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CBD Softgels Vs. CBD Capsules: What's the Difference and Which Is Best?

December 19, 2022 6 min read

CBD Softgels Vs. CBD Capsules: What's the Difference and Which Is Best?

CBD Softgels Vs. CBD Capsules: What's the Difference and Which Is Best?

Recently, CBD has been the subject of interest among scientists and cannabis users. There are various CBD products in the market, including softgels and capsules. Read on to learn more about CBD softgels and capsules, the differences, which one is better, and their various benefits.

CBD softgels and capsules address the needs of CBD consumers in various unique ways. They both relieve pain and inflammation and improve sleep quality tremendously. Furthermore, they are both ingestible and have a precise dosage. CBD softgels and capsules are legalized in various states, although not as medical products, but as food supplements. However, you should seek medical advice on the right dosage and whether CBD should be consumed with other medications. It is imperative to note that purchasing higher-quality CBD softgels and capsules is vital in preventing unwarranted side effects. CBD softgels and capsules have subtle differences, although they are both effective in dispensing their therapeutic effects.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a non-psychoactive chemical compound obtained from hemp, a plant strain of the cannabis plant. Therefore, cannabidiol does not cause any high sensations, although it induces relaxation. Besides hemp, marijuana is an active plant strain of the cannabis plant, although it differs from hemp in its chemical components and properties.

CBD also contains other essential chemical compounds, such as terpenes and flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties that relieve oxidative stress in muscles and tissues. Terpenes are responsible for a plant's unique scent and have anti-inflammatory properties that alleviate inflammation and pain.

CBD Softgels Vs. CBD Capsules: What's the Difference and Which Is Best?

What Are CBD Softgels?

CBD softgels are pill-like substances with a gelatin outer casing. The softgels are infused with a precise amount of CBD oil, and the outer casing is airtight, soft, and dissolvable. The softgels have no distinct flavor, although they disguise the earthy taste of CBD oil.

What Are CBD Capsules?

CBD capsules are hard, pill-like substances with a dissolvable outer casing. They are infused with a precise amount of powdered CBD extract, and the outer shell comprises two overlapping gelatin casings.

Differences Between CBD Softgels and Capsules

  • CBD softgels are more expensive to manufacture.
  • The softgels have more extended longevity than capsules since they have an airtight outer casing.
  • CBD softgels are more easily ingestible compared to CBD capsules.
  • The softgels efficiently disguise the earthy taste of CBD oil.
  • Softgels have a softer outer casing, while capsules have a harder outer casing.
  • CBD softgels efficiently retain the infused CBD oil since they have an airtight gelatin outer casing.
  • CBD capsules are more user-friendly for beginners than CBD softgels.
  • CBD capsules are packed with fiber.
  • CBD softgels contain a precise amount of infused CBD oil, while capsules contain a specific amount of powdered CBD extract.

Which Is Best; CBD Softgels or CBD Capsules?

CBD reacts differently among different people. Therefore, depending on your preferred dosage and body chemistry, you should choose your preferred consumption method. Some people prefer softgels since they have a softer outer casing, while beginners prefer capsules since they are more user-friendly.

How Do CBD Softgels and Capsules Work?

CBD softgels and capsules contain cannabidiol extract, which interacts with the endocannabinoid system. The capsules and softgels must be gut-processed and undergo first-pass metabolism in the liver since they are ingested via the mouth.

The endocannabinoid system is a complex system comprising endocannabinoids, enzymes, and receptors. It maintains various biological functions, such as breathing and digestion, in a homeostatic state. The receptors include CB1 and CB2, abundant in the central and peripheral nervous systems. According to Eskander et al. (2020), CBD binds indirectly with CB2 receptors, transmitting impulses to pain receptors and alleviating muscle aches and inflammation.

Khan et al. (2020) noted that CBD improves sleep quality and reduces insomnia by enhancing anandamide's function, a neurotransmitter that regulates the sleep cycle. Cannabidiol also increases melatonin hormone levels, which is responsible for alerting the brain to fall asleep at night. Increased levels of anandamide and melatonin encourage the brain to fall into a deep sleep, thus reducing insomnia.

Moreover, CBD capsules and softgels reduce stress and anxiety by increasing the activity of GABA (Gamma AminoButryic acid) in the brain. It also converts 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) receptors to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that alleviates stress and anxiety by reducing high cortisol hormone levels.

Benefits of CBD Capsules and Softgels

  • Jastrząb et al. (2021) stated that CBD has antioxidant properties that relieve oxidative stress in the muscles and skin.
  • Grimison et al. (2020) stated that CBD capsules and softgels have anti-emetic properties that improve gastrointestinal health.
  • Wang et al. (2020) stated that CBD has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that alleviate muscle aches, inflammation, and joint pains.
  • According to Udoh et al. (2022), CBD capsules and softgels have anti-convulsant properties that reduce epileptic seizures, especially in children under 2 years old.
  • CBD capsules and softgels have anti-anxiety properties that reduce higher levels of stress and anxiety (Khalsa et al., 2021)

Possible Side Effects of CBD Capsules and Softgels

According to Iffland & Grotenhermen (2017), the CBD in capsules and softgels may cause fatigue, appetite, and weight changes. Although CBD is largely tolerable by most users, the side effects often occur when the capsules are infused with other inorganic substances, such as heavy metals, molds, and pesticides.

Types of CBD Softgels and Capsules

Full-spectrum CBD softgels and capsules contain various cannabinoids and chemical compounds, including CBD, CBG (cannabigerol), THC, terpenes, and flavonoids. However, the THC levels are low to prevent any psychoactive effects.

Broad-spectrum CBD capsules and softgels are similar to the full spectrum type, although they lack THC.

CBD isolate capsules and softgels are considered the purest form of CBD since they contain cannabidiol as the only chemical component.

Frequently Asked Questions about CBD Capsules and CBD Softgels

Are CBD Softgels and Capsules Legal?

CBD softgels and capsules were legalized in 2018, together with other cannabidiol products. The Controlled Substances Act was reviewed, and amendments were made to remove hemp from the Controlled Substances List since it is non-psychoactive. The Medicines and Health Research Institute (MHRI) insists that CBD users confirm the dosage and the ingredients before purchasing a CBD product.

How to Purchase the Right CBD Capsules and Softgels

  • Ensure the product has undergone thorough independent third-party testing.
  • Ensure the CBD product is obtained from organically grown hemp.
  • Confirm the extraction method. CO2 extraction is preferred since it maintains higher purity and potency levels of the cannabidiol extract.
  • Read the customer reviews to get more insight into the product's quality and efficacy.

Is CBD Oil Different from Hemp Seed Oil?

CBD oil is a CBD extract infused with carrier oil, such as hemp seed oil or jojoba oil. The CBD extract is obtained from the hemp plant's leaves, roots and flowers. In addition, CBD oil may contain other cannabinoids and chemical compounds, including CBC (cannabichromene) and CBG.

Hemp seed oil is obtained from the seeds of the hemp plant. It does not contain any cannabinoids, although it is abundant in various essential nutrients such as omega-3 and 6 acids.


CBD softgels and capsules are ingested via the mouth and must undergo first-pass metabolism in the liver since they must be gut processed. However, capsules and softgels have several subtle differences. For example, softgels have a softer outer casing and are infused with a precise amount of CBD oil, while capsules have a harder outer casing and are infused with powdered CBD extract. In addition, the softgels are easier to consume, while the capsules are more user-friendly for beginners.

CBD capsules and softgels have anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsant, and anti-emetic properties. They have minimal side effects, such as fatigue and diarrhea, although they are often caused by inorganic substances infused in CBD, like molds and pesticides.


Jastrząb, A., Jarocka-Karpowicz, I., Markowska, A., Wroński, A., Gęgotek, A., & Skrzydlewska, E. (2021). The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect of cannabidiol contributes to the decreased lipid peroxidation of keratinocytes of rat skin exposed to UV radiation. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity2021.

Eskander, J. P., Spall, J., Spall, A., Shah, R. V., & Kaye, A. D. (2020). Cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment of acute and chronic back pain: A case series and literature review. J Opioid Manag16(3), 215-8.

Grimison, P., Mersiades, A., Kirby, A., Lintzeris, N., Morton, R., Haber, P., ... & Stockler, M. (2020). Oral THC: CBD cannabis extract for refractory chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting: a randomized, placebo-controlled, phase II crossover trial. Annals of Oncology31(11), 1553-1560.

Iffland, K., & Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An update on safety and side effects of cannabidiol: a review of clinical data and relevant animal studies. Cannabis and cannabinoid research2(1), 139-154.

Khan, R., Naveed, S., Mian, N., Fida, A., Raafey, M. A., & Aedma, K. K. (2020). The therapeutic role of Cannabidiol in mental health: a systematic review. Journal of cannabis research2(1), 1-21.

Wang, B., Kovalchuk, A., Li, D., Ilnytskyy, Y., Kovalchuk, I., & Kovalchuk, O. (2020). In search of preventative strategies: novel anti-inflammatory high-CBD cannabis sativa extracts modulate ACE2 expression in COVID-19 gateway tissues.

Udoh, M., Bladen, C., Heblinski, M., Luo, J. L., Janve, V. S., Anderson, L. L., ... & Arnold, J. C. (2022). The anti-convulsant phytocannabinoids CBGVA and CBDVA inhibit recombinant T-type channels. Frontiers in Pharmacology13, 1048259.

Khalsa, J. H., Bunt, G., Maggirwar, S. B., & Kottilil, S. (2021). COVID-19 and cannabidiol (CBD). Journal of Addiction Medicine15(5), 355