This article helps explain the use of CBD, why you might consider it, and the difference between CBD oil vs capsule form. There's so many ways to take CBD oil. We compare CBD capsules vs. CBD oil so you understand the pros and cons as you're shopping for yourself.
CBD Oil vs CBD Capsules: Which is Best for Your Needs?
Even if you aren’t new to CBD use, you might be a bit confused as to the many products available that contain CBD and how it can be used. You might even wonder what is best for you and your reasons for considering the supplement. Short of buying up a plethora of products, which can get quite pricey, you can always discuss your options with a healthcare provider or begin a bit of research on your own.
This article helps explain the use of CBD, why you might consider it, and the difference between CBD oil vs capsule form. Although the effects are not different, how you take the supplement can be interchangeable based on certain preferences.
- immediate effect overall
- Can easily be added to drinks and food
- Benefits from secondary ingredients
- Breaks down in the digestive tract
- Not as available for use compared to an oil
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabinoid and is an active ingredient in the cannabis family. Found in high amounts in both marijuana and hemp, CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical, and thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill- is legal in all 50 United States. CBD is different than its THC chemical cousin which creates the psychoactive ‘high’ and altered state of mind that is still federally illegal.
Despite the fact that both chemicals are used for medicinal purposes, CBD is a very active ingredient on its own and is used to treat a wide variety of ailments ranging from severe epileptic disorders to anxiety and insomnia. Found in a wide variety of products, it can be used topically, internally, or even inhaled – and is sold as a supplement. Care should be taken, however, to buy quality products that are the third party checked to ensure the label matches the product.
Why Take CBD Supplements?
As mentioned, CBD can work as a supplemental aid for a wide variety of needs. The benefits it provides are still growing as further studies continue to take place, but its most popular use surrounds pain and sleeps support, with anxiety, stress, and depression-related issues a common use as well.
These aren’t the only reasons to begin using it on a regular basis though, especially since it has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. Studies into improved focus and concentration are also being reflected upon, as is the support of asthma relief.
CBD oil is the extracted oil from the hemp and marijuana plants. It is separated from THC when taken from a marijuana plant to make it a legal, consumable substance. This oil is then suspended in a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut or hempseed oil, and sometimes blended with essential oil for both taste and added benefits. Most oils are sold in a dropper or as a spray.
Bioavailability is defined as the active portion of the product that is available for circulation into the bloodstream of the body. How you use CBD determines how much of it you may be getting. Although you can mix oils with foodstuffs, it is suggested that you take it under your tongue in order to take advantage of the sublingual gland.
This gland is located on the floor of your mouth and quickly absorbs into the bloodstream the available ingredients it comes into contact with. This allows you to immediately get a decent percentage of the oil into your system for quicker results, with the rest made available through the digestive process.
CBD has an earthy flavor and the oil is a bit ‘slick’ overall. This may be an issue for some people who are not used to taking oil directly into their mouths, especially if they are holding it for the required 30 to 60 seconds that is suggested for maximum body absorption.
Since it is mixed with coconut oil, and often essential oils, this flavor can be masked somewhat due to the strong scents and subtle flavors of the EO’s being used. Popular flavors include orange, peppermint, and lime. Some companies flavor the oil more strongly and may add a sweetener to make the experience more pleasant.
You may want to read: Top CBD Oil Companies
Taking oil is very convenient. Since they are often sold as a spray or in a dropper bottle it only takes seconds to administer. Of course, you should hold it for 30 to 60 seconds, but that is not considered problematic for too many people.
If you have a sensitive gag reflex or find you cannot handle the taste of the oil blend, this might not be the best option for you. Of course, you also can easily mix it into foodstuffs as well, but you won’t get as much into your bloodstream initially without holding it against the sublingual glands.
Oil can also spill, which might not make it the best option for travel, or if you like to carry it around with you in a purse or bag. It also isn’t incredibly discreet if you are in public and want to administer a dose.
Just like the CBD oil products described above, the capsule is the CBD extract suspended in a capsule, usually in gel form. The only true obvious difference between the two is what they look like and how you take them. There are some more important differences to consider that you cannot see, however, as explained below.
Just like oil, you take a capsule orally, but the difference in your body response is a bit more specific. With the oil, you are taking advantage of the sublingual gland that allows your body to more quickly process the CBD into your bloodstream.
With the capsule, it has to make its way through your digestive system to be broken down before it can make its way into your bloodstream. This process also makes it not quite as available overall. The potency of the oil is reflected in both the gland and digestive system processes, whereas the capsule only has the chance to release through digestion. This makes an oil a favorable choice when you want to take advantage of as much of the CBD benefits as possible.
Obviously, there is no flavor to a capsule that you swallow. For anyone who struggles with taking oil directly, this is a great option to consider.
A capsule is very easy to travel with, you don’t have to worry about spilling and waste, plus it is very discreet overall. They also are very specific with their dosage, and you don’t have to measure out a dropper to ensure you are getting the proper amount.
The biggest downside of a capsule is simply the fact that you may not be taking advantage of its full potential due to any loss that might occur through the digestive system. It also does not enter into your bloodstream as quickly as oil, making it less readily available.
You may want to read: Best CBD Oils
Obviously, how you choose to ingest your CBD is entirely personal and dependent upon your own preferences. CBD oil is more readily available, enters into your bloodstream more quickly, and does allow your body to uptake more of its full potency than a capsule. However, it may have a flavor or texture that is not preferred by the consumer, making the capsule a better option.
CBD Capsules vs. CBD Oil: What’s the Difference?
Since the federal legalization of industrial hemp in late 2018, the cannabidiol (CBD) industry is seeing explosive growth. CBD is now used by millions of Americans to help relieve a number of ailments, including inflammation, chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, depression, and more — and demand appears to be increasing every year. In fact, a recent Forbes Health survey of 2,000 U.S. adults found that 60 percent of respondents have tried a CBD product. While there are many types of CBD supplements available today — from vapes to gummies to lotions — the two most popular are oil preparations and gel capsules . So, which is best for you? Let’s find out by taking a closer look at CBD capsules vs. oil.
CBD Capsules vs. Oil
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oils are arguably the most common and recognizable product on the market today. CBD oil can be extracted from either marijuana or hemp as both are subspecies of cannabis sativa. However, hemp contains much higher levels of CBD compared to marijuana, as well as much lower levels of THC (0.3 percent or less), making it the most likely source.
There are different methods used to extract CBD from the plant — including the golden standard, CO 2 extraction , a “cold” method that doesn’t use harsh chemicals or solvents and avoids the degradation of the extract that can occur with high temperature extraction methods. The result is a thick substance that is full of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytonutrients.
Here are several types of CBD oils available on the market:
is a CBD preparation that contains the majority of cannabis plant compounds, including some THC. The extract is combined with a carrier oil such as MCT, coconut, avocado, olive, or hemp seed oil. Due to the synergistic influence of other cannabis plant compounds, full-spectrum oil carries greater potential for physical or psychological benefits, a phenomenon known as the “entourage effect.”
- Whole plant CBD oil is less refined than full spectrum CBD oil. It contains (you guessed it) an extract from the whole cannabis plant, including fats, waxes, and other fibrous plant material in a carrier oil. (Note: It can be bitter and thus less pleasant in taste compared to full spectrum CBD.)
- Broad spectrum CBD oil is very similar to its full spectrum cousin, with the primary difference being its THC content. It still includes a range of cannabinoids in a carrier oil, but no THC at all.
- CBD isolate is CBD that has been refined to a powder. It contains no other cannabinoids or phytonutrients. It is pure CBD and sometimes added to a carrier oil to make CBD isolate oil. (Note: Because there are no other cannabis compounds present, the entourage effect won’t come into play with the use of CBD isolates alone.)
Pros of CBD Oil
The key advantages to using CBD oil are more controlled dosing and its quick absorption into the body.
- Taking one dose under the tongue (sublingually) ensures a fast delivery of cannabinoids to the bloodstream via the small blood vessels in the mouth. Typically consumers feel the effects within about 20–30 minutes.
- After swallowing the CBD, the remaining cannabinoids pass through the digestive tract (a slower path to the bloodstream), causing a second wave of benefits within two hours.
- CBD oil droppers allow you to decide how much you want to take with each dose. This is especially useful when you’re beginning your CBD regimen, as you can tweak your dose based on the effects you experience, ultimately finding the amount that’s right for you.
- CBD oils are the most versatile as they can be taken sublingually (as suggested), added to food or drinks, or even applied topically.
- Effects should last between 4 and 6 hours.
Cons of CBD Oil
- It may come with a “wood-like” or “earthy” taste, which isn’t appealing to some people. This can make it difficult for them to maintain a daily regimen.
- While the effects of CBD oil will be felt sooner than CBD capsules, they won’t last as long.
- Since it’s an oil preparation, there’s a risk of spills during travel, but this can be avoided if the bottle is packed properly.
What Are CBD Capsules?
CBD capsules were created to make taking CBD oil a convenient and flavorless experience. You may be wondering, “Do CBD capsules contain oil?” Actually, yes. They contain the same oil preparation found in CBD oil supplements, only it’s portioned out in softgel capsules. These can be made from a variety of ingredients, but are often composed of animal bi-products — such as gelatin. For those enjoying a plant based lifestyle, NuLeaf Naturals offers a uniquely plant based softgel made with three simple ingredients: cassava root, vegetable glycerine, and water.
Pros of CBD Capsules
CBD capsules are a great option for those with sensitive palates or who are not quite ready to fully customize their dosing experience.
- Each capsule contains a precise dose of CBD, which can easily be swallowed without any unpleasant flavors or textures.
- Capsules easily fit into a daily vitamin or medicine routine, making it a simple addition to your wellness regimen.
- They are easy to travel with as a bottle of capsules won’t leak like a bottle of oil might.
- When swallowed, the CBD is partially metabolized by the liver before entering the bloodstream (more on that in the cons section). On the pro side, however, the liver will continue to gradually release CBD into your system, allowing effects to continue for up to 10 hours.
So, do CBD pills work as well as oil? Yes, CBD capsules contain the same CBD found in oil preparations. However, they don’t work as quickly because they have to pass through the stomach and liver before reaching the bloodstream.
Cons of CBD Capsules
- CBD capsules take longer to go into effect as they must first pass through the digestive tract before entering the bloodstream.
- The liver metabolizes a portion of the CBD compounds, reducing its concentration and bioavailability (how much of a substance is able to enter circulation and reach the target site).
- It may take as little as 20 to 30 minutes for you to start feeling effects (albeit, weaker effects), and it will likely take as long as one to two hours to really experience the full benefits.
CBD Oil or Capsules: Which Is Best?
You see, when pitting CBD capsules against CBD oil, the key differences are simple:
- How quickly effects are felt and for how long.
The best option is always going to be the one that allows you to keep a consistent and effective supplement regimen so that you can experience the full benefits CBD has to offer. In some cases, that might mean using both CBD capsules and oil (depending on your travel schedule and needs). Just be sure to maintain a consistent dose between the two.
Find the Best CBD Capsules and CBD Oil
Since 2014, NuLeaf Naturals has been committed to creating the world’s highest-quality cannabinoid products. We offer full spectrum CBD capsules and oils with no additives. The only ingredients are organic hemp extract (via CO 2 extraction) and organic hemp seed oil — resulting in the purest and most effective products on the market. Visit the NuLeaf Naturals site now to shop CBD oil and CBD capsules .
Do you have questions about our products, or are wondering which one is right for you?
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