You’re probably hearing about CBD everywhere. No, you’re not exaggerating. CBD is literally taking over the world. So much so to where CBD sales generated $5 billion last year alone!
If you’re debating about taking CBD, you likely noticed they’re available in different forms. Two of the most popular ones are CBD oil and gummies. Which one should you choose?
Main Differences Between CBD Oil and Gummies
- CBD oil is a product where the cannabinoids are diluted with a carrier oil, whereas CBD gummies are food-grade candy/gummy products
- The absorption rate of CBD gummies is 6-19%, whereas the absorption rate of CBD oil can be as high as 35%
- CBD gummies are easy to dose, whereas CBD oil is difficult to dose for beginners
- CBD oil takes effect about 20 minutes after taking it, whereas it can take CBD gummies two hours to take effect
- CBD gummies are cheaper, whereas you get more for your money when you take CBD oil
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is a product where the cannabinoid is diluted with a carrier oil. The carrier oil varies but is always a food-grade oil such as hemp seed oil or MCT oil.
Keep in mind, a CBD oil may be labeled as a “tincture.” A tincture means you take the product by the sublingual method, meaning you hold it under the tongue for about a minute before swallowing. Most CBD tinctures aren’t made with alcohol and use food-grade oils.
CBD oils and tinctures are often used interchangeably. You can also take CBD oil using the sublingual method.
However, CBD oil is more flexible as far as consumption options. You can mix CBD oil with food such as salad dressing, drinks such as smoothies, and more. If you’re using CBD oil for beauty purposes, you may even be able to add a few drops of CBD oil to different products.
What Are CBD Gummies?
Like CBD oil, CBD gummies are food-grade CBD products. They’re in the “Edible” category, which means they’re food products. You can find different types of CBD made into edibles. CBD gummies are made with additional ingredients for flavor, consistency, and more.
Which Is Right for Me?
When shopping for CBD products, you should know ahead of time if you want CBD oil or gummies. But which should you choose?
First, let’s cover what absorption rate means. The simplest definition is how easily your body can absorb the product.
It also refers to how much CBD ends up in the bloodstream. This is how CBD influences the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and causes complex bodily functions that achieve healing in various degrees.
Another important term to know is “bioavailability.” Bioavailability refers to the percentage of CBD that enters your bloodstream.
As you can imagine, various consumption methods impact the absorption rate since enzymes and digestive acid can impact how your body metabolizes cannabis products.
Let’s start with gummies. Your body absorbs the CBD after the gummy makes it through the digestive system. One of the downsides of taking gummies is your body excretes the gummy, so your body usually only absorbs 6-19% of CBD.
While you also consume CBD oil through the digestive system, taking the sublingual method has some benefits.
Holding the CBD under the tongue increases the bioavailability. We have tiny blood vessels under our tongue, and the CB will absorb into your bloodstream quicker.
This increases the bioavailability slightly, usually between 13%-19%. However, more potent products and higher doses can increase the bioavailability by as much as 35%!
CBD doesn’t cause any sensations, aside from general relaxation. No matter if you take CBD oil or gummies, you’ll feel the same.
When we say “user experience,” we refer to the product’s general experience you have.
Most immediately choose gummies because they taste better. CBD oil doesn’t taste bad, but it has an earthy taste. Many people don’t find this enjoyable.
If you want to take CBD oil, you can improve the taste. Different CBD oil flavors are available, but some taste better than others. Many people also mix CBD oil with their favorite foods and beverages to improve their taste.
Convenience is also a factor to consider. With CBD oil, you have to measure out your dose. Many prefer to just pop a gummy in and be done.
When You Feel Effects
As stated previously, CBD has to go through the digestive system when consumed orally. Because of this, it can take an hour or two to experience the effects.
However, taking CBD oil using the sublingual method results in faster absorption times. You can expect to feel the effects after 20 minutes.
CBD gummies and CBD oil typically come at different price points. CBD oil is more expensive in terms of price. However, you may end up saving more money when choosing an oil.
I did a simple Google search and found a random CBD oil and jar of gummies. I’m not linking either because this was purely done as analysis, not for promotional reasons.
I judged the price and the CBD amount, product size, and serving size. Keep in mind, for this example, I couldn’t find a CBD oil and gummies with the exact mg serving, so I judged by dose instead.
Let’s start with gummies. One jar contains 750 mg of CBD, and you consume a 25 mg CBD serving per gummy.
There are 30 gummies in the jar, so if you eat one gummy a day, the jar will last you a month. However, the manufacturer also recommends eating two gummies a day for a higher dose of 50 mg/day. One jar will only last you about two weeks if you’re taking this dose.
Now let’s look at the 1,000 mg CBD oil, which is a pretty average amount for experienced users. The item I’m looking at is $70. One dropper contains 33 mg of THC.
Assuming you’re only looking at the 25 mg/day serving, you don’t need a full dropper every day. Therefore, CBD oil will last you longer than a month. And if you do need close to a 50 mg/day serving, the oil will last about three weeks, still longer than the gummies.
Even though gummies are cheaper, CBD oil lasts longer when taking a small or large dose. Unless you only use CBD occasionally, most people will benefit from oil in terms of price.
How to Dose
On that note, how do you dose CBD oil and gummies?
CBD oil is more flexible in terms of dosing than gummies. While manufacturers will have general recommendations, you can often take less or more, depending on your preference.
If the brand you’re buying from doesn’t provide instructions, there’s a general dosing guide.
For beginners, start at 20 mg/CBD a day. For example, if you’re using a 1,000 mg CBD oil, that’s usually a little over 0.5 ml (every oil includes a dropper with the exact amount). If you feel you need more, increase by 5 mg until you find the dose you want.
Most CBD gummies have manufacturer’s instructions and serving sizes on the packaging. Just about every gummy brand I’ve ever seen recommends users take one or two gummies a day. If you need more flexibility, I suggest using oil.
How to Choose CBD Oil or Gummies
After you decide whether you want CBD oil or gummies, you’ll need to take due diligence in finding a high-quality product. Here are some factors to look for.
Isolate, Broad, or Full Spectrum CBD?
Both CBD oil and gummies are available in three different forms: isolate, broad spectrum, and full spectrum. What do these terms mean?
- CBD Isolate just the CBD on its own
- Broad spectrum CBD + other cannabinoids and compounds (except THC)
- Full spectrum CBD + other cannabinoids and compounds (including THC)
If you’re taking CBD for the first time, you may want to stick with an isolate. However, you shouldn’t be opposed to trying broad or full spectrum CBD.
All of the additional cannabinoids and compounds, such as terpenes, can result in more health benefits.
THC even comes with health benefits, including decreased nausea, pain relief, improved sleep, brain cell protection, anxiety relief, enhanced senses, increased appetite, and more.
However, THC will appear on a drug test, even as little as less than 0.3%. If you want full cannabis healing without THC, choose broad spectrum.
Certificate of Analysis
Just about every reputable CBD manufacturer will have a Certificate of Analysis (COA).
This is a test result done by a third-party lab. The COA will display the amount of CBD and other cannabinoids, including THC. It will also show if the product contains any pesticides, heavy metals, and other toxins.
In mind, third-party testing isn’t mandatory for CBD products from hemp. However, it is for CBD products from marijuana.
However, I wouldn’t buy from a brand that doesn’t undergo any testing. Keep in mind, if you buy CBD from oil, such as a dispensary, it’s almost certain that they offer a COA. It was reviewed by store management before displaying the products for sale.
If you can, trace back the hemp. Most American CBD products are made from hemp grown in the country. However, some brands get their hemp from countries where hemp and marijuana are legal, such as the Netherlands.
No matter where the hemp is from, you want to be sure it wasn’t grown with toxins. The cultivators conduct regular safety and quality tests.
Remember that not all CBD products offer information on where they get their hemp from. If the brand you’re interested in doesn’t offer this information, you can always contact them and ask.
Read the Ingredients
This is especially important if you’re using CBD gummies. You’ll want to know other ingredients the product contains, including natural or artificial flavors. If you’re buying CBD oil, you’ll want to see what the carrier oil is.
If your CBD oil has flavoring, I suggest knowing where that flavor comes from.
I once purchased CBD oil that contained lemon essential oil, and I freaked out because most essential oil isn’t safe for consumption.
However, I contacted the CBD company, and they gave me their supplier’s information, ensuring the essential oil was food-grade.
But I wouldn’t be surprised if less-than-trustworthy CBD companies flavor their products with questionable substances. This is why I suggest reading the ingredients list, even on CBD oil.
Last but certainly not least, avoid any products that boast unrealistic health claims.
Sure, many people claim that CBD improves their health in some way. But understand that the FDA doesn’t approve any CBD product except one that treats seizures and that’s only available via a prescription.
Because of this, brands cannot make any medical claims about their CBD products. Medications and prescription drugs have proven to treat medical conditions through rigorous safety measures.
Obviously, avoid CBD companies that make drastic claims, such as curing cancer and heart disease. But what about minor claims, like treating pain? I would still err on the side of caution. CBD brands can’t even say their products alleviate symptoms of health conditions.
What can CBD brands say? Well, not much. First, you have likely seen this warning or similar: “This product is not approved by the FDA and is not intended to cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent a disease.” In addition, CBD companies can’t state their product is a dietary supplement.
To avoid warning letters, most CBD companies rarely report any effects in their marketing. However, general “wellness” claims are usually acceptable if they’re not linked to specific ailments, diseases, and symptoms.
Question: How Long Do CBD Effects Last?
Answer: Everyone is different, but I would say between 4-6 hours. From my experience, this length is pretty accurate for both edibles and sublingual oils. That’s why I take CBD oil twice a day.
Question: Can I Take a Higher Recommended Dose?
Answer: There’s no universal CBD dosage, and everyone is different. If you feel you need a bigger dose, I say go for it, but you’re doing so at your own risk.
However, contact the company first and make sure the dosage you want to take is safe. CBD up to 1,500 mg/day has been shown to be well-tolerated, so I wouldn’t recommend going above that. But seriously, who needs to take that much CBD?
Question: Does CBD Have the Same Side Effects as THC?
Answer: First and foremost, from previous studies, CBD seems to be well-tolerated and only comes with mild side effects. The most common ones include diarrhea, dry mouth, drowsiness, and reduced appetite. You shouldn’t take CBD with certain medications, such as blood thinners.
THC comes with more side effects, and CBD does have some of the same results.
For example, you may feel drowsy and have a bad dry mouth with CBD. I personally have felt drowsy when taking CBD but never experienced dry mouth. The first few times you take CBD, don’t drive or operate machinery, so you better know any side effects you experience.
Question: What Are Other Ways to Consume CBD?
Answer: Inhalation and topical products are other popular ways to consume CBD. There are CBD vapes, and you can even smoke high-CBD hemp flower. This method is beneficial because the user will experience the effects quickly. Vaping CBD is gentler on your lungs than smoking, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely harmless.
Topical products include ointments, balms, and creams. These products are recommended if you’re using CBD to improve your skin and decrease localized soreness.
If you prefer the consumption methods, I haven’t mentioned capsules yet. I personally like a CBD capsule better than a CBD gummy. They’re easy to dose and don’t come with extra sugar. Remember that capsules will also take an hour or two to take effect.
If you are interested in other CBD edibles besides CBD gummies. You can find various CBD-infused foods, including CBD candy like suckers or chocolate. I’ve even seen CBD gum for those who enjoy chewing on gum.
CBD is only becoming more popular, and there are more products available.
CBD oil and gummies are two of the most common CBD products you’ll see. CBD oil and gummies have many differences and appeal to certain users over others. We hope this guide helped you select the right CBD product!