What To Consider When Buying CBD Capsules
CBD capsules are a convenient way of taking a precisely measured dose of CBD. Just like their CBD oil counterpoints, there are many varieties and numerous things to look out for when buying CBD capsules. We will discuss the pros and cons to help you make a more informed choice.
One of the main differences with consuming CBD in a capsule form is the time it takes to absorb. This is a result of the CBD having to pass through the digestive system first.
CBD oils on the other hand, enter the bloodstream via sublingual application (i.e. under the tongue), thus in part avoiding the digestive process. However, once absorbed, CBD taken in a capsule format should produce a similar effect as CBD oil, all things being equal.
Capsules Are More Convenient
One of the main advantages of CBD capsules is their convenience. This method offers a very quick and hassle-free way to add CBD and other cannabinoids to your daily routine. Providing the capsule remains intact, there is no chance of any messy accidents. This is not the case with CBD oils, in particular products that incorporate a dropper.
Another advantage of capsules is their ease of dosing. Droppers are fiddly and being able to accurately dose using this method in particular can be fraught and inaccurate. It is easy to take too much, or too little CBD oil when using a dropper, especially with a shaky hand. Spray options are easier to use than droppers, though capsules in our view are the best in this respect.
Capsules Have No Taste
Some people find the taste of CBD Oil to be bitter and unpleasant. In more serious cases, the carrier oil can produce acid reflux. Therefore, for anyone that does not like the taste of CBD oil, capsules offer a taste-free alternative.
Types of Capsules
Soft Gel Capsules
The two main forms of CBD capsules you can buy are soft gel and hard shell varieties.
Soft Gel CBD capsules are generally made from gelatine. Gelatine is an animal product, and not suitable for vegans or vegetarians. Plasticizers like glycerine and sorbitol are also added to make the capsules soft and pliable.
Soft gel capsules are hermetically sealed and should not leak unless they are damaged. However, they are usually more expensive, and it is rare to find vegan alternatives not made from gelatine. The process of making soft gel capsules also restricts the ingredients that can be added.
Hard Shell Capsules
Hard shell capsules are usually oblong in shape and can come in different colours. They have two sides which are sealed together during the production process. Vegan-friendly hard shell capsules are made from vegetable cellulose.
One benefit of hard shell capsules is that the manufacturer has more choice of ingredients that can go into the capsule. The soft gel capsule production process is more complex and ingredient dependent for the capsules to form correctly.
Therefore, soft gel capsules are far more generic with less of a difference between the various capsule products on the market. An example of a hard shell capsule product is the Love CBD Dutch Capsules. This product contains additional ingredients designed to improve the product’s absorption which a soft gel product would be unable to include.
Just like CBD oils, fat of some kind will help to aid absorption of all capsule types. A popular choice for CBD oils is olive oil, which is readily available and a healthy addition to any diet. However, this is rarely used in capsules since it is too runny and could leak. This would cause a problem for hard shell capsules that are not hermetically sealed.
A popular choice instead is coconut oil, which is more viscous and retains the solidity of the filling. It is thought to have a greater bioavailability than other fats, allowing for more CBD to be absorbed by the body. Love CBD Capsules all contain organic extra virgin coconut oil.
It is a good idea to check that the manufacturer in question has provided lab results for their products. Although this is not a legal requirement in the UK, a good brand will always make these publicly available. The most reputable companies will have them tested at independent, third-party laboratories. in-house testing may not be reliable or accurate.
Reviews are a good way to check if a brand has good quality products and is trustworthy. Trust Pilot is the largest independent review platform and is a good starting point.
When it comes to strength, it is difficult to compare capsules with oils. Capsules may give the measurement of CBD in mg per capsule or as an aggregate of all capsules in the container. CBD oils will usually just give the concentration or mg content of the overall bottle rather than per drop or spray. This is not always the case and brands are beginning to provide more comprehensive dosage information.
Percentage measurements can also be confusing. The percentage given in oils is usually the CBD content in the overall volume of the bottle. However, as capsules may have very little liquid besides that of the extract, a percentage measurement isn’t the same.
You can very easily determine that the CBD content within an oil is the advertised amount. For example, a 20ml bottle of CBD oil that contains 4% CBD would equate to 800mg of CBD. However, a percentage measurement for capsules is much harder to work out. This is because the fill amount of each capsule needs to be multiplied by the number of capsules per container.
The most important measurement, therefore, is the mg of CBD per capsule – this is the ultimate indication of strength. The same applies to oils, and a good brand will provide the mg of CBD per drop or spray as well.
A low-strength CBD capsule would have 5mg of CBD per capsule, whereas the highest strengths can go up to 40-50mg.
Another important factor to consider is the type of CBD extract used. The two most common in the UK market today are Isolated CBD extracts and Broad Spectrum extracts. True full-spectrum extracts are effectively illegal in the UK, as they will always contain more than 1mg of THC. THC is a controlled substance under UK law and the legal limit for a single product is 1mg.
CBD Isolate Capsules
Isolate CBD products contain only the CBD compound and none of the other beneficial compounds found in the hemp plant. This includes other cannabinoids like CBG, CBC and THC, so they are legally permissible. However, part of CBD’s overall effectiveness comes from its combination with these other compounds besides THC. This process is known as the ‘Entourage Effect’ and is the basis behind the Love CBD Entourage Capsules.
Broad Spectrum CBD Capsules
Broad Spectrum extracts also contain no little to no THC. However, unlike Isolated extracts, they do contain terpene, flavonoid, and minor cannabinoid compounds in addition to the CBD compound. This boosts the overall effectiveness of the product and thus makes them a preferable alternative.
Hemp Seed Powder Capsules
When browsing for CBD capsules, you should also be aware of hemp powder capsules. These capsules contain ground hemp seeds and as a result, do not contain CBD. They are intended to be used as a protein supplement.