Millions of Americans take over-the-counter medications. Whether to treat pain, ease anxiety, or help improve sleep quality, pills have become an inescapable part of everyday life. But their safety has been brought into question due to the dependency they cause and their many unpleasant side effects. For this reason, many have turned to supplements — like CBD capsules — to manage their symptoms in a more natural way. But are they truly safe? And if yes, what are the best CBD capsules on the market?
CBD or cannabidiol is a natural hemp extract with some notable health benefits. Though it’s a fairly new product, many have claimed it’s incredibly effective at managing conditions like chronic pain, insomnia, stress, anxiety, depression, and much more. So far, the research on these claims has been sparse, but what’s out there seems promising — promising enough for many to choose CBD over traditional over-the-counter medication.
While oil, gummies, and vapes are the most popular way to ingest a CBD, CBD-infused capsules are growing more and more popular every day. They’re a discreet, convenient way to get a dose of CBD while out in public or traveling. However, just like any other supplement, the quality of the capsules matters. The CBD industry is loosely regulated, so there’s plenty of subpar brands selling unsafe products to unsuspecting customers.
To ensure buyer safety, we’ve taken a look at some of the best CBD brands on the market. We’ve examined their CBD capsules in-depth, paying attention to hemp quality, adjunctive ingredients, third-party testing, and price. This, along with our research on the efficacy of CBD, will help users find the best CBD capsules for their unique healthcare needs.
List of the Best CBD Capsules
Buying CBD capsules is much like buying anything else. Before a user makes a decision to purchase a product, they should first get informed. Fortunately, when it comes to CBD this is fairly easy to do. A CBD buyers guide has four basic tenants customers need to look out for — hemp quality and sourcing practices, adjunctive ingredients, third-party testing, and of course, price.
The easiest way to find the best CBD capsules is to only do business with trustworthy brands. In light of this, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular CBD companies on the market. Their capsules meet all the above-mentioned standards, while also boasting other benefits which will make them appealing to different users.
1. Royal CBD
- Made from US-sourced, organic hemp
- Full-spectrum extract
- Infused with MCT
- Softgel capsule type
- 25 mg potency
- Third-party tested
- Only available online
- Not budget-friendly
If someone were to hold a competition for the best CBD capsules on the market, Royal CBD would win every time. This company is just that good. A real industry giant, they’ve been in the CBD game for quite a while and have developed an impressive selection of CBD-infused products. Some of their most popular offers include oils, topicals, tinctures, and tasty CBD gummies. Their most recent addition, CBD capsules, has become a favorite amongst customers as well.
First off, the capsules are softgel, meaning that they’re very easy to swallow. This makes them instantly more appealing for users who have trouble taking pills. Secondly, Royal makes their capsules using only the finest organic hemp they source from government-licensed farms. They produce the oil with supercritical CO2 extraction, a pricey and time-consuming method that yields the purest extract. This extract is then added to a capsule shell to create some of the best CBD capsules on the market.
As if things couldn’t get any better, Royal only uses a full-spectrum extract in their pills. Because it retains all the terpenes, cannabinoids, and THC from the whole hemp plant, full-spectrum is one of the best types of CBD extracts out there. The combination of terpenes and THC boosts the cannabinoids and provides a strong entourage effect. This not only doubles the absorption rate of the CBD but also increases potency.
As mentioned, their soft gel capsules are easy to consume and offer a precise 25 mg of CBD. This is more than enough CBD for new and experienced users alike. An added benefit of Royal’s soft gel capsules is that they contain CBN. This compound is a byproduct of the breakdown of THC, and recent research shows that it has sedative properties. Therefore, Royal’s capsules are excellent for insomnia and other sleep issues.
The last but most important fact about Royal’s capsules is that the company third-party tests their products. Because they have a vested interest in making sure the products are safe and potent they test the capsules for potency, quality, and contaminants. They post all these test results online, which is a great way to maintain transparency.
However, as excellent as Royal is, they do have one major flaw, which is their price tag. One bottle of CBD capsules costs $99. Royal is very aware of this, and often offers discounts to their subscribers and long-time customers. Still, for a lot of users, the brand remains firmly out of their price range. Nevertheless, many will reason that the best CBD capsules on the market are worth the splurge.
2. Gold Bee CBD
- Sustainably sourced non-GMO hemp
- Vegan and gluten-free capsule shell
- Infused with a hemp seed oil
- Full-spectrum extract
- 40 mg potency
- Third-party tested
- Limited potency options
- High price tag
Gold Bee CBD may be the runner-up on our list, but they still have some of the best CBD capsules out there. Since its inception, this California-based company has worked tirelessly to create safe, sustainably sourced, high-quality CBD products. Gold Bee makes their oils, gummies, capsules, and pet-based products with the best possible care and with an award-winning CBD blend.
This recipe combines a pure, full-spectrum extract derived from organic hemp flowers with hemp seed oil. The resulting concoction not only increases the potency of the cannabinoids but also their absorption rate. In light of this, it’s no wonder Gold Bee’s customers claim their CBD capsules are one of the most effective on the market, as mentioned by CBD-industry experts such as We Be High, Weed News and Observer.
This potency is evident when examining the amount of CBD found in each capsule. Each pill packs an impressive 40 mg of CBD, which is ideal for users who need a stronger dose of cannabinoids. Moreover, Gold Bee manufactures the capsules’ outer shell without any animal products or gluten. Therefore gluten-sensitive customers and vegans alike are free to enjoy Gold Bee’s CBD capsules.
To add another item to Gold Bee’s list of positive traits, they test their capsules in third-party labs. Since the company has a strong stance on sustainable farming practices, they emphasize analyzing their extract for contaminants. Users can find all these results on the brand’s website and can rest assured that what they’re consuming is both toxin-free and certified organic.
In light of all these positive traits, it might seem strange that Gold Bee takes the second spot on this list. However, there are two reasons behind this — their limited selection and price range. So far, the brand only offers high potency capsules, which aren’t the best choice for first-time users. What’s more, each bottle goes for $120, which is well beyond the average price range for most CBD. Despite this, we would be remiss not to include their capsules as one of the best CBD capsules on the market.
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- US grown hemp
- Softgel capsules
- Come in two different types: full-spectrum and isolate capsules
Both types have two potencies: 25 mg and 30 mg per capsule
- Third-party tested
- Very affordable
- Non-organic hemp
Since the first two spots on this list went to pricier brands, the bronze medal will go to a more affordable company. CBDistillery is the brand of choice for users who want quality and affordability from their capsules. The brand got its start when a group of Colorado growers saw how pricey CBD was getting. In order to keep CBD accessible to everyone, they decided to found a company that would provide quality products at reasonable prices. And thus, one of the best CBD capsules was born.
Just like the other brands on this list, CBDistillery uses supercritical CO2 to manufacture its CBD extracts. But, unlike others, the brand allows users to choose between full spectrum or isolate capsules. Both types are soft gel, meaning that the body has a much easier time breaking them down and absorbing the CBD. The isolate capsules don’t pack as much of an effect as full-spectrum ones do. But they are an excellent choice for users who don’t want any traces of THC in their bloodstream.
On the safety side of things, CBDistillery doesn’t disappoint either. They third-party test all their products for safety and potency. Their customer service is equally as impressive. Since they want to be open to new users, they offer both capsule types in two potencies — 25 mg and a higher 30 mg dose. They also keep the price of their products fairly low.
Each bottle of 30 mg CBD capsules costs only $60 dollars. That might seem like a lot, but it’s important to note that the container packs 30 pills of full-spectrum CBD variant capsules. That’s the same amount of capsules as Gold Bee, at half the price.
Keeping this in mind, why don’t CBDistillery’s pills rank higher as the best CBD capsules? It mainly has to do with their hemp. They claim to source their hemp from non-GMO Colorado farms. However, this hemp doesn’t have an organic certification, which might raise concerns amongst environmentally conscious users. Nevertheless, for those on a tight budget, CBDistillery has the best CBD capsules out there.
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4. Hemp Bombs
- Organic, locally sourced hemp
- Third-party tested
- Supercritical CO2 extraction method
- Offer broad-spectrum CBD or isolate options
- Both options come in two potencies: 15 mg and 25 mg of CBD per capsule
- Not soft gel capsules
- No entourage effect
Speaking of affordable CBD manufacturers, Hemp Bombs is yet another excellent brand for users on a tighter budget. However, this company differs from others on this list, mainly because of its manufacturing process. Though they use supercritical CO2 on organic hemp to extract the oils, they take things a step further and strip the extract of all THC. What comes out of this process is called broad-spectrum CBD.
Broad-spectrum differs from full spectrum in that it doesn’t contain any tetrahydrocannabinol. This compound is the primary ingredient in the marijuana plant and is responsible for the psychedelic effects of weed. Most full-spectrum CBD contains a minuscule 0.3% THC, which isn’t enough to cause any psychoactive effects. But, even this trace amount can appear on drug tests. This is why broad-spectrum extracts are the better choice for users who live in states where marijuana isn’t yet legal.
Hemp Bombs capsules come in two different potencies — 15 mg capsules and 25 mg capsules. To make sure their products are safe and effective, the company third-party tests their pills for potency and quality. Much like CBDistillery, the capsules are more affordably priced than Royal CBD or Gold Bee. The lower potency pills cost just $25 per bottle, while the higher potency one costs $35 per bottle.
Again, in light of all these positives, the question remains — why isn’t Hemp Bombs ranked higher? This time, the answer has to do with the efficacy of broad-spectrum extracts and isolates. Terpenes and THC work together to boost the efficacy of cannabidiol. When the extract gets stripped of these compounds, the CBD loses potency.
Moreover, Hemp Bombs’ capsules are quite inconvenient for consumption. The pills look more like vitamin tablets than small, supplement capsules. As such, users who have problems taking pills will find them very hard to swallow. However, users who want the best CBD capsules that don’t contain any THC should definitely give this brand a shot.
- Organic hemp, certified by U.S. Hemp Authority
- Offer two potencies: 25 or 50 mg
- THC-free CBD isolate
- Gel capsules
- Each batch is separately tested
- Only have the classic formula
- No entourage effect
Continuing the trend of CBD isolates, Medterra is yet another CBD giant that offers THC-free capsules. Just like most of the brands on this list, Medterra only uses organic, non-GMO hemp to produce its extract. But while other companies can only claim quality, Medterra has state paperwork to prove it. The U.S. Hemp Authority certified Medterra with the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) label. They gave them the certification based on how the company sources their hemp, and how they third-party test each batch of CBD products.
The Hemp Authority praised their CBD capsules in particular. Medterra infuses its pills with a powerful combination of coconut oil MCTs and a CBD isolate. The medium-chain triglycerides increase the bioavailability of cannabinoids and make it easier for the body to absorb them. Apart from that, the extract also contains a mixture of GABA, passionflower, melatonin, and chamomile.
These extracts are nature’s greatest insomnia remedy, as they have the power to influence the body’s circadian rhythm. And when they’re combined with CBD, they become one of the best CBD capsules for sleep.
When it comes to price, Medterra rests firmly in the middle. The low potency option costs $54 per bottle, which is fairly pricey for a CBD isolate. The price range becomes even less appealing when taking into consideration that their formula contains gelatin, meaning that it’s not suitable for plant-based users.
6. Joy Organics
- Organic, locally grown hemp
- Broad-spectrum CBD
- Two potency options: 10 or 25 mg
- Third-party tested
- Water-soluble nanotechnology
- Some users report decreased effects over time
Sleep seems to be the theme of this entry — and nothing gets those z’s going like Joy Organics’ soft gels. The company uses a combination of cannabinoids and melatonin extract to create the best CBD capsules for sleep. Because they produce their soft gels with water-soluble nanotechnology, their capsules are some of the most bioavailable ones on the market. Thus, any user who wants to fall asleep quickly should turn to Joy Organics.
Apart from melatonin-infused capsules, Joy Organics has two more CBD formulas for their capsules. One is infused with MCT to promote everyday health. Another formula comes packed with curcumin, a natural extract that fights inflammation and pain. All three formulas come in 10 and 25 mg potencies, which makes them ideal for new and experienced users.
In terms of safety, Joy Organics doesn’t mess around. The company is a proud member of the US Hemp Roundtable, the leading organization for CBD education and legalization. As such, they take great care to third-party test each batch of capsules for quality and potency. They also strip their extracts of THC, so Joy Organics users won’t risk testing positive for marijuana on a drug test.
The reason why this company ranks last on this list is its price range, adjunctive ingredients, and efficacy. Their everyday CBD capsules sell for $39, which isn’t a decent price for a broad-spectrum extract on the lower potency scale. Furthermore, the company uses gelatin in their capsule shells, so they are not vegan-friendly. And last, but certainly not least, is that some users report that Joy Organics’ soft gels become less effective with each use.
What Are CBD Softgel Capsules?
After going through the list of the best CBD capsules, it’s time to go back to basics and explain what CBD capsules are in the first place. The answer lies in the name. CBD capsules are pills infused with cannabidiol, a natural hemp extract. This compound has some powerful health benefits and has become a natural alternative to traditional over-the-counter medication. Currently, the most popular way to consume CBD is via gummies, oils, and vapes.
However, CBD-infused capsules have been gaining traction recently, thanks to their numerous advantages. For one, this format is probably the simplest way for users to ingest a dose of cannabidiol. Oils and tinctures require users to do a lot of measuring to get the dose they need. This can not only be time-consuming but is subject to a lot of error since users can easily ingest the wrong amount. CBD capsules take the guesswork out of the equation by providing an exact dose of cannabidiol.
Secondly, the capsules are easily digestible. Most CBD pills come in the soft gel format, which is much easier to swallow than traditional supplement pills. Moreover, the vast majority of manufacturers infuse the capsules with some kind of MCT — be it from coconut oil or hemp seed oil. The medium-chain triglycerides bulk up the capsules and help the body absorb the CBD quicker. Therefore, the capsule format is perfect for any user looking for fast-acting CBD.
Lastly, capsules are incredibly portable. Bottles of CBD capsules easily fit into purses, carry-ons, or pockets. They’re the most convenient way for users to take a dose of CBD when they’re traveling or out in public. A bonus is that the capsules resemble any other medicine. Thus, users taking them won’t attract the same attention they would if they were to use CBD vapes, for example.
Benefits of CBD Capsules
As mentioned, CBD capsules are a popular alternative to over-the-counter medication. In fact, many users will say that CBD is superior to traditional medication (, because it doesn’t cause dependency, and has minimal to no side effects. As of right now, these claims are mostly unsubstantiated, since research on CBD is still quite sparse. However, the few studies that exist show that CBD is quite effective at managing several different conditions.
1. Chronic Pain
Out of all the reasons people take CBD, pain management is the most popular one. In 2018, Serbian researchers at the Faculty of Medicine in Belgrade conducted a study on how CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in lab mice. They were able to successfully prove that cannabinoids blocked neurons from firing pain signals to the brain. What’s more, they uncovered that CBD had some anti-inflammatory properties.
Since inflammation is one of the most common sources of pain, this means that CBD is an effective way to manage chronic pain. As a consequence, the extract has become popular amongst users who suffer from conditions like fibromyalgia, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. Arthritis sufferers, in particular, can enjoy the effects of CBD since a 2017 study proved it alleviates joint pain caused by osteoarthritis.
2. Anxiety and Stress
Anxiety and stress are the most common health problems Americans face today. They’re usually a result of the body producing too much of the stress hormone, called cortisol. The consequence of this imbalance is irritability, insomnia, and even depression.
The way CBD helps with anxiety is by influencing the endocannabinoid system. Research done on lab mice shows that cannabinoids bind with autoreceptors in the brain and tell them to produce more serotonin. Serotonin is a powerful hormone that acts as a mood stabilizer, and an antithesis to serotonin. As a consequence, users who take CBD report elevated mood levels and fewer depressive symptoms.
CBD’s impact on serotonin does more than just alleviate anxiety. It also directly improves sleep quality. Research suggests that CBD impacts the body’s natural circadian rhythm. It also acts as a muscle relaxant, which allows users to fall asleep quicker and achieve a more regular sleep schedule.
An added benefit is that most brands mix cannabinoids with other sleep agents, like chamomile and melatonin. This further increases the impact the extract has on the body’s circadian rhythm and improves overall sleep quality.
4. Cancer-Symptom Management
First off, let’s make something abundantly clear — CBD is not a cure for cancer. It can, however, effectively manage cancer symptoms. Because it alleviates pain, it can drastically reduce radiation treatment symptoms like nausea, muscle weakness, and fatigue.
Moreover, a 2015 animal study showed a strong link between decreased cancer rates and regular CBD usage. More research is definitely needed as to whether humans experience the same effects, but for now, the results seem promising.
The Bottom Line
Anyone who wants a natural alternative to over-the-counter medication should look into CBD. The extract is a safe, and effective way to manage chronic pain, stress, anxiety and improve sleep quality. While CBD comes in many formats, capsules are the most convenient variety. They represent a quick way to get an accurate dose of CBD without any unnecessary measuring or guesswork. But, just like with any other supplement, it’s important to choose them carefully. Not all brands are safe and effective, so when shopping for the best CBD capsules users should only buy from trusted sources.