try different brands until you find one you really enjoy and works to treat your malady.
You can also get a wide variety of dosing strengths this way. One of our favorite brands, Charlotte’s Web, produces oils in 7mg, 17mg, and 60mg doses.
A user taking CBD for the first time would likely take the 7mgs to find out how CBD affects them. We take the 17mg version before bed to help us sleep and fight inflammation overnight. Someone who suffers from chronic inflammation may prefer the 60mg to help with the pain.
We do recommend you only try CBD from trusted brands. Our list includes only brands that we’ve vetted, have great track records, make 3rd party lab tests available, and that we’ve tried ourselves.
Benefits of CBD Capsules
After oil started to become a popular product capsules were almost inevitably going to follow. So much of our medicine already comes in pill or gel cap form anyway.
CBD capsules have several key benefits that make them appealing for some users as well, with only just a few drawbacks.
Ease of Use
Many of us have been taking medicine, supplements or vitamins in gel cap form since childhood and know it is as simple as swallowing the pill. If you take other vitamins or medication you can simply add a CBD capsule to the pills you already take.
There is no guessing how much CBD you’ll be getting with a gel cap as the packaging will clearing state dosing. Most brands will sell a package and advertise the total milligrams of CBD per package, but often they also list per capsule. If they don’t, it’s easy to divide the total milligrams by the number of capsules to find the amount per cap.
CBDFx and most other top brands will list both!
Travel and Ease of Discretion
The laws surround CBD, hemp and all cannabis related products are still very much in flux in the United States. If you are traveling and unsure the laws surrounding CBD in the area you are visiting, then gel caps are a good option.
Regular consumption is also less noticeable with gel caps, you can easily take one in the middle of the day with water and most people wouldn’t think much about it.
While a lot has been done to improve the taste and texture of CBD oil it still tends to have a woodsy, bitter taste to it. Some people also struggle with using the substance under their tongue.
As you would guess, CBD capsules have no taste and are no different than any other pill.
Final Thoughts on CBD Capsules vs CBD Oils
Final Answer: They are both great products with different benefits and drawbacks.
CBD oil has a much higher bioavailability and you have a lot more options for concentrations, flavors, and brands than with CBD capsules. Capsules have the benefit of being extremely easy to take and dose, are very inconspicuous and have no bitter aftertaste.
With the information you now have you can make a better decision as too which is the right product for you! Most of the time we prefer oils, but do have a package of capsules for times we’re on the go!