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CBD Capsules Versus CBD Oil Tinctures

HempFusion Staff June 7, 2021

CBD Capsules vs Oil: Everything You Need to Know

If you are one of the many people interested in trying CBD, or if you already use it and want to continue doing so, you have many choices of formats. Two of the most popular options are oils (or their cousin, tinctures) and capsules.
Take a closer look at each of these to discover the differences between CBD capsules vs oils. At the end, you should have a better idea of which one makes the most sense for you.

Understanding Each Form of CBD Deliveries

Before getting into the differences between CBD tinctures and capsules, make sure you understand what each is.

CBD Tincture or Oil

CBD oils are liquids. They are typically just CBD extract and a carrier oil. This makes them incredibly versatile. They usually come in small bottles with one-milliliter droppers attached to the lid. These droppers sometimes have additional measuring lines for more accurate measuring.

CBD Capsules

CBD capsules are exactly what they sound like: easy-to-swallow pills or capsules containing CBD. They can have a gel or non-gelatinous casing. You just swallow the capsule with water like you would any other pill. Most CBD capsules are specifically designed with casings that make them easier to swallow.

CBD Capsules vs Oil: How You Ingest Them

As we mentioned, you ingest a CBD capsule just like you would any other pill–simply swallow it with some water or a beverage of your choice.

Using CBD oil or tincture is a bit different. If you want to take the CBD alone, you can just place a few drops into the mouth to take it orally. One of the highly appealing features of oils or tinctures is that you can also mix them into drinks, lotions for added moisture, and more. This makes them very easy to incorporate into your day and adds to their versatility. You could put a few drops in your coffee, tea, or smoothie to ingest the oil– you’ll find yourself keeping CBD oil handy for these reasons!

Of course, given that swallowing a capsule is so straightforward, you may not need the versatility of oils.

CBD Capsules vs Oil: How Your Body Reacts

One of the biggest differences between CBD capsules vs oil is how long it takes for your body to process.
Using CBD oil is one of the quickest ways to notice the effects. That is because when using a CBD oil or tincture, your body doesn’t have to work an extra step to break through a capsule.

By contrast, CBD capsules have to dissolve within your digestive system before the CBD is processed through the digestive system.

Just keep in mind that if you choose to mix your CBD tincture with a food or drink, then it could similarly slow digestion of the CBD oil. your digestive system.

It is also worth noting that because capsules may take longer to digest, the relaxing benefits of your CBD may last longer. This means that capsules are the best choice if you’re seeking long-lasting balance–say, for a long day at work. Whereas oil may be a better choice for those times that you need to calm the mind for a brief period, say, a meditation or a yoga practice.

When it Comes to CBD Oils vs. Capsules, Ingredients May be Different

As mentioned, CBD oils typically just contain the CBD extract and a carrier oil. By contrast, CBD capsules may include a few extra ingredients. That said, either product may contain few extra, beneficial ingredients, but these are more commonly seen in CBD capsules vs. oils.

Here’s a breakdown of some common features of CBD oils vs. CBD capsules:
CBD oils: These are typically vegan, gluten-free, and contain just hemp-extract with cannabinoids, including CBD or a CBD isolate

CBD capsules: These are typically (but not always) gluten-free. Due to the nature of some capsules, they may or may not be vegan

If you have allergies or dietary restrictions, be sure to read the labels thoroughly before trying any supplement.

Understanding CBD Bioavailability

The difference in how you digest CBD capsules vs oil also means that they have different amounts of bioavailability. Bioavailability refers to how much of the CBD your body actually uses.

Oils tend to have high bioavailability. By contrast, with a slower digestion time, capsules tend to have a slightly lower bioavailability.

This means that you will typically need to take a slightly higher dose of CBD in capsule form than you would if it was a tincture.

Understanding CBD Serving Sizes

When it comes to serving sizes, each side has its advantages when you compare CBD tincture vs capsules.

Where CBD Capsules Excel

The great thing about CBD capsules is that each capsule is already measured out. You don’t have to worry about accurately measuring out a serving of your CBD. Even better, there is no concern about spilling some of the CBD as you measure it out or accidentally mismeasuring.

By contrast, with tinctures, you need to measure them carefully. Yes, most oils will include droppers to help with this, but for some it may still be hard to get an accurate measurement.

Where CBD Tinctures Excel

While serving sizes from measuring tinctures may not be as precise as from a capsule, CBD oils and tinctures do stand to offer more versatility. Essentially, you can choose how much you want based on the oil’s strength. If you want to consume less CBD, it’s as easy as simply consuming less of the oil. If you want to take the amount of CBD recommended on the label, that’s just as easy.

By contrast, capsules will only work with set serving sizes. In other words, if you have hemp oil capsules with 5 mg of CBD, you don’t have the option of consuming less per serving. That being said, us CBD manufacturers are well aware of this potential limited flexibility when it comes to capsules. This is why we offer CBD capsules with two options for CBD potency, and why we offer a variety of CBD oils that allow you to tailor your wellness regimen.

CBD Capsules Offer Portability and Convenience

Portability and convenience go hand-in-hand when comparing CBD capsules vs oil. Capsules have an advantage in both factors.
Capsules are much easier to travel with than oil is. To start, you don’t have to take the entire bottle with you; you can just put one or two capsules in a pill holder and bring it. You can’t do that with tinctures and would have to bring the entire bottle with you. There’s also a risk, albeit a low one, that the bottle of oil could break or leak in your bag if you take it with you.

The convenience of capsules comes from a combination of this transportability and the fact that they are pre-dosed. When you want to take CBD, you just take a capsule out of your bag and swallow it. By contrast, if you want to take CBD oil, you have to take out the bottle, carefully measure, and then use it.

CBD Capsules Also Offer More Discretion, as Needed

In addition to being more convenient and easier to transport, CBD capsules also tend to be much more discreet than liquids. This simply comes from the fact that it is not considered normal for people to put drops in their mouth in public, but it is somewhat normal to take pills in public.

It also comes from the fact that you don’t need to take time to prepare the CBD capsules, but you would have to do so with a tincture.

Is Flavor a Big Deal to You?

When comparing CBD capsules vs oil, it is also worth noting that they typically have different flavors, and your choice will likely come down to personal preference.

Most capsules are flavorless. By contrast, most oils or tinctures will have a combination of flavors. There will be some of the earthy flavor associated with hemp, as well as a hint of flavor from the carrier oil. For example, if the oil uses coconut oil, it may have a coconutty taste.

CBD Capsules or Tinctures: How to Decide Which to Go With

The bottom line is that neither CBD capsules vs oil are better than the other. They just appeal to different people for different reasons. (And often to the same people for different reasons!).

Go with CBD capsules if you want something:
Incredibly portable
Pre-measured for accuracy
With no potential mess during measuring
Essentially flavorless
Easy to take as part of your routine
With longer-lasting effects

Go with CBD oil if you want something:
With customizable doses
You can mix into food, drinks, and topical items
With a quicker effect onset
With slightly more bioavailability

Remember, you don’t have to choose between CBD tincture vs capsules. You can easily incorporate both into your routine. Just make sure to adjust for each method so you don’t consume more CBD than you intended.

Bonus: How to Choose Quality CBD, Whether You Want Capsules or Oil

No matter the type of CBD product you choose, you should always ensure that you opt for a high-quality option. Remember that the CBD industry as a whole is not yet well-regulated–there are many brands out there making false promises for a product that uses sub-par ingredients. Doing your research and choosing a brand you trust is critical.

Always opt for a company that has transparent laboratory results or batch reports for their products. This will ensure that your product is as advertised. Ideally, the lab testing comes from a third party, as this will eliminate the risk of any biases. The report or batch analysis should display the quantities of each cannabinoid. They should also confirm that there are no harmful contaminants in the product and that any other substances are within safe levels. The best companies will have these reports easily available on their website, searchable by product batch.

It is also smart to pay attention to how your chosen company grows the hemp used for their CBD products. You want hemp that is grown organically, as trace amounts of chemicals in pesticides and herbicides can potentially end up in your CBD. You can avoid that issue by choosing a CBD company with organic growing practices and by looking at the laboratory analysis.
You should also be aware of whether your chosen CBD product contains traces of THC, which may be the case for some full-spectrum CBD products. This is especially important if you live somewhere where THC is illegal or if you are regularly subject to drug testing.

There is also the personal preference of whether your chosen product only contains the CBD extract alone, such as a CBD isolate, or one teeming with the array of beneficial hemp compounds like terpenes and other cannabinoids to take advantage of the entourage effect.

Choose CBD Capsules from HempFusion

When it comes to CBD capsules vs. oil, we think you’ll agree HempFusion is a great choice. With our line of CBD capsules, you get all the benefits of capsules, including accuracy (with two options), portability, and discretion. There are even capsules featuring additional botanical ingredients that may offer support with sleep, energy, or stress. As a bonus, the capsules are gluten-free and vegan. If you prefer, HempFusion also offers CBD tinctures.
All products come with reassurance about their quality via readily available lab testing information. HempFusion lets you search its website for lab testing using a lot code or QR code. All lab testing confirms the cannabinoid profile as well as checking for residual solvents, heavy metals, herbicides and pesticides, microbiological safety, and a terpene profile.


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HempFusion Staff HempFusion consists of a team of passionate individuals working together for a common goal — to create the best CBD products on the market and to educate consumers like yourself about the different aspects of this unique cannabinoid found in hemp. We’re committed to providing accurate, compliant, educational, and engaging content so you can make informed choices about your life.