CBD, or cannabidiol, is derived from plants like hemp and marijuana. It’s a naturally-occurring compound that is known for aiding in healthy sleep, pain relief and anxiety reduction.
Many users prefer to take CBD in capsule form because it’s as easy as taking a daily supplement, and dosage is simple. Those who take capsules can also avoid the taste of hemp found in other CBD products. All CBD in our products are derived from Hemp and not Cannabis.
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Please note: We share information that helps our readers get the best sleep possible, but it should never replace the advice of a licensed medical professional. Please talk to your doctor before trying CBD oil for the first time.
CBD is a naturally-occurring compound found in cannabis plants, like hemp and marijuana. Because it’s found in plants, CBD is a phytocannabinoid (“phyto” meaning “related to plants”). It’s one of more than 100 types found in cannabis, including the better-known tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). But unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive effects and instead offers users feelings of relaxation and sleepiness.
Humans also produce cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids, and they’re regulated by the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS regulates a variety of bodily functions and maintains homeostasis. Phytocannabinoids like CBD can interact with the ECS, replacing diminished endocannabinoids and promoting balance.
There are two primary ways to extract CBD commercially:
- Solvent method: The plant is soaked in a solvent—usually ethanol—until it forms a liquid. Once the solvent evaporates, the liquid left behind contains CBD and other cannabinoids.
- CO2 method: Using a series of different chambers, CO2 is forced through the plant to separate out cannabinoids like CBD.
While CBD isn’t THC, cannabinoid extracts can contain THC. CBD oil from hemp contains 0.3 percent THC or less. CBD oil from marijuana can have up to a 30 percent THC concentration. It’s also possible to extract CBD oil from hemp so that no THC is present, as is summarized below:
|CBD Class||Extraction Method||THC Content||Appearance||Drug Test Risk?|
|Crystalline Isolate||Oil is extracted from cannabis plant and cooled, allowing CBD to be isolated from other cannabinoids, like THC. The result is an oil that only contains CBD.||None||Sparkly white||No|
|Full Spectrum Oil||Oil is extracted from cannabis plant and not allowed to cool. A variety cannabinoids, like THC, remain.||0.3% or less||Translucent yellow||Yes|
Oral ingestion is the most popular way to take CBD, and CBD capsules are one of the simplest and quickest methods. CBD capsules resemble vitamins or supplements and can be taken with a glass of water. They contain CBD oil in either softgel, traditional capsule or pill form.
The capsule itself is either made from gelatin or vegetable cellulose. If you’re vegan, or try to avoid animal products, then look for plant-based capsules as gelatin is derived from animals. Inside the capsule, CBD oil is usually supplemented by other ingredients to bulk out the capsule and provide additional benefits.
Coconut oil is a common ingredient because it helps CBD oil work faster and has other health benefits. Capsules can also contain other cannabinoids, terpenes, amino acids, vitamins and other substances. Be sure to check the ingredient list to make sure you’re comfortable with everything that’s included.
Because its legal status was in flux, it was previously difficult to research the benefits of CBD. While there’s certainly a need for more studies, what we know so far is encouraging. What’s more, anecdotal accounts have shown that CBD can be beneficial in alleviating side effects of a variety of physical and mental ailments.
*Common physical ailments that may respond well to CBD include:
- Seizures and epilepsy: CBD is a nonconvulsive, and evidence has shown it can reduce seizure frequency. The FDA has also recently approved its first CBD medication for the treatment of two forms of epilepsy.
- Chronic pain: CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to ease pain and inflammation from conditions like arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
- Cancer: Many cancer patients find CBD provides relief from cancer side effects, like pain and sleeplessness. Recent studies have also shown that CBD may actually be beneficial in treating cancer. One found that when combined with chemotherapy, use of CBD in rats with pancreatic cancer tripled their survival rates.
- Heart disease: CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties make it potentially effective in treating heart disease by reducing inflammation and strengthening the cardiovascular system.
- Glaucoma: Glaucoma occurs when glutamate causes retinal cells to die. CBD and other cannabinoids have been shown to protect retinal neurons.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): CBD has been shown to reduce intestinal inflammation by controlling the neuroimmune system, which connects gut microbes, the immune system and the nervous system.
*CBD also provides relief for mental ailments:
- Sleep disorders: Many who suffer from insomnia find relief with CBD. Those who use it usually experience a relaxed, sleepy feeling, and it helps users fall asleep more easily and stay asleep. For those whose chronic pain keeps them awake, it can also help with pain relief.
- Anxiety and depression: Evidence increasingly shows that CBD is effective in reducing the symptoms depression and a range of anxiety disorders. It activates serotonin receptors in the brain, which contributes to feelings of well-being.
- PTSD: CBD has also been effective in giving some relief to PTSD sufferers. One study found that CBD provided relief to a young girl suffering from PTSD and also helped improve her sleep quality.
CBD capsules, specifically, also come with certain benefits. Dosage is simpler than with other forms of CBD oil because each capsule has a clearly defined dose. Capsules are also easy to take, and some people prefer them because they don’t taste like hemp. You can also avoid the sugar found in gummies. They might take a little longer than oil applied directly into the mouth, but some say the effects last longer.
CBD capsules are generally considered low-risk, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have possible side-effects. These can include:
- Dry mouth: Many hemp- and marijuana-based tend to cause dry mouth, also known as cottonmouth. Cannabinoids interact with the ECS present in salivary glands, which can temporarily inhibit saliva production. Drinking plenty of water before and after taking a CBD capsule can help alleviate any discomfort.
- Blood pressure decrease: Higher concentrations of CBD can lead to a temporary drop in blood pressure that can make users feel lightheaded. This usually wears off quickly, but those with low blood pressure or taking medications for low blood pressure should check with their doctors before taking CBD capsules.
- Diarrhea: CBD capsules with larger doses can lead to diarrhea because the substance interacts with the digestive system. If you experience this, try taking a lower dose.
- Appetite changes: Like other cannabinoids, CBD can make users feel hungrier than usual.
- Drowsiness: Especially for those who take CBD capsules to sleep better, drowsiness is a desired side effect. Just be sure to not operate a vehicle until you know how CBD affects you.
It goes without saying that you should check with your doctor before taking CBD capsules, especially if you take prescription medication. You want to ensure it won’t interact with any of your prescriptions. CBD capsules affect different people differently, so give yourself time to get used to them. Start with a lower dose and increase if desired.
CBD capsule dosage tends to range from 10 mg to 50 mg of CBD per capsule. Some bottles will list total concentration of CBD in the bottle (e.g. 450 mg) but usually also indicate dosage per capsule (e.g. 30 pills with 15 mg each).
The dosage you should take depends on a variety of factors, including weight, tolerance and what you’re treating. It makes sense to start with a low dose and increase if desired, and the table below also gives general guidance by weight:
|Weight Group||Recommended Dosage for Mild Effects||Recommended Dosage for Moderate Effects||Recommended Dosage for Strong Effects|
|Less than 130 lbs.||11mg||12mg to 14mg||15mg to 17mg|
|130 to 230 lbs.||18mg||19mg to 23mg||24mg to 27mg|
|More than 230 lbs.||23mg||24mg to 30mg||29mg to 45mg|