Whether you’re looking to improve your sleep, reduce your situational stress, or light a match under your libido, there is a bevy of reasons to incorporate CBD into your wellness routine. After all, the naturally occurring compound, or phytocannabinoid, that’s derived from industrial hemp flowers has been shown in clinical trials to bolster mental and physical well-being when taken properly and consistently.
But if you’re new to using CBD, you might find yourself feeling a bit overwhelmed by the various forms of delivery. Two of the most popular are CBD oil and CBD capsules. “The Daily Drops and the Softgels work differently within the body. So having different delivery methods available makes it easier to personalize a routine best suited to your personal needs and body chemistry,” explains Maia Reed, Head of Member Success at Equilibria.
Here’s what you need to know.
CBD Oil vs Capsules
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is extracted from the resinous flower (trichomes) of cannabis plants, including industrial hemp. Which is legally defined as cannabis with less than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight, according to Project CBD. “Although much can be derived from the whole plant, it’s actually in the trichomes of the flower where the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids are concentrated,” says Reed.
By targeting the flower, the oil won’t include other components of the planet that threaten to reduce its efficacy. Such as resins, fibers, chlorophyll, and leaves, explains Reed. “Extraction from the flower only yields a full-spectrum extract, with significantly more phytocannabinoids and terpenes,” she notes.
The flower used for Equilibria’s full-spectrum CBD-containing Daily Drops comes directly from an organic hemp farm run by a team of bioscientists. “We have an obsession with genetics and meticulously control the entire supply chain, from seed all the way to your doorstep,” notes Reed.
Once it has been harvested by hand, dried, and cured, it goes through a CO2 extraction process, which allows the preservation of a full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, essential oils, and amino acids.
Then, the full-spectrum hemp oil is combined with a carrier oil. Which in Equilbria’s case is a coconut-derived MCT oil. “MCT oil is our carrier oil of choice because it has one of the highest concentrations of fat-soluble compounds,” says Reed. “MCT molecules are smaller than normal molecules, which make them easier for the body — especially, the liver — to process.”
The final product is the Daily Drops, which are held under the tongue to allow for sublingual absorption. “This means the CBD enters your bloodstream more directly. Resulting in an onset time of 10-30 minutes with effects lasting between 4-6 hours,” says Reed.
What Are CBD Capsules?
Whether dosing with a tincture under your tongue isn’t your cup of tea, you want to be especially sure you’re getting a consistent dose every time. Or you’d like to take CBD as you would a supplement, capsules, or Equilibria’s Daily Softgels, might be your best bet. Because capsules are absorbed through the gut and modified in the liver, the CBD spreads fairly evenly throughout the body, notes ProjectCBD.
The process? “After following all of the steps laid out above, rather than simply filling up the Daily Drops bottles, we take the extra step to encapsulate the oil in the Softgels,” explains Reed.
It bears noting that not all CBD capsules are made equally.
Some are CBD isolate, meaning CBD has been isolated away from the rest of the plant. And others are labeled broad-spectrum, meaning they’re THC free. “CBD is actually just one important phytocannabinoid,” points out Reed. “THC is also a phytocannabinoid; they’re the two famous ones. But there are well over one hundred that have been discovered in the plant thus far. And they each have their own therapeutic properties. There are also terpenes, which are like the essential oils of the plant, and have their own beneficial properties.”
In other words, to get the greatest benefit from a CBD product, you’ll do best to choose one (like Equilibria’s Daily Softgels) that is full-spectrum. This means it offers a wide variety of phytocannabinoids (including THC, albeit less than .3% so it cannot get you high and it’s federally legal) and terpenes. “When combined, these components act synergistically and amplify one other’s therapeutic properties,” says Reed. “Scientists call this the entourage effect.”
Pro-tip: CBD is fat-soluble, so taking your softgel with a healthy fat, like avocado or nut butter, can increase the amount your body is able to get out of it, points out Reed.
Benefits of CBD Oil
Reed notes that CBD oil, or Equilibria’s Daily Drops, might be preferred if you’re looking to address acute wellness woes, like period cramps, a feeling of overwhelm in the middle of the day. Or a racing mind when you’re trying to drift off to sleep at night.
Equilibria member Kristine S. can attest to this. Having suffered from “debilitating period cramps” her whole life, Kristine found that regular Daily Drops use has helped to curb her pain. “I still had some discomfort. But I wasn’t dosing Advil every four hours like I normally would,” she notes.
The Drops have also helped Equilibria member Shelby R. combat stressful moments and physical symptoms (neck strain, headaches) throughout the day. What’s more, she started taking the Daily Drops at bedtime and noticed that she was able to fall asleep faster and more consistently.
Another perk: “The Drops can also be administered in smaller doses, which can be helpful when trying to find your CBD ‘sweet spot,’” says Reed.
Benefits of CBD Capsules
On the other hand, CBD capsules, or Equilibria’s Daily Softgels, can be taken like a vitamin. As they’re easy to fold into a daily routine and offer the benefit of a slow release. “Because the Softgels have to make their way through the digestive system they act as a slow release with an onset time of one to three hours and effects lasting six to eight hours,” says Reed. “The Daily Softgels act as an insurance policy, working behind the scenes all day — or night.”
This can be especially helpful when you’re looking to get a deeper quality of rest or feel more balanced or even-keeled throughout the day—two benefits that Equilibria members have reported experiencing with Daily Softgel use.
June K., a high school special education teacher who has experienced a roller coaster of change at work during the pandemic, says they’ve been especially helpful for addressing her anxiety. “I have been feeling calm throughout the day and have been getting through my to-do list with no problem. I’ve been better about ‘letting things go’ or telling myself ‘this can wait’ without getting so anxious about what could happen if I didn’t grade something by tonight,” she notes.
CBD Oil vs. CBD Capsules: Which Is Better?
While you and your best friend might be quite like-minded, chances are that you don’t experience the downstream effects of stress in the same exact way. And while your cycle might be synced up with your coworkers’ — thanks to all that virtual time together — you probably don’t contend with the same period-related strife. For the same reason, deciding whether to incorporate CBD oil or CBD capsules into your wellness routine is sure to be a personal, individualized journey.
The good news is that you don’t have to navigate that path solo. You can work with a Dosage Specialist to find out which delivery method best suits your needs and goals. You can book an appointment with us at myeq.com/dosage or send us an email at [email protected] if you have questions about how to get started!