If you are interested in cannabidiol to provide potential relief from one of many ailments but don’t like the taste of the oil, CBD capsules are a reliable alternative. Although tinctures remain at the head of the market, easy-to-swallow pills are catching up fast.
You may see CBD capsules, pills, and softgels for sale, and wonder what the difference is. Here is a quick overview:
- CBD Capsules: You find the compound in a softly soluble or hard container made from gelatin. Companies usually use capsules when they can’t compress it into a solid pill.
- CBD Softgels: Like CBD capsules, a gelatin outer shell surrounds softgels but, as the name suggests, these shells are soft. As well as containing hemp oil, softgels typically have olive oil as a carrier.
- CBD Pills: In medicine, a pill is a medicine tightly compressed into a cylindrical or round shape. The goal is to make the pill as easy to swallow as possible.
The Pros & Cons of CBD Capsules
CBD capsules are made similarly to their oil/tincture counterparts. Manufacturers extract the necessary ingredients from hemp and place them in a capsule. Taking one is as easy as putting it in your mouth and swallowing with a glass of water or other fluid.
Pros of CBD Capsules
- As well as being easy to swallow, CBD capsules are convenient. You can easily add one to your existing elixir of vitamins and minerals each day.
- Each capsule contains a pre-determined amount of CBD. As a result, you know exactly how much you are consuming.
- As capsules don’t leak and are small, they are ideal when traveling.
- The inconspicuous nature of CBD capsules means you can quickly and easily consume one in public without anyone realizing!
- You don’t have to contend with the plant matter taste.
Cons of CBD Capsules
- Not every CBD seller offers capsules; oils and tinctures remain more popular.
- The bioavailability (absorption rate) of capsules is relatively low.
- Few companies offer extremely potent CBD capsules.
Are CBD Capsules Effective?
Unfortunately, we can’t provide a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. It depends on a variety of factors including dosage, quality of CBD, your physical condition, and how your body reacts to cannabidiol.
One thing you must prepare for is the length of time it takes CBD capsules to work. After consumption, the capsule travels to the bloodstream, where it interacts with your endocannabinoid system (ECS). Depending on your rate of metabolism, it can take 30-90 minutes for the compound to process.
Although a CBD capsule enables you to determine how much of the cannabinoid you use each time, discovering your minimum effective dosage is less straightforward. Depending on the manufacturer, a CBD capsule contains anywhere from 5mg to 50mg.
There is even a significant debate on the recommended daily dose for CBD. Some experts claim that you need 1mg to 6mg of CBD per 10 pounds of bodyweight. Therefore, a 170-pound person needs anywhere from 17mg to 102mg of CBD each day! As you can tell, this is a HUGE disparity.
One possible benefit of CBD is the low likelihood of developing tolerance. Regular marijuana users often take a ‘Tolerance Break’ after their bodies get used to the cannabinoids in the herb. A study by Babalonis et al., published in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal in March 2017, looked at the potential for attaining a tolerance to CBD.
Thirty-one frequent marijuana users consumed CBD in conjunction with weed. They didn’t display any signs of abuse liability, even at doses of up to 800mg of CBD. Such a dosage is far beyond what the average individual would consume.
Buying CBD Capsules & Bioavailability
One issue to consider with CBD capsules is their low absorption rate. Oral consumption means the cannabidiol passes through our digestive and metabolic systems. Unfortunately, this means a large portion of CBD is filtered out.
A study by Marilyn A. Huestis, published in Chemistry Biodiversity in June 2009, found that oral consumption had a bioavailability rate of up to 20%. Therefore, if you consume a 50mg CBD capsule, only 10mg will affect. In contrast, smoking weed had a maximum absorption rate of 54%. For the record, using CBD sublingually (via oils or tinctures) is up to 35% bioavailable.
Injecting CBD directly into your bloodstream remains the best option if you want to get the most out of your purchase. However, not many people are willing to insert a needle into themselves each day! Another unpleasant option which may work involves consuming cannabidiol rectally!
If you are not overly concerned about absorption rate, CBD capsules remain a convenient and easy way to get your daily dose. They are certainly an excellent option if you are using the compound for the first time, or else you don’t like the taste of the oil. Look for brands like Provacan offering capsules with at least 20mg of CBD apiece if possible.