A Guide To CBD Capsules
- Benefits and Advantages of CBD Capsules
- CBD Capsules and Bioavailability
- How Do CBD Capsules Compare To CBD Oils?
- Different Types of CBD Capsules
- Figuring Out The Right Dosage - How Many Capsules Should You Take?
- What Do People Use CBD Capsules For?
- Safety and Side Effects
- Choosing a Quality CBD Product
- How Much Do CBD Capsules Cost?
If fiddling around with pipettes and vape cartridges isn’t your thing, capsules are a simple and efficient solution. We love that CBD-infused capsules can make life convenient by slotting right into your supplement regimen.
We have a range of CBD capsules in varying strengths and formulas so you can find the right supplement for your lifestyle. Our personal favourites are capsules infused with other powerhouse plant extracts, like turmeric, ginger and even matcha green tea. Let’s take a look at how CBD capsules work on the system, their benefits and who they might be suitable for.
Benefits and Advantages of CBD Capsules
Ease of use
One of the key advantages is that taking capsules could not be easier! Pills and capsules are how most medicines and supplements are taken so it’s nothing new to most of us. It’s a quick and simple way of taking your daily dose of CBD.
What’s more, each capsule has a measured, consistent dose of CBD taking the headache out of keeping track of CBD intake. The same can’t be said for other methods of consumption like vaping and oils which are more tricky to accurately track.
Compared to other methods like oils and edibles, CBD capsules have a longer shelf life. This is a great advantage if you like to stock up on CBD or buy in bulk.
The taste of hemp is often described as earthy and bitter, in other words - it’s not for everyone. Due to the nature of capsules, even those containing full-spectrum or whole plant extract are tasteless and easy to swallow.
May contain other ingredients
Some CBD capsules contain other herbs, vitamins and minerals, perfect for those short on time and looking to take their supplements in one neat capsule. You can find capsules with turmeric, ashwagandha, vitamins, terpenes and other herbal extracts on our website, perfect for busy lifestyles.
The ease of adding CBD capsules to your daily routine is a strong draw for many CBD users which is why they remain so popular. Now you’ve heard why CBD capsules are good, naturally the next question is - what are the downsides to this method of consumption?
CBD Capsules and Bioavailability
After taking a CBD capsule, the effects might not be felt immediately due to the long journey through the digestive tract. CBD travels through your portal vein, a blood vessel that carries blood from the gastrointestinal tract to the liver. The liver metabolises the cannabinoids and some are broken down completely by the enzymes. This lengthy and complex process means it typically takes thirty minutes to an hour for CBD to reach the bloodstream and take effect.
This isn’t unique to CBD, it’s true for any drug or supplement taken via the oral route. Due to the ‘first pass effect’, the amount of CBD we take doesn’t quite correlate to the amount that finally ends up in our system. While CBD capsules are longer-lasting, they tend to have a lower bioavailability than methods like CBD oil and vapes, meaning that less CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream. Bioavailability for CBD capsules is believed to be between 4%-20%. The higher the CBD concentration, the better chance you have of absorbing a higher amount of CBD. It isn’t that simple though, the bioavailability of capsules also depends on many factors like body weight, strength of metabolism and the CBD capsule quality and type.
How Do CBD Capsules Compare To CBD Oils?
CBD oils include a dropper to apply the oil under the tongue. While some CBD is swallowed, it is designed to mainly be absorbed sublingually. The sublingual area is made of salivary glands and tiny capillaries under the tongue where molecules can be absorbed into the bloodstream without journeying through the digestive system. While capsules and ingestibles can take up to two hours to reach the bloodstream, the sublingual route is much faster at 15-45 minutes. The bioavailability is higher too at 12%-35%.
Compared to predosed capsules, using a dropper is more complicated when it comes to measuring out CBD. CBD oil also needs to be held under the tongue for around 30-90 seconds to be absorbed which isn’t ideal for those who don’t like the taste of hemp or prefer simplicity.
Different Types of CBD Capsules
CBD capsules come in many forms - pills, capsules, vegan gels and soft gels. Like other CBD products they’re available in different formulas - full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and CBD isolate.
Full-spectrum CBD capsules contain a range of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, including a tiny amount of THC. To be legal in the UK, CBD must be extracted from EU-approved hemp strains with less than 0.2% THC and the product must not exceed 1mg of THC in total.
Broad-spectrum CBD capsules are similar to full-spectrum but there is one key difference - all traces of THC are removed.
CBD isolate capsules – CBD isolate contains 99% pure CBD and no other compounds. CBD isolate is usually in powder form before it’s mixed with oils.
Full and broad-spectrum CBD are popular for the renowned entourage effect. This is where the other hemp phytochemicals work in synergy to boost the potential wellness effects of CBD. CBD isolate is missing all of the additional cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids so many find it to be less potent.
Vegan or non-vegan - Some capsules aren’t suitable for vegetarians due to the bovine gelatine shell that encapsulates the CBD oil. Due to the widespread popularity of vegan and vegetarian diets, many brands are now using a vegetarian and vegan alternative called hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC). Despite the scary name, HPMC is perfectly safe and non-toxic and is regularly used as a food additive.
Powdered or oil - Not all CBD capsules contain CBD suspended in oil, some capsules contain CBD in powder form. Full and broad-spectrum CBD can also be made into powdered form and it doesn’t affect bioavailability. Typically, manufacturers will use powdered CBD when combining CBD with other ingredients like vitamins and minerals.
Figuring Out The Right Dosage - How Many Capsules Should You Take?
When first starting out, it’s generally advised to start with a low dosage and gradually increase after a week or two until you feel the desired effects. The reason being, CBD can take a while to build in the body. If you take too much too soon, it increases the risk of minor side effects and any excess CBD will leave the body as a waste product.
When choosing the right CBD capsules, it’s important to consider the concentration of the CBD. You may need less capsules if the strength is higher. Other factors include weight, metabolic rate and body mass. A higher weight, body mass and slower metabolism may require a higher dose of CBD.
For CBD newbies and lightweight users, we recommend starting with 10-20mg of CBD per day. Those looking for a stronger dose (especially since CBD capsules have a lower bioavailability than other forms) 30-60mg of CBD might be a better fit.
So the things to consider when choosing the right dose are:
- Weight, body mass and metabolic rate.
- What type of extract you’re taking (full and broad-spectrum tend to be more potent than CBD isolate.)
- Always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
- Never exceed the maximum dose of 70mg of CBD per day.
What Do People Use CBD Capsules For?
The CBD capsule market is thriving because CBD capsules are convenient and CBD lasts longer in the body than other methods. According to some studies, the ‘mean residence time’ that CBD stays in the system is around 4 hours. So, while digestion can render CBD’s bioavailability as low as 4%, this may be countered by how long CBD stays in the system. Capsules are ideal for those looking to bask in the slow, long-term effects of CBD.
But why take CBD at all? CBD has been found to interact with the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS), a complex system that is responsible for promoting homeostasis. ECS receptors are found on almost every part of the body meaning it has a big influence on our daily functioning. However, the ECS was only recently discovered in 1988, and due to its complex nature, we’re only just scratching the surface when it comes to understanding exactly how cannabinoids and the ECS work. Despite what little is known for sure, CBD is popular with those looking for balance-promoting effects to enhance their daily wellness.
Safety and Side Effects
Potential side effects
Although CBD is a safe cannabinoid, like all supplements, there is a slight risk of minor side effects. These include nausea, change in appetite, headaches and drowsiness. To reduce the risk of side effects, start with a low dose and gradually increase to give your body time to respond.
CBD may also interact with some pharmaceuticals and supplements. It’s always best to first speak with a doctor or healthcare professional if you’re unsure about drug interactions.
There’s a small risk that CBD products containing THC may show up on a drug test. If you need to take drug tests, it’s safest to choose a pure isolate or broad-spectrum CBD product with a lab report to verify the contents.
It’s important that CBD products come with a certified lab test to help ensure the product is free from potential contaminants like pesticides, mildew and heavy metals. All of the CBD products featured on our website come with lab reports.
Choosing a Quality CBD Product
So how do you choose a top quality CBD product? Here’s a checklist of what to look for when selecting your CBD capsules:
Certificate of Analysis (COA)
A COA or lab report is an accompanying document that verifies the contents of the CBD oil in the capsules. A COA should be comprehensive and at a minimum display the cannabinoid profile, i.e. levels of CBD, THC and other minor cannabinoids. A detailed lab report will also list the terpene profile and analysis of any potential contaminants. Check that the CAO is up-to-date and ideally, by a third-party, unaffiliated lab.
Due to the crazy popularity of CBD and an unregulated marketplace, some cowboy brands and irresponsibly made products have landed on the scene. As well as COA’s look for red flags like outrageous health claims, a price that’s too good to be true and lack of information on cannabinoid content.
CBD source and type
Decide whether full, broad-spectrum or isolate CBD is right for you by reading our descriptions above. Another factor to consider is where the CBD extract is sourced from. The best capsules will contain CBD from non-GMO, organic hemp plants.
How Much Do CBD Capsules Cost?
Our collection of premium quality CBD capsules range from less than £10 all the way up to over £100. More affordable capsules provide a great way to try CBD capsules for the first time without breaking the bank, while those with a higher price tag are ideal for those looking for something a bit more specialist.
- £ = under £20
- ££ = £20–£60
- £££ = over £60
Here are our suggestions of some top quality brands producing premium capsules:
Whether you’re looking for a slow and gentle effect, which can stretch throughout your day, or you simply want convenience over anything else, CBD capsules might be for you.
With additional ingredients, a wealth of different flavours and all the variety of spectrums and concentrations to choose from in your CBD capsules, with Alphagreen, you’re sure to find the right product.
Are CBD capsules better than CBD oils?
As the name suggests, CBD capsules are simply CBD extract in capsule form so it’s not a case of one being better than the other - it’s down to personal preference! For example, some people may consider CBD capsules to be more convenient and easy to use. For others, swallowing capsules can be unpleasant or they may want their CBD to be faster-acting. If the method doesn’t worry you, it’s best to do your research on things like bioavailability to make an informed decision.
Who are CBD capsules for?
CBD capsules are for anyone looking for more balance and harmony in their life. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system which is responsible for regulating and maintaining homeostasis. It’s important to note that CBD isn’t recommended for children unless discussed with a healthcare professional, and should not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Are CBD capsules effective?
Like all CBD products, this all depends on the quality of the CBD extract in the capsule. When picking a CBD product, it’s vital to choose a CBD product that has been lab tested for quality and purity.
Some may argue that capsules are less effective than CBD oil, but it’s just that CBD capsules just take longer to absorb into the body due to the route of digestion. When this is taken into consideration, capsules are just as effective as CBD oil.
Is it possible to overdose on CBD oil?
While no cases of CBD fatalities or dependency have been recorded, 70mg is considered the maximum recommended dose. Taking too much CBD can increase the chance of unwanted side effects like drowsiness, nausea and anxiety.
How old do you have to be to buy CBD oil?
There is no set age restriction when it comes to buying CBD in the UK. Retailers may enforce their own regulations and many choose to only sell to those 18 and over.
Can I take CBD Oil Capsules while pregnant?
CBD is not recommended for use by pregnant or breastfeeding women. We recommend talking to a healthcare professional if you’d like to take CBD while pregnant.
What Can CBD Capsules Do?
CBD capsules can do a number of things - in a nutshell, CBD balances the inner system. Many people use CBD to find more calm in their life and to boost their overall wellbeing.
Can I Take CBD Capsules Everyday?
While we always recommend you to check the dosage instructions on the back of every CBD product you buy, the general consensus is- yes. Because oral forms of CBD get absorbed over a long period of time, CBD can be treated as a daily supplement. Some instructions may recommend taking 2 capsules a day, some will give you an estimate.
Can CBD capsules get me high?
Not if you buy it from a legal, reputable source - such as the Alphagreen website! Even a full spectrum CBD capsule (with trace amounts of THC, always under 1mg) can’t get you high. There’s simply not enough THC to intoxicate you- brands will add THC to a CBD product for added therapeutic benefits. Studies have shown that even small amounts of THC improve the product’s ‘entourage effect’.
How long can a CBD capsule stay in my system?
When taken orally, CBD can stay in the system for a few days - between 2 and 5 days is a general belief. But, of course, it’s all dependent on your metabolism and how quickly your system can get rid of the CBD.
If you’re asking how long orally ingested CBD’s effects last - the general consensus is between 4-8 hours. Pretty long!
What’s in a CBD capsule?
A CBD capsule will typically contain about 10-25mg of CBD oil (although this varies- please do check the ingredients on the back to see what suits you). The CBD oil is encased in, either gelatin or vegetable cellulose. We do recommend that if you’re vegan/vegetarian or do not consume pork that you check for the vegetable cellulose shell.
When is the best time to take CBD capsules?
CBD tends to roll with the flow- meaning, it suits a variety of different times of the day. CBD tends to be great for the morning or evening- respectively helping us remain alert and wind down for the night, according to what you want to gain. And since CBD capsules can come infused with other herbs or nutrients, which can be best suited for certain times of the day, it might be best to shop with intention.
If you want your CBD capsule to keep you concentrated and alert for the day, you could go for a CBD capsule with added ginseng, ashwagandha or omega-3 - ingredients that have been proven to promote energy, clarity and concentration.