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How Exactly Do CBD Softgels Work?

cbd softgels
Written by Alexandra Hicks

With more and more people around the world tuning in to the medical benefits of CBD, the need for a safe and reliable delivery method is of utmost importance.

Enter the CBD Softgel. A simple, yet innovative and highly effective product that utilizes the technology of modern-day medicine while harnessing the power of a natural, plant-based compound. CBD Softgels are a great way to get your daily dose of CBD in one of the most convenient ways possible.

While CBD-filled softgels are a new product, softgels themselves have been used for nearly 100 years. Many of the “fast-acting” over-the-counter medications you see at your local drug store are in softgel form, as well as a great deal of supplements.

Although most people have used softgels at some point in their lives, many are unfamiliar with the exact mechanisms that make them so effective.

What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. It’s also the second most prominent cannabinoid, next to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), that most people are relatively familiar with. CBD can be extracted from both regular cannabis plants (those with all cannabinoids including THC, and often what you’d find in a medical cannabis dispensary) and hemp plants (classified as having less than 0.3 percent THC and often used for more industrial purposes).

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When talking about CBD extracts, there are a few terms that frequently get thrown around: isolate, broad spectrum, and full spectrum. Isolate is pure CBD without any other compounds. Broad spectrum extract contains CBD and most other terpenes and cannabinoids, minus the THC. Full spectrum has all of the cannabinoids and terpenes, including THC at levels of 0.3% or less. Most people opt for broad or full spectrum because of a phenomenon known as the ‘Entourage Effect’, where all the plant compounds work together for the best effects.

The reason CBD can impact so many different physiological functions is because of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is a network of receptors that can be found throughout the bodies of all mammals. We naturally create cannabinoids which bond to these receptors to regulate different processes in our bodies and maintain homeostasis. The ECS helps manage things such as immune function, appetite, sleep wake cycles, pain response, and the list goes on. However, when we are ‘cannabinoid deficient’ our bodies become destabilized and no longer function optimally. This is where supplementing with plant-based cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids) comes into play.


What Is CBD Used For?

In recent years, studies showing the tremendous potential of CBD have been popping up left and right. One of its most commonly accepted medical uses has been in the treatment of various forms of epilepsy.  More research is needed to incorporate standard doses and treatment plans, but it’s considered one of the safest and most effective treatment methods for children suffering from these types of disorders.

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CBD has also been deemed a practical option for treating anxiety, chronic pain, inflammation, and more. Other studies have shown that CBD can improve symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well. It’s no panacea, but it can certainly be useful in alleviate an extremely diverse range of disorders.

How do CBD softgels work?

Standard softgels consist of a thick, outer layer made of gelatin and other ingredients, although vegetarian/vegan options are becoming increasingly available. Instead of gelatin, these would contain ingredients like seaweed, starch, or Carrageenan to form the shell.

This outer shell is responsible for maintaining the medication’s stability during storage, which generally speaking, can be problematic with CBD. Inside the softgel is the active ingredient – cannabidiol in this case – in liquid extract form. Most softgels don’t contain many inactive ingredients like tablets do, so they’re believed to be easier on the stomach and safer with people who are prone to food and medication allergies.

The softgel is taken via oral route and metabolized somewhat like an edible. However, because the CBD is in liquid form, it’s absorbed by the stomach lining and enters the bloodstream quicker than a food product would. The effects liquid-filled softgels are usually felt within the hour.  

Final Thoughts

As you can see, CBD Softgels aren’t especially complicated. They’re a simple, efficient, convenient, and discreet way to take your CBD. They’re easier to swallow than tablets and don’t leave that bitter taste in your mouth. And they’re also more stable because, due to the protective shell, the actual medication is minimally exposed to the environment. All in all, they’re worth trying if you haven’t yet, just make sure to stick with a reputable brand.  

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About the author

Alexandra Hicks

Managing editor at Cannadelics and U.S based journalist, helping spread the word about the many benefits of using cannabis and psychedelics.