There are so many different types of CBD products available to choose from, including tinctures, creams, drops, oils, and vape, that doing your research and choosing the right product can feel like a chore. For the most part, many CBD users can agree that both the capsules and oil  tend to be the most effective. But are CBD capsules as effective as the oil? And if so, what’s the real difference? We already know that in both forms, CBD is very effective and can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, diseases, and ailments. The point of determining which form of CBD will be the most effective will mainly involve how fast you need the CBD to take effect, and which option is the most convenient for you, especially if you need to take your dose when you’re out and about.

Are CBD capsules as effective as the oil? No. In terms of bioavailability, in capsule form, the CBD must first travel through the digestive tract before it reaches your bloodstream, whereas, in oil form, the CBD will immediately reach your bloodstream within minutes. This faster route allows you to experience the full effects of the CBD, unlike the oil which loses some of its potency by the time it reaches your bloodstream. So, if you’re in need of fast relief and a more potent product, CBD oil is the best option.

Keep on reading to learn about the pros and cons of both CBD oil and CBD capsules to help you determine which form of CBD will be the best option for you based on your needs and the reason for treatment.

Making the Right Choice

CBD capsules and CBD oil were two of the first popular types of CBD products to hit the market. But choosing between the two can be tricky. Before you hit that buy now button, there are several factors you need to consider. To start, do you want to use CBD oil on a daily basis? Why do you need CBD?

The right choice all boils down to bioavailability. Each type of CBD product is processed by the body in a different way, which I’ll delve into a little later in this article. However, most users can agree that both the oil and capsule forms of CBD can hit you at a much faster rate than say a topical CBD product.

There’s also the matter of convenience to consider. The type of CBD product you choose should fit well with your daily routine. Quickly taking a CBD capsule at the office may be a better option than using the oil since it’s faster and more discreet.

Potency and availability is another consideration. Not all brands will have a vast range of capsule strengths to choose from, in which case you may need to stick with CBD oil.

A Look at CBD Oil

A Look at CBD Oil

CBD oil consists of cannabinoid extracts that are suspended in a type of carrier oil. Often, the carrier oil is coconut or MCT. So, how do you use CBD oil?

Taking CBD oil is actually pretty simple. The oil is usually packaged in a small glass bottle, complete with a dropper. All you need to do is suck up some of the oil in the dropper and place two to four of the drops under your tongue. The oil should be held there for one to two minutes. This allows both the terpenes and cannabinoids to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream where they’ll quickly hit the endocannabinoid system.

After the one to two minute period simply swallow the oil. You can also take the oil in other ways, such as adding it to a beverage or your food. However, doing so will change the oil’s bioavailability. Obviously, sublingual administration of the oil offers a much higher bioavailability than other routes. However, you still won’t get the full one hundred percent of the active component, just approximately ten to forty percent.

CBD Oil and Bioavailability

There are many different CBD oils on the market these days. Each product will vary in terms of strength and overall potency. Products such as R and R Medicinals Hemp Oil have a reputation for their fast-acting formula and potency. When you first begin taking CBD oil, you must begin with a low dosage, gradually increasing it over time. Using a dropper will allow you to create a more accurate serving size based on your needs.

In terms of bioavailability, the oil is much higher than the capsules. Taking the oil sublingually is the best choice for general use and is a faster route than consuming the oil in food since it will have to go through your digestive tract first. When you take it under the tongue it will immediately be absorbed into the bloodstream.

For some users, one big drawback of taking the oil is the taste. Unless flavoring has been added, CBD oil tends to taste very earthy, which can make it difficult for some people to take it daily. Using a dropper is also not exactly the most discreet way to take CBD, which can make it a bad choice if you’re looking for a low-key way to take your CBD when you’re at work or out and about.

CBD Concentrations

The oil typically comes packaged in small ten millimeter, thirty millimeter, or sixty-millimeter bottles. The oil’s concentration is usually listed on the bottle and is labeled in milligrams. Not all CBD oil is created equal. There are many lower-priced brands on the market these days that contain more carrier oil than CBD, offering a lower potency. These low-potency formulas won’t do much in terms of managing pain, relieving stress, or reducing inflammation, which is why it’s so important that you pay close attention to a product’s label. You can also do a little research and learn which CBD oils have a reputation for a stronger, longer-acting formula, and which oils don’t.

Flavor Options

Flavor Options

If you’re one of those people who are unable to take CBD oil because you can’t handle the earthy flavor, then you can try a flavored oil, which can make it much easier to hold the oil in your mouth for one to two minutes. Some of the more popular flavor options include:

  • Cinnamon
  • Peppermint
  • Orange
  • Wintergreen
  • Spearmint

Another option is to place the oil in a beverage, however, doing so will negatively impact the oil’s bioavailability.

Serving Size

There’s no clear cut dosage of CBD oil that will work for everyone. However, the ability to accurately measure the dosage will be crucial for treatment.

The serving size of CBD oil can be a drawback for some. Since the oil is administered via a dropper, you have more control over the serving size, so you can easily determine how much oil is right for you. However, not all droppers will come with a graduated cylinder, which means that the volume of the dropper is not clearly labeled, making it difficult to determine the exact concentration and volume of CBD that’s in the dropper. Bottles with a one ounce dropper can usually hold one millimeter of the oil, however, most of these droppers will not suction up a full millimeter. On average, these droppers will fill up about three-quarters of the way full, which means you’ll need to pay close attention to this each time you draw up a dose.

Keep in mind, it’s also very important that you shake up the bottle of oil before each use. Since the CBD is mixed in with a carrier oil, you’ll need to ensure that you’re not just getting a large volume of the carrier oil or an extra-strong dose of the CBD. Shaking up the bottle will evenly distribute the CBD throughout the carrier oil, making each dose more effective. After you’ve taken your dose, make sure you screw the lid back on tightly, since some of these bottles are prone to leaking.

Are Capsules a Better Option?

Capsules are produced by extracting the ingredients from hemp plants and suspending them in a carrier oil. However, the oil is then placed in a gel cap. Capsules are a more popular option since they’re more discreet and easier to carry around. CBD capsules are taken the same way as any other pill.

For some users, learning how to accurately measure a dosage can be difficult when using the oil. With the capsules, you’ll know exactly how much CBD you’re getting since each dose is already measured out for you. They’re also a better option for the office or if you’re traveling. And because some people can’t stand the way CBD oil tastes, this flavorless method can be a better alternative.

Unfortunately, the capsules are not quite as widely available as the oils, which means you may not be able to find the strength you need. Additionally, the capsule’s bioavailability is much lower compared to the oil, which means the dose is less potent.

Related Questions

Can CBD Help With Nerve Pain?

Yes and no. There will be limitations in regard to how effective CBD oil will be in terms of pain management, based on the severity of the pain and the root cause of the pain itself

While more research is needed to determine how effective CBD use is in the treatment of nerve pain, the results thus far have been promising. So far, what we do know is that CBD can run interference, working indirectly on other factors that can contribute to pain, although it may not be able to have a direct effect on nerve-related pain. As an example, CBD can prevent the body from absorbing anandamide, which is a type of fatty neurotransmitter that sends the pain signal to the brain. If you use CBD oil consistently, it can potentially manage and prevent nerve-related pain. It works to limit autoimmune responses and inflammation, however, it’s important to keep a steady level of CBD in the bloodstream in order to experience the ongoing effects. To learn more, click here to read my article on can CBD oil help sciatica?

Does CBD Oil Work for Severe Pain?

Yes and no. In some instances, the best CBD drops can be used to manage pain, but if you’re dealing with severe chronic pain, then CBD may need to be used in conjunction with other pain management treatments. Speak with your doctor if you’re interested in incorporating CBD into your pain management treatment, but never stop prescribed medications unless advised to do so by your physician.

What Types of Pain Can CBD Treat?

CBD can treat neuropathic pain, which is created due to the glutaminergic system. Glutamate is the neurotransmitter that’s responsible for switching neurons on. CBD can also help manage pain that’s related to inflammation. Inflammatory pain is also related to neuropathic pain. This type of pain can include pain associated with autoimmune diseases, arthritis, or even simple conditions such as muscle pain or headaches. CBD will work to reduce pain by inhibiting the release of inflammatory agents such as glutamate.

Final Thoughts

In terms of price, you’ll find both the capsules and oils offered in the same price bracket. Since the price isn’t a big factor, you’ll need to consider bioavailability and convenience to determine which type of CBD product is right for you. So, are CBD capsules as effective as the oil? The answer is no. The oil will hit you faster and more efficiently since it’s immediately absorbed into the bloodstream and doesn’t have to go through the digestive tract first. Because of this, if you’re in need of CBD to manage pain, stress, inflammation, anxiety, or any other type of condition that needs a product that’s fast-acting, CBD oil will be the better option. If you’re looking for a more discreet, convenient way to take your CBD for general use, then the capsules can be a great alternative, just keep in mind that in capsule form, the CBD will not be as effective.