Cannabidiol (CBD) — a non-psychoactive component of cannabis — is rapidly growing in popularity. Thanks to this, an increasing number of people are interested in trying CBD to support their bodies endocannabinoid system and overall wellness.
But which CBD product do you choose? Considering that it comes in a wide variety of forms, including tinctures, capsules, creams, edibles, and even beverages, the answer is not that easy.
In particular, many people are stuck deciding between CBD oil and capsules — arguably the two most popular CBD product categories. So, which one is better for you? Read on to find out.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 60 cannabinoids present in the Cannabis sativa plant. Unlike THC — the cannabinoid most people are familiar with — CBD does not cause the intoxicating cannabis high.
This makes CBD ideal for people looking to get the positive benefits of cannabis while avoiding its psychoactive effects. CBD is typically made from hemp — cannabis plants that contain minimal amounts (0.3% or less) of THC.
CBD oil is undoubtedly the most popular type of CBD product. It is made by extracting CBD-rich oil from the hemp plant and mixing it with other ingredients such as carrier oils and flavouring.
Similar to many other concentrated herbal extracts, CBD oil is sold in a glass bottle with an eye dropper. Administering CBD oil involves placing the desired number of drops under the tongue (sublingually) and waiting about 60 seconds to give it time to absorb.
CBD Oil Advantages
Taking CBD in the form of oil has several advantages that explain why it’s so popular. First off, CBD oil has relatively good absorption because it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream through capillaries under the tongue.
In addition, the effects of CBD oil are felt relatively quickly — about 10-30 minutes. Furthermore, CBD oil is easy to dose by changing how many drops you take and is one of the most affordable ways to use CBD.
CBD capsules are another popular way of taking CBD. They use the same ingredients as CBD oil tinctures but are taken orally. This means capsules have to go through your digestive tract and the liver before the CBD can be absorbed into the bloodstream and have a beneficial effect.
Because of this, CBD capsules have low absorption. In fact, research suggests about 81-87% of the CBD you take in this form gets lost before it reaches the blood. Capsules typically take about 1-2 hours to be felt but can act as quickly as 30 minutes if taken on an empty stomach.
CBD Capsules Advantages
Despite being limited by their poor absorption, CBD capsules do have some advantages. For one, they are highly convenient. You don’t need to measure drops or follow any complicated instructions — simply swallow the capsules with some water and you’re good to go.
In addition, the fact that capsules have to go through the digestive system carries a benefit: long duration. The effects of CBD capsules can typically be felt for at least four hours and can often last much longer. Furthermore, they allow you to take a precise amount of CBD every time.
CBD Oil vs Capsules: Which is Best for You?
Now that we understand the differences and more importantly the strengths and weaknesses of CBD oil and capsules, we can answer the question of which one is right for you.
Generally speaking, CBD oil is the better option: it is more potent, cost-effective, and can be felt faster. It’s also easy to control your dose by changing the number of drops you use.
By comparison, CBD capsules are simply not as effective: they have poor absorption, take longer to start working, and require you to take larger doses for the same effect.
Having said that, there are still some situations where CBD capsules can be a good option. For example, if you have a busy life you may prefer the convenience and discreet nature of capsules, since you can take them anywhere, anytime without needing to measure doses and use eye droppers.
Another reason you might choose capsules over CBD oil is that you favor the subtle, longer-lasting effects of capsules.
CBD Oil vs Capsules: Individual Context Matters
Overall, we would recommend that most people use CBD oil instead of capsules. This method is more cost-effective, takes less time to work, and has stronger effects than taking CBD orally.
However, as with most things in life, individual context matters. For example, you may be a busy person who already takes many other supplements in capsule form. In this case, you may prefer to take CBD the same way instead of using oil tinctures. Or you might prefer the long duration of capsules that you can take in the morning and go about your day.
Everything considered, CBD oil is better, but if you have a personal preference for the convenience and long-lasting effects of capsules, they could be the better choice for you.