Premium CBD Oil vs CBD Capsules: What’s Best for Me?

CBII Wellness
13 min readAug 18, 2021
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CBD is an incredibly versatile ingredient and can be added to pretty much any product you can think of. With the plethora of CBD goods available, the options can get overwhelming, and choosing the best product for you can become a struggle. For now, let’s push aside the CBD candles, CBD creams, CBD infused foods and get back to basics. To experience all the potential benefits CBD has to offer in its purest form, consider using CBD oil and CBD capsules.

Your reasons for taking CBD oil vs CBD capsules will mostly depend on preference. CBD capsules provide an accurate, foolproof dose, so are great for beginners. On the flipside, CBD oil can be used in multiple ways from directly applying it to the skin to adding it to your favourite meals. There are lots of ways you can experiment with CBD products to find the most potentially beneficial option for you.

Although the ingredients of the CBD product may not differ hugely between CBD oil and CBD capsules, how you take the supplement can result in changes concerning how it may interact with your body. Your reason for wanting to use CBD will also determine how you choose to use it. Some methods enable the CBD to enter the bloodstream faster than others, while different techniques allow you to target areas which need additional attention directly.

Let’s take a look at the use of CBD, why you might consider using it, and the differences between CBD oil vs CBD capsule form.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (otherwise known as CBD) is an organic compound naturally produced by hemp plants. The organic compounds found in hemp plants are called cannabinoids, and there have been over a hundred identified so far. CBD makes up for roughly 40% of the plant’s extract and is obtained directly from raw hemp material.

There are many different ways to extract CBD from hemp, and some are more efficient and safer than others. The process in which the CBD is extracted from the plant material will affect the finished CBD product’s condition. CBII uses a trademarked clean and gentle ethanol extraction method, which ensures all CBD and products are consistently high quality.

Ethanol may be one of the oldest forms of extraction. CBD and the other cannabinoids present are drawn out from organic hemp plants by soaking them in ethanol. Through soaking the plant matter in high-proof ethanol, the material changes with regard to its biochemistry. This process enables minimal damage to the cannabinoids (including CBD), and, when suspending them in a liquid, it protects them from possible harm, such as oxidation.

The processing for ethanol CBD extraction requires a lot of work, and involves several refinements and filtration methods to create a pure full-spectrum hemp extract. However, when completed correctly, there is no need for winterisation (the practice of removing undesirable elements that were also extracted from the plant).

Once the full-spectrum CBD extract has been produced, a carrier oil is then added to help with bioavailability. Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) is one of the highest quality carrier oils available. It is a great addition to help improve the potential effectiveness of CBD in the body, helping it reach where it needs to go.

Is CBD Legal?

One of CBD consumers’ main concerns is whether it is legal or not. Yes, CBD in the UK is legal- as long as it contains no more than 0.2% THC. THC is short for tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants which is responsible for producing a “high”. The Home Office has also stated that the THC should be not easily separated from the CBD product itself.

Although both CBD and THC are cannabinoids, THC is considered to be a controlled substance, while CBD is not. CBD has no intoxicating effects and has been found, in some cases, even to neutralise the effects of THC. The hemp plants used to make CBD have only trace amounts of THC, and will not cause any adverse effects.

It is essential to ensure you purchase CBD products from a reputable source. Not only will the CBD quality vary from brand to brand, but its legal status may also differ. Ensure the THC quality is clearly listed on the packaging, and that the product has undergone rigorous third-party testing. Companies which have high-quality CBD products and great laboratory results will be keen to make those results public. If there is no record of third party testing or a Certificate of Analysis (COA), it is best to steer clear.

Why Take CBD Supplements?

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Scientists have found CBD could affect your body in a variety of ways. The primary method is by interacting with the compounds in the human body called endogenous cannabinoids (also known as endocannabinoids). The term was given to these compounds because of the similar compounds found in hemp plants. Endocannabinoids make up part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in our bodies.

The growing awareness of the endocannabinoid system has drastically increased scientific understanding of the potential benefits CBD could have on our overall health. There is an extensive range of physiological processes which are regulated via the endocannabinoid system. These processes affect our everyday lives, from how we experience pain to how we feel hunger.

The reason for introducing CBD supplements as part of your daily routine can be that CBD is purported to be beneficial in supporting a healthy lifestyle. There are many anecdotal reports of CBD assisting symptoms of various ailments when used as part of a holistic approach in recovery or management of symptoms of a condition.

The most popular uses of CBD surround support with pain, sleep, anxiety, stress, and low mood concerns. As studies continue to take place, CBD is also being found to have potential benefits when used regularly to support post sport recovery, relaxation, and general well-being.

CBD Oil vs CBD Capsules: What Are They?

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Many CBD product options are out there, and two of the most popular are CBD oil and CBD capsules. They can provide the same results but have some significant differences that we can not see by merely looking at them. But first, here are the apparent differences between the two products:

  • CBD Oil — CBD oil is made by taking the extracted oil from hemp plants and suspending it with a carrier oil. Some CBD producers use hemp seed oil or fractionated oil. CBII likes to use Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT), as we believe it is the perfect carrier for CBD, and has many reputed health benefits. Most CBD oils are then stored in a dropper or spray bottle for consumer use.
  • CBD Capsules — almost identical to CBD oil, the capsules contain CBD extract and a carrier oil, but are housed in capsule form. The external capsule is usually in gel form, as they are easier to swallow. Gel form capsules are thought to also allow the body to absorb CBD more effectively and quickly. Some capsules may also have added vitamins and nutrients to provide additional support to your overall health. CBII, for example, have a range of CBD capsules which may assist you with maintaining healthy bones and supplementing your immune system.

Now that we have had a look at the blatantly apparent differences, let’s dive into some that we cannot always clearly see.

CBD Oil vs CBD Capsules: Does One Taste Better Than the Other?

The taste of CBD is a bit like marmite. Some people love the natural flavour, while others find it all a bit much. CBD flavours will vary from product to product, but most people describe it as somewhat earthy. Depending on your personal taste preference, this is where the two different types of CBD products can start to inform your preferences.

  • CBD Oil — When administering CBD oil directly into your mouth, you may be holding it there for 30 to 60 seconds to achieve maximum absorption. If you have an overwhelming earthy flavour sitting close to your taste buds for this amount of time, it can start to become unpleasant. Since CBD is mixed with a carrier oil, the natural flavours are dulled down somewhat, making the experience more pleasant. Of course, many people love the natural, herbal taste of CBD, and look forward to their doses.
  • CBD Capsules — For those who prefer to enjoy all the potential benefits of CBD without the taste, CBS capsules are a great option. You can swallow the capsule with a neutral flavour, which is great if you struggle to directly take CBD oil.

Putting taste aside, when investing in high-quality CBD products, you are going to want to ensure you are experiencing the most potential benefits. Some may find CBD oil is best for them, as high doses can be taken, while others may prefer capsule form with some added vitamins and nutrients. The format in which you choose to consume your CBD will depend on your individual taste preference and what you are using CBD to supplement.

CBD Oil vs CBD Capsules: Bioavailability

The bioavailability of CBD refers to how much and at what rate the extract gets absorbed by your bloodstream. It is handy to grasp a basic understanding of CBD’s bioavailability, as it helps you figure out how much you need to take (and in what form) to ensure the proper dose ends up in your system. If this is not determined, you may not feel the desired effects CBD has the potential to achieve.

The bioavailability of CBD oil is mostly dependent on the method in which you choose to administer it. So, whether you are eating it, rubbing it directly onto the skin, or applying a few drops under your tongue, each will have different bioavailability. Here some examples of how you may use CBD oil and CBD capsules, and how the bioavailability will be affected:

  • CBD’s Sublingual Bioavailability — This method involves administering CBD oil under your tongue and held there for between 30 to 60 seconds. CBD oil has a sublingual bioavailability of 13% to 19%. There have been some studies which have actually put this method as high as 35%.

Holding the CBD under your tongue enables it to be absorbed via your sublingual gland, through which the extract can enter your bloodstream and begin to potentially take effect. The possible effects of CBD via sublingual administration tend to start to take effect within 30 minutes or so.

When practising this method, a top tip is to ensure you hold the CBD in the appropriate place (under your tongue) for an adequate amount of time (30 to 60 seconds). If you accidentally swallow too soon, or apply the CBD drops above your tongue, you may as well be taking CBD orally, which offers a significantly lower rate of bioavailability.

  • CBD’s Oral Bioavailability — Oral ingestion of CBD is one of the most popular practices, as swallowing and eating are methods we are all familiar with. Whether it is eating food, drinking beverages, or swallowing our daily vitamins, we all know how to do it. From a bioavailability standpoint, oral ingestions are considered less effective than taking CBD sublingually. The oral bioavailability of CBD is between 10% to 20%, and some studies have even discovered it to be as low as 6%.

CBD has such a low oral bioavailability because, when it is used orally, it has to go through the digestive system before it can reach the bloodstream. This process is pretty slow, and depending on the person, it can take up to two hours before entering their bloodstream.

During this time, some of the CBD can get lost in the liver and digestive tract. As a result, when choosing an oral CBD method, you will have to wait longer for the CBD to provide potential benefits, and these effects may not be as practical due to some of the extract being lost before entering the bloodstream properly.

  • CBD’s Topical Bioavailability — Even if you opt to purchase CBD as oil or capsule, it does not necessarily mean you have to use them only via your mouth. Get creative with how you introduce CBD to your wellness routine- it’s one versatile product! CBD can even be applied topically, through the skin.

With this method, CBD engages primarily with the endocannabinoid receptors which are found in your peripheral nervous system- including on the skin. This is great for when you may have sore muscles or sports injust as it can be massaged directly on the affected area to help provide comfort.

As the CBD is only interacting with local receptors on the skin, it will not enter your bloodstream. This means topical administration will not interact with cannabinoid receptors in the brain and central nervous system, which means it will be ineffective for supporting other internal potential health benefits.

Like the sublingual CBD method, topical administration also requires you to be aware of the correct approach to achieve maximum possible benefits. Although we have pores in our skin, generally speaking, the skin is not incredibly porous.

After all, the skin is there to act as a barrier that protects our internal organs from the outside world. In an attempt to bypass this protective shield, you will need to apply the CBD topically, in a liberal and lively manner, in order to ensure the targeted area actually absorbs the CBD.

The bioavailability of topical CBD is yet to be quantified; however, it is expected to be pretty low. There have been some studies conducted using CBD topically which have found it does have its place in potentially supporting overall health, so why not give it a go?

Although it is not possible to increase the bioavailability of CBD, you can optimise your administration method to ensure you receive your ideal dose. Highly trained professionals conducted research upon the reported bioavailabilities, and in doing so have also practised hyper-precise dosing.

Your personal experience of CBD dosing may vary slightly, but the data provided in these scientific studies can still be used as a handy guide.

CBD Oil vs CBD Capsules: Which One Is Most Convenient?

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Both types of CBD products are convenient and easy to use. The one you find most suitable for your daily routine will be down to personal preference. If you are someone that enjoys strategically managing your daily dose to ensure optimal results, CBD oil may be the choice for you. If you like traditional supplements where the quantity is pre-sorted for you, CBD capsules may be more your taste.

Lifestyle will also play a part in what you find most convenient. For example, in a busy family household with children and pets running around, simply going to the cabinet and swallowing a CBD capsule will be much more convenient than carefully using a CBD oil dropper. On the other hand, if your body reacts better to slowly building the dosage up to get the right balance for you, CBD oil will be a much easier way to achieve the potential benefits for your body and mind.

  • CBD Oil — CBD oil is generally sold in a dropper bottle or spray, taking it is very convenient. Once you have established your preferred dose, it only takes seconds to apply. You should hold the under your tongue for around 30 to 60 seconds, which is not considered problematic for too many people. Once applied, it can take up to 30 minutes to feel the potential effects.
  • CBD Capsules — There is no worry about spilling or waste with capsules. They are also straightforward to travel with, so if you spend a lot of time out of the home, CBD capsules will be convenient. If you share your home with others and are a private person, you may prefer to take CBD in capsule form as it is very discreet. Many people also like that the capsule contains a precise dosage, so you don’t have to measure with a dropper to ensure you are getting the proper amount.

CBD Oil vs CBD Capsules: Are There Any Downsides?

We have had a look at why you may favour one product type over another, but are there any downsides to CBD oil and CBD capsules?

  • CBD Oil — One of the biggest gripes people have about CBD oil is the distinctive taste. If you really dislike the oil blend, or have a sensitive gag reflex, administering CBD oil directly from the bottle to under your tongue may not be the best option for you. However, CBD oil can be easily added to food and drink, which will better mask the taste. It is worth noting that you will not get as much into your bloodstream initially without holding the oil against your sublingual gland.
  • CBD Capsules — One of the most significant downsides to CBD capsules is simply the fact that you may not be able to take full advantage of the potential benefits, due to any loss that may possibly occur through the digestive system. Similar to when adding CBD oil to food, when CBD capsules are swallowed, the supplement will not enter your bloodstream as quickly as taking your preferred dosage with CBD sublingually. This means the purported effects of CBD may be less readily available when most needed.

Which One Will You Choose?

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As we have learnt, there are many good reasons to take either CBD oil or CBD capsules. How you choose to ingest CBD is very much a personal choice, and dependent upon your own preferences. One of the major points is that the bioavailability of CBD is most readily available when taken sublingually. This method results in CBD entering your bloodstream more quickly, and allows your body to uptake more of its full strength than a capsule.

If you are a bit accidental, CBD oil can be easily spilt, so you may want to consider CBD capsules. With capsules, the CBD is safely stored, and there is no risk of accidentally spilling the oil. You may also find it is not the most discrete product if you need to administer a CBD dose in public.

If you can’t choose between the two, or find they both have their possible individual benefits, there is no reason why you should not include both into your wellness routine. Both CBD oil and CBD capsules can be taken together, as long as the recommended 70mg maximum CBD dose is not exceeded per day. This is the recommended threshold reported by the Food Standard Agency.

If you are new to CBD, it is best to start by taking a lower dosage of both products, and monitor your responses to find the best dose for you.



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