Best CBD Pills and Capsules
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Cannabidiol (CBD) is a hemp-derived compound that shows promise for relieving pain, inflammation, and anxiety. Compared with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is non-impairing, meaning it won’t get you “high.”
CBD oil is one of the most common types of CBD products, but it isn’t the only one. You can also take CBD in a pill or capsule. Pills and capsules are easy to use and can provide more consistent dosing than oils, as each dose is premeasured.
However, unlike CBD oils, CBD capsules and pills are subject to additional breakdown in your digestive tract via the first pass effect , which may decrease the potency.
Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t guarantee the safety, effectiveness, or quality of over-the-counter (OTC) CBD products. However, in order to protect public health, they can take action against CBD companies that make unfounded health claims.
Since the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD products in the same way they regulate drugs or dietary supplements, companies sometimes mislabel or misrepresent their products. That means it’s especially important to do your own research and find a quality product.
We’re here to help with our top seven picks of some of the best CBD pills and capsules on the market today. We’ll also go over how to choose a product, as well as cover safety and side effect information.
Where available, we’ve included special discount codes for our readers.
- Cannabinoids: Cannabis-derived compound, such as THC and CBD.
- Terpenes: Aromatic compounds produced by plants. The terpenes in cannabis are partially responsible for its distinct effects.
- Full-spectrum: Contains all compounds (i.e., cannabinoids and terpenes) found in cannabis.
- Broad-spectrum: Contains all compounds found in cannabis except for THC.
- CBD isolate: Pure CBD, with no other cannabinoids or terpenes.
We chose these products based on criteria we think are good indicators of safety, quality, and transparency. Each product in this article:
- is made by a company that provides proof of third-party testing
- is made with U.S.-grown hemp
- contains no more than 0.3 percent THC, according to the certificate of analysis (COA)
- passes tests for pesticides, heavy metals, and molds, according to the COA
As a part of our selection process, we also considered:
- certifications and manufacturing processes
- whether the ingredients are certified organic
- indicators of user trust and brand reputation, such as:
- customer reviews
- whether the company has been subject to an FDA warning letter
- whether the company makes any unsupported health claims
Additionally, most of the products on this list contain full-spectrum CBD. Full-spectrum CBD, also known as whole plant extract, has some advantages over isolate — namely, the entourage effect, a theory that states cannabinoids work better together than they do alone.
- $ = under $50
- $$ = $50–$75
- $$$ = over $75
Medterra CBD Gel Capsules
Use code “health15” for 15% off
The hemp used in Medterra’s CBD Gel Capsules is non-GMO and organically grown. The company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you’re new to CBD and not sure if it’ll work for you, this is another product that may be a good one to try.
Medterra is U.S. Hemp Authority certified, and all of their suppliers follow good manufacturing practices (GMPs). Batch-specific COAs are available online.
|CBD potency||25 or 50 mg per capsule|
|Count||30 capsules per bottle|
CBDistillery CBD Softgels
Use code “healthline” for 15% off sitewide.
The hemp used to make these softgels from CBDistillery is non-GMO and farmed using natural practices.
This product has been third-party lab tested and has passed for heavy metals, solvents, pesticides, molds, and even water activity. Water can create mold in hemp flowers. One important thing to note is that though the COA states “pass” for heavy metals, solvents, pesticides, and molds, it doesn’t specify exactly which contaminants were tested.
COAs can be found online or by scanning the QR code on your bottle. The company offers a 60-day money-back guarantee, making them a good choice for first-timers.
|CBD type||Broad-spectrum (THC-free)|
|CBD potency||30 mg per softgel|
Joy Organics CBD Softgels with Curcumin
Use code “healthcbd” for 15% off.
One marker of a very high-quality product is having test results available for every batch of the product, rather than just a sample COA. Joy Organics is one such brand. You can view batch-specific testing results here.
These CBD softgels have added curcumin, the active substance in turmeric. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties. The product uses nanoemulsion, which could help improve bioavailability.
|CBD type||Broad-spectrum (THC-free)|
|CBD potency||25 mg per softgel|
Lazarus Naturals Energy Blend CBD Isolate Capsules
Lazarus Naturals’ Energy Blend CBD capsules combine CBD isolate with a few other key ingredients to provide a quick energy boost. What’s nice about this blend is that although it includes caffeine, that’s not the only energy-boosting ingredient. It also includes B vitamins and L-theanine, an amino acid that can produce a calming feeling.
Batch-specific test results can be found on the product page. Though this is an isolate product, some batches show very small amounts of THC. If you’re concerned about THC, be sure to check the results for your specific batch.
The company offers an assistance program for veterans, people with low incomes, and people with disabilities.
|CBD type||Isolate (THC-free)|
|CBD potency||25 mg per capsule|
Bluebird Botanicals Concentrated CBD Capsules
These concentrated CBD capsules combine full-spectrum hemp extract with organic hempseed oil.
Similar to Joy Organics, Bluebird Botanicals has dated test results available for every batch of each product they sell. The company is certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority and, according to their website, they received a 100 percent score in a third-party GMP audit in 2019.
This is the one product on our list that isn’t made from U.S.-grown hemp. Though Bluebird Botanicals uses U.S.-grown hemp in many of their products, they use Canadian hemp in their Classic and Signature products.
Bluebird offers an assistance program for people with low incomes.
|CBD potency||15 mg per softgel|
|Count||30 capsules per bottle|
Fabuleaf Full-Spectrum Hemp Flower CBD Oil Softgels
This capsule from Fabuleaf is unique in that it contains a large amount of terpenes, including beta-caryophyllene, limonene, pinene, and myrcene, according to the COA on the product page. This may be because Fabuleaf uses only hemp flower in their products, rather than using seeds, stalks, stems, or leaves.
Fabuleaf’s hemp is organically grown, and their products are cruelty-free. Each product comes with a QR code that, when scanned, takes you directly to the COA.
|CBD type||Full-spectrum (less than 0.3 percent THC)|
|CBD potency||10 mg per softgel|
Royal CBD Capsules
Royal CBD’s softgel capsules are made from non-GMO hemp with added beta-caryophyllene. Beta-caryophyllene is a terpene found in cannabis and black peppercorns that has anti-inflammatory properties , making these capsules another great pick for those seeking the maximum therapeutic benefit from CBD.
While products are third-party tested, as of publication, lab results aren’t available online. However, the company is currently in the process of adding scannable COAs to all products. Until then, they’re available by emailing the company.
|CBD type||Full-spectrum (less than 0.3 percent THC)|
|CBD potency||25 mg per capsule|
Navigating the CBD world of can be overwhelming, even for more experienced users. Here’s what to look for when evaluating a product.
Comprehensive, up-to-date COA
Look for a product that has a certificate of analysis, or COA, from a third-party lab. At a minimum, most brands will include the cannabinoid profile and potency. Check to make sure this matches what’s on the product label.
Some companies also test for contaminants like:
- heavy metals
- residual chemicals or solvents
Products that provide this information (and pass) are your best bet safety-wise.
If the company doesn’t provide a COA or provides one that’s incomplete or old, it probably isn’t the most quality company.
CBD source and type
Look for products made with U.S.-grown hemp, which is subject to agricultural regulations.
Also consider the type of hemp. If you’re looking for a product that’s federally legal, look for a full-spectrum product with less than 0.3 percent THC, or an isolate or broad-spectrum product.
Watch out for red flags when shopping. These include:
- Exaggerated health claims. Although CBD may help with certain conditions, it’s not a cure-all. Avoid companies that claim their product can treat or cure any disease.
- Misleading ingredients. Some brands may try to sell hempseed oil masquerading as CBD. If a product only lists hemp seeds, hempseed oil, or Cannabis sativa seed oil, but doesn’t list cannabidiol, CBD, or hemp extract, it doesn’t contain CBD.
- Many poor reviews, customer complaints, lawsuits, or FDA warning letters. As with any product, do your research before making a purchase. You can look at sites like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and you can also do some research to see whether the company has had any legal trouble in the past.
You can learn more about how to read a CBD product label here.
Find what’s right for you
When looking for a pill or capsule to suit your specific needs, consider the cannabinoid and terpene profile, potency, type of CBD, and additional ingredients.
For example, if you want something you can use before bedtime, look for a product that contains high levels of linalool, a terpene found in lavender and cannabis. Linalool has been shown to help with relaxation and anxiety, which may aid in sleep.
Consider other factors that may be important to you. For example, if you’re a vegetarian, you’ll want to read ingredient lists closely and look for a product that doesn’t contain gelatin — as many of these products do. Depending on how easy it is for you to swallow pills, you may also want to consider capsule size and shape.
Dosing CBD can be tricky. There’s no one-size-fits-all dose because everyone’s body responds differently to CBD. The clinical evidence we have for dosing CBD in humans is limited, and more research is needed before we can determine ideal safe doses.
With that in mind, the golden rule of dosing is “go low and slow.” Start at a low dose, see how it makes you feel, and adjust as needed. Some people find starting with 10 or 20 mg of CBD works, while others may need 40.
Adjusting by 5 to 10 mg at a time is a safe bet. It may take a few weeks of experimenting before you find your ideal dose. You’ll know a dose is just right if you begin to experience a reduction in symptoms.
Keep in mind that full- or broad-spectrum products can feel more potent than an isolate.
Studies show that CBD is considered to be safe and generally well-tolerated in humans at doses of up to 1,500 mg per day . However, CBD users may still experience some side effects. These can include:
- changes in appetite
- changes in weight
Talk to your physician before using CBD, especially if you’re taking any medications. CBD can have significant drug interactions.
Some research suggests that consuming CBD products along with high fat meals can drastically increase CBD concentrations. This may increase the risk of side effects.
CBD pills are easy to use and offer reliable dosing. However, they may experience breakdown in the digestive tract, making them feel less potent.
You’ll need to experiment until you find your “just right” CBD dose. Be sure to consult a doctor before trying CBD.
Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.Find out about some of the best CBD pills and capsules on the market, and learn how to choose a quality product.
More about Cannabis Capsules
What are Capsules and Why are They Preferred by Some Users?
Patients often opt for capsules instead of combustible flower or vaporizable products because capsules offer an easier and more convenient method of ingesting medication compared with combustion. Capsules also provide patients with exact dosing information, which allows them to plan for consistent effects. Typically, capsules containing cannabis are not cultivar-specific and are labeled by their cannabinoid contents, such as THC capsules and CBD capsules.
How to Take THC Pills and How They Work in Your Body
Immediate-release capsules work identically to edibles . They enter the body through the mouth and are absorbed through the stomach. The absorbed compounds are then metabolized in the liver. This is where THC is metabolized into a compound called 11-hydroxy-THC, which has a longer half-life and can have more of a sedative effect than THC alone.
The liver’s metabolizing mechanism is unique to each individual, which is why edibles and THC capsules can produce different effects among people. But in general, if you’re wondering how long do THC pills last , the entire process can take between 45 minutes to to 3 hours.
Timed-release capsules follow the identical path of digestion, but the delivery of their contents can be delayed or drawn out over a period of time depending upon the capsule shell’s ingredients. Those engineered with liposomes and drug-polymer conjugates, such as hydrogels, allow for the timed release of their contents . Time-release THC capsules use these protective and inert ingredients to neutralize stomach acid for slower methods of release.
As a rule, the Cannabis genus contains two types of plants: hemp and marijuana. Hemp, which lacks robust terpenoid and cannabinoid spectrums, is grown for fiber and seed oil while cannabinoid-rich plants are grown for their full range of cannabinoids (THC, CBD, THCA, etc.) and other medicinally beneficial compounds. Both industrial hemp and marijuana are used in cannabis capsules and THC pills , but harvesting industrially grown hemp as a source of cannabidiol (CBD) is far from optimal .
THC Pill Effects
Because cannabis capsules are ingested and metabolized the same way as edibles, the effects are also more or less the same. After traveling through the digestive system, the cannabinoid is metabolized by the liver and directed into the bloodstream. Basically, you can expect to experience whatever effects are linked to the cannabinoids present in your capsules.
For example, consuming capsules that contain intoxicating amounts of THC will result in a stoned experience. Similarly, consuming capsules high in CBD will give you access to the purported medicinal and therapeutic benefits produced by that cannabinoid.
Ground decarboxylated flower
Some THC pills contain ground-up decarboxylated flower for oral ingestion. Cannabis flower requires decarboxylation for its THCA to become active THC, which is what allows patients to tap into cannabis’ benefits in a non-combusting way.
Crystalline is a powdered substance visually like table salt or sugar. Crystalline capsules contain nearly 100% pure powdered cannabinoids, often in THCA or CBDA-only formulas that allow patients to ingest their cannabis medication without the intoxicating effects associated with THC. The extraction process used to create crystalline strips cannabis of excess terpenes and other plant chemicals to leave only the desired molecule behind.
Distillate is a runny liquid that is similar to crystalline in that a distillation process is used to produce it, but its purity can run anywhere from 85% to 95% as the cannabis plant’s terpenes are often reintroduced into the final product.
Distillate’s cannabinoids are decarboxylated and are capable of providing users with some of the intoxicating effects associated with inhaled cannabis or ingesting edibles containing THC. Typically, distillate is devoid of a plant’s fats and waxes, thereby providing patients with refined THC or CBD in precisely dosed capsules without additives.
Some cannabis capsules contain one variety of cannabinoid, in which case patients can find them labeled as “CBD” or “THC.” These varieties do not contain any of the other medicinally beneficial cannabinoids or terpenes.
Capsules that contain mixed percentages of THC and CBD work to enhance the medicinal effects and modulate the psychoactive effects to meet patients’ individual needs. Capsules that include CBD can reduce users’ blood pressure response to stress , among other medical benefits . CBD-infused capsules deliver relief to patients while mitigating THC’s potentially adverse side effects , making the medication more tolerable to new users.
Cannabis capsules labeled as “full spectrum” include all of the cannabis plant’s available biomolecules — terpenes, cannabinoids, and everything in between. Full-spectrum cannabis capsules can contain decarboxylated flower or infused-oil bases and allow patients to feel the effects of cannabis without any additives.
Additional nutraceuticals are often added to capsules to tailor their effects . Additives such ginkgo root, astragalus, or maca root generate energy; spirulina, chlorella, or turmeric add nutritional value; and powdered valerian root, skullcap, lemon balm, or hop flower deliver sedative effects.
Most capsule shells fall into one of three categories: gelatin, hypromellose, and pullulan. Gelatin capsules are made from animal byproducts derived from beef, while vegetarian options hypromellose and pullulan are made from non-toxic plant derivatives and fungal fermentation, respectively.
How to Make Cannabis Capsules at Home
(Disclaimer: Much of the information provided within this page has been transcribed directly from credible sources. Again, methods described and ingredients listed may be illegal in your area. Any action you take upon the information provided here is strictly at your own risk , and Weedmaps and its affiliates will not be liable or responsible for any action taken based on the information and content provided on this site.)
Capsules made at home start with infused cannabis oil or decarboxylated dry cannabis flower. Those with sensitive stomachs should stick to oil. Otherwise, cannabis capsules containing raw flower are faster, easier to make, and just as effective as infused oil.
When creating cannabis oil capsules , the first step is to create homemade oil with coconut oil or olive oil .
If you aim to use raw flower , begin by preheating your oven to 220 degrees Fahrenheit, or 104 degrees Celsius. While the oven heats up, finely grind your cannabis. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread your finely ground cannabis on top. Bake for 60 minutes, but do not let the oven’s temperature rise above 250 degrees Fahrenheit, 121 degrees Celsius.
Once the oil has been infused, or the raw flower has been decarboxylated, you may then fill your capsules. A capsule machine greatly speeds up this process, but capsules can be filled one at a time by hand, too.
If you have a capsule-filling machine and will be using dry flower: Separate the top and bottom capsule halves (the bottoms are longer) and place the bottom halves into the base of the capsule machine.
Pour the herbal mixture into the pill maker and, using a card, evenly spread the cannabis across the capsule openings. Then use the tamper tool included with the kit to gently press the cannabis down. Refill the machine with more flower as needed. Once the bottom halves are full, fill the machine’s lid with the capsules’ top halves and then press them down onto the machine until the capsules are joined together.
If you have a capsule-filling machine and will be using an infused oil base: separate the capsules and load up the machine with the bottom halves. Use a syringe or dropper to carefully fill each bottom half. (Note: Coconut oil-based infusions should be warmed to ease the filling process, but not overheated.) Once each bottom half has been filled, place the top halves into the machine’s lid and press them down until the capsules are joined together.A pill-sized, dissolvable cylinder used as a vehicle to administer medication through ingestion. Capsule shells, of which there are many variants, can contain any form of cannabis, even decarboxylated flower. ]]>