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. These offer a simple way to supplement your wellness plan with CBD.
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 can lead 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 time.
It should also be said that a dropper of hemp oil has an earthy taste, which isn't to everyone's liking. A CBD tablet or softgel allows you to avoid this bitter flavor with one quick and easy swallow.
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:
With all of the above factors in mind, here are eight 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:
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.
Woven Earth uses a gentle lipid extraction process to translate the full power of organic hemp into a simple-to-dose vegan capsule. Each capsule contains 20 milligrams of CBD plus a range of natural plant qualities, including chlorophyll, flavonoids, and terpenes. Woven Earth Hemp Oil Capsules have long had a cult following among health professionals and are now available for anyone who wants to try CBD to combat the aches and stress that damage sleep.
Some people prefer to completely avoid THC when it comes to their hemp products, especially if they are concerned with taking a drug test. 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.
Prima CBD pills are designed to help combat stress and target issues at their source. Prima holds itself to the highest social and environmental standards and is a certified B Corp. Each of these vegan softgels contain 25 milligrams of CBD, which makes them a subtle, daily dose of hemp extract.
All Prima products are made without harmful or harsh ingredients. That means no ingredients known to be carcinogens, reproductive toxins, neurotoxins, developmental toxins, endocrine disruptors, or that cause organ toxicity is ever introduced into the supply chain.
Cornbread Hemp’s CBD oil capsules are regularly tested to be 100% free of pesticides, heavy metals, mycotoxins, and microbials. These full spectrum extracts also are a true "whole plant" product, meaning they contain a full range of cannabinoids, including a legal amount of THC.
Cornbread Hemp's line is USDA organic and the capsules are made with only two certified organic ingredients: USDA organic Kentucky hemp extract and USDA organic coconut 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.
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).
Joy Organics softgels with melatonin are designed to support healthy sleep cycles. Melatonin has been shown to promote relaxation and alongside CBD it may help you rest easier.
Each capsule from Joy Organics is thoroughly lab tested, Made in the USA, and completely THC-free. If you like the combination of CBD and melatonin, you can subscribe for monthly delivery and save on each bottle.
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.
CBD capsules make dosing easier than CBD gummies or vapes because you know how much CBD is in each capsule. This is important if you're dosing regularly for chronic pain or anxiety, and want to maintain a consistent level of botanical extract in your body.
Regular dosing may allow you to empower your endocannabinoid system, or take advantage of the "entourage effect" with a full-spectrum CBD oil capsule. This is also why it's very important to research CBD brands. When buying a tablet for its potential health benefits, you want to avoid any harmful pesticides or solvents. A CBD supplement is meant to support wellness.
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, 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 high-quality 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.