5 Top-Rated CBD Capsules You Can Buy Online

And how to find the best brand for your needs.
By Josh Hurst
September 09, 2020
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
  • Best Overall
    CBDistillery Full-Spectrum CBD Softgels
    $60
    SHOP IT
    thecbdistillery.com
  • Best for Beginners
    Plus CBD Softgels
    $16
    SHOP IT
    pluscbdoil.com
  • Best for Recovery
    Charlotte's Web CBD Liquid Capsules
    $75
    SHOP IT
    charlottesweb.com
  • Best THC-Free
    Medterra CBD Gel Capsules
    $45
    SHOP IT
    medterracbd.com
  • Best for Sleep
    Green Roads CBD Sleep Capsules

Cannabidiol, commonly abbreviated as CBD, is a chemical compound that’s found in the cannabis sativa plant. For quite some time, it’s been associated with wide-ranging health benefits, including the potential to help minimize stress, promote healthy sleep, and even provide inflammation and pain relief. More recently, easy-to-take products like CBD pills and capsules have been growing in popularity.

CBD pills vs. CBD oil

First, let’s discuss the main difference between using CBD pills versus using a CBD oil tincture. Just as CBD oil is non-psychotropic, CBD capsules also won’t get you “high” because they are derived from industrial hemp plants. As such, both products contain little to no THC (depending on what product you are using).

The differences actually aren’t that pronounced. CBD pills and CBD oil have the same potential benefits, but pills are more convenient. Not only is it easier to manage pills and capsules, but they also make consistent dosing easier. Oil drops also open themselves up to imprecise dosing.

One drawback to ingestible pills is that they don’t always work as fast as a CBD tincture. This is thanks to the digestive system, which allows for a slower absorption of CBD into the bloodstream as it breaks down the CBD pill over a longer span of time. It should also be said that hemp oils generally have an earthy taste, which isn’t to everyone’s liking. CBD pills and capsules allow you to avoid this with one quick and easy swallow.

Are CBD capsules any good?

The efficacy of CBD oil capsules and softgels vary from one product to the next, depending on the quality. Here are a few factors to keep in mind:

  • The type of hemp extract used: When shopping for CBD products, it’s important to understand the difference between the three types of hemp extract: CBD isolate, broad-spectrum CBD, and full-spectrum CBD. Isolate is made with pure CBD and no other plant compounds, while broad-spectrum extracts contain a few additional plant parts but are still THC-free. Full-spectrum CBD extracts encompass a wide range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other hemp plant parts, including trace levels of THC. Each of these extracts has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and the choice is merely up to your preference.
  • Lab test results: Any time you’re looking into CBD products, it’s important to verify that the products have been independently tested for their purity, quality, and safety. Look for products that give you access to third-party lab results, also known as a Certificate of Analysis, or COA.
  • Hemp sourcing: It’s generally safest to look for hemp sourced in the U.S., as crops grown in foreign countries lack direct oversight that domestic farming processes have, which leads to less transparent sourcing info.

Best CBD capsules and pills

With all of the above factors in mind, here are five CBD capsules selected based on customer reviews, price, and source of the hemp. Each product has also been reviewed by a third-party laboratory for label accuracy and potential contaminants, including heavy metals, residual solvents, and pesticides.

Based on the above criteria, here are the best CBD capsules:

Credit: CBDistillery

Looking for a simple solution to help manage stress? The CBDistillery CBD capsules are a crowd favorite for the full-spectrum composition, which is especially great for promoting a relaxed, calming effect. (The company also offers a broad-spectrum formula if you’re looking for a THC-free CBD pill that still has some other beneficial plant parts intact.) No matter which product you choose, each of these capsules contains 30 milligrams of CBD extract and a 60-day satisfaction guarantee.

To buy: CBDistillery Full-Spectrum CBD Softgels, $60; thecbdistillery.com

Credit: Plus CBD Oil

If you’ve never tried CBD pills before, the Plus CBD Softgels are a quality product to start with. These capsules feature full-spectrum hemp, without a lot of additives or extra ingredients (there are only four total items in the ingredient list). These 5-star softgels are vegan friendly and contain 15 milligrams of CBD in each, which is perfect for newcomers who wish to start out with a lower dose capsule. The brand offers 60-count bottles for a month-long supply (or longer) as well as a 10-count bottle for those looking to sample the product at a fair price.

To buy: Plus CBD Oil Softgels, from $16; pluscbdoil.com

The Charlotte's Web product line is known for its full spectrum CBD extracts, which come from American-grown hemp plants. This particular product is noteworthy for its array of naturally occurring phytocannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and essential fatty acids. If you’re in the market for a strong CBD oil supplement, the 25 milligram capsules are a good option. If you want something less potent, Charlotte's Web also offers other capsules with 15 milligrams of CBD in each (with a lower price per bottle).

To buy: Charlotte's Web CBD Oil Liquid Capsules, $75; charlottesweb.com

Credit: Medterra

Some people prefer to completely avoid THC when it comes to their hemp products, especially if they are concerned with drug testing. So if you’re shopping for an isolate CBD pill, the Medterra gel capsules are worth a try. These capsules, which have a 4.5-star rating, are made with 99.6% pure CBD derived from high-quality Kentucky hemp plants, and the products are completely devoid of THC. A bit of MCT oil is added to provide a smooth liquid suspension, and customers have the option to choose between two strengths: 25 or 50 milligrams per capsule.

To buy: Medterra Gel Capsules, from $45; medterracbd.com

Credit: Green Roads

For anyone looking for CBD to promote better sleep, these popular Green Roads capsules are a great fit. This formula expertly combines 25 milligrams of CBD with 5 milligrams of melatonin in each capsule, the latter of which helps naturally regulate your body’s sleep cycle. Meanwhile, the CBD isolate in these pills may be conducive to relaxation so you can enjoy a good night’s rest. Additionally, Green Roads offers a “Relax” formula for anxiety and an “Everyday Support” option for general health and wellness, if you need a CBD capsule that goes beyond healthy sleep habits.

To buy: Green Roads Softgels, $50; greenroads.com

How many CBD pills should you take?

There’s no one “correct” amount of CBD you should take because it varies from person to person. If you’re new to CBD, it’s best to start at the lower end of the spectrum (take one capsule at a time) and gradually work your way up as needed.

Be sure to consult your physician, along with product packaging and lab reports, to learn more about potency of a product to ensure appropriate dosing.

The safety and efficacy of CBD capsules

It’s worth noting that there can be some side effects from taking CBD pills, but most of them are very mild. For example, they may make you drowsy or lethargic. Junella Chin, DO, an osteopathic physician and a medical cannabis expert for cannabisMD, previously told Health that roughly 5% of people feel something after taking CBD. “Usually they're the same people who have side effects from Advil or Tylenol,” she said. However, these side effects can usually be avoided through proper dosing.

One word of caution: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not reviewed CBD capsules or any other mainstream CBD products. Because of this, it is even more imperative that consumers make informed, safe decisions about which CBD pills they use. Additionally, you may want to initiate a discussion with your physician before introducing CBD.

Josh Hurst is a journalist, critic, copywriter, and essayist. He lives in Knoxville, TN, with his wife and three sons. As a writer for Remedy Review, an independent CBD review site, Josh covers the relationship between cannabis-based products and the human body. 

This content is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice; it is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before consuming or using any of the products mentioned on this site.