CBD products have gained popularity, especially after the 2018 Farm Bill, making industrial hemp and CBD oil legal. There are many forms of CBD, with capsules and oils being the most common. Other CBD products include edibles (gummies, lozenges, chocolates, brownies), topicals (serums, patches, and balms), smokables (help flower), and vapes (vape cartridges and pens). Consumers find it challenging to decide between CBD oil and capsules. There are different factors to consider before settling on one of these products. This article highlights the differences between CBD capsules and oils to help you make an informed decision.

CBD Capsules vs. CBD Oils- the Production Process

One major difference between CBD oil and capsules is how they are produced. Both products start with the same procedure in the extraction process. First, the mature hemp flowers, stems, leaves, stalks, and buds are harvested by handpicking or any appropriate method. Then, CBD is extracted using CO2 or ethanol, resulting in an isolate-based extract( with CBD and no other compounds), full-spectrum (with all cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavanoids), or broad-spectrum CBD formulations (with multiple cannabinoids, except THC). After extraction, the next processes are different for capsules and CBD oils. The CBD oil is placed in a carrier oil, like hemp oil or MCT coconut oil, while the capsules are prepared by putting the CBD oil in gelatin caps. However, some CBD capsules are vegetarian since they do not feature bovine gelatin in their structure.

CBD Capsules vs. CBD Oils- different Consumption Methods

Although CBD oil and capsule are both CBD ingestibles, their intake methods vary. For instance, CBD capsules are swallowed with water, after which they take effect within 30 minutes after they are broken down and fully absorbed. Contrastingly, CBD oils can be taken orally through swallowing, but they are best taken sublingually. This involves placing the oil drops below the tongue and holding on for 60- 90 seconds for the oil to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Alternatively, CBD oil can be added to tea, coffee, and other drinks or foods. However, you cannot add capsules to any food or drink, and you only have to swallow them.

CBD Capsules and CBD Oils: Measuring Dosages

You use a dropper to measure the appropriate amount of CBD oil before swallowing it or putting it below the tongue for sublingual absorption. However, you don’t have to measure CBD oil dosages when taking capsules. If a serving of the capsules entails one or two gelcaps, that’s all you need to consume to reap CBD benefits.

CBD Capsules vs. CBD Oils- the Aftertaste

CBD oil is made from hemp, a plant with a strong earthy taste. As such, you cannot avoid the earthy taste when taking CBD oil, whether you are taking it orally or sublingually. Besides, if you take CBD oil tinctures, you will have to bear with the tincture’s bitter taste because of the alcohol base. In contrast, you do not experience the earthy aftertaste with capsules since the oil is encapsulated and your tongue does not come into direct contact with it. As a result, CBD capsules are common among people who are trying CBD as a new regimen or who cannot put up with its aftertaste. However, veteran CBD enthusiasts have various methods of masking CBD oil’s aftertaste, including swallowing the oil with honey, taking mints and snacks, and brushing teeth before taking the CBD oils.

CBD Capsules vs. CBD Oils- Bioavailability

Bioavailability is when a substance is broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream. It is critical in CBD products because it determines how much cannabinoids and other helpful hemp compounds are absorbed into the system. The bioavailability of CBD products depends on the extraction methods, base carriers, and other factors. Most companies use MCT coconut oil as the base carrier to improve the products’ absorption rate into the body. CBD oils with MCT coconut oil as the carrier base are easily absorbed. CBD capsules subjected to nano-technology are also bioavailable, but there is a need for further scientific studies to ascertain these claims. Generally, CBD oil is easily absorbed because, unlike capsules which have the oil inside the caps and have to be digested first, CBD oil in tinctures interacts with the bloodstream directly.

CBD Capsules are More Discreet Than CBD Oils

You can easily carry CBD capsules and take them when you need them, whether publicly or privately. What’s more, the capsules are easily portable since you do not have to carry the jar around but can have the capsules you need for the day. Contrastingly, you cannot separate the oil from the bottle, so you must move with the bottle.


CBD capsules and CBD oils are two forms in which people enjoy CBD. While both are ingested, capsules are swallowed directly while oils are placed below the tongue for easy sublingual absorption. None is better than the other, and the choice depends on consumer preference. However, the differences discussed above can help you select between CBD oil and capsules. Notably, CBD products are not regulated by the FDA, and if you choose to use them, consult your doctor beforehand.

Ieva Kubiliute is a psychologist and a sex and relationships advisor and a freelance writer. She's also a consultant to several health and wellness brands. While Ieva specialises in covering wellness topics ranging from fitness and nutrition, to mental wellbeing, sex and relationships and health conditions, she has written across a diverse range of lifestyle topics, including beauty and travel. Career highlights so far include: luxury spa-hopping in Spain and joining an £18k-a-year London gym. Someone’s got to do it! When she’s not typing away at her desk—or interviewing experts and case studies, Ieva winds down with yoga, a good movie and great skincare (affordable of course, there’s little she doesn’t know about budget beauty). Things that bring her endless joy: digital detoxes, oat milk lattes and long country walks (and sometimes jogs).

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