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CBD Oils vs CBD Capsules: Understanding the Difference

Written By Ellese Symons Jul 15th 2022
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Uncover the differences between CBD Oil vs CBD Capsules. Learn their benefits and understand which is best for you.

When shopping for CBD, it's important to choose the product best suited to your needs, preferences, and lifestyle, a product that fits seamlessly into your daily routine. While you may find it at least somewhat helpful to read product descriptions and customer reviews, you could easily end up with more questions than answers, especially if you're trying to decide between CBD oil tinctures and capsules.

Why? Because CBD oil tinctures and capsules are two of the most popular products you'll find, so popular that people often debate which might be the better option. But you probably won't find the answers you need browsing the results of the latest opinion poll. Instead, consider taking a few minutes to weigh their features, benefits, and limitations, their pros and cons, to determine which popular option is right for you.  

What Is a CBD Oil Tincture?

Hemp-derived CBD oil tinctures are made with a blend of plant extracts and a carrier oil. Some also contain flavoring agents, complementary supplements, or enhanced concentrations of some of the plant's most intriguing minor cannabinoids. Although potency and product type can vary by brand, most CBD oil tinctures are sold in dropper-topped glass bottles.

The Pros & Cons of CBD Oil Tinctures

CBD oil tinctures are remarkably versatile. You can use your tincture to add the health and wellness potential of CBD to your morning coffee or evening snacks, make your own CBD-infused baked goods and candy, or to add hemp-derived cannabinoids to DIY topicals. If you prefer keeping things simple, just shake the bottle, measure your serving size with the dropper, and hold the tincture beneath your tongue for a few seconds before swallowing. Tinctures also offer several other unique advantages.  

Adjustable Serving Sizes

Most CBD products have serving size suggestions printed on their labels. However, an amount of CBD that works well for someone else may not be right for you. You could need considerably more or significantly less. That's why so many experts recommend that anyone using CBD for the first time start with a partial serving while increasing gradually at a comfortable pace. The convenient bulbed dropper makes it easy to adjust your serving sizes as needed.

Efficient Cannabinoid Delivery

When you eat a CBD gummy, swallow a capsule, or add a serving of your CBD oil tincture to foods and drinks, the cannabinoids are processed through your digestive system. That means it can take an hour or two to experience their full potential. Allowing the cannabinoids time to absorb into your bloodstream through the large veins beneath your tongue (sublingual method) is more efficient. Most CBD users report experiencing the effects of a single serving in as little as 15-20 minutes.1

Better Bioavailability

Bioavailability refers to the amount of an active substance circulating in your system compared to the amount ingested. When you swallow CBD, many of its metabolites are processed and excreted before they're utilized by your body, meaning a portion of the CBD in every serving is lost.2,3 Since fewer cannabinoids are lost to digestion during sublingual delivery; many CBD users find the potency-maximizing impact of improved bioavailability translates to an ability to use less tincture per serving.

The Cons

Although CBD Oil tinctures are popular among first-time CBD users, they're not right for everyone. If you're not thrilled with the idea of measuring each serving or carrying a bottle of liquid that could break or spill, CBD capsules could be the better choice.


What Is a CBD Capsule?

CBD capsules deliver highly concentrated hemp-derived extract in an easy-to-swallow form. While similar to softgels, they're not the same. CBD softgels are soft and flexible because they're typically made with glycerin and gelatin. Capsules are made with rigid pieces of vegetable cellulose molded to fit together, a top and a bottom. Once the empty shells are filled, capsules are banded or fused.


What Are the Pros & Cons of CBD Capsules?

Capsules are a completely fuss-free way to add hemp-derived cannabinoids to your daily routine. You won't have to spend time mixing or measuring because the work is already done for you. That fact alone could make CBD capsules your best option if you're looking for a hemp-derived product that's great for home use and on the go. While it can take a bit longer for CBD capsules to deliver results, many CBD users find the following benefits worth the wait.

Consistent Serving Sizes

When you're using a CBD oil tincture, you may not be getting the same amount of CBD with every serving, especially if you're not in the habit of measuring your CBD by counting drops. When you choose CBD capsules, you'll get a precise, consistent amount of CBD every time, an amount that works well for most CBD users. You'll also know exactly how many servings are left in your bottle and eliminate the risk of losing your CBD to accidental spills or shattered glass.

No Overwhelming Flavors

Hemp-derived CBD (cannabidiol) is extracted from the plant's stalks, stems, and flowers. The cannabinoid-rich extract used to make full spectrum (and broad spectrum) CBD oil tinctures has a somewhat earthy taste. Even tinctures made with flavorless, odorless isolate powder will take on the flavor of their carrier oils, the hemp seed oil, olive oil, or coconut (MCT) oil used to enhance cannabinoid absorption. When you use CBD capsules, you won't taste the ingredients.

More Discrete

Some people use their CBD products several times each day. Although many are comfortable slipping a serving of their CBD tincture beneath their tongue as needed when spending time with family, friends, or co-workers, everyone is different. When using hemp-derived CBD in capsule form, you have the advantage of discrete CBD use. If you'd rather not carry an entire bottle, consider transferring your capsules for the day into a supplement caddy or pill box.  

The Cons

CBD capsules contain concentrations of hemp-derived cannabinoids that work well for a lot of people, but not every CBD user. While there's no harm in taking more CBD than you might need, using CBD capsules before you've identified your ideal serving size could significantly increase the overall cost of daily CBD use.


Are CBD Oil Tinctures Better Than CBD Capsules?

CBD oil tinctures are not inherently better than capsules. CBD capsules are not better than tinctures. Whether you choose a tincture or capsules, the CBD in your product interacts with multiple molecular targets, including the receptors of the largest regulatory system in your body, your endocannabinoid system (ECS). Most CBD users report favorable results using CBD tinctures and capsules for a wide range of concerns. However, each product has a unique set of benefits and limitations.

When convenience and portability matter most, CBD capsules are the better option. When you don't want to wait an hour or more for your CBD to peak, you'll likely prefer the results of using a CBD oil tincture sublingually (under your tongue). As long as you're choosing high-quality products from a reputable brand, the rest is simply a matter of personal preference.


Discover Why So Many People Choose CBDistillery® CBD Oil Tinctures and Capsules

As adults of all ages continue to embrace the many potential benefits of CBD, there's been a steady increase in the number of companies offering CBD-infused tinctures and capsules. However, quality and overall composition can vary significantly from one brand to the next.

At CBDistillery®, you'll find an impressive assortment of CBD oil tinctures and capsules, including products enhanced with the complementary effects of CBDA, CBG, CBN, and functional supplements. You can shop with confidence knowing CBDistillery® products are US Hemp Authority® certified, third-party tested for purity and potency, and backed by a 60-day satisfaction guarantee.

To learn more about the many potential benefits of supporting ECS function with hemp-derived cannabinoids, visit CBDistillery® to download our Ultimate CBD User Guide, the #1 resource for CBD users. While you're there, consider browsing our selection of full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate products. If you're having trouble deciding which CBDistillery® products might be your best option for relaxation, better sleep, focus, or recovery after physical activity, consider taking our CBD Product Quiz or scheduling a personal consultation with an expert.   


About CBDistillery®

 More than just a brand with exceptional products and service, CBDistillery® is on a mission to lead the #CBDMOVEMENT™ by providing the masses easy access to hemp-derived CBD products, widespread education, the latest industry research, and verified consumer testimonials.


Additional Sources:

1. CFAH. L Ashton. (2022 March 02) How Long Does It Take for CBD Oil to Work?

2. Biology Dictionary. (2018 April 22) Bioavailability Definition.

3. NIH National Library of Medicine. M Huestis. (2009 June 02) Human Cannabinoid Pharmacokinetics.