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Many people turn to CBD, or cannabidiol, for relief from a variety of ailments, including insomnia, anxiety and diseases like cancer. That’s because the naturally-derived compound induces feelings of tranquility and sleepiness and has other beneficial qualities, like anti-inflammatory and anti-convulsive properties. Unlike its cousin, THC, CBD has no psychoactive effects and is usually derived from hemp, not marijuana.
Sales of CBD products are on the rise, and the market is expected to grow to $22 billion by 2022. CBD oil is available in a variety of forms, and capsules have become increasingly popular. They’re tasteless, as easy to take as a daily supplement and dosage is straightforward.
But with the dizzying number of CBD capsule products on the market, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. Read on to learn more about CBD capsules in our buyer’s guide and find our top five picks for the best CBD capsules.
Best CBD Capsules
- Editor’s Pick – Medterra
- Best Full Spectrum – PlusCBD Oil
- Best Value – CBDistillery
- Purest CBD Capsules – CBDfx
- Best THC-free Capsules – cbdMD
The Best CBD Capsules – Reviewed
- Third-party lab tested
- 25mg and 50mg concentrations
- $0.06 and $0.04 per mg
Our Editor’s Pick goes to Medterra’s CBD Gel Capsules, an effective and convenient product from a trusted brand. Medterra has become well known for their purity, transparency, and affordable price points. Extracted from industrial hemp grown in Kentucky, their CBD oil is subject to third party testing, the results of which are available on their website. Perhaps best of all, they ship to all 50 states and most international countries.
Like all of their products, Medterra’s CBD gel capsules an isolate CBD product, so no THC or other cannabanoids are in their capsules. This CBD oil is suspended in fractionated coconut oil and encapsulated in gelatin, resulting in simple formulation derived from natural ingredients. These capsules are a convenient and more portable alternative to CBD tincture.
Medterra offers their gel capsules in two strengths: 25 and 50mg, with 30 capsules in each bottle. Relative to other CBD capsules on the market, this product comes
Best Full Spectrum
- Full-spectrum hemp extract capsules
- Non-GMO and gluten-free
- 10mg and 15mg concentrations
- $0.09 to $0.14 per mg
PlusCBD Oil was one of the first companies to develop CBD products in the U.S., and their products continue to be top quality. The brand’s CBD Oil Capsules are no exception.
Made from non-GMO industrial hemp, the full spectrum formula includes a blend of phytocannabinoids, terpenes, vitamin E and fatty acids. They’re also vegan friendly.
You can choose from either 30 count or 60 count bottles and 10 mg or 15 mg capsules. The relatively low dosage is great for lighter weight individuals and anyone trying CBD capsules for the first time.
If you need a higher dosage, just take two or three capsules instead of one. They’re also a good fit for couples who might need different dosages. PlusCBD Oil products are all lab-tested and the capsules are available at a relatively affordable price.
- Full-spectrum CBD oil
- Made with organic hemp
- 88 mg of CBD per serving
- 30mL/2,500mg ($0.08 per mg)
High potency CBD oils are ideal for those seeking a powerful, therapeutic effect. However, many companies only offer CBD oil in low to moderate potencies. Our pick for the highest potency CBD oil is Sabaidee’s Mega Good Vibes 2500mg+ CBD oil. At 88.33mg of CBD per serving, this is one of the most potent CBD oils on the market. And at $0.08 per mg of CBD, it is also reasonably priced. One 30mL bottle packs 2,500 mg of high-quality, full-spectrum, peppermint-flavored CBD oil.
Sabaidee’s high potency CBD oil is made with just four simple, natural ingredients: CBD-rich hemp extract oil, MCT oil from coconuts, peppermint oil, and stevia leaf extract. The peppermint and stevia give this CBD oil a sweet and minty taste that’s not overpowering. Each product batch is tested by an independent third-party laboratory for purity and potency. And if you like the sound of Sabaidee’s CBD oil but are looking for a lower potency option, low and moderate potencies (8.33mg and 33.5mg per serving respectively) are also available.
Purest CBD Capsules
Purest CBD Capsules
- Full-spectrum hemp extract
- Contains nutrient-rich MCT oil
- 25mg per capsule
- $0.08 per mg
Purity is a concern for CBD consumers since some capsules and other products are made with artificial sweeteners, dyes, and other questionable ingredients.
Our top pick for this category is CBDfx, a brand that offers 25mg capsules made from full-spectrum CBD oil, MCT oil, and gelatin. The MCT oil – also known as coconut oil extract – is rich in amino acids and other nutrients. CBDfx recommends taking the capsules with food and/or before bedtime.
CBDfx capsules are derived from organically grown hemp plants. The 25mg capsules are packaged in a 30-count container; at $0.08 per mg, they have a lower-than-average price-point compared to similar products.
Additionally, CBDfx offers the capsules in an 8-count package. Bundle packages including CBD capsules, gummies, and vape pens are also available to customers at a discounted rate.
Best THC-free Capsules
- Organic, two-ingredient formula
- Full-spectrum CBD Oil
- 5mL/250mg ($0.15 per mg) or 15ml/750mg ($0.13 per mg)
Cost can be a barrier for those who want to use CBD on a regular basis. CBD Oil Capsules from cbdMD offer a top-quality product at an affordable price.
The company is also committed to producing CBD oil that doesn’t contain any THC. Instead of the crystalline isolate process, cbdMD uses a proprietary technique called hybrid broad-spectrum. The resulting oil contains CBD plus other cannabinoids, terpenes, amino acids and essential oils without a trace of THC.
Customers can choose from 30- or 60-count bottles and concentrations ranging from 450 mg to 3000 mg. That translates to per capsule dosages of 15 mg, 16.6mg, 25mg, 33.3mg and 50 mg; this range should accommodate most CBD consumers regardless of their preferred strength.
All CBDMD products are third-party tested, and only non-GMO hemp is used to produce these capsules.
Buying Guide – How to Shop for CBD Capsules
CBD, or cannabidiol, is derived from plants like hemp and marijuana. It’s a naturally-occurring compound that is known for aiding in healthy sleep, pain relief and anxiety reduction. Many users prefer to take CBD in capsule form because it’s as easy as taking a daily supplement, and dosage is simple. Those who take capsules can also avoid the taste of hemp found in other CBD products.
The world of CBD capsules can be overwhelming, but we’re here to help you navigate. In the following buyer’s guide, we’ll run through what CBD oil and capsules are, the benefits of CBD capsules, safety and shopping considerations.
What Are CBD Capsules?
Please note: We share information that helps our readers get the best sleep possible, but it should never replace the advice of a licensed medical professional. Please talk to your doctor before trying CBD oil for the first time.
CBD is a naturally-occurring compound found in cannabis plants, like hemp and marijuana. Because it’s found in plants, CBD is a phytocannabinoid (“phyto” meaning “related to plants”). It’s one of more than 100 types found in cannabis, including the better-known tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). But unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive effects and instead offers users feelings of relaxation and sleepiness.
Humans also produce cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids, and they’re regulated by the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS regulates a variety of bodily functions and maintains homeostasis. Phytocannabinoids like CBD can interact with the ECS, replacing diminished endocannabinoids and promoting balance.
There are two primary ways to extract CBD commercially:
- Solvent method: The plant is soaked in a solvent—usually ethanol—until it forms a liquid. Once the solvent evaporates, the liquid left behind contains CBD and other cannabinoids.
- CO2 method: Using a series of different chambers, CO2 is forced through the plant to separate out cannabinoids like CBD.
While CBD isn’t THC, cannabinoid extracts can contain THC. CBD oil from hemp contains 0.3 percent THC or less. CBD oil from marijuana can have up to a 30 percent THC concentration. It’s also possible to extract CBD oil from hemp so that no THC is present, as is summarized below:
|CBD Class||Extraction Method||THC Content||Appearance||Drug Test Risk?|
|Crystalline Isolate||Oil is extracted from cannabis plant and cooled, allowing CBD to be isolated from other cannabinoids, like THC. The result is an oil that only contains CBD.||None||Sparkly white||No|
|Full Spectrum Oil||Oil is extracted from cannabis plant and not allowed to cool. A variety cannabinoids, like THC, remain.||0.3% or less||Translucent yellow||Yes|
How to Take CBD Capsules
Oral ingestion is the most popular way to take CBD, and CBD capsules are one of the simplest and quickest methods. CBD capsules resemble vitamins or supplements and can be taken with a glass of water. They contain CBD oil in either softgel, traditional capsule or pill form.
The capsule itself is either made from gelatin or vegetable cellulose. If you’re vegan, or try to avoid animal products, then look for plant-based capsules as gelatin is derived from animals. Inside the capsule, CBD oil is usually supplemented by other ingredients to bulk out the capsule and provide additional benefits.
Coconut oil is a common ingredient because it helps CBD oil work faster and has other health benefits. Capsules can also contain other cannabinoids, terpenes, amino acids, vitamins and other substances. Be sure to check the ingredient list to make sure you’re comfortable with everything that’s included.
Benefits of Using CBD Capsules
Because its legal status was in flux, it was previously difficult to research the benefits of CBD. While there’s certainly a need for more studies, what we know so far is encouraging. What’s more, anecdotal accounts have shown that CBD can be beneficial in alleviating side effects of a variety of physical and mental ailments.
Common physical ailments that may respond well to CBD include:
- Seizures and epilepsy: CBD is a nonconvulsive, and evidence has shown it can reduce seizure frequency. The FDA has also recently approved its first CBD medication for the treatment of two forms of epilepsy.
- Chronic pain: CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to ease pain and inflammation from conditions like arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
- Cancer: Many cancer patients find CBD provides relief from cancer side effects, like pain and sleeplessness. Recent studies have also shown that CBD may actually be beneficial in treating cancer. One found that when combined with chemotherapy, use of CBD in rats with pancreatic cancer tripled their survival rates.
- Heart disease: CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties make it potentially effective in treating heart disease by reducing inflammation and strengthening the cardiovascular system.
- Glaucoma: Glaucoma occurs when glutamate causes retinal cells to die. CBD and other cannabinoids have been shown to protect retinal neurons.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): CBD has been shown to reduce intestinal inflammation by controlling the neuroimmune system, which connects gut microbes, the immune system and the nervous system.
CBD also provides relief for mental ailments:
- Sleep disorders: Many who suffer from insomnia find relief with CBD. Those who use it usually experience a relaxed, sleepy feeling, and it helps users fall asleep more easily and stay asleep. For those whose chronic pain keeps them awake, it can also help with pain relief.
- Anxiety and depression: Evidence increasingly shows that CBD is effective in reducing the symptoms depression and a range of anxiety disorders. It activates serotonin receptors in the brain, which contributes to feelings of well-being.
- PTSD: CBD has also been effective in giving some relief to PTSD sufferers. One study found that CBD provided relief to a young girl suffering from PTSD and also helped improve her sleep quality.
CBD capsules, specifically, also come with certain benefits. Dosage is simpler than with other forms of CBD oil because each capsule has a clearly defined dose. Capsules are also easy to take, and some people prefer them because they don’t taste like hemp. You can also avoid the sugar found in gummies. They might take a little longer than oil applied directly into the mouth, but some say the effects last longer.
Are CBD Capsules Safe?
CBD capsules are generally considered low-risk, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have possible side-effects. These can include:
- Dry mouth: Many hemp- and marijuana-based tend to cause dry mouth, also known as cottonmouth. Cannabinoids interact with the ECS present in salivary glands, which can temporarily inhibit saliva production. Drinking plenty of water before and after taking a CBD capsule can help alleviate any discomfort.
- Blood pressure decrease: Higher concentrations of CBD can lead to a temporary drop in blood pressure that can make users feel lightheaded. This usually wears off quickly, but those with low blood pressure or taking medications for low blood pressure should check with their doctors before taking CBD capsules.
- Diarrhea: CBD capsules with larger doses can lead to diarrhea because the substance interacts with the digestive system. If you experience this, try taking a lower dose.
- Appetite changes: Like other cannabinoids, CBD can make users feel hungrier than usual.
- Drowsiness: Especially for those who take CBD capsules to sleep better, drowsiness is a desired side effect. Just be sure to not operate a vehicle until you know how CBD affects you.
It goes without saying that you should check with your doctor before taking CBD capsules, especially if you take prescription medication. You want to ensure it won’t interact with any of your prescriptions. CBD capsules affect different people differently, so give yourself time to get used to them. Start with a lower dose and increase if desired.
Important Considerations for CBD Capsule Shoppers
CBD capsule dosage tends to range from 10 mg to 50 mg of CBD per capsule. Some bottles will list total concentration of CBD in the bottle (e.g. 450 mg) but usually also indicate dosage per capsule (e.g. 30 pills with 15 mg each).
The dosage you should take depends on a variety of factors, including weight, tolerance and what you’re treating. It makes sense to start with a low dose and increase if desired, and the table below also gives general guidance by weight:
|Weight Group||Recommended Dosage for Mild Effects||Recommended Dosage for Moderate Effects||Recommended Dosage for Strong Effects|
|Less than 130 lbs.||11mg||12mg to 14mg||15mg to 17mg|
|130 to 230 lbs.||18mg||19mg to 23mg||24mg to 27mg|
|More than 230 lbs.||23mg||24mg to 30mg||29mg to 45mg|
Are You Vegetarian or Vegan?
Most capsules, including CBD capsules, are made with gelatin. It dissolves quickly once entering the body, and it’s relatively inexpensive. The downside for many consumers is that it’s derived from animals. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you may want to opt for CBD capsules made from vegetable cellulose. These sometimes cost a bit more, but they perform just as well as capsules made from gelatin.
In Which State Do You Currently Reside?
Laws related to cannabis are always changing and vary from state to state. Hemp-sourced CBD is legal to buy, possess and consume in most states, but the legal status is much more complicated for marijuana-based CBD and largely depends on the legal status of marijuana in a particular state. Some states also have rules around the THC content of CBD oil.
Do You Have A Job With Drug Testing Requirements?
Full-spectrum CBD oils contain trace amounts of THC, which could show up on drug tests if you use them consistently. If you have a job that requires drug testing, you may want to opt for crystalline CBD isolate that only contains CBD and no THC.
Does the CBD Brand You’re Considering List Third Party and Lab Result Details?
It’s important to feel confident about the quality of your CBD capsules, so look for brands that complete third-party testing. Lab results aren’t quite as important, but probably indicate a high-quality product.
Other Ways to Ingest CBD
If capsules aren’t for you or you want to try another method for taking CBD, there are a variety of options:
- Tincture: Tinctures are CBD oil in dropper bottles, and users typically place drops under their tongues.
- Vapor: CBD vape oil is specially formulated to be heated and used with an e-cigarette or vape pen.
- Spray: Sprays have lower concentrations that other forms of CBD but can be sprayed directly in your mouth.
- Topical: Topical applications are intended to work well for pain in a specific area.
CBD Capsules FAQ
There are many benefits to taking a CBD capsule over other types of CBD products. Firstly, the dosage is much easier to determine, since the pills contain a consistent amount each time. Secondly, many people dislike the taste of hemp that is often hard to mask in other products, but taste is not an issue with capsules. Lastly, pills are familiar and easy to take for most folks, not to mention that they can help those who wish to avoid other ingredients, such as sugar and flavorings, that are often found in other CBD products like gummies.
If you consistently use a full-spectrum CBD product that contains trace amounts of THC, that THC may show up on a drug test. The safest course of action if you expect to need to pass a drug test in the near future is to use CBD isolate products or full-spectrum products that do not contain any trace amounts of THC.
You should always check with your doctor before taking CBD capsules, even though they are generally considered to be low-risk. Some people who take CBD capsules may experience symptoms such as dry mouth, drowsiness, appetite changes, blood pressure decrease, or diarrhea.
Despite the fact that many full-spectrum CBD products contain trace amounts of THC (no more than 0.3%), they do not produce a psychoactive high.