CBD gummies and oils are among the most popular forms of the compound. They both feature cannabidiol, an active agent with a long list of therapeutic benefits. However, gummies and oils have differences in how they look, mode of delivery, and bioavailability. We compare CBD gummies vs. CBD oil across these aspects and more:
What Is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of many useful compounds (cannabinoids) found in cannabis/marijuana and hemp plants. The infamous compound has potential therapeutic benefits and is commonly suggested to relieve pain and inflammation, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep. CBD became popular after the Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp production in 2018. Since then, various hemp products have become legal.
CBD and products containing the same are legal in the US, provided they feature less than 0.3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC produces psychoactive effects and is credited for the euphoric high when you smoke/vape cannabis products. CBD isn’t psychoactive. Other cannabinoids in hemp include CBC, CBN, CBG, and more. CBD products may feature these cannabinoids, as well as terpenes, plant phytochemicals, MCT oil for faster absorption, vitamins, and other wellness-enhancing nutrients.
CBD Gummies vs. CBD Oil: Definition
CBD gummies are popular forms of CBD. They resemble conventional gummies and edible candies but are infused with CBD isolate or full-spectrum CBD. Isolate is the purest CBD form without other compounds, while full-spectrum CBD features other cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytochemicals. CBD gummies are usually available in packs of edible sweets and chewable candies.
Cannabidiol oils, which you can buy here, refer to special liquids infused with CBD extract. They’re commonly sold with droppers and small glass vials. CBD oil is simple, pure, and effective. It can feature CBD isolate or full-spectrum CBD and may contain hemp seed oil. CBD oils are taken orally without extra flavors, additives, or emulsifiers. They can also be infused into topicals, edibles, and other products.
CBD Gummies Vs. CBD Oil: Ingredients & Formulation
CBD gummies contain CBD extract, sugar, and binders like pectin or gelatin. They can also feature flavorings and are a common alternative to CBD oils and tinctures. Gummies have candy-like tastes and may include multivitamins, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, and other known superfoods. CBD oils have complex formulas featuring CBD extract and MCT oil that boost absorption.
You’ll find two main categories of CBD oil: full-spectrum and broad-spectrum. Full-spectrum CBD oil has the full range of plant compounds retained from the extraction process. This includes other cannabinoids, terpenes, and tiny amounts of THC. Broad-spectrum CBD oil also contains a good number of hemp-extracted compounds but doesn’t contain any THC. You can also find CBD isolate, which is CBD in its purest form.
CBD Gummies vs. CBD Oil: Bioavailability
Gummies have the lowest bioavailability rates of all CBD forms, ranging from 4% to 20%. The quality of the formula and other ingredients can also affect bioavailability. CBD gummies go through the digestive tract and are broken down before being absorbed into the bloodstream. The digestive process may result in lower concentrations of CBD available for absorption. Digestion also takes 1-2 hours, which extends the time it takes to feel the effects.
CBD oils are administered sublingually and offer greater availability rates, ranging from 10% to 35%. Sublingual CBD is picked up by capillaries under the tongue, which speed up the absorption rate. Taking CBD oil this way can result in effects felt within 20 minutes. However, sublingual delivery also means the effects will disappear faster. Orally consuming gummies and edibles has longer-lasting effects as it takes more time for the CBD to travel through your system.
CBD Gummies vs. CBD Oil: Dosage
CBD gummies offer a more precise dosage without much calculation. Each gummy or bite has a pre-measured concentration of CBD, so you can expect the same amount every time. With CBD oil, you’ll need a dropper to measure your dosage. Fortunately, manufacturers and dispensaries offer convenient vials and droppers with dosage insights included in the label. You can expect roughly the same concentration of CBD from each drop, and the label often includes the number of drops available.
If you’re new to CBD, start with a lower dose and adjust based on your needs. CBD oils offer more flexibility than gummies when looking to adjust the dosage. You can quickly calculate how many drops you’ll need every day. Doing the same with gummies may present difficulties since the CBD isn’t distributed evenly in the bite. Note the concentrations of other cannabinoids and additional nutrients when taking full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products.
CBD Gummies Vs CBD Oil: Pros
CBD gummies have three main pros over CBD oils, some of which we’ve covered above. Like traditional candies, they offer a superior taste, usually sweet and fruity. CBD gummies are also precisely dosed, so you’ll know how much CBD you get from each sweet/bite. Another pro is the convenience factor. Gummies are easy to carry and perfect for on-the-go use. They don’t present challenges like spillage or vial breakage, which are common with CBD oil.
CBD oil pros include a shorter onset time faster than edible CBD products. The tinctures are applied under the tongue and absorbed into the bloodstream in less than half an hour. CBD oil dosage can also be adjusted and customized easily to suit your requirements. Another advantage is higher bioavailability than gummies. Your body will absorb and use more CBD from tinctures than it would get from gummies and edible products.
CBD Gummies vs. CBD Oil: Cons
Despite their many benefits, CBD gummies also come with cons. They have a longer onset time and can take up to 90 minutes before the effects kick in. This delayed onset is because gummies pass through the digestive system before reaching the bloodstream. Gummies also pack more calories due to added ingredients like sugar. This may not align with your lifestyle. Another con is the lower bioavailability caused by the digestive process. Your body will absorb and use less CBD from gummies.
CBD oils have fewer cons than gummies but may be inconvenient for some lifestyles. The characteristic earthy taste remains the most popular drawback of oils and tinctures. You also need more work to measure the CBD using a dropper. Another con is the fragile nature of CBD bottles and vials. They can break/shatter, and your CBD may spill. You must also store the bottles in dark places at room temperature to prevent the CBD oil from breaking down.
Determining a winner in the comparison of CBD gummies vs. CBD oil comes down to personal preferences. Some people prefer gummies because they’re convenient for traveling and using on-the-go. Other users fancy oils and tinctures for their fast onset and flexible dose adjustment. Both options are fantastic, provided you purchase high-quality CBD from a reliable dispensary. You can try the gummies, oils, and other CBD forms to determine the best option for your needs.