Buying CBD products for the first time isn’t always easy for the uninitiated. It’s difficult enough just to choose which brand you’re going to buy when there are so many CBD brands that they all start to look the same after a while. Choosing a brand, however, is just the beginning. After you’ve done that, you still need to select what type of product you’re going to buy – and that’s where the confusion really begins. For example, consider the comparison between CBD capsules vs. CBD oil. The average CBD capsule is filled with CBD oil; it’s just encased in gelatin for easy swallowing. If the main ingredient of the product is CBD oil regardless of whether you’re buying it in liquid or capsule form, aren’t CBD oil and CBD capsules pretty much the same thing?
As it turns out, CBD oil and CBD capsules really aren’t the same thing. In fact, both types of CBD products have their own benefits and drawbacks – and although we certainly encourage you to try both, CBD products aren’t cheap and it may be necessary from a financial standpoint for you to choose just one or the other. In that case, we’re here to help. What are the differences between CBD oil and CBD capsules? Let’s dig in.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is an oil-based tincture made from an extract of the essential oils of hemp flowers. The essential oil – also known as hemp distillate – is extracted from the flowers in a process that usually involves using pressurized carbon dioxide as a solvent. The resulting extract can be mixed with a carrier oil and bottled as a finished CBD oil product, or it can be refined and filtered to improve the flavor and to strip away unwanted cannabinoids such as THC.
Although some companies may add ingredients to their CBD oils to improve the flavor or promote synergistic effects, CBD oil only requires two ingredients: hemp extract and a carrier oil. CBD oil is the simplest and often least processed of all CBD products.
What Are CBD Capsules?
CBD capsules come in two different forms. The first form – exemplified by products like Bluebird Botanicals CBD capsules – is essentially CBD oil encased in a dissolvable shell made from gelatin. Since the thing that’s inside the shell is CBD oil, this type of CBD capsule is essentially the same as bottled CBD oil – but only to a point. There are some significant differences, and we’ll explain those in greater detail momentarily.
In addition to the liquid CBD capsules, you can also find CBD capsules filled with powdered CBD isolate. These are functionally much the same as liquid CBD capsules, but they’re more likely to be suitable for vegetarians as the capsules are often made from cellulose rather than gelatin.
What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of CBD Oil?
Now that you have a better understanding of what CBD oil and CBD capsules are, it’s time to discuss the specific benefits and drawbacks of both types of CBD products. We’ll begin with the pros and cons of CBD oil.
CBD Oil Usually Has the Lowest Price per MG of CBD
One of the biggest benefits of CBD oil is that it’s usually the cheapest type of CBD product in terms of the milligrams of CBD that you get for the money spent. That’s because CBD oil typically undergoes the least amount of processing compared to other CBD products. Every other type of CBD product requires additional steps. Before you can make CBD capsules, for instance, you need to have CBD oil – and then you need to have all of the production equipment required to encase the oil in capsules. Therefore, it’s only natural that the capsules would cost more. If you want to get the most potent CBD product while spending the least amount of money possible, you’re always going to get that with CBD oil.
Sublingual Administration Allows CBD Oil to Absorb Quickly
The most prominent difference between CBD oil and other types of CBD products is that it’s the only type of CBD product designed for sublingual administration. Topical CBD products, for instance, are used on the skin. CBD gummies are eaten, and CBD capsules are swallowed. CBD oil is the only CBD product that you take by holding it under the tongue, and the benefit of sublingual administration is that the CBD gets into your bloodstream in minutes rather than hours. The sublingual artery is proximally close to the carotid artery, so any supplement taken sublingually will circulate throughout your body quite quickly. If quick absorption is a priority for you, you’re definitely going to prefer CBD oil compared to CBD capsules.
Some People May Not Enjoy Taking CBD Oil
The only potential drawback of CBD oil is that some people may not actually enjoy taking it. Hemp flowers have a distinct flavor that’s a little bitter and – well – hempy. If you don’t like the flavor of hemp, you may not like the flavor of CBD oil. It must be noted, however, that CBD oil makers have a variety of options for improving the flavor of their products. Some companies add terpenes to their CBD oil, while other companies use food-grade flavors like citrus and mint. Many companies winterize their CBD oils, which removes bitter-tasting compounds like chlorophyll and plant waxes. You can also find CBD oil made from CBD isolate, which has virtually no flavor at all. For a few people, though, the flavor of CBD oil is irrelevant because they simply don’t enjoy the sensation of holding oil under their tongues. If that’s the case for you, you’ll probably have a better experience with CBD capsules.
What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of CBD Capsules?
Now that we’ve discussed the benefits and drawbacks of CBD oil, let’s dig a bit more deeply into CBD capsules. As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, the fact that a CBD capsule has CBD oil on the inside doesn’t mean it’s the same product as bottled CBD oil. These are the three biggest benefits and drawbacks of CBD capsules.
CBD Capsules Have No Flavor
If you’re the type of person who shies away from CBD oil because you’re sensitive to hempy flavors or because you don’t enjoy holding the oil under your tongue, CBD capsules are for you. CBD gummies are also available as another alternative, but the big difference is that CBD gummies still have that hempy flavor. They’re also heavily sweetened, and you may not want to consume the extra sugar. CBD capsules have no flavor and no added sugar. They’re as quick and easy to take as any other gel caps.
CBD Capsules Are Discreet and Won’t Invite Questions
One potential drawback of CBD oil is that it can be difficult to take it around others – at work, for instance – without inviting questions. Your reasons for taking CBD are personal, and you shouldn’t have to talk about your health issues if you don’t want to. With CBD capsules, you don’t have to make a spectacle of yourself by holding a dropper under your tongue in front of others. CBD capsules look the same as any other supplement.
CBD Capsules Give You the Same CBD Dosage Every Time
When you take CBD oil, you’re measuring the product with an eyedropper. That’s not the most precise way of measuring if you’re hoping to achieve a consistent result every time you take CBD. With CBD capsules, the measuring is already done for you. You can expect to get exactly the same amount of CBD – and thus, exactly the same result – every time you take a CBD capsule.
CBD Capsules May Cost More Than CBD Oil
Earlier in the article, we mentioned the fact that CBD oil is the least expensive type of CBD product in terms of the amount of CBD you get for the money. CBD capsules, on the other hand, tend to cost a bit more due to the extra ingredients and equipment required to produce them.
CBD Capsules Absorb More Slowly Than CBD Oil
The biggest potential drawback of CBD capsules is that they tend to absorb much more slowly than CBD oil because the capsules aren’t taken sublingually. While sublingual absorption takes place within minutes, it’s an entirely different story with CBD capsules. Absorption might take an hour or longer, depending on the efficiency of your digestive system. The slower absorption of CBD capsules, however, isn’t necessarily a bad thing for all users. It all depends on your reasons for taking CBD. If you experience the greatest benefit when getting CBD into your system as quickly as possible, CBD capsules may not be for you. If you’re primarily taking CBD for overall health and wellness, on the other hand, you may be completely happy with having lower but more consistent levels of CBD in your system throughout the day. In that case, you may find that CBD capsules are ideal for meeting your needs.