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Ask A Doctor CBD Featured Reviews

CBD Tinctures Vs Softgels: What’s The Difference?

Written by Dr. Leah Zachar

With all the CBD products on the market today, how’s a person supposed to know which type offers the best effects, and – more importantly – which is the best type for them

That’s why I decided to write this article, to cover two of the main delivery systems for CBD – CBD Tinctures and CBD Softgels…

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Tinctures are CBD oils that are applied under the tongue (sublingually). The CBD goes directly into the bloodstream and starts working within minutes.

Pros: You feel the benefits within 10-20 minutes, with the effects lasting 4-6 hours on average. Tinctures are best to start with because they offer a more exact measurability while tapering up to find the right dose to achieve the desired effect.

Cons: It can get a bit messy if you happen to spill drops while using it. Some people perceive the oil as having a bitter taste, and there have even been rare complaints of a sensation of a “burnt” throat when the oil is swallowed. Because a dropper is used, it is sometimes hard to keep an exact track of how many mg you used. Doses larger than 30-mg are often easier to take as softgels, but this decision is more of a personal preference.
Instructions: Use the dropper the CBD comes with. Make sure you know how many drops you need to take. Drop the oil tincture under your tongue or on the side of your cheek and leave the oil there for a minute giving it some time to absorb. If you swallow it after 30 seconds, not to worry. It all gets absorbed into the bloodstream anyway. You will not miss even one mg of the CBD benefit.

Generally, there are 600 drops of oil in a one-ounce bottle. For example, if you have one ounce of Viva Tincture 300-mg/oz, that means that each drop has 2-mg of CBD in it. If you have 3000-mg/oz, that means that each drop has 4-mg of CBD in it. If you have any questions – email me.

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Pros: Since each capsule offers a set amount of CBD, it is much easier to keep track of your daily serving size. Soft-gels can start working in 20 minutes but may take up to an hour to “kick in”. They last at least four hours, but usually up to 8-10 hours.
Softgels are preferred if you are a smoker because smokers lack the efficient absorptive mechanisms in the mouth because of the effect of cigarettes on salivary production.
Softgels are more elegant to carry and use outside of the house – in comparison to a glass bottle with the enclosed dropper – which can drop and break. Soft-gels offer a more discreet way of taking medication as it is in pill form. Plus, if you take vitamins (or any other supplements), you can just add CBD pills to your daily regimen

Cons: On the flip side, when using softgels, it is hard to adjust up or down by a few mg. However, one way to overcome this is by using tinctures, in addition to the softgels to better adjust your daily serving sizes.

Instructions: Softgels are tasteless and can be taken on a full or empty stomach, taken with water, soda, or even with a dry gulp.
Take home message: Taken as a tincture or taken as a softgel you will get the exact same dose of CBD mg for mg.
Here is an easy analogy when trying to choose – tincture vs softgel – You can have a shot of vodka, or a glass of wine. Either way, you’re getting the same amount of alcohol – it just comes down to personal preference.

If you want to read more from Dr Zachar, check out: ‘Ask A Doctor – Neurology – Strokes & Seizures

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[Image credit: Pixabay]

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1 Comment

  • I beg to differ that it is the same when taking a CBD oil tincture vs capsules, especially if the make up is different. What about water soluble capsules that are nanoemulsified. Breaking down the CBD making it more bio available. Your body would absorb more of the CBD even at a smaller dosage than when taking it through a tincture.

About the author

Dr. Leah Zachar

Dr. Leah Zachar, M.D. is a physician who worked for nearly thirty years in Internal Medicine.
She currently is a scientific adviser to CBD Testers. Dr. Zachar believes that there is much that medical cannabis, and cannabidiol in particular can offer to traditional medicine.