March 13, 2024 | Edibles | By Dave McShane

CBD Softgels, Capsules, Tablets: What is the Difference?

This article elucidates the critical differences between CBD soft gels, capsules, and tablets. A comprehensive analysis of their physical structure, bioavailability, and release rate will allow us to discern their distinctive characteristics. By understanding these nuances, consumers can make informed decisions about their health needs and lifestyle preferences. The discussion also emphasises the significance of accurate dosing in enhancing CBD’s safety profile and optimising its potential benefits. 


Understanding CBD: An Overview

Although CBD, short for cannabidiol, is attracting significant attention within the health and wellness industry due to its potential therapeutic benefits, it is crucial to understand the difference between its various forms, such as soft gels, capsules, and tablets. The variations are mainly in the method of ingestion, bioavailability, and absorption rate in the body. Softgels refer to CBD oil encapsulated in a gelatin shell, which is easier to swallow and digest. The oil in soft gel capsules has high bioavailability due to the body’s ability to efficiently break down the gelatinous surface. On the other hand, CBD capsules are a powdered form of cannabidiol encased in a hard shell, potentially taking longer to break down in the body, thus delaying the onset of effects.

Conversely, CBD tablets, often sublingual, bypass the digestive system altogether. Placed under the tongue, they dissolve directly into the bloodstream, providing rapid onset of effects. They offer an effective method for those seeking quick relief. Nevertheless, each form has unique advantages and selecting one depends on individual health goals and lifestyle preferences.


The Evolution of CBD Consumption Methods

Tracing back the development of CBD consumption methods reveals a progressive shift aimed at enhancing bioavailability, convenience, and user experience. In the early stages, the most common way was through smoking or inhaling. However, concerns about health risks shifted the demand towards more user-friendly and safer alternatives.

The advent of CBD oil marked a significant milestone in this evolution, providing a versatile and more bioavailable option. The oil can be used sublingually or incorporated into edibles, offering convenience and flexibility.

The next significant shift was the introduction of CBD capsules, soft gels, and tablets. These exceptionally soft gels offered improved bioavailability due to their high absorption rate in the body. They also provide convenience as they can easily be incorporated into daily supplement routines.


The table below provides a summary of this evolution:

Consumption Method Bioavailability Convenience
Smoking/Inhaling Moderate Low
CBD Oil High Moderate
Capsules/Tablets Moderate High
Softgels High High

The focus will likely be refining these methods to maximise bioavailability and user experience while ensuring safety and efficacy.


CBD Softgels: Features and Benefits

While the evolution of CBD consumption methods has been marked by a focus on improving bioavailability and convenience, the introduction of CBD soft gels truly stands out due to their unique features and benefits.

Unlike other forms, CBD soft gels are designed with a seamless, one-piece shell housing a precise dosage of CBD. This shell, typically made from gelatin, is easily dissolved by the digestive tract, ensuring the maximum absorption of the CBD content. This superior bioavailability is one of the critical advantages of CBD soft gels.

Additionally, the encapsulated form provides a tasteless and odourless CBD experience, eliminating the often unpleasant taste associated with other methods, such as tinctures or edibles. This feature, along with their compact and portable nature, enhances user convenience, making CBD soft gels an ideal choice for those on the go or seeking a discreet consumption method.

The precise dosage in each soft gel also allows for consistent dosing, reducing the risk of taking too much or too little CBD. This accurate dosing, combined with the improved bioavailability and user-friendly experience, underscores the significant advantages of CBD soft gels.


Process of Manufacturing CBD Softgels

To fully comprehend the unique attributes of CBD soft gels, it is essential to break down the meticulous manufacturing process that brings these beneficial products to market.

The process begins with the cultivation and harvesting of high-quality, organic hemp. Once harvested, CBD is extracted using a method known as supercritical CO2 extraction. This method employs carbon dioxide under high pressure and low temperature to isolate, preserve, and maintain the purity of the CBD oil.

The resultant extract is winterised to remove fats and waxes, yielding a pure CBD concentrate for producing soft gels. The concentrate is emulsified with a carrier oil to improve its bioavailability before being encapsulated within a gelatin shell. The filled soft gels are then polished to remove imperfections and ensure a uniform appearance.

The manufacturing process concludes with rigorous third-party testing. This step is critical to verify the product’s potency, purity, and safety, ensuring it is free from contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides, and microbial organisms. This stringent quality control process guarantees that the CBD soft gels reaching consumers are of the highest possible standard.


CBD Capsules: Unveiling the Benefits

Following the detailed exploration of CBD soft gels, it is worth shifting our spotlight onto CBD capsules and their numerous benefits. CBD capsules are oral capsules designed to conveniently deliver cannabidiol (CBD) to the body through the digestive system. Unlike CBD oil, which requires measurement and setup, CBD capsules are discreet, easy to use, and offer consistent doses.

CBD capsules provide a range of benefits, from supporting overall wellness to promoting relaxation. They are also an excellent choice for those who dislike the taste of CBD oil. However, it is essential to note that individual responses to CBD may vary, and one should always consult their doctor before starting to use any new dietary supplement.


Here is a concise breakdown of the notable benefits of CBD capsules:

Benefit Description Potential Impact
Convenience, Easy to use portable, discreet Simplifies intake process
Consistency Offers fixed dose of CBD Ensures accurate consumption
Taste Tasteless and odourless It is ideal for those sensitive to CBD oil taste

Thus, CBD capsules offer a practical, straightforward way for individuals to incorporate CBD’s potential benefits into their daily wellness routine.


The Production Process of CBD Capsules

The capsule-making process for CBD products involves meticulous steps to ensure consistent dosage and optimal absorption. This process begins with the extraction of CBD from the hemp plant. The raw hemp is first processed to remove unwanted elements like waxes and chlorophyll, leaving behind a pure CBD extract.

The following steps provide a snapshot of this intricate process:

  • Extraction:
  • The Supercritical CO2 extraction process is the preferred method for pulling out the cannabinoids from the hemp plant.
  • The result is a crude oil containing a broad spectrum of cannabinoids and other beneficial compounds.
  • Refinement:
  • The crude oil undergoes a refinement process to remove unwanted elements, resulting in a pure CBD extract.
  • This purified extract is then tested for potency and purity.
  • Capsule Manufacturing:
  • The purified extract is mixed with a carrier oil to enhance absorption.
  • This mixture is then encapsulated into soft gels or hard-shell capsules, ensuring each capsule contains an exact amount of CBD.

 This detailed process ensures that the final product is high quality, providing users with a consistent, efficient, and safe way to consume CBD. It is a testament to the science and precision involved in producing CBD capsules.



CBD Tablets: A Comprehensive Analysis

In contrast to CBD capsules, a significant portion of the market is also occupied by CBD tablets, necessitating a comprehensive analysis of their production process, benefits, and distinguishing features.

CBD tablets are produced through a pressing process. This process combines cannabidiol extract with a binding agent, typically starch, to form a solid, compact tablet. This method provides the advantage of precise dosage control, ensuring each tablet contains a consistent amount of CBD.

The benefits of CBD tablets are similar to those of other CBD products, providing potential relief from conditions such as arthritis, chronic pain, anxiety, and sleep disorders. However, the tablet form lends itself to more discreet usage and accessible transportation, enhancing user convenience.

Distinguishing features of CBD tablets include their hard texture and slower absorption rate due to digestion. This slow digestion can gradually release CBD into the system over a longer duration, which is preferred for individuals seeking sustained effects.


The Making of CBD Tablets

When Employing systematic processes, CBD tablets are meticulously crafted to ensure quality, consistency, and efficacy.

The process begins with extracting CBD from the hemp plant, ensuring the highest-purity CBD isolate. The isolate is then tested for potency and purity, ensuring it is free from contaminants and meets the highest quality standards.

The production of CBD tablets involves: 

  • Creating the formulation:
  • Combining the CBD isolate with excipients, substances are added to improve the tablet’s stability and absorption.
  • Ensure the blend is homogeneous and each tablet contains the exact amount of CBD.
  • Tablet compression:
  • The formulation is compressed into tablets using a tablet press.
  • The compression force is carefully controlled to ensure each tablet has the correct hardness and disintegration time.
  • Quality control:
  • Each batch of tablets is tested to confirm it meets the specifications.
  • This testing includes testing for CBD content, tablet weight variation, hardness, and disintegration time.

This process ensures CBD tablets offer a precise dose of CBD, are easy to swallow, and provide a convenient way to take CBD.

Through strict quality control and meticulous crafting, CBD tablets offer reliable, consistent, and effective CBD delivery.


Comparative Analysis: Softgels Vs Capsules

Distinguishing between CBD soft gels and capsules requires an insightful comparative analysis, shedding light on their unique attributes, benefits, and usage implications.

Thanks to their gelatin-based shell and oil filling, CBD soft gels are typically smoother and more easily swallow. This characteristic makes them a preferred choice for consumers who struggle with swallowing larger items. Furthermore, the encapsulated oil enhances CBD’s bioavailability, leading to efficient absorption and optimal effects.

On the other hand, CBD capsules contain powdered or crushed CBD encapsulated within a hard shell. They offer precise dosages, making them ideal for users who require consistent, measured CBD intake. However, their absorption rate might be slower than that of softgels due to the extra step of breaking down the powder.

Both products share a common advantage: discretion. They can be taken anywhere without drawing unnecessary attention, unlike CBD oils that require droppers for administration. However, individual preferences, lifestyle, and specific CBD requirements should guide the choice between soft gels and capsules.


Softgels Vs Tablets: a Detailed Comparison

Exploring the differences between CBD soft gels and tablets requires meticulously examining their distinct properties, advantages, and potential implications for users.

Softgels and tablets are effective modes of delivering CBD. They both vary in their construction, absorption rates, and user experience.

  • Softgels:
  • Soft gels, composed of a gelatinous outer shell encapsulating CBD oil, are lauded for their ease of swallowing and steady release.
  • The bioavailability of CBD in soft gels is potentially increased due to the oil-based interior, which may enhance absorption in the digestive tract.
  • Softgels often offer a tasteless and odourless experience, making them more palatable for some users.
  • Tablets:
  • Often composed of compressed CBD powder, tablets can be more durable and portable than soft gels.
  • The absorption rate of CBD in tablets can vary, often taking longer due to the need for dissolution in the stomach.
  • Tablets may contain additional ingredients to aid with digestion or absorption. They may also be flavoured or coated to improve the taste. 

Selecting between soft gels and tablets ultimately depends on individual preferences and the desired CBD experience. Each form offers unique advantages; thus, users should consider their needs when choosing a CBD product.


Capsules and Tablets: Exploring Differences

We now focus on the distinctions between CBD capsules and tablets, another two forms of oral CBD intake that, while similar in appearance, possess distinct characteristics that may influence a user’s choice.

CBD capsules comprise an outer shell, generally made from gelatin or a vegetarian substitute, enclosing a liquid or powder form of CBD. This format allows for a relatively easy and tasteless consumption experience. Conversely, tablets are compressed forms of CBD, often combined with other ingredients to facilitate the compression process, and are typically coated for easier swallowing.


The following table provides a comparative snapshot of these two CBD options:

Aspect CBD Capsules CBD Tablets
Form Closed in a shell Compressed
Taste Generally Tasteless Might have a taste
Additional Ingredients Minimal It may contain binding agents
Speed of Absorption Moderate Varies; some are designed for slow-release

Despite the differences, both capsules and tablets serve as viable options for CBD consumption. The two choices largely depend on personal preference, lifestyle factors, and specific wellness goals.


Choosing the Right CBD Form for You

Considering the characteristics of CBD soft gels, capsules, and tablets, personal needs, preferences, and health objectives must be considered when identifying the most suitable form for consumption. Each state offers unique advantages, and determining the best option depends on an individual’s specific usage requirements.

To assist in this decision, consider the following factors:

  • Bioavailability: Bioavailability refers to the degree and rate at which a substance is absorbed into the bloodstream. Softgels generally have higher bioavailability because they dissolve quickly in the stomach. Capsules and tablets, on the other hand, may offer slower, more controlled release.
  • Ease of Use: This depends on personal preference and lifestyle. Softgels are often easier to swallow but can melt in high temperatures. Capsules and tablets are more portable and stable in varying conditions.
  • Dosage Control: The form you choose can also affect the ability to control dosage. Unlike soft gels and capsules, tablets can be split to adjust the dosage.


The Future of CBD: Trends and Predictions

Frequently, as the understanding and acceptance of CBD products continue to evolve, trends and predictions indicate a promising future for CBD soft gels, capsules, and tablets. With the global cannabinoid market projected to reach $89.1 billion by 2026, the demand for these oral forms of CBD will likely continue to grow.

Advancements in nanotechnology are revolutionising the bioavailability of CBD, enabling more efficient absorption in the body, a critical factor for oral CBD products. As this technology improves, predictions are that CBD soft gels, capsules, and tablets will become increasingly potent and fast-acting.

Moreover, the trend towards personalised medicine bodes well for these products. They can precisely measure dosage and offer an ideal platform for CBD-based customised treatments. This dosing accuracy aligns with growing consumer demand for customisation in health and wellness products.

Lastly, the progress in regulatory landscapes should drive growth further. As regulatory bodies worldwide continue to recognise the potential benefits of CBD, the market for CBD soft gels, capsules, and tablets is poised to expand, with new product development and innovations on the horizon.


Frequently Asked Questions


What Is the Shelf Life of CBD Softgels, Capsules and Tablets?”

The shelf life of CBD soft gels, capsules, and tablets typically ranges from 1 to 2 years. This can vary based on storage conditions, with cool, dark, and dry environments often extending product longevity.


Are There Any Potential Side Effects when Consuming CBD Softgels, Capsules or Tablets?”

Potential side effects of consuming CBD soft gels, capsules, or tablets may include fatigue, diarrhoea, and changes in appetite or weight. Speaking to your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen is always advisable.


How Does the Body Metabolise CBD Softgels, Capsules and Tablets?”

CBD soft gels, capsules, and tablets are metabolised through the digestive system. The active compound, CBD, is absorbed into the bloodstream via the small intestine and metabolised in the liver before systemic distribution.


Are There Any Precautions to Take When Consuming CBD Soft gels, Capsules or Tablets With Other Medications?”

It’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional when consuming CBD soft gels, capsules, or tablets with other medications. Potential interactions may alter how your body processes CBD and other substances.


Is There a Difference in the Bioavailability of CBD Between Softgels, Capsules and Tablets?”

Yes, there is a difference in bioavailability. CBD in soft gels is typically more bioavailable due to the lipid-based fillers, allowing better absorption in the body than capsules and tablets.


Can you buy CBD capsules in the UK?

Yes, CBD capsules are legal and can be purchased in the UK as long as they are derived from industrial hemp and contain less than 0.2% THC.

Is it better to take CBD capsules or oil?

Both CBD capsules and oil have their advantages. Capsules are convenient, pre-measured, and easy to swallow, while oils allow for more precise dosing and faster absorption. The choice depends on personal preference and desired effects.

Do CBD capsules work?

CBD capsules can be effective for various purposes, such as pain relief, anxiety reduction, and improved sleep quality. However, individual responses may vary.

What is the best strength of CBD capsules?

The optimal strength of CBD capsules varies depending on the individual’s needs, body weight, and desired effects. Generally, it’s recommended to start with a lower strength (e.g., 10-25 mg) and gradually increase as needed.

Is it safe to take CBD capsules every day?

CBD capsules are generally considered safe for daily use. Still, it’s essential to follow the recommended dosage and consult a healthcare professional, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking other medications.

How do I choose the best CBD capsules?

Consider the brand’s reputation, third-party lab testing, ingredient quality, and potency when choosing CBD capsules. Look for capsules made from full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD, which may offer additional benefits from other cannabinoids and terpenes.

How many CBD capsules do you take a day?

The recommended daily dosage of CBD capsules varies depending on the individual’s needs and the strength of the capsules. It’s generally advisable to start with a low dose (e.g., 10-25 mg) and gradually increase if needed while monitoring for desired effects and potential side effects.

What are the cons of CBD capsules?

Some potential cons of CBD capsules include slower onset of effects compared to oils or tinctures, possible interaction with certain medications, and the risk of inconsistent potency or quality if not purchased from reputable sources.

Is it better to take CBD capsules in the morning or evening?

The optimal time to take CBD capsules depends on the individual’s needs and desired effects. Some people prefer taking them in the morning for a calming, focused impact throughout the day. In contrast, others find them more beneficial for promoting relaxation and sleep when taken in the evening.

Do CBD capsules work better than gummies?

The effectiveness of CBD capsules and gummies can vary depending on individual factors and product quality. Capsules may offer more precise dosing and potentially faster absorption, while gummies can be more enjoyable for some people. Ultimately, the choice comes down to personal preference and desired effects.



In conclusion, the distinction between CBD soft gels, capsules, and tablets lies in their physical structure, bioavailability, and CBD release rate.

Each form has unique advantages and caters to different user preferences and health needs.

Understanding these differences can foster informed decision-making, enhance user experience, and optimise CBD benefits.

Future advancements in CBD delivery methods are anticipated, underlining the importance of continuous learning in the evolving landscape of personal wellness.