CBD Oil vs CBD Capsules: Key Differences (+ Best Products)

CBD oil or CBD capsules? 

Both are excellent ways to enjoy the many wellness and health benefits of CBD (cannabidiol) — an active compound in cannabis plants like hemp.

While CBD oils work faster, capsules offer a more discreet and convenient way to include CBD in your everyday routine.


So what should you pick between CBD oil and capsules?

Let’s explore the main differences between CBD oil and CBD capsules and some of the best CBD oils and capsules in the UK. 

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CBD Oil vs CBD Capsules: Overview

Here’s a quick look at the key differences between CBD oil and CBD capsules:

  CBD Oil  CBD Capsules
Ingredients CBD extract, carrier oil

like an MCT oil, coconut oil, etc. 


CBD extract, carrier oil, softgel capsule covering 
Method of Intake  Sublingually (under the tongue)  Ingestion 
Bioavailability  Higher bioavailability  Lower bioavailability 
Onset of Effects  15-30 minutes  1.5-4 hours 
Dosage   Flexible  Fixed and consistent 
Taste   Natural hemp taste with added flavours (optional)  Neutral taste 


CBD Oil vs Capsules: 5 Major Differences

CBD oil and capsules are two common ways to consume CBD.

Let’s dig deeper into the differences between both types of CBD products: 

Difference #1: What Are They?

Let’s start with the most fundamental difference between the two supplements. 

A. What Is CBD Oil?

CBD oil combines CBD extract and carrier oil like MCT oil, coconut oil, olive oil, or hemp seed oil. 

Unflavoured CBD oil has a natural hemp flavour with a hint of the carrier oil taste. 

Don’t like the natural taste of CBD oil?

Go for the many flavoured CBD oil options on the market. 

Side Note: Do not confuse CBD oil with CBD oil tincture. Unlike CBD oil, CBD tincture uses an alcohol-based solvent.

B. What are CBD Capsules? 

CBD capsules (also referred to as CBD caps) are soft gel or gelatin shells containing CBD extract, typically in CBD oil form.

So, technically, CBD capsules are another way of taking CBD oil.

What do they taste like?

The outer CBD softgel shells are usually flavourless, making CBD softgel capsules a neutral-tasting supplement. 

Read More: CBD oil and CBD oil capsules are legally available as food supplements in the UK. Learn more about CBD Laws in the UK for a safe CBD experience!

Difference #2: How Do You Take Them? 

The method of intake is another crucial difference between these two products.

A. How to Take CBD Oil

CBD oils are often available in two forms — oil with droppers and sprays.


The most effective way to take edible CBD oil drops is under the tongue (sublingually). 

Here’s how: Drop (or spray) a CBD oil drop or two under the tongue and let it sit for 30-60 seconds before swallowing. 

If you’re using CBD oil spray, you can also spray it inside your cheeks. This is known as buccal administration, where CBD is absorbed through the inner lining of your cheeks.

You may be wondering… 

How much CBD oil should I take?

Your CBD dosage depends on your desired benefits, body weight, and other factors. 

New to CBD? 

Start with a low dose (20-25mg/day) and gradually increase it as per your needs. 

CBD oil droppers usually have markings so you can easily measure your dosage. In comparison, CBD oil sprays have the amount of CBD per spray mentioned on the label. 

Hot Tip: If you’re still unsure how many drops you need, use our free CBD oil dosage calculator.

B. How to Take CBD Capsules

Take CBD oil capsules orally by swallowing them with a glass of water, just like any other regular capsule or pill.

As the capsules contain a pre-measured and consistent amount of CBD, you needn’t measure every dose.

To determine how many CBD softgel capsules you need, figure out the CBD strength per capsule. 


The exact CBD dose in each capsule is the total CBD strength (listed on the bottle label) divided by the number of capsules in the bottle. 

Side Note: CBD capsules differ slightly from CBD tablets and CBD pills. While capsules usually contain CBD oil, CBD tablets and CBD pills are made with powdered CBD extract.

Difference #3: How Do They Work?

Cannabidiol capsules and oils release CBD into your body in different ways.

A. How Do CBD Oils Work? 

When taken sublingually, the CBD extract is directly absorbed through the mucous membranes in the mouth.

The benefit? 

CBD is absorbed faster (15-30 minutes) and in higher amounts — than when ingesting it.

Bottom line: Sublingual CBD oil has higher bioavailability than capsules and other edible supplements. 

B. How Do CBD Capsules Work?

When a CBD softgel capsule is ingested orally, it passes through your digestive system before CBD is released into your body.

So it can take longer (1.5 to 4 hours) to feel the effects of CBD. This applies to most edibles, including CBD gummies. 

The good news?

You’ll feel the CBD effects from capsules for much longer than sublingual oils as the digestive system slowly metabolises them.

However, the amount of CBD absorbed by the body is lower than the sublingual dosage (lower bioavailability).

We know what you’re thinking…

What happens when CBD is absorbed into the body?
Once your body absorbs CBD (whether it’s from CBD oils or CBD capsules), it interacts with your endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS maintains our body’s natural balance by regulating critical functions like sleep, appetite, immune response, and pain relief. 

Did you know: Studies show taking CBD with a high-fat meal can increase its bioavailability four-fold compared to on an empty stomach? 

It’s something to keep in mind if you’d like to maximise the absorption of your CBD capsules.

Difference #4: Benefits

Let’s take a glance at the major pros of CBD oil and capsules:  

A. Benefits of CBD Oil 

  • Absorbed better in the body (higher bioavailability)
  • Shows effects faster
  • Allows flexible dosage (ability to control dosage)

B. Benefits of CBD Capsules 

  • Easy to carry and discreet
  • Precise & consistent dosage
  • Neutral taste

Difference #5: What Products Should You Try?

Here are some of the best CBD products in the market if you’re looking for CBD oils and capsules: 

A. CBD Oil 

  • Mission C Night + CBD Oil 1000mg: Looking to relax and unwind after a long day? These Mission C CBD oil drops are perfect for you! Take this sublingually before bed and enjoy a deep, restful sleep.

B. CBD Capsules

  • Love Hemp 300mg CBD Capsules: Looking for a vegan CBD capsule? This Love Hemp product has got you covered. Their low CBD strength is ideal for beginners.
  • Provacan CBD 2100mg Gold Capsules: Prefer the highest strength CBD caps in the UK? With 70 mg CBD per capsule, Provacan Premium Gold capsules offer a convenient way to consume a potent dose of CBD.

Still not sure which of the two CBD products is best for you? 

CBD Oil vs Capsules: Which Should You Buy? 

The truth is: Both CBD oils and capsules are excellent ways to enjoy the benefits of CBD. 

Ultimately, which CBD product you should buy comes down to personal preference. 

Here’s a quick checklist to help you decide: 

A. Choose CBD Oil If: 

  • You want more immediate effects.
  • You intend to make CBD edibles (go with a neutral-tasting CBD oil).
  • You struggle to swallow a gel capsule.
  • You want to control your dosage.

B. Choose CBD Capsules If: 

  • You want sustained CBD effects.
  • You want to take your CBD dosage discreetly.
  • You’re looking for a convenient way to fit CBD into your wellness routine.
  • You seek neutral-tasting CBD food supplements.

The bigger question? 

Can You Take CBD Oils and CBD Capsules Together?

Short answer: Yes, but proceed with caution.

When consuming multiple CBD products, you may easily lose track of how many milligrams of CBD you’ve consumed.

Why does that matter?

Very high CBD doses (higher than 100mg daily) may cause unwanted side effects like dry mouth and drowsiness.

The UK’s Food Standards Agency recommends a safe limit of 70mg CBD daily.

If you’ve never taken CBD before, we advise taking CBD oils and capsules separately first.

Important: If you use prescribed medication, talk to a medical professional before taking CBD supplements.

3 FAQs About CBD Products 

We’ll answer three related questions about CBD products:

1. What Should You Consider When Buying CBD Products?

Check the following when you shop CBD products:

  • Certificate of Analysis (CoA): Always look for a CBD product’s CoA. It tells you what ingredients are used and their potency level.
  • The CBD type: Check the form of CBD to ensure you get only pure CBD isolate or broad spectrum CBD oil or capsules in the UK. Full spectrum CBD is illegal in the country. (More on this in a bit.)
  • Brand reputation: Research various brands to pick reputable sellers before buying CBD supplements. You can check customer reviews and CoA on the brand’s website.

2. CBD Oil vs Hemp Oil: Is There a Difference?

Hemp oil is extracted from hemp plant seeds and has little to no cannabinoid content. It may help improve digestion, fight inflammation, aid sleep, etc. 

On the other hand, CBD oil is made from hemp extract derived from the leaves, flowers, and stalks of the hemp plant. It’s rich in cannabinoids and may offer therapeutic benefits

Did you know? Cannabis plants consist of varieties like Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. 

Hemp plant is a Cannabis sativa variant with low THC content. Whereas marijuana — another Sativa variant, has a higher THC concentration.

3. What Is the Difference Between CBD Isolates, Broad Spectrum CBD, and Full spectrum CBD?

CBD is usually extracted from a low-THC hemp plant using different extraction techniques. 

However, this hemp extract may have other cannabinoids (like THC), aromatic terpene compounds, and flavonoids. 

So, based on its composition, the final CBD extract could be: 

  • CBD Isolate: Pure CBD extract.
  • Broad spectrum CBD: THC free but contains other cannabinoids and terpene compounds. 
  • Full spectrum CBD: Contains all cannabinoids (including small amounts of THC) and terpene compounds. Full spectrum CBD oil is illegal in the UK.  

CBD Oil vs CBD Capsules: What Is Your Pick? 

Look: It’s all about personal preference. 

Opt for CBD oil if you want a flexible dosage, higher bioavailability, and an all-around versatile product.

Prefer a hassle-free way of incorporating CBD into your wellness routine? 

Or want the luxury of pre-measured doses? 

CBD capsules may be just what you’re looking for. 

Whether you need CBD oils or capsules, head to GreenBox to shop CBD products safely and securely. 

Explore a wide range of high-quality CBD supplements, from CBD oils and capsules to CBD cream packs, CBD gummies, CBD bath bombs, and more.