cbd pills vs oil

CBD Pills vs. Oils

Posted on June 22nd, 2020

These days, it seems like CBD is infused into everything. You can find advertisements promoting CBD cocktails, face serums, and even bath bombs. But before you buy a CBD product, it’s important to understand how the compound reacts in or on your body so you can choose your ideal delivery method.

Keep in mind, there is no gold standard for the best form of CBD. The right choice for you truly depends on your wellness goals and your body’s reaction to the different forms of CBD. To help you navigate your options, we’ll compare CBD pills vs. oil, reviewing their relative advantages. This way, you can better understand which CBD form best suits you and make a more informed choice when you decide to use CBD.

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the numerous active compounds derived from the Cannabis plant. You’ve likely heard of another notable Cannabis compound, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), that is well known for its psychoactive effects. It is the compound that is responsible for the “high” effect associated with Cannabis.

In contrast, CBD is not psychoactive, but it can deliver effects in your body that many people find beneficial. And you can leverage these effects without feeling “stoned”. This explains why CBD has been legalized in many states, as companies can successfully extract it from industrial hemp strains of Cannabis plants, leaving behind negligent THC concentrations.

Some people report relief from symptoms of various conditions such as anxiousness, addiction, PTSD, and schizophrenia, among others, after using CBD. It may also effectively target pain caused by arthritis and inflammation.

Today, there are so many ways for you to sample CBD. The most popular forms of CBD include oils and tinctures, creams and lotions as well as capsules and pills.

CBD Oil vs. Pills

What Is CBD Oil?

The term CBD oil and tinctures are sometimes used interchangeably. This is because most CBD oils are delivered in tincture form. However, CBD tinctures can also be put into pills. A CBD oil tincture is a mix of hemp extract and carrier oil. Common carrier oils used to make CBD tinctures include olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil, among others. The tinctures are sold in small dropper bottles. You ingest a CBD tincture by measuring a small portion and dropping it under your tongue, where numerous capillaries quickly absorb the oil into your bloodstream.

What Are CBD Pills?

CBD capsules are easy-to-swallow-pills; they are common in the medical field. CBD capsules are simply pills filled with CBD extract. Many people enjoy this form of CBD because you do not have to go through the process of measuring your CBD oil dose. Instead, the manufacturer does the heavy lifting. measuring the labeled CBD dose and packing that amount into pills. Most CBD pills or capsules are made of gelatin, but you can also find vegan options.

Now there is still variety with the range of CBD pill options. Some contain CBD isolate, while others contain additional cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds that optimize your body’s ability to absorb and process CBD. Known as broad or full-spectrum CBD, this form of cannabidiol delivers an entourage effect, meaning the joint force of all included compounds maximizes your body’s CBD experience.

Hopefully, you’ve gotten a better understanding of what constitutes each form of CBD. But, before you decide which form of CBD suits you best, let’s look at the advantages for each option.

Advantages of CBD Oil

Faster Effect

CBD oil offers one of the quickest effects when compared to pills and other forms of CBD. This is because you absorb the oil in a part of your body that is full of blood capillaries, expediting the intake process. Quick absorption translates to CBD quickly finding its way into your bloodstream, which means you won’t have to wait very long before experiencing the effects of your CBD dose.

Can Be Mixed with Food

It is very easy to mix CBD oil with other foods and drinks. This property is useful to individuals who do appreciate the natural, earthy flavor of raw CBD oil.


Taking CBD oil with a dropper gives you a lot of flexibility since you can easily tweak your dose size depending on your mood and desired effects. For instance, if you are using CBD oil to address anxiety symptoms, you can always adjust your dosage based on your current mindset.

Higher Bioavailability

Bioavailability refers to the ratio of a substance that is absorbed into your bloodstream. The higher the value, the better and more efficiently a compound is assimilated into your body. CBD oils are quickly absorbed into your bloodstream, while CBD pills must first go through the digestion process, meaning CBD oil is the superior choice in terms of bioavailability. In fact, only vaped CBD has a higher bioavailability than CBD oil. But that form of CBD also carries far greater health risks.

Disadvantages of CBD Oil


Not all the carrier oils used to make CBD Oil tinctures taste good. These are natural oils derived from plants, and they carry a taste that’s not palatable for everyone. This could discourage you from taking optimal dose sizes, thus minimizing the effect of CBD in your body.

Advantages of CBD Pills

Easy to Take

Pills offer convenient dosing routines, especially if you already take other daily supplements. As always, be sure to consult your doctor before adding any kind of CBD to your daily routine, especially if you also take prescription or over the counter medications.

Clean Packaging

Pills are convenient to carry around when traveling or going to work. Because they enclose your CBD oil, you don’t have to worry about spills or messes as you go through the day.

Easy to Determine A Suitable Dosage

The amount of CBD oil in a pill is indicated on the package description. This eliminates the guesswork that comes with dosing a CBD oil tincture. Plus, pills come in many different CBD doses, which can help you customize your daily routine.

Subtle and Effective

CBD pills are a subtle and effective way to enjoy cannabinoids. You won’t have to worry about drawing the attention of your colleagues or friends when taking the pills, which makes this form easy to add to your routine.


CBD pills are flavorless, making them universally palatable. This makes CBD pills a great entry point for CBD newbies, or for regulars who prefer to avoid the natural, earthy taste associated with some tinctures.

Disadvantages of CBD Pills

Lower Bioavailability

CBD pills have to be digested and broken down by your liver before they get into your bloodstream. The earliest their effects will kick in is 30 minutes after dosing. Why the delay? It’s because the CBD oil particles are too big to get through your digestive system lining and into your bloodstream. First, the liver must break down and process their enzymes.

Limited Options

CBD pills are not as widely available compared to CBD oils. Plus, predetermined dose sizes make for less customization options when settling on your optimal dose. Of course, the doses do come in fixed intervals, so you have some flexibility. But if you are looking for a very specific CBD dose strength, CBD oil may be a better choice.

Bottom Line: Should I Use CBD Oils or Pills?

As with all CBD questions, the answer to this question is very personal. So, before you choose between CBD oil and pills, consider your personal preferences. Do you want to prioritize the speed of effects? Grab a CBD oil tincture. Is convenience your number one goal? You’re likely to be a CBD pill fan. The same is true if you’re extremely sensitive to new tastes.

In a nutshell, CBD oils and pills produce similar effects, at a similar price point, but with subtle differences. Once you’ve determined your personal CBD priorities, all that’s left to do is carefully check the contents of your CBD product before making a purchase. This will ensure that you get the high-quality CBD that you’re looking for. And if a CBD company doesn’t offer transparent ingredients list and certificates of analysis, that should be a red flag. And a sign to move on to a reputable CBD store that offers third-party analysis for every product they produce or carry.

Choosing the right CBD delivery method depends on your preference, goals, and how It reacts with your body. Let's compare CBD pills vs. oil and review their relative advantages.

CBD Oil vs CBD Capsules: Which is Best for Your Needs?

Updated May 5, 2020

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  • Comparison Chart
  • What Is CBD?
  • Why Take CBD Supplements?
  • CBD Oil
  • CBD Capsules
  • Conclusion
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    • Scholarship
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Even if you aren’t new to CBD use, you might be a bit confused as to the many products available that contain CBD and how it can be used. You might even wonder what is best for you and your reasons for considering the supplement. Short of buying up a plethora of products, which can get quite pricey, you can always discuss your options with a healthcare provider or begin a bit of research on your own.

This article helps explain the use of CBD, why you might consider it, and the difference between CBD oil vs capsule form. Although the effects are not different, how you take the supplement can be interchangeable based on certain preferences.

Comparison Chart

What is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabinoid and is an active ingredient in the cannabis family. Found in high amounts in both marijuana and hemp, CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical, and thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill- is legal in all 50 United States. CBD is different than its THC chemical cousin which creates the psychoactive ‘high’ and altered state of mind that is still federally illegal.

Despite the fact that both chemicals are used for medicinal purposes, CBD is a very active ingredient on its own and is used to treat a wide variety of ailments ranging from severe epileptic disorders to anxiety and insomnia. Found in a wide variety of products, it can be used topically, internally, or even inhaled – and is sold as a supplement. Care should be taken, however, to buy quality products that are the third party checked to ensure the label matches the product.

Why Take CBD Supplements?

As mentioned, CBD can work as a supplemental aid for a wide variety of needs. The benefits it provides are still growing as further studies continue to take place, but its most popular use surrounds pain and sleeps support, with anxiety, stress, and depression-related issues a common use as well.

These aren’t the only reasons to begin using it on a regular basis though, especially since it has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. Studies into improved focus and concentration are also being reflected upon, as is the support of asthma relief.


CBD oil is the extracted oil from the hemp and marijuana plants. It is separated from THC when taken from a marijuana plant to make it a legal, consumable substance. This oil is then suspended in a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut or hempseed oil, and sometimes blended with essential oil for both taste and added benefits. Most oils are sold in a dropper or as a spray.


Bioavailability is defined as the active portion of the product that is available for circulation into the bloodstream of the body. How you use CBD determines how much of it you may be getting. Although you can mix oils with foodstuffs, it is suggested that you take it under your tongue in order to take advantage of the sublingual gland.

This gland is located on the floor of your mouth and quickly absorbs into the bloodstream the available ingredients it comes into contact with. This allows you to immediately get a decent percentage of the oil into your system for quicker results, with the rest made available through the digestive process.


CBD has an earthy flavor and the oil is a bit ‘slick’ overall. This may be an issue for some people who are not used to taking oil directly into their mouths, especially if they are holding it for the required 30 to 60 seconds that is suggested for maximum body absorption.

Since it is mixed with coconut oil, and often essential oils, this flavor can be masked somewhat due to the strong scents and subtle flavors of the EO’s being used. Popular flavors include orange, peppermint, and lime. Some companies flavor the oil more strongly and may add a sweetener to make the experience more pleasant.

You may want to read: Top CBD Oil Companies


Taking oil is very convenient. Since they are often sold as a spray or in a dropper bottle it only takes seconds to administer. Of course, you should hold it for 30 to 60 seconds, but that is not considered problematic for too many people.


If you have a sensitive gag reflex or find you cannot handle the taste of the oil blend, this might not be the best option for you. Of course, you also can easily mix it into foodstuffs as well, but you won’t get as much into your bloodstream initially without holding it against the sublingual glands.

Oil can also spill, which might not make it the best option for travel, or if you like to carry it around with you in a purse or bag. It also isn’t incredibly discreet if you are in public and want to administer a dose.

CBD Capsules

Just like the CBD oil products described above, the capsule is the CBD extract suspended in a capsule, usually in gel form. The only true obvious difference between the two is what they look like and how you take them. There are some more important differences to consider that you cannot see, however, as explained below.


Just like oil, you take a capsule orally, but the difference in your body response is a bit more specific. With the oil, you are taking advantage of the sublingual gland that allows your body to more quickly process the CBD into your bloodstream.

With the capsule, it has to make its way through your digestive system to be broken down before it can make its way into your bloodstream. This process also makes it not quite as available overall. The potency of the oil is reflected in both the gland and digestive system processes, whereas the capsule only has the chance to release through digestion. This makes an oil a favorable choice when you want to take advantage of as much of the CBD benefits as possible.


Obviously, there is no flavor to a capsule that you swallow. For anyone who struggles with taking oil directly, this is a great option to consider.


A capsule is very easy to travel with, you don’t have to worry about spilling and waste, plus it is very discreet overall. They also are very specific with their dosage, and you don’t have to measure out a dropper to ensure you are getting the proper amount.


The biggest downside of a capsule is simply the fact that you may not be taking advantage of its full potential due to any loss that might occur through the digestive system. It also does not enter into your bloodstream as quickly as oil, making it less readily available.

You may want to read: Best CBD Oils


Obviously, how you choose to ingest your CBD is entirely personal and dependent upon your own preferences. CBD oil is more readily available, enters into your bloodstream more quickly, and does allow your body to uptake more of its full potency than a capsule. However, it may have a flavor or texture that is not preferred by the consumer, making the capsule a better option.

This article helps explain the use of CBD, why you might consider it, and the difference between CBD oil vs capsule form. ]]>