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Find out whether CBD edibles or capsules are better for your needs. Get the pros and cons of these popular CBD products. The number of CBD products available is growing by the day, and there’s something you should know: Virtually all of them work. That’s the good news. The more nuanced news is that some products may work better for you than others. CBD gummies and CBD capsules may share the same active ingredient, but they can still have Here, we present an in-depth breakdown of CBD gummies vs capsules, how they compare, and which one might be the best fit for you.

CBD Edibles vs. Capsules: Which Is Better?

CBD capsules vs. CBD edibles: one provides quicker absorption, one is a tasty snack. Which is best for you?

Written by Cathy Rozyczko — Edited by Jason Brett on September 27, 2021

For people who are considering CBD or have already started trying what is available, one of the most common questions to ask is, what’s the difference between CBD edibles and capsules? For those seeking relief and integration of CBD into their personal pain or stress management routine, it can be pretty hard to choose which one is right for you.

We are here to illuminate the differences, similarities, and appeal of both CBD edibles and CBD capsules to help you decide which is best for you.

What’s the Difference Between CBD Edibles and Capsules?

Let’s start at the beginning with the difference between CBD edibles and CBD capsules.

CBD Edibles Defined: CBD “edibles” covers the entire range of products that are food-like. They taste like food, they contain calories, they can be eaten like snacks, and they contain CBD. CBD edibles aren’t limited to premade goods—you can cook CBD into just about anything, from chocolate to spaghetti sauce, by carefully preparing at home.

CBD Capsules Defined: CBD capsules are non-food gel capsules containing cannabidiol (CBD). The CBD is sometimes mixed with coconut oil or hempseed oil, but capsules containing only pure CBD oil are available. These are almost exactly like fish oil or liquid gel-caps you’d find in the supplement aisle. CBD capsules look exactly like other capsules unless a brand has gone out of their way to make CBD capsules distinct.

CBD Edibles Overview

CBD edibles are any food that has been made with CBD in them. Edibles bought in stores have specific doses that you can read on the package and use to manage your CBD consumption. Gummies are the most common CBD edibles; they are made of CBD, gelatin or pectin (for vegans), flavoring, and sometimes, coloring.

A few types of edibles you’re likely to see while shopping around for CBD include:

  • Gummies (some come infused with melatonin, for sleep)
  • Chocolates
  • Baked treats
  • Lollipops and sugar candies
  • Infused beverages
  • Raw honey

There are companies that make CBD gum!

Like all CBD products, edibles can be full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate, meaning they contain all of the hemp plant’s compounds, all of the compounds minus THC, or only CBD, respectively.

Here’s a summary of the pros and cons of CBD edibles:

Pros

  • Tasty snacks
  • Low-profile in public
  • Home cooking customization
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • Slow-acting (digestion speed)
  • Snack temptation
  • Some contain unhealthy artificial ingredients and preservatives

CBD Edibles Absorption

CBD edibles absorb as quickly as your body digests. This means it could take up to an hour before you start to feel the effects. However, the effects typically last anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. Your rate of absorption will vary depending on your personal metabolism and how much food is already in your stomach.

CBD also interacts with the cytochrome P450 enzyme system in the liver. This system breaks down toxins passing through the body, including many prescription and over-the-counter medications. CBD inhibits the P450 system, which may influence how other medications affect your body. To avoid any negative interactions, it’s important you speak to your doctor before trying CBD edibles.

CBD Edibles Dosing

CBD edibles are made by adding cannabidiol oil to a normal, snack-like item or recipe. Often, the amount used barely affects the recipe and does not count as a cooking oil replacement. This keeps doses small and easy to self-regulate.

Most edibles, especially CBD gummies, will include information on the amount of CBD, in milligrams (mg), per serving. Many people work out a system, learning the exact number of their favorite edible to eat to achieve the desired result, like relieving pain or getting to sleep.

When first figuring out your ideal CBD edible dosage, start slow and low. Give the edible at least an hour to absorb, and then decide if you’d like to adjust your dose from there.

DIY CBD Edibles

You can also make your own CBD edibles at home by cooking with CBD oil, as long as you’re still very careful about dosing and portions. When making your own CBD edibles at home, it’s best to stick to low-temp baking, no-bake, or adding the CBD after the meal is mostly cooked. This is because high temperatures can degrade the quality of your CBD oil.

If you bake CBD items, we suggest you keep oven temperatures below 320 F or mix CBD into your icing or topping instead. If you make a sauce, stir your CBD in at the end. You can also use a dropper when plating or portioning, saturating the top of an item with an exact amount of CBD per portion to get your dosing correct.

Be precise. Use a measured dropper and know how much CBD is in each portion or individual snack item you make. If you store homemade CBD edibles, label the container clearly with “CBD” and the exact dose per portion.

CBD Capsules Overview

CBD capsules, on the other hand, don’t taste like anything and you do not chew them. CBD capsules are gel-caps that contain a few carefully dosed drops of CBD oil, and possibly coconut oil or hempseed oil. These gel-caps look exactly like any other oil-based vitamin you take with your daily medicine, and they are swallowed with water like any other gel-cap.

Here’s a quick summary of the pros and cons of CBD capsules:

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Pros

  • Faster absorption rate than edibles
  • Most consistent dosing
  • Discreet with other medicines
  • Faster-acting

Cons

  • Difficult to modify the dose
  • Not tasty
  • Can interact with other vitamins/supplements

CBD Capsule Absorption

CBD capsules absorb into the body slightly faster than edibles because the gel cap dissolves efficiently in your stomach, and there are no other ingredients or components to digest. However, it could still take up to an hour for you to feel the effects, which could also last anywhere from 4 to 6 hours.

Like edibles, the speed of absorption and the strength of the effects of CBD capsules can be influenced by your personal metabolism, other food in your stomach, and the P450 enzyme system.

CBD Capsule Dosing

CBD capsules provide absolutely consistent dosing. They are designed to function exactly like other vitamins and oil supplements, and can easily be added to your current wellness regimen.

Each capsule provides an exact dose of CBD; the label on your CBD capsule bottle will tell you how many milligrams of CBD are in each. People who take capsules will slowly learn how many capsules they require to achieve the desired effects. If you decide to give them a try, give yourself an hour to absorb the CBD, notice the effects, and then adjust your dosage from there.

If you’re adding CBD capsules to a daily vitamin routine, make sure you read our guide on mixing CBD oil with supplements first. Because CBD inhibits the P450 system, some vitamins and supplements may be affected when taken in combination.

Best CBD Capsules

Leading brands in CBD capsule production include CBDistillery, Joy Organics, and Sagely Naturals.

  • CBDistilleryuses all-organic stalks and stems, producing both full-spectrum and isolate CBD and offers a continuous 10% discount for veterans. focuses on full-spectrum CBD with an emphasis on bioavailability through soft gels made with nano-emulsion. is formulated by a PhD chemist with over 20 years of medical experience. It’s no surprise they produce incredibly high-quality capsules.

What Conditions Do They Help with?

Most people looking into CBD are hoping to manage chronic pain, inflammation, or anxiety, among other conditions. These common ailments are currently treated with medications that can ultimately do harm to the body. For this reason, CBD is starting to be used as a non-addictive alternative to drugs like opiates and SSRIs to reduce symptoms.

When it comes to deciding between a CBD capsule or edible, ultimately the choice is yours. The following are meant to be suggestions—not medical advice.

Conditions Better Managed by Edibles

    • Edibles may be more enjoyable than capsules. They’re easily taken and if swallowing or handling pills are difficult, edibles provide a familiar method of administration.
    • Edibles may make their way further through the digestive system than a capsule, which could be more fully absorbed by the stomach. The note of caution here is to avoid edibles high in sugar and/or spice, which could further irritate the lining of the digestive tract.
    • Capsules would also work here, but wouldn’t be as enjoyable to take throughout the day.
    • If you’ve consulted with your pediatrician and decided to use CBD to help your child manage a condition, edibles present a familiar and tasty delivery method. They may also be less intimidating than a CBD capsule.

    Conditions Better Managed by Capsules

      • If you’re a nervous eater or are prone to stress or anxiety-induced digestive issues, CBD capsules may be easier to manage than CBD edibles.
      • CBD capsules can easily be worked into your daily medication routine. Their quicker absorption rate will ensure you’re getting the help you need in a timely manner.
      • CBD edibles can contain high amounts of sugar, and at their worst, artificial preservatives and fats. If you’re using CBD to manage obesity, capsules are the better option.
      • CBD capsules are more precisely dosed than CBD edibles. If you’re following a strict, high-dosage regimen to manage epilepsy, they will provide better dosing control.
      • CBD capsules don’t contain sugar; CBD edibles typically do.

      CBD Capsules vs. Edibles FAQs

      Which Acts Faster?

      Many people ask whether CBD edibles or capsules provide a faster perceptible effect on the body. The answer to this one is capsules.

      While all forms of consumed CBD responds slower than vaped or sublingually applied CBD, capsules break down faster in the stomach than edibles. However, if you take your capsules with food so that you are digesting the capsule and food at the same time, absorption time is about the same. Both are estimated to take effect between 30 minutes to an hour to take effect, depending on the individual item and your own metabolism.

      Which is Better for Flexible Dosing?

      Because most people trying CBD are looking to experiment carefully with dosage, capsules are a safe place to start, but edibles are better for slowly ramping up the dose.

      If you find that CBD works best for you taken multiple times a day or in concentrated doses, taking handfuls or continuous capsules becomes tedious. However, taking two gummies every two hours, or one gummy every half-hour is both enjoyable and easy to do without a beverage to wash them down.

      Which Is More Discreet?

      This one is a little more situational. No one will blink twice if they see you taking one more gel capsule with your morning or lunchtime medication if you already take medicine on a regular basis, making capsules medicinally discreet. But popping a capsule in the middle of the day when you start to feel pain is not so discreet.

      Edibles are more low-profile for social situations where you are not taking other medication because snacking on candy does not strike anyone as strange. But you need to be prepared to say something quietly if a friend asks for one. Or just carry backup non-medicinal candy to share.

      Which Are Easier to Find?

      You may also be wondering if CBD capsules or edibles are easier to find in stores. Both are about equally available to modern consumers. Many brands are branching out and offer a variety of CBD edibles including chocolates, brownies, gummies, and even cooking oils.

      At the same time, capsules have been around longer and are available from more retailers, but are really no more or less easy to find than edibles. So, it depends on where you can shop. In conservative regions, CBD capsules are more available in local health stores. However, both are equally available online.

      Is Full-Spectrum or Isolate Better?

      Good question. We can’t give you a quick answer except that everyone has their own preference when it comes to CBD isolate versus full-spectrum CBD oil. CBD edibles and capsules are available in both forms.

      Full-spectrum is usually more affordable than pure CBD isolate due to the intensity of the extraction process, but it contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which some people would prefer not to consume. CBD isolate is exactly what it sounds like: pure CBD isolated from all other compounds of the hemp plant. Broad-spectrum CBD oil is your happy medium: it contains all the cannabinoids and terpenes of a full-spectrum product except THC.

      Full- and broad-spectrum CBD contains additional terpenes and cannabinoids, which produces a more pronounced effect than CBD isolate. This is known as the entourage effect, which is the combined benefit of using the whole plant rather than a single component or isolate. For this reason, many people prefer full- or broad-spectrum CBD capsules and edibles.

      Which One Is Right for You?

      Whether CBD edibles or capsules are better for you is a choice only you can make. Both have their pros and cons.

      If you’re the kind of person who “pops and just can’t stop” with a good snack, then capsules will be safer. Or if you’re a home chef looking to manage your does more personally, then try making your own edibles with CBD cooking oil. It’s all in how you want CBD to fit into your lifestyle.

      CBD Gummies vs. Capsules — What’s The Difference?

      The number of CBD products available is growing by the day, and there’s something you should know:

      Virtually all of them work.

      That’s the good news. The more nuanced news is that some products may work better for you than others. CBD gummies and CBD capsules may share the same active ingredient, but they can still have totally different effects. Here’s how to find what’s best for you.

      • CBD Gummies 101
      • Gummies vs. Capsules
      • Gummie vs. Capsule Absorption
      • When & Why Gummies are the Best Choice
      • When & Why Capsules are the Best Choice

      CBD Gummies 101

      If you’re new to the CBD scene (welcome!) you couldn’t be blamed for wondering why BD-infused gummies exist in the first place. Aren’t gummies, like, for kids?

      Well, yes..but that doesn’t mean they can’t be for adults too. Gummies make taking CBD fun, and they might just make you feel like a kid again — both mentally and in terms of their energizing, inflammation-relieving effects.

      CBD gummies are also super convenient. Know you need 25 milligrams of CBD per day? Great! Get things on autopilot by setting a single CBD gummy alongside the rest of the vitamins/supplements you take in the morning (if you don’t take other supplements, you could always add in some supplemental CBD).

      And don’t let the playful appearances and fruity flavors fool you — CBD gummies can pack a serious punch. Our customers report experiencing the best type of mental upliftment: “focus and calm[ness] without any negative side effects.”

      Gummies vs. Capsules

      We’ve already gone over the major similarity between gummies and capsules (you know, that they both contain CBD). So now let’s look at the differences.

      While CBD gummies are classified firmly in “edibles” territory, CBD capsules are different. They’re basically CBD oil in a pill form; instead of measuring out your daily dose, this oil is pre-measured, encapsulated, and placed into an especially convenient form.

      Gummy vs. Capsule Absorption

      Picture this: it’s 6 pm. time to relax. You take a CBD gummy and your friend, who’s also a CBD enthusiast, takes a capsule. Who’s going to feel better first?

      That depends on your respective biochemistry, metabolism, and likely several other factors — but all else being equal, you will. That’s because your CBD gummy started getting absorbed the moment you first bit into it, while your friend’s CBD capsule won’t reach the bloodstream until it’s dissolved by the stomach many minutes later.

      Both delivery methods should provide a long-lasting effect, however, courtesy of liver metabolism. And both methods are theoretically ideal for people who want to use CBD to optimize their gut health. Both CBD and CBG are powerfully anti-bacterial, after all.

      When & Why Gummies are the Best Choice

      Not sold on the goodness of CBD gummies yet? If you can relate to any of the following qualities, you probably should be.

      • Love tasty things
      • Need lasting relief
      • Want to simplify your CBD routine
      • Want to take your CBD along with you
      • Want to sleep better at night (try our melatonin-infused gummies for that)

      When & Why Capsules are the Best Choice

      On the other hand, who’s to say that capsules won’t become your favorite way to take CBD? We don’t want to rule anything out, so consider caps if you:

      • Need lasting relief
      • Are trying to avoid sugar
      • Want to simplify your CBD routine
      • Like the medicinal feel of a capsule
      • You want high-dose CBD without the calories

      If you can relate to all of the above points for both gummies and capsules, don’t worry — there’s a simple solution. You can always try taking them both! What we would do is take a capsule or two in the morning, feel good all day, and then take a melatonin-infused gummy at night. but the possibilities are virtually endless. Good thing variety is the spice of life.

      CBD Gummies vs Capsules: What’s The Difference?

      Now that our new Daily Gummies have arrived, Equilibria has officially broken into the CBD edibles market! As our line of best-in-market CBD products continues to expand, our members are eager to understand the similarities and differences between the various modalities we offer, and how each can be integrated into their personal wellness routine. Below, we present an in-depth breakdown of CBD gummies vs capsules, how they compare, and which one might be the best fit for you.

      CBD Gummies vs Capsules

      What are CBD Gummies?

      CBD gummies must be chewed and swallowed, like you would any other food, which means they start absorbing, and therefore acting, faster than a capsule. As you chew a gummy, some of the CBD will begin to absorb through the mucosal membranes in your mouth and directly enter the bloodstream, which means it becomes readily available for your body to use quickly. The longer you chew, the faster they tend to kick in! The CBD gummy that remains is swallowed and continues to break down and be processed through the digestive system. Once the gummy makes it to your stomach, the CBD is absorbed on the slower side, providing steady, extended support. Members typically report an onset of 30 minutes to 1 hour, and effects lasting an average of 4-8 hours.

      You’ll notice that the onset time and duration of effects with the Daily Gummies is a bit shorter than that of the Daily Softgels. This all comes back to how your body is absorbing the CBD. Since our CBD capsules must make it to your stomach before the CBD can start to absorb, the onset time will be longer than the Daily Gummies, which start to absorb as soon as you take the first bite. However, without a protective casing, the gummy tend to be digested faster, which decreases the duration of effects compared to the capsules.

      What are CBD capsules?

      In the world of modality, CBD capsules refer to a gel-like capsule formulation filled with an oil. Here at Equilibria, we offer Daily Softgels, which fall under the umbrella of CBD capsules, as they have a flexible, protective gel coating instead of a hard coating like other capsules (which makes them easier to swallow!). These soft gel capsules are filled with a blend of our premium, organic full-spectrum hemp flower extract and MCT oil.

      CBD capsules in general are a wonderful modality option, as the protective coating prevents the capsule material from breaking down in the mouth and instead, are swallowed whole and processed entirely in the digestive system. Once the capsule makes it to your stomach, digestive enzymes will start to break it down. Then, after the protective coating is dissolved, the CBD oil is released and will slowly absorb through your stomach into the bloodstream. In the case of our Daily Softgels, the protective layer is made with beef gelatin so it effectively encapsulates the oil for slower release, but the gelatin is still permeable enough that it is able to swiftly dissolve in the stomach so the CBD can go to work!

      One of the main draws for choosing CBD capsules is that they are designed to kick in a bit slower and offer longer-lasting effects compared to other modalities on the market. This is because rather than starting to dissolve in the mouth, the oil is protected until it reaches the digestive system. Our members typically report that the Daily Softgels have an onset of 1-3 hours, and offer effects for an average of 6-8 hours. They steadily provide extended background support, whether that’s to keep you feeling confident and covered for the work day, or lasting through the sleeping hours of the night!

      CBD Gummies vs Capsules

      Both options offer support, but understanding the differences can help inform how we personalize your own CBD routine!

      One of the main considerations when comparing the two is dynamic dosing options. Since our Daily Softgels are filled with an oil, you either take them or you don’t — we can’t necessarily decrease the dosage of a CBD capsule. Our Daily Gummies on the other hand, offer ‘dynamic dosing’, which means they can easily be cut into smaller pieces for additional routine flexibility. You could also adjust the onset time of edibles by increasing or decreasing the amount of time you spend chewing before you swallow!

      Additionally, we recommend taking our Daily Softgels with food, whereas our Daily Gummies can be taken with or without food. This all comes down to the way your body systems process each product.

      Edibles, like our Daily Gummies, are relatively easy for your body to digest, as they are first chewed and don’t have a protective casing that needs to be broken down before the CBD can be released. By the time they make it to your stomach, they will have already started absorbing, which means the remainder of the CBD is more ‘readily available’ to be absorbed!

      Daily Softgels on the other hand, need to be digested in the stomach over a longer period of time to dissolve the protective casing, which means that there is more opportunity for digestive enzymes to break down the CBD. However, CBD is lipophilic, which means it binds to fats – so pairing a capsule with a healthy fat, like nut butter or avocado, can help form a protective barrier around the CBD molecules, ultimately increasing the amount you can absorb from each dose.

      Which one is right for me?

      Everyone’s body chemistry is different, so we won’t know exactly which will be a better fit before you try them and experience the results for yourself! However, we’ve laid out a few of the top member considerations below to help inform your decision.

      All that said, many of our members choose to follow a routine that utilizes two or more products, as they all offer slightly different effects, and everyone’s body responds a bit differently as well. If you’re having a hard time choosing between the two, then we encourage you to give both a try and see how you feel! Taking some notes to journal your progress along the way will be a great way to identify which doses are working best.

      Regardless of the route you choose, our Dosage Support team will be here to empower you with guidance and education every step of the way along your own unique CBD journey. Have questions now? Feel free to send us an email at [email protected] .

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