CBD Oil vs. Capsules - Pros & Cons

CBD has made its mark on the wellness world for good reason! It can help users regulate mood, combat inflammation, lessen pain, and provide a whole host of other benefits. Moreover, there always seems to be a new way to leverage this in-demand ingredient, whether it be pillow sprays, gummies, vapes, and more. Today, we’ll be comparing two of the most popular forms of CBD: capsules and oils. Don’t make the mistake of assuming these two are one and the same!


Overview of CBD Oil


CBD oil is made from the extraction process from the cannabis sativa plant and is then combined with a carrier oil like hemp, coconut, or MCT. CBD oils vary in concentration and effects, partially based on what type of CBD is used; to receive optimal benefits, we suggest buying CBD oil with at least 1,000mg, if not greater. 

Full-spectrum CBD oil contains up to 0.3% THC, which does not cause a psychoactive effect but offers substantial benefits due to the entourage effect. The entourage effect refers to the synergy of all essential components of the cannabis plant working together to produce the most potent benefits. Broad-spectrum CBD oil contains almost no detectable THC, while CBD isolate contains exclusively CBD and nothing else.


Most CBD oils, regardless of the type you choose, contain only CBD and a carrier oil, making it an excellent choice for those who want to ingest a pure CBD product. CBD oil can be consumed under the tongue, known as sublingually, but can also be added to drinks and even applied to the skin, making it incredibly versatile.

Although CBD oil is typically used on its own, it can also be combined with other supplements, like CBD sleep spray, face serums, and drinks, offering a variety of ways to use it.

Overview of CBD Capsules 


Offering a highly convenient way to consume CBD extract, CBD capsules are small pills filled with CBD. Some CBD pills are made with a digestible gel casing, while others are in the traditional capsule form. Inside, diluted CBD is mixed with a carrier oil such as MCT, hemp, coconut, or another carrier oil. 

When deciding between CBD capsules vs oil, ease of use is one of the things people consider when choosing products. Just like any other supplement, CBD capsules are taken orally and absorbed through the digestive tract. CBD capsules can come in forms where the CBD is combined with other beneficial ingredients, such as melatonin, vitamins, caffeine, chamomile, or CBG. Some CBD capsules contain emulsifiers and other fatty acids, which can provide additional benefits, such as digestion and absorption support.

CBD Oil vs. Capsules – How CBD Wins

Greater potency through sublingual application


Since CBD oil is placed under the tongue and held for up to 60 seconds, the CBD oil enters straight into the bloodstream through the capillaries in your mouth. This method increases bioavailability, or absorption rate, compared to ingestion methods, such as capsules, which must travel through the digestive tract first. 


Taking CBD oil sublingually offers almost immediate effects, working in just 10-15 minutes, compared to 45 minutes to 1 hour for ingesting capsules. CBD capsules have deferred release, meaning that your body will not start feeling the effects until after the capsules reach your stomach. Therefore, if you are looking for more immediate benefits, sublingual CBD is your best bet.


Versatility of usage through topical application


Unlike capsules, CBD oil can be used in ways beyond ingestion. For example, it can be applied topically for sore muscles, painful joints, headaches, and many other health issues. Using CBD topically allows it to be absorbed through the skin, entering your system through cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body. 


Similarly, topically applied CBD oil has been celebrated for its many skincare benefits, including combating inflammation that can lead to redness and the onset of wrinkles. 


CBD oil can also be added to foods and drinks


CBD oil can be added to drinks and food for a convenient and enjoyable way to consume its benefits. For example, it is a great additive to a personalized anti-stress smoothie recipe or your morning coffee


Capsules often combine CBD with other sought after ingredients


Depending on the specific brand you use, CBD oils generally have higher concentrations than capsules. For example, our two-ingredient Elite Elixir offers 1,500mg of full-spectrum CBD along with hemp seed oil. If you do your research, you'll find that capsules rarely match this level of potency.



How Capsules Win Over CBD Oils


Ideal for easy, consistent dosing


One of the main pros of choosing CBD capsules vs oil is the convenience of use, offering a quick and discreet way to take CBD at home or on the go. Another factor that makes these a popular choice is the ability to have pre-measured precise dosage with every use. This can make capsules easier to take for people who are new to CBD. 

Capsules are generally considered tasteless


Taste, or lack thereof, is also a key factor in terms of why some people prefer CBD capsules vs tinctures. As explored in What Does CBD Taste Like, the oil has an earthiness that some people love and some people dislike. By comparison, capsules have minimal taste. 

Capsules often combine CBD with other sought after ingredients


CBD capsules are a popular choice because they are often combined with other ingredients to target specific needs, such as improving focus, promoting relaxation, or aiding in sleep. Capsules can include ingredients such as melatonin, vitamins, and caffeine, depending on the use of the CBD product, making it a one-and-done approach to targeting your health issues and needs. 

Each person metabolizes CBD differently, but one of the positive aspects of CBD capsules vs oil is that the effects of capsules can last from 6 to 8 hours, while CBD oil offers quicker onset but may wear off within 4 to 6 hours. 


Shop For CBD Oils With Botanika Life


When it comes to any CBD product, purity and potency are key factors to consider. Organically grown ingredients ensure your CBD oil does not contain pesticides or harmful chemicals. Checking the label to make sure you are getting a high concentration of CBD without fillers is also important.


Choosing CBD from a reputable company like Botanika Life ensures that all products undergo third-party lab testing, guaranteeing that the concentration and amount of powerful cannabinoids stated on the label are accurate.


As pure and potent as you can find, the Elite Elixir contains organically grown full-spectrum CBD mixed with hemp seed oil. Rich in antioxidants, magnesium, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids, this concentrated serum can be applied to your face or body or taken sublingually for whole-body effects. 



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By Emily Wegener

With a unique background as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Masters Degree in Teaching and experience in Psychology, Emily spends much of her time researching and trying out new holistic healing modalities.