CBD has taken the world by storm in recent years. The industry has undergone gargantuan growth since 2018 in particular and this has led to an inspiring level of innovation in relation to delivery methods.
Over 8 million Brits declared that they had bought a CBD product in 2020 and this figure is expected to rise substantially on a yearly basis until at least 2025. While CBD oil remains the most popular delivery method, largely due to its increased marketing, CBD capsules were not far behind.
One key reason for this is that CBD capsules are less daunting than other, more novel delivery methods that may overwhelm first-time users. We are all used to taking tablets, or capsules and CBD capsules are no different.
First, let us briefly cover what CDB actually is, as many are still not certain.
What is CBD?
While there is still a considerable amount to learn about cannabis from a molecular standpoint, the two most understood compounds are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Many people are unaware that the cannabis plant consists of over 100 unique cannabinoids, each with their own unique characteristics. The two most dominant of these are CBD and THC, hence why research has focused on these two compounds in particular.
To break down the main difference between the two simplistically – THC gets you high, CBD does not.
THC is a psychoactive substance, this means that it affects the way your brain works and causes the ‘high’ often associated with cannabis in popular culture. CBD, on the other hand, is a non-psychoactive substance. This means that is has no effect on the user’s brain function, but also retains many of the health benefits that accompany the cannabis plant.
There are three main types of CBD that users should be aware of. These are as follows:
- Full Spectrum CBD – Full spectrum CBD contains a range of flavonoids, terpenes and cannabinoids, as well as trace amounts of THC. For reference, the legal THC limit for CBD products in the UK is 0.2%. This is not enough to make the user high but may be flagged on a drug test. Therefore, athletes, those operating heavy machinery or anyone who undertakes drug testing should probably avoid full spectrum CBD products and err on the side of caution.
- Broad Spectrum CBD – Broad spectrum CBD is very similar to full spectrum, but crucially does not contain THC.
- CBD Isolate – CBD isolate contains pure CBD and nothing else. This is the purest form of CBD available and is typically purchased as a powder or crystal.
What are CBD Capsules?
CBD capsule are a fairly straightforward concept. They are no different to any other tablet, or health supplement that you may take. They come in a variety of forms, such as hard CBD tablets or soft gel CBD capsules. Soft gel capsules are typically formulated with a carrier oil – most commonly coconut oil or MCT. This aids digestion and adds volume to the capsule.
CBD capsules are taken just like any other pill or tablet you may consume. Simply pop one in your mouth and swallow with water.
Once the capsule has passed through your digestive system, the CBD is then released into your body and will get to work. What exactly happens in the process is the natural next question.
How do CBD Capsules work?
CBD works by interacting with your body’s endocannabinoid system. Endocannabinoids are actually similar on a molecular level to cannabinoids but are produced internally.
Our endocannabinoid system consists of a range of enzymes and cannabinoid receports which facilitate communication between the body and brain when a certain element becomes unbalanced.
When you consume CBD, you are providing your endocannabinoid system with additional cannabinoids to work with, which stimulate a healthy balance within your body and promote homeostasis.
CBD Capsules are easy to dose
One area that confuses a number of first-time CBD users is that of dosing. CBD oil, in particular, can be a challenge to effectively dose and also to consume. CBD capsules however, all have the same amount of CBD in them. This makes it far easier for users to understand exactly how much they are consuming and what the correct dose is for them.
CBD Capsules are great for sleep
CBD capsules take more time than CBD oil, or CBD e liquid to take effect on your body. This is because the CBD capsule must first pass through the digestive system before it is processed.
While this can be inconvenient for those who are looking for instant relief from a particular ailment, such as sharp pain or migraines, they can be fantastic at promoting a healthy night of sleep. This is because, while they take longer to take effect, they also hang around the body for longer than other delivery methods such as CBD e liquid or CBD oil in tincture form.
One of the most recent clinical studies investigating the relationship between CBD and sleep was conducted in 2019 by Shannon, Lewis, Lee and Hughes (Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series).
They found that CBD had the ability to improve the quality of sleep in their study of 72 participants. Interestingly, the specific delivery method of choice was 25mg CBD capsules. After one month of consistent use, 66.7% of participants reported an improvement of their sleep quality, as well as finding it easier to get to sleep in the first place.
A surprisingly high number of CBD oil users actually stop using it due to the unpleasant earthy taste that accompanies it. This is almost impossible to overcome without harming the quality of the end product. Step forward CBD capsules.
CBD capsules of course are tasteless. This makes them an ideal choice for anyone who may become a bit queasy from unpleasant tastes. They are also a good option for those who are taking CBD to combat nausea, possibly caused by chemotherapy.
Cleanliness and Discretion
Many people wish to keep their CBD use as discreet as possible as a result of misinformed colleagues or peers who may well pass a misplaced judgement. The process of consuming CBD oil can be a challenging one, transferring oil from a small vial to beneath your tongue through the use of a dropper.
On the other hand, CBD capsules are far more discreet in relation to consumption. No one would know what is contained within the capsule as you consume it, keeping any erroneous inquisition at bay.
Additionally, anyone who has spilled a bottle of CBD oil will be aware that this can be a nightmare to clean. Again, CBD capsules avoid this pitfall. This makes them an ideal choice for those who regularly travel. Not only are they less likely to pique the attention of an overzealous border security, but also won’t cause a mess in your suitcase should the worst happen.
CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory
While cannabis has been used for its pain-relieving qualities for almost 5000 years, we are finally beginning to understand how and why it works.
The aforementioned endocannabinoid system has an important role to play here. CBd essentially binds to and desensitises the body’s receptors that are responsible for the mediation of pain, sensory perception and inflammation. This, in turn, reduces the sensation of pain.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of studies to date have been confined to animals. While further progression is needed to apply this to human subjects, the initial findings have been extremely promising.
For example, one notable study conducted in 2016 by Lehman, Fisher et al (Experimental cannabidiol treatment reduces early pancreatic inflammation in type 1 diabetes) investigated CBD being used as treatment for diabetic mice suffering from pancreatic inflammation.
Pancreatic inflammation can often cause diabetes as a result of immune cells destroying certain cells responsible for insulin production. Mice who received 10 weeks of CBD treatment ended up developing diabetes later than those who did not. They also experienced a substantial reduction in immune cell activity.
This article has aimed to highlight the key benefits of CBD capsules as a delivery method. That said, there is no definitive answer as to which CBD delivery method is most effective. It is always down to the individual and the specific ailments that they are attempting to alleviate.
It is always important to experiment and find the right product for you. While doing so, it is always recommended to seek a Certificate of Authenticity (CoA) from the manufacturer. This should have been produced by an independent third-party laboratory and will confirm the exact contents, as well as confirming the absence of harmful additives.
Always speak to your doctor or GP before trying CBD for the first time.