• Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • CBD Pills vs. CBD Oil: Which One Should You Use?

CBD Pills vs. CBD Oil: Which One Should You Use?

Green Shoppers Written by Green Shoppers
Updated on February 4, 2019

Choosing a CBD product can be hard. Most people use CBD oils or tinctures, and this is likely what you will have seen being peddled online and in stores. However, if you have done a little research into cannabidiol you will know that sublingual oils are certainly not the only way to take CBD.

From edibles and e-liquids to topicals and even beverages, new and exciting ways to take CBD are appearing on a regular basis. With all these products clouding the market, which of them is actually best for your health and your needs?

We believe that CBD is a very individualised experience. There is no right answer when it comes to your own personal health and wellbeing, which is why it’s important to do your research and educate yourself on all the possibilities. Today, we will be breaking down the ins and outs of CBD oils and CBD capsules – two of the more popular forms of cannabidiol.

If you have found yourself torn between the two, read on to find out everything you need to know…

What Even is CBD Oil?

If you are completely new to the CBD scene, then you might not even know what CBD oil is. This is the original method in CBD consumption, and it continues to reign as its most popular and widely used form.

Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in the cannabis plant, has recently been picking up traction as a potential aid to our health. Through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), cannabidiol may be able to help us regulate our bodies and stay healthy. This is why CBD has become so popular as of late – it is used as a dietary supplement to help keep up our general health and wellbeing.

To make CBD oil in the UK, manufacturers must make use of the legal hemp plant, rather than growing marijuana. Both are types of cannabis. Usually, companies utilise supercritical CO2 extraction to draw out their hemp extract, which contains a range of cannabinoids and terpenes. However, there are also other processes by which companies can extract CBD.

Once the CBD has been separated from the plant material, it is suspended in an inert oil; usually coconut or MCT oil. This is placed in a bottle that often comes with a dropper for ease of use, and is then sold to you – the consumer.

CBD oils, sometimes called tinctures, are intended to be taken sublingually. This means placing a few drops of it under your tongue and holding it there for up to 90 seconds. During this time frame, the cannabinoids are absorbed through your skin and directly into the bloodstream via the capillaries in your mouth. After this waiting time, swallow the oil.

Although this is the most common way to take CBD oils, some people prefer to make their own CBD edibles using tinctures. Please note, however, that the effectiveness of the oil is different when using edibles.

What are CBD Capsules and Why are They Different?

Another popular option for taking CBD is to use capsules. These resemble a traditional pill, usually coming in the form of a gel capsule which contains all the cannabinoids and terpenoids you get in a CBD oil.

Once again, they are produced from the hemp plant and the extraction process is more or less the same. But instead of suspending the hemp extract in an oil, it is instead placed within a gel capsule.

Capsules have several advantages over CBD oils, but they also have some drawbacks. When it comes to ease of use, though, the two are pretty much one and the same. Although it takes longer to administer a sublingual oil, it is not hard to do. Capsules, on the other hand, are taken just like any other pill – pop one or two in your mouth and swallow it with water.

Now that you know a little about what the two products are and how you take them, it’s time to talk about their differences and why you might choose one over the other.

Oil vs. Pills: What Should I Use?

There are several distinct differences between CBD oils and CBD capsules that you should note. Apart from the obvious distinctions in form, you will need to consider the following factors before making a decision. As we stated earlier, the choice will be entirely up to you as an individual and what you value most.

CBD Oil Has a Very Distinct Taste…

If you have never taken CBD before, it’s worth noting that the taste is quite peculiar. It will probably be like nothing you have ever tasted before, and not necessarily in a good way.

Most manufacturers use pure hemp extract with no additional flavourings. The oil that is used to make CBD oil is also usually tasteless, so the resulting flavour is that of the raw hemp plant. The terpenes in the plant will dictate its specific taste, but most people think of general CBD oils as tasting earthy and a little strange.

In fact, the texture of the oil doesn’t really help, as it can feel slimy in your mouth. For some people, the taste and texture of CBD oil is just too much. For this reason, it is common practice to add CBD oils into beverages and cook with CBD oils instead, but this does change how the CBD interacts with the body.

Instead, why not try capsules? They are a great, taste-free option that bypasses the necessity of cooking an intricate meal. The capsule will wash away instantly in your mouth, immediately getting rid of the need for breath mints and a pint of water to hand!

CBD Pills are Subtle and Discrete…

A lot of new users are concerned about whether CBD is legal. The fact of the matter is that, yes, CBD is legal. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that public opinion is all-accepting of it. Its association with cannabis can cause confusion for some members of the general public, which is why some CBD users prefer to keep their habit low-key.

It’s true that cannabidiol is enjoying an increasing popularity, but if you would prefer to be discrete about your new favourite supplement for now, then capsules could be the better choice. It is a bit conspicuous to take out a dropper bottle at work and begin dripping oil into your mouth before holding your mouth firmly closed for a minute and a half.

Instead, grab a tub of CBD capsules for discrete on the go administration. Nobody will even take note of you taking a pill in public – people do it all the time! If subtlety is something on your mind, then capsules could be best for you.

CBD Oil Has a Better Bioavailability…

This topic is a bit more complicated, but we will try to explain it as simply as possible. Bioavailability refers to the amount of a substance that is usable to your body after it is broken down. Every substance you consume is broken down in the body, with differing degrees of efficacy.

When you take a CBD capsule, it is virtually the same as eating an edible when it comes to bioavailability. Oral ingestion of any kind takes the CBD to the digestive system, where it is eventually broken down. Researcher Marilyn Huestis conducted a study in 2009 which found that oral administration of CBD had a bioavailability rate of between 4% and 20%. It was concluded that 20% was a pretty optimistic estimate. Unfortunately, this means that capsules have a poor bioavailability and that the potency of such products will be reduced.

So what about sublingual oils? Well, since the CBD is absorbed directly into the bloodstream via the capillaries in your mouth, the bioavailability may be much higher. A 2012 study by Schoedel and Harrison suggests that sublingual administration gives us a bioavailability of between 12% and 35% – much higher than capsules.

Another thing to note here is that tinctures using coconut oil as the inert medium are more effective. This is because coconut oil is high in saturated fats, meaning that the body struggled to digest it. While this initially sounds like a bad thing, it might actually be good when it comes to CBD. The coconut oil becomes stuck temporarily in the intestines, giving the leftover CBD more time to be absorbed through the intestinal lining.

Don’t worry: It is widely agreed that coconut oil is healthier than most saturated fats, so you won’t be causing much harm to your body.

CBD Pills are More Convenient…

Both CBD capsules and CBD oils are pretty easy to take. That being said, it’s impossible to deny that taking capsules is that little bit simpler. We are all used to taking pills and other supplements in this way, making it so easy to add CBD capsules into our normal regime. It takes under a minute to take these capsules.

Plus, capsules are easier to carry around. If you travel a lot or are wanting to take your CBD on the go, then it’s safer to have a bottle of capsules in your handbag than a bottle of liquid. Some dropper bottles have been known to leak, so if you want to carry around a sublingual oil then it’s best to find a spray. CBD capsules definitely win out on the travelling front.

Finally, it’s important to consider dosage. CBD oils will state their strength on the label, and will usually tell you how many milligrams of CBD are contained within each drop. This leaves it up to you to measure out the drops correctly and ensure you are getting the right amount of cannabidiol. With capsules, on the other hand, each dose is measured out for you, removing all of the guesswork. For a convenient dosage, choose capsules.

CBD Oils Come in a Wider Variety…

A big factor to think about is the variety available. Generally, companies will have a much larger selection of oils than they will capsules. In fact, many manufacturers sell their capsules in just one strength.

Although cannabidiol is considered to be generally safe, it does have a few minor side effects that you should be aware of. As is the case when taking any new substance, you should start out small. This means taking the smallest amount possible and increasing it gradually to ensure that you aren’t experiencing side effects.

With capsules, this could be harder. Since they are available in a lot fewer strengths, you pretty much have to pick what you can get. However, with a CBD oil, you can find a very low strength variety and then tailor the dosage to you by using the dropper to measure out different doses.

If you find that the dose isn’t working for you, you can keep on increasing it until you find something that does work. The sheer variety of CBD oils for sale ensures that you will definitely be able to find the perfect dose. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of capsules.

Our Thoughts: Which One Should You Use?

CBD oils and CBD capsules are on a pretty even keel when it comes to price. This means that you should be considering other factors before making a purchase; factors like the ones we have talked about for us.

Since your health is something that is very personal to you, it is important to make an informed decision based on what you know. CBD oils are more potent, come in a wider variety of strengths, and are the gold standard in this industry. CBD capsules are convenient, discrete, and don’t have a bad taste to them.

If you are a complete newcomer to cannabidiol, both of these products are a good starting point. It may be best to start out with a low-strength oil to test the waters with CBD, but you can of course take capsules if you feel that they are a better fit for your lifestyle.