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CBD Oil vs Gummies: Understanding Their Differences

Written By Ellese Symons Dec 1st 2023
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CBD (cannabidiol) is the most abundant of more than 140 cannabinoids in hemp (Komarnytsky et al., 2021). First identified decades ago, there was a time researchers couldn't explain why CBD (and other cannabinoids) seemed to help with so many seemingly unrelated concerns. Over time, the search for answers led cannabis researchers to the discovery of a previously unknown regulatory system that responds to plant-derived cannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) (Lee, 2012).    

Since the reintroduction of hemp cultivation less than a decade ago, adults of all ages have taken advantage of CBD's health and wellness potential with an impressive selection of hemp-derived products. CBD oil and gummies are two of the most popular. Since there are several reasons you might prefer one over the other, we thought you might appreciate having a detailed understanding of their differences. 

What Is CBD Oil?  

The product commonly known as CBD oil is a tincture made with hemp extract and a carrier oil. That carrier oil is added to help ensure fat-soluble cannabinoids are easily absorbed, and the CBD concentrations of each batch are consistent from one purchase to the next. CBD tinctures are typically sold in dark glass bottles to protect the contents from sunlight (Duarte et al., 2009). The bulbed dropper ensures each serving is easy to measure. Some tinctures also contain flavoring agents. 

What Are CBD Gummies? 

CBD gummies have an entirely different set of ingredients that can vary by brand. Most often, they're made with a blend of hemp extract and binding agents like gelatin or tapioca starch. They can also contain any combination of natural or artificial coloring and flavoring agents, sweeteners, and preservatives. Their flavors and textures are a lot like the gummy candies many people have enjoyed since childhood. CBD-infused gummies are typically sold in plastic bottles or resealable pouches. 

Comparing Their Administration & Serving Sizes  

Based on the feedback of nearly 2000 survey respondents, most CBD users report positive results using their favorite products for pain or inflammation after physical activity, relaxation, better sleep, mild or temporary anxiety, and more. But before that can happen, the oil has to be extracted from the plant's stems, stalks, and flowers. The quality of that plant extract matters. Why? 

Industrial hemp is a hyperaccumulator, meaning it pulls heavy metals, pesticides, and microbial contaminants from the soil (Montoya et al., 2020). Substandard extraction methods can leave residue behind, and potency can vary from one crop to the next. That's why it's important to stick with companies that rely on natural farming practices, food-safe extraction methods, and rigorous product testing. Once you've found a brand you can count on for pure, potent CBD oil and gummies, consider how the following administration methods might fit into your daily routine. 

CBD Oil Administration and Serving Sizes  

CBD oil tinctures are one of the most versatile products available. You can use the oil to add hemp-derived cannabinoids to snacks and beverages or to make your own edibles. They can also be applied topically. The higher the concentration in the bottle, the more CBD you'll get in each 1ml dropper serving. Although you'll find serving size suggestions on the label, first-time CBD users should consider starting "low and slow" with a partial serving, then increase gradually over time. The fluid form and bulbed dropper make it easy to adjust in small increments. Your goal is to determine the smallest serving size that delivers results. 

Serving Sizes and Administration of CBD Gummies 

CBD gummies are most often favored by people who value convenience, portability, and flavor. Since each gummy gives you a precise, premeasured serving of CBD, there's no reason to worry about mixing, measuring, or carrying a bottle that could leak or shatter. Since the amount of CBD in each gummy can vary by brand, the number of gummies you may need per serving can change. Since "low and slow" is also recommended for anyone enjoying CBD gummies for the first time, more potent gummies can be cut into halves (or quarters) until you've determined your ideal serving size.   

Understanding the Differences in Their Effects  

The reason most reputable sources suggest starting with a partial serving of CBD has nothing to do with product safety. CBD does not cause intoxication, is generally well tolerated, and considered safe for most people. In a 2020 publication by The World Health Organization, the agency reported "no evidence of public health-related problems" associated with daily use (WHO, 2020). However, you should talk to your doctor before using CBD if you are being treated for any medical condition as cannabinoids could interact with your medication.

Taking more CBD than you might need won't put your health at risk, but there's also no additional benefit. You'll simply increase your cost of daily use. Now that you know why you might want to start with a small amount of CBD and work from there, you'll also want to compare how long it might take each product to have an effect. While most of our survey respondents report achieving their best results within 7-14 days of consistent use, CBD oil and gummies can deliver their health and wellness potential in different ways. 

CBD Gummies  

Before the CBD in any product can interact with your ECS receptors, it needs a way into your bloodstream. When you swallow CBD gummies, the cannabinoids entering your stomach make their way to your liver through your hepatic portal system. Your liver enzymes metabolize a portion of that CBD. Only the cannabinoids that remain after this "first pass effect" (and digestion) circulate through your body (Millar et al., 2020). Since the CBD must first be processed through your digestive system, it can take up to an hour (or more) before you'll notice any impact. 

CBD Oil Tinctures  

When you add a serving of a CBD oil tincture to food, drinks, or your favorite recipes, you'll also have to wait for the cannabinoids in your edible products to clear your digestive system. For faster results, hold a serving beneath your tongue for 45-60 seconds before swallowing. Many CBD users claim a noticeable difference in as little as 15 minutes.  

Comparing the Differences in Their Cost  

CBD prices are generally set according to their CBD concentrations and product type. You'll usually pay a bit more for CBD gummies because their production is more involved. How much more depends on the brand. Ensuring an accurate comparison requires a little math to determine your cost per milligram. For example, a 1000mg bottle of CBDistillery® CBD Oil tincture contains 30 (1ml) servings. When you divide the price per bottle by 1000, that breaks down to 6 cents per milligram. 

A 30-count jar of CBDistillery® Full Spectrum CBD Gummies contains a total of 900mg of CBD (30 gummies x30mg). That factors out to about 6.7 cents per mg of CBD. But it doesn't come that close for every brand. Some product manufacturers make gummies with as little as 5mg of CBD (or less) each but charge as if their products have considerably more per piece. When that happens, you'll need multiple gummies to get the same effect as a more potent product. 

Which CBD Product Is the Best Fit for Your Daily Routine?  

CBD Oil tinctures and gummies are two of the most popular products available. Since either option gives you the same health and wellness potential, it's simply a matter of choosing the product most likely to suit your needs, preferences, and daily routine.   

CBD gummies give you a delicious, premeasured serving of CBD without having to mix or measure. That makes them ideal for home use or travel. CBD oil tinctures can be used in several ways, making them more versatile.  

Now that you understand the differences between CBD oil and CBD gummies, visit CBDistillery® to browse our selection of US Hemp Authority® certified products. If you're still not sure where to start, consider taking our CBD Quiz or scheduling a personal consultation. You can shop with confidence knowing CBDistillery® products are rigorously tested, quality assured, fairly priced, and backed by a 60-day satisfaction guarantee. 

References:  

Duarte I, Rotter A, et al. (2009) The Role of Glass as a Barrier Against the Transmission of Ultraviolet Radiation: An Experimental Study. 25(4) Photodrmatol Photoimmunol Photomed 181-84. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0781.2009.00434.x 

Komarnytsky S, Rathinasabapathy T, et al. (2021) Endocannabinoid System and Its Regulation by Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Full Spectrum Hemp Oils. 22(11) Int J Mol Sci 5479. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22115479 

Lee, M. (2012) The Discovery of the Endocannabinoid System. Med Canna Hand. PDF. https://www.beyondthc.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/eCBSystemLee.pdf 

Millar S, Maguire R, et al. (2020) Towards Better Delivery of Cannabidiol (CBD). 13(9) Pharmaceuticals 219. https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13090219 

Montoya Z, Conroy M, et al. (2020) Cannabis Contaminants Limit Pharmacological Use of Cannabidiol. 11 Front Pharmacol. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.571832 

Ramalho I, Pereira D, et al. (2021) Current Trends on Cannabidiol Delivery Systems: Where Are We and Where Are We Going? 14(8) Pharmaceutics 1533. https://doi.org/10.1080/17425247.2021.1952978 (PDF) 

World Health Organization. (2020) Cannabidiol (CBD) Critical Review Report. PDF https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/controlled-substances/whocbdreportmay2018-2.pdf?sfvrsn=f78db177_2