What Is the Difference Between CBD Oil and CBD Capsules?

When shopping for CBD products, it can be hard to decide which type of product would best suit you, or even what factors to consider before making a purchase. People often have difficulty deciding between CBD oil and CBD capsules, as these are two of the most common products out there and have many similarities.

However, there are some key differences between CBD oil and CBD capsules that can help guide you in making the best purchase to fit your needs and lifestyle. Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is to look for quality, and to beware of overhyped products.

Many people find CBD to have a number of health benefits, but this doesn’t mean it's a miracle drug or a cure-all. Beware of companies that promote their CBD as a wondrous elixir.

It’s important to note that everybody’s biochemistry is different, and not everyone will react the same way or get the same therapeutic effects from CBD oil or other CBD products, so this can add to the confusion when choosing a CBD product.

So, how do you decide which product to choose? And what are the differences between CBD oil and CBD capsules? Here’s your ultimate guide to help you decide which form of CBD is right for you.

Understanding the basics of CBD

Hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) is a nonintoxicating compound of cannabis. Typically, CBD oil is used as a base to create a variety of products such as creams, topicals, edibles and capsules.

Each of these products has unique properties that make it attractive. Many people take a dose of CBD -- in whatever form they feel most comfortable using -- once or twice a day to help lower stress levels or boost their general health.

Penguin’s CBD oils (also known as tinctures) and CBD capsules both use broad-spectrum CBD oil suspended in coconut-derived MCT oil. The MCT oil is a carrier that is believed to assist the absorption of CBD into your body’s system, so it circulates through the bloodstream more quickly and produces faster effects. This process is referred to as “bioavailability.”

Broad-spectrum oils also utilize the full potency of the hemp plant without any of the THC, which is the psychoactive component found throughout all strains of cannabis in varying levels.

The benefit of broad-spectrum oil is that it includes the plant’s terpenes, which are the natural compounds responsible for the plant’s flavors, smells and colors, as well as flavonoids and other plant materials, while eliminating any trace of THC.

This allows you to enjoy the “entourage effect,” or the full therapeutic benefit of the hemp plant, while avoiding the potential risks of THC.

This means that, no matter which Penguin products you choose, you’ll be getting all of the “good stuff,” without any of the “bad stuff.”

CBD oils vs. CBD capsules

When it comes to deciding which form of CBD is right for you -- either oil or capsule -- you should first consider why you are using CBD. The first question you should ask yourself is: What benefits am I hoping to get out of taking CBD?

Also consider your lifestyle and your comfort level with using CBD. If you’re using CBD for general health purposes, such as managing stress and anxiety to help you relax and sleep better at night, either form of CBD would probably work. However, you may still have a preference based on which form is easiest for you to take, which gives you the most flexibility and which best suits your lifestyle.

One of the biggest differences between CBD oil and capsules is the form they come in. CBD capsules are similar to taking supplements or vitamins; the capsule is taken by mouth and swallowed, often with a glass of water.

If you’re used to taking supplements, it would be easy to incorporate CBD capsules into your daily vitamin regimen, and this might be easier than remembering to hold CBD oil under your tongue for a minute or more.

However, some people have a hard time swallowing capsules (although Penguin uses soft gels that go down quickly and easily). If you don’t like taking anything in “pill” form, capsules may not be right for you.

Another consideration is that capsules are more portable and easier to carry, and you can take them anywhere discreetly. A capsule is a simple, no-fuss way to consume CBD when you’re on the go. But do keep in mind that capsules shouldn’t be left in an overly hot or damp environment for very long, so please leave them out of the sauna or anywhere with direct sunlight.

CBD capsules can also be stored in the refrigerator, which will prolong their shelf life. However, if you choose to keep CBD oil in a refrigerator, note that it can thicken and may need to be warmed up to room temperature before you use it. Do not store your CBD oil in the freezer.

CBD oil -- potency and dosing

With CBD oil, you decide which potency to use and the exact level of dosing you want to consume. You can also vary the dosing by micro-adjusting: Simply add or subtract a drop or two.

If you are new to using CBD, it’s best to start with a lower-potency oil, to see how you react. Starting with the lower potency, such as 250mg, will allow you to gauge how much CBD you need to take to get the result you desire.

If you jump right to a higher-potency strength, you won’t know how much you need to take to get relief. Everyone’s experience with CBD oil is different, and with a CBD oil tinctures, you can easily adjust your serving size to determine the right concentration for you.

Penguin CBD oil comes in three strengths, and in five different flavors, which gives you a wide variety to choose from. Our flavors include mint, citrus, strawberry, natural, and cookies and cream.

Each flavor comes in three potencies: 250mg, 600mg and 1000mg. These potencies refer to the total amount of CBD in each bottle.

A single dose -- or serving size -- is generally considered to be one milliliter. To measure a dose of Penguin oils, use the dropper built into the cap by squeezing the rubber end and releasing it to let it fill back up as far as it will go. A few good squeezes should give you a full 1mL dose of the oil.

Each serving of Penguin CBD oil will give you the following amounts of CBD:

  • 250mg potency: 8.3mg
  • 600mg potency: 20mg
  • 1,000mg potency: 33.3mg

If you’ve been using CBD for a while and find that lower potencies aren’t giving you the effects you’re looking for, it may be time to explore stronger potencies.

Some people may also develop a slight tolerance to CBD over time, so you may need to adjust the strength or dosing to achieve the desired results.

How do I take CBD oil?

For the fastest results, it’s recommended to take CBD oil sublingually, by holding the oil under the tongue for 60-90 seconds. By doing this, the cannabinoids and terpenes are absorbed directly into your bloodstream, where they can impact the endocannabinoid system quickly and effectively. After holding it under your tongue, simply swallow the oil.

All of Penguin’s CBD oils use an MCT oil as a carrier. MCT is believed to help make CBD oil more bioavailable to the body.

Although sublingual usage may not be immediately familiar to you, it is easy to get the hang of. But one of the great things about CBD oil is that this form gives the user an enormous amount of flexibility and variation in how to use it. You can also add CBD oil to nearly any food or drink you consume.

Capsules -- who do they work best for?

CBD capsules can work well for people who already have a set routine for taking supplements or medications, and are used to swallowing capsules. They are discreet, easy and portable. You can take them anywhere, with absolutely no fuss!

Because the capsules are swallowed whole, they’re also completely tasteless, so this a good option for people who don’t like the natural, earthy taste of CBD oil, or prefer not to take flavored versions of CBD oil.

When compared to other CBD edibles, CBD capsules absorb into the body slightly faster because the gel cap dissolves more efficiently in your stomach, and there are no other components or ingredients for your system to digest.

Also, CBD edibles mean consuming additional calories or ingredients. If you are trying to cut back on calories or you want to save CBD edibles as a special treat, taking a capsule offers an easy and consistent way of taking doses without anything “extra.”

CBD oil -- multiple ways to consume it.

Besides absorbing it under your tongue, CBD oil can be consumed as an “edible,” meaning you can add it to nearly any food you eat. You can add a few drops to anything from your morning smoothie to those brownies you bake as a sweet treat before bed. It’s believed that taking CBD with a high-fat meal can increase its bioavailability.

CBD that you consume or swallow must be digested in order to get into your system. This means that most of the CBD gets broken down before it enters your bloodstream. CBD is a fat-soluble compound, so it dissolves more readily in fats and fatty oils.

This breaks CBD down into smaller molecules, which are more easily absorbed by the body. This is also why Penguin uses coconut-derived MCT oil as a carrier oil for both its CBD tinctures and CBD capsules.

Simply put, all you need to do to increase how much CBD is available to be absorbed into your system is mix it with a high-fat snack or meal.

With CBD oil, you decide what way to take it and how much to take. However, if you’re new to taking CBD, this may be a little daunting at first. This is where capsules can simplify things.

CBD capsules -- taking the guesswork out of dosing.

CBD capsules are non-food gel capsules that contain a measured dose of CBD oil. CBD capsules function like any other capsule: You take it by mouth and swallow it, usually with a glass of water.

There is no need to hold it under the tongue like you do with CBD oils. The capsule will release the broad-spectrum oil in your stomach, and you will begin to feel the effects.

Depending on a number of factors, such as how quickly your body metabolizes the compound and whether there’s any other food in your system, you may feel these effects quickly (within about 30 minutes), or it may take a bit longer (up to an hour or so). However, while the effects may take a while to kick in, they will last longer than a tincture.

Penguin CBD capsules each have a precise dose of 10mg of broad-spectrum hemp extract suspended in coconut-derived MCT oil, so you know exactly how much you are ingesting each time you take a capsule, without needing to use a dropper to measure it.

Which one is stronger?

Both CBD oil and CBD capsules are made from the same base product. However, CBD oils come in varying potencies, which allows you to decide what “strength” you want to use. You can also adjust your dosing by simply adding or subtracting a few drops of CBD oil, giving you ultimate dosing flexibility.

Penguin CBD capsules provide a precise dose of 10mg, so it completely removes any guesswork with dosing.

If you aren’t feeling the desired effects, you can always take another capsule (and using capsules ensures your dosing is always incremental). But make sure you give your body time to metabolize the first capsule and see how you feel.

If you want to use the quickest method to absorb CBD into your system, taking CBD oil sublingually (under the tongue) is one of the fastest and safest ways to do this. A swallowed CBD capsule will take slightly longer to absorb, but the effects generally last for several hours.

What conditions can CBD help with?

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, research suggests that CBD oil may have therapeutic benefits for a number of conditions. These include:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Psychosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Nausea
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

What is third-party testing for CBD and why is it important?

Because the FDA doesn't regulate CBD, it’s possible to buy a product that is more or less potent than advertised, or even a product that contains small amounts of THC. This is why it’s crucial to buy third-party-tested CBD for quality assurance.

Penguin is proud to work with one of the country’s leading independent third-party labs to ensure our CBD products are completely free of harmful chemicals or unwanted additives. This means you can rest assured that our products are safe to consume. If you wish to check the results yourself, click here.

Things to keep in mind

It’s important to remember that everyone is different. Even if you know someone with precisely the same symptoms you have, that doesn’t mean you’ll require the same dosage to manage those symptoms. It’s always best to start with a low dosage and increase it slowly until you find the ideal level to manage your condition.

Finally, don’t forget to talk to your doctor before beginning a CBD supplement, especially if he or she helps you manage a chronic condition. This is especially important if you take prescription medications.

Keep in mind that CBD is legal throughout the country, even in states without medical or recreational marijuana laws. Letting your doctor know you take a CBD supplement does not jeopardize you in any way.