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Cannabidiol (CBD) capsules are oral capsules that conveniently deliver CBD to the body through the digestive system. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the other popular compound in cannabis, cannabidiol is not psychoactive and does not cause the high associated with cannabis use.

A quick look at 11 of the best CBD capsules

Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Ingredients: MNT chooses products containing safe and high quality, clearly labeled ingredients. They should also confirm they are free from pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
  • Dosage: MNT chooses products that must clearly state the CBD dosage and THC content.
  • Serving size: MNT selects products in which manufacturers recommend a dosage and how to take it.
  • Third-party labs: MNT chooses products that must undergo third-party testing for contaminants by an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
  • Available certificate of analysis (COA): MNT chooses companies that demonstrate transparency and share a product’s COA after receiving its third-party lab results.

Many people use CBD products for various conditions, including stress and anxiety, physical pain, and inflammation.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for full-spectrum CBD:
Charlotte’s Web CBD Oil Liquid Capsules

Charlotte's Web CBD Oil Liquid Capsules against a green background.
  • Price: from $74.99
  • CBD dose: 25 mg per capsule
  • Size: 30, 60, or 90 capsules
  • Customer rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars, from 500 reviews
  • COA: available online

Charlotte’s Web CBD Oil Liquid Capsules come in a dosage of 25 milligrams (mg) of full-spectrum CBD in bottles of various sizes.

The manufacturer notes that it uses Charlotte’s Web hemp which is naturally high in CBD, delivering a full-spectrum hemp extract. This means the product includes other terpenes and cannabinoids found naturally in hemp.

Use code “HEALTH20” for 20% off.


  • the only other ingredient is organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • the capsule contains vegetable cellulose, making it suitable for vegans
  • if the 25 mg dosage is too strong, the company also offers a 15 mg oil liquid capsule


  • contains full-spectrum CBD, which means it also has THC, making it unsuitable for people who want to avoid this compound
  • some reviewers note the capsules leave an aftertaste

Best for better absorption:
Joy Organics Broad Spectrum CBD Softgels

Joy Organics Broad Spectrum CBD Softgels against a green background.
  • Price: from $39.95
  • CBD dose: 10 or 25 mg per softgel
  • Size: 30 softgels
  • Customer rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars, from 179 reviews
  • COA: available online

These softgels may be a good option for those looking for better absorption, as Joy Organics states they contain nanoemulsion technology that may help aid this process.

Each softgel contains either 10 or 25 mg per serving, with 30 softgels in each bottle.

Additional ingredients include:

Use code “healthcbd” for 15% off.


  • better absorption than other products
  • has broad-spectrum CBD that contains 0.0% THC, making it suitable for people who wish to avoid THC
  • available in a range of sizes


  • the capsules contain bovine gelatin, meaning it is not suitable for vegans or vegetarians
  • may not provide the same benefits as full-spectrum CBD
  • contains several other ingredients apart from CBD and carrier oils

Best for broad-spectrum CBD:
CBDistillery Relief + Relax Broad-Spectrum CBD Softgels

CBDistillery Relief + Relax Broad-Spectrum CBD Softgels against a green background.
  • Price: $75
  • CBD dose: 30 mg per softgel
  • Size: 30 capsules
  • Customer rating: 5 out of 5 stars, from 65 reviews
  • COA: available online

The CBDistillery offers this broad-spectrum CBD product, which may help with pain relief and relaxation. The manufacturer also states that its CBD products contain hemp grown in the United States.

The company recommends taking 1 or 2 softgels daily with water.

Use code “MNT20” for 20% off.


  • easily accessible certificates of analysis available on all of its product pages
  • contains broad-spectrum CBD, making it suitable for people who want to avoid THC


  • contain fractionated coconut oil or MCT, making it unsuitable for people with a tree nut allergy
  • contains gelatin, making it unsuitable for vegans or vegetarians

Best for a lower dose of full-spectrum CBD:
Bluebird Botanicals Concentrated CBD Softgels

BlueBird Botanicals Concentrated CBD Softgels against a green background.
  • Price: from $29.95
  • CBD dose: 15 mg per softgel
  • Size: 30, 60, or 120 softgels
  • Customer rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars, from 234 reviews
  • COA: available online

Bluebird Botanicals offers a concentrated full-spectrum hemp CBD softgel, made from hemp grown in the United States.

This is a full-spectrum product, which means the capsule contains other compounds found in the plant, such as terpenes and flavonoids. These pills may also contain trace amounts of THC.

The only other ingredient in the capsules is organic virgin hempseed oil, making this one of the purest products on the market that use only hemp-derived ingredients.


  • has a lower dose that may reduce any potential side effects
  • available in a range of sizes


  • contains bovine gelatin, making it unsuitable for vegetarians or vegans
  • contains fractionated coconut oil

Best for gluten-free CBD isolate:
Green Roads CBD Softgels

Green Roads CBD Softgels against a green background.
  • Price: $49.99
  • CBD dose: 25 mg per softgel
  • Size: 30 softgels
  • Customer rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars, from 574 reviews
  • COA: available online

Green Roads offer CBD isolate softgels containing 25 mg of CBD, made from hemp farmed in the United States. This product is designed for everyday wellness, but Green Roads also make CBD capsules for relaxation and sleep.

The company recommends taking 1 capsule daily with water, or as instructed by a doctor.

Use code MNT20 for 20% off your order.


  • gluten-free, making it suitable for those with a gluten allergy or sensitivity
  • CBD isolate means there is no THC, making it a good choice for people who wish to avoid this compound


  • contains coconut-derived MCT oil
  • contains gelatin

Best for CBD isolate:
Medterra Isolate CBD Gel Capsules

Medterra Isolate CBD Gel Capsules against a green background.
  • Price: from $49.99
  • CBD dose: 25, 50, or 100 mg per capsule
  • Size: 30 capsules
  • Customer rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars, from 923 reviews
  • COA: available online

Medterra CBD Gel Capsules are suitable for people looking for a purer CBD product.

They come in three strengths: 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg, with 30 pills in each bottle.


  • contain 99.6% CBD and no THC
  • available in a range of strengths


  • contain MCT oil derived from coconut
  • contain bovine gelatin

Best for vegans:
Sunsoil CBD Oil Vegan Capsules

Sunsoil CBD Oil Vegan Capsules against a green background.
  • Price: $30
  • CBD dose: 20 mg per capsule
  • Size: 30 capsules
  • Customer rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars, from 638 reviews
  • COA: available online

Sunsoil states that these full-spectrum capsules are a suitable vegan alternative to softgels.

Each capsule contains 20 mg of CBD. The company recommends people take this product with water. Each bottle contains 30 capsules.


  • vegan-friendly
  • the company states all of the ingredients in this product are organic


  • a larger size than many softgels, which may make them harder to swallow
  • contains organic coconut oil

Best for extended-release:
Social CBD Extended Release CBD Gel Capsules

Social CBD Extended Release CBD Gel Capsules against a green background.
  • Price: $99.99
  • CBD dose: 50 mg per capsule
  • Size: 30 capsules
  • Customer rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars, from 8 reviews
  • COA: available online

Social CBD states it formulates these capsules with a 12-hour targeted release technology to support users throughout the day and night.

The company claims that these broad-spectrum capsules do not contain THC.

Social CBD says that it uses hemp grown in the United States and tests each batch in a third-party lab. Each capsule contains 50 mg of CBD, and the company recommends taking 1 capsule per day.

The capsules are made with hemp grown in the United States and tested by a third-party lab. The product is gluten-, dairy-, and cruelty-free, but it does contain coconut.


  • gluten-, dairy-, and cruelty-free
  • may better help support sleep, mood, energy, and recovery due to the extended-release capsules


  • contain MCT oil from coconut
  • has more ingredients than some other products

Best for the entourage effect:
NuLeaf Naturals CBD Full-Spectrum Capsules

NuLeaf Naturals CBS Full-Spectrum Capsules against a green background
  • Price: from $19
  • CBD dose: 30 mg per serving
  • Size: 20, 60, or 120 capsules
  • Customer rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars, from 763 reviews
  • COA: available online

NuLeaf uses a full-spectrum CBD oil from whole-plant extract. The capsules contain additional cannabinoids, including cannabichromene (CBC), cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabinol (CBN), which the company claims can enhance and amplify the benefits of CBD through an entourage effect.

The company uses the carbon dioxide (CO2) process to extract the CBD from organic hemp grown from company-owned farms. Other ingredients include organic virgin hempseed oil, cassava root extract, purified water, and vegetable glycerin.

NuLeaf works with independent levels to check levels of cannabinoids and terpenes and make sure its products do not contain contaminants. A 30 mg dose consists of 2 capsules.


  • plant-based softgel, making them suitable for vegans and vegetarians
  • may have an entourage effect
  • contains organic ingredients


  • contains THC, which may not be suitable for people who want to avoid this compound
  • has a higher dose

Best for a higher dose:
Lazarus Naturals Full Spectrum CBD Softgels, 100 mg

Lazarus Naturals Full Spectrum CBD Softgels, 100 mg against a green background.
  • Price: from $80
  • CBD dose: 25 mg per capsule
  • Size: 10, 40, or 200
  • Customer rating: 5 out of 5 stars, from 17 reviews
  • COA: available online

These full-spectrum softgels have some of the highest dose of CBD per serving, with each softgel containing 100 mg of CBD.

This product contains additionally compounds from the cannabis plant, such as other cannabinoids and terpenes.

Lazarus Naturals recommends people start with a 100-mg dose. People should wait 2 hours and adjust the dose as necessary. The company also states that this product is best suited for people who are already familiar with CBD.


  • a good choice for those who require a higher dose to reach their desired effects
  • may have an entourage effect


  • contains coconut oil
  • people who cannot eat grapefruit must speak to a healthcare professional before ordering

Best for child-safe lids:
Absolute Nature CBD Liquid Oil Softgels

Absolute Nature CBD Liquid Oil Softgels against a green background.
  • Price: $89.99
  • CBD dose: 30 mg per softgel
  • Size: 30 softgels
  • Customer rating: 5 out of 5 stars, from 16 reviews
  • COA: available online

These softgel capsules feature full-spectrum CBD extract from the whole leaf. This means that, in addition to 30 mg of CBD in each softgel, a person may benefit from additional cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, plant proteins, and essential fatty acids.

Aside from the plant-based soft gel itself, this product contains only one other ingredient: MCT oil, from fractionated coconut oil.

Additionally, this product now features a child-safe lid. This may be beneficial for people who cannot easily keep CBD out of reach of children.

Made from non-GMO ingredients, this product is safe for vegans and gluten-free. Absolute Nature uses third-party testing to verify product safety and quality.


  • short ingredient list
  • non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free


  • contains coconut oil

The following table compares the softgels and capsules in this article on price, dosage, and more.

PriceCBD doseSizeCustomer rating
Charlotte’s Webfrom $74.9925 mg per capsule30 capsules,
60 capsules,
90 capsules
4.4 out of 5 stars
Joy Organicsfrom $39.9510 mg per softgel,
25 mg per softgel
30 softgels4.8 out of 5 stars
CBDistillery$7530 mg per softgel30 softgels5 out of 5 stars
Bluebird Botanicalsfrom $29.9515 mg per softgel30 softgels,
60 softgels,
120 softgels
4.5 out of 5 stars
Green Roads$49.9925 mg per softgel30 softgels4.8 out of 5 stars
Medterrafrom $49.9925 mg per capsule,
50 mg per capsule,
100 mg per capsule
30 capsules4.4 out of 5 stars
Sunsoil$3020 mg per capsule30 capsules4.8 out of 5 stars
Social CBD$99.9950 mg per capsule30 capsules4.8 out of 5 stars
NuLeaffrom $1930 mg per serving20 capsules,
60 capsules,
120 capsules
4.9 out of 5 stars
Lazarus Naturalsfrom $80100 mg per softgel40 softgels,
100 softgels
5 out of 5 stars
Absolute Nature CBD$89.9930 mg per softgel30 softgels5 out of 5 stars

Before purchasing CBD pills, a person may wish to consider the reason for using CBD, the types of CBD, such as full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, or CBD isolate, and the amount of CBD the pills contain.

The majority of CBD products are not FDA regulated. This means companies could make false claims about their goods. Third-party testing is therefore a high priority to help inform and protect people in choosing CBD products. However, the FDA does regulate Epidiolex, an oral prescription CBD product.

To make sure that CBD products contain the amount of CBD the manufacturers claim they do, a person can look for a COA.

A COA should:

  • come from an independent, accredited lab
  • detail the amount of CBD and other cannabinoids the product contains
  • reveal the product’s levels of pesticides or microbes
  • list any chemicals and heavy metals the product may contain

Learn more about buying CBD here.

The following table defines the most common CBD terms.

CBDA compound within the C. sativa plant that does not create the high sensation individuals commonly associate with cannabis use.
THCA compound in the C. sativa plant. It is the psychoactive compound that creates the high sensation from cannabis use.
Full-spectrumA full-spectrum product will contain all of the natural compounds in the cannabis plant, including THC. However, THC levels must be no more than 0.3% to comply with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation on full-spectrum CBD products.
Broad-spectrumBroad-spectrum products contain natural compounds of the cannabis plant. However, while manufacturers remove all or most of the THC in broad-spectrum CBD, it may still be present in trace amounts.
CBD isolateThis is the purest form of CBD and should contain 0% THC.
CannabinoidsThe compounds within the cannabis plant, of which there are over 120. CBD is the second richest compound in the plant after THC.
TerpenesAnother compound of the C. sativa plant, terpenes typically give plants their specific aromas. Some terpenes, such as limonene, may have specific health benefits.
Certificate of analysis (COA)Reputable manufacturers of CBD products should ensure a COA is available for inspection. A COA provides information on the third-party testing that independent labs conduct on a particular product. Sometimes, products will have a scannable smartphone code that directs people to the COA online.

Read more about terminology and other important CBD information here.

Capsules and softgels are pills that people take in supplement or medication form. Capsules can contain either dry or liquid ingredients, whereas softgels only contain liquid.

Capsules can be vegetarian or non-vegetarian. Some softgels may be vegetarian or vegan, but a majority contain gelatin from animals.

Softgels are more flexible than capsules, which may make them easier for some people to swallow.

Both CBD capsules and CBD oils have their benefits and drawbacks, so which one a person chooses depends on their personal preferences and priorities.

CBD capsules can provide a person with a more precise dose of CBD. They are also more convenient to use when on the go.

However, taking CBD in this form means it will pass through the digestive tract. This will lengthen the time it takes a person to feel the effects of CBD, and it may dilute its potency.

People place CBD oil under the tongue or add it to food and drink. Placing the oil underneath the tongue may result in a more rapid and less diluted dose of CBD.

However, some people find it difficult to get an accurate dose of CBD with this method. Other people do not like the taste of CBD oil.

People can consume CBD in many ways, including:

Some methods, such as placing a tincture under the tongue, may deliver CBD to the brain more rapidly than CBD pills. However, the amount of CBD an individual consumes can vary using all methods.

Some people may find CBD capsules more convenient to use than other methods. However, there is no particular advantage to using CBD pills over CBD in other forms.

For more information and resources on CBD and CBD products, please visit our dedicated hub.

CBD may not be suitable for some people. It is important to be aware of the risks before using any CBD products.

Side effects

Side effects may occur with CBD use, particularly in higher doses. They include:

These side effects may vary in people and resolve with continued use. Those who are sensitive to these effects should not drive or operate machinery when taking CBD.


CBD may also interact with some drugs or medications. Anyone who wishes to take these products should first speak with a doctor or healthcare professional about drug interactions.

Drug testing

Other potential ingredients in CBD products, such as THC, may show up in drug tests. While a pure CBD isolate should not contain THC, full-spectrum products may contain enough to register in a drug screening.

Learn more about CBD and drug testing here.


Because the FDA does not regulate CBD products, there is a risk they may contain contaminants, such as heavy metals, pesticides, or other compounds. A certified independent lab test can help ensure the product is pure and safe to use.

All CBD products featured in this article have undergone third-party tests and a strict vetting process.

Research into helping people get the most out of their CBD pills is ongoing.

It is important to note that CBD dosages can differ depending on which manufacturer and products a person chooses. Some manufacturers sell capsules containing 25–50 mg of CBD each, while others sell capsules containing 100–200 mg each.

One 2020 study found that taking CBD with food significantly increased its bioavailability, the body’s ability to absorb and use nutrients, compared with taking CBD on an empty stomach. The researchers concluded that further research into taking CBD with food is necessary.

There is a risk of drug interactions with CBD and some medications. To avoid adverse effects, people should speak with a healthcare professional before using any products containing CBD.

People should contact a doctor before purchasing and using CBD products. There is a risk of CBD interacting with some medications that may cause adverse effects.

Additionally, CBD is not a substitute for medical care. A person should contact a doctor for advice on whether CBD is the right product for them to use.

Below are some of the most common questions and answers about CBD:

Is CBD legal?

To a certain extent. Under federal law, CBD products made from hemp that contain less than 0.3% THC are legal.

State laws vary considerably, from legalized medical and recreational cannabis in Oregon to strictly controlled products made from hemp only and that meet federal guidelines in Nebraska.

A person should check with the relevant regulations where they live before purchasing CBD pills.

Do CBD products do what their manufacturers claim?

According to the claims made by some CBD manufacturers, CBD can do everything from treating diabetes to helping pets with behavioral issues.

However, it is illegal for companies selling CBD products to claim they can treat, diagnose, or cure health conditions such as diabetes.

There are studies providing some support for CBD’s ability to help ease anxiety, sleep difficulties, and pain.

However, according to the FDA, there is little evidence at present to support many claims.

Does CBD make people ‘high’?

No. THC is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis that causes a “high” feeling.

Some CBD products do not contain any THC, and they must contain less than 0.3% THC to be legal under federal law.

Are CBD oil or CBD capsules more effective?

A person takes CBD oil sublingually, or under the tongue, while they swallow capsules.

CBD oil enters the bloodstream faster than capsules, so people may find that oil provides quicker results. However, those who do not have difficulty swallowing tablets may find capsules more convenient to take.

How long does it take CBD capsules to work?

While there are many anecdotal accounts and manufacturer estimates of how long it takes for CBD capsules to work, there is limited scientific data to support these claims.

Researchers have found CBD in a person’s bloodstream roughly 1–2 hours after oral administration.

Capsules offer a simple and convenient way to take CBD. However, there are a few things to consider before a person chooses a product, such as dosage, any additional ingredients, and the reason for use.

It is important to choose quality CBD products, as not all manufacturers follow best practices.

Anyone who wishes to use CBD should talk with a doctor or healthcare professional to check for any possible drug interactions and adverse effects.