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It’s basically 2022, and self-care and wellness are all the rage. For good reason too. Life is hitting us hard in the face lately, so it’s more important than ever to make sure we’re looking after ourselves.

This means both our mental and physical health. You’ve heard the tips before. Yoga. Water. Social media detox. Something called “spinach.” Therapy. Practicing manifestation and the law of attraction.

All awesome choices, sure. But something else that’s recently been added to the self-care canon is CBD. And unless you’re this guy, we’re guessing you’ve heard of it.

CBD pills and capsules are a hella easy way to take the stuff — just pop one in your mouth, sip some H2O, and swallow.

But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate CBD products in the same way as drugs or dietary supplements, so it’s super important to do your research and make sure you know exactly where and who you’re getting your CBD products from.

If you’re not up for doing all that digging, you’re in luck. We rounded up some of the best options out there, along with some tips for choosing the right kind of CBD for you.

CBD, aka cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid — a compound found in cannabis and hemp plants. More than 100 cannabinoids have been identified so far. CBD doesn’t get you high (THC does).

Some CBD products do contain THC, but only a tiny amount — never more than 0.3 percent. To help you better understand THC concentration, products are labeled “full-spectrum,” “broad-spectrum,” or “CBD isolate”:

  • Full-spectrum CBD has all the compounds naturally found in the cannabis plant, including terpenes, flavonoids (which are both known for having therapeutic benefits of their own), and THC. Keeping all these guys together may strengthen CBD’s therapeutic effects — this concept is known as the “entourage effect.”
  • Broad-spectrum CBD contains all the naturally occurring compounds except THC.
  • CBD isolate is just CBD, isolated from the other compounds of the cannabis plant. It contains zero THC.

CBD is now being touted as a #WellnessStaple, with reports of better-managed pain, better sleep, and reduced anxiety.

And CBD comes in many forms, including oil, topicals, gummies, pills, and capsules.

You might want to consider taking CBD in pill or capsule form because it’s easy to add to your existing supplement routine. Plus, each dose is predetermined, which might be helpful if you’re a CBD newbie.

With so many CBD products on the market, it can be tough to slog through what’s available and find the gems of the bunch, especially if you’re a total CBD newb. To make your shopping easier, we’ve done some work for you and picked our fave products that meet our rigorous criteria.

To meet our exacting standards, a product needs to:

  • be made by a company that does third-party testing using an ISO 17025-compliant lab
  • be made from U.S.-grown hemp
  • NOT contain pesticides, molds, or heavy metals, according to the certificate of analysis (COA)

We also consider:

  • manufacturing processes
  • impressive certifications
  • CBD potency
  • ingredients
  • brand reputation indicators like:
    • FDA warning letters
    • customer ratings
    • whether the company makes wild health claims about products (like “CBD cures cancer!”)

Best broad-spectrum

CBDistillery CBD Softgels Relief + Relax

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 30 milligrams (mg) per softgel
  • Count: 30 per container
  • COA: available online

With the words “relief” and “relax” in the name, you know it’s gotta be good. And that it is! These softgels are sourced from non-GMO industrial hemp grown here in the United States through natural farming practices.

The broad-spectrum CBD means you get all the therapeutic bennies from the terpenes and flavonoids without THC getting involved.

COAs can be found online or by scanning the QR code on your bottle. The company also offers a 60-day money-back guarantee, which is especially great if you’re just getting started and figuring out the right CBD product for you.

Reviewers like the convenience of a grab-and-go capsule and say the broad-spectrum formula helps them sleep soundly AF.

Best full-spectrum

Charlotte’s Web CBD Oil Liquid Capsules

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 25 mg CBD per 1-mL serving
  • Count: 30 per container
  • COA: available online

In addition to U.S.-grown hemp and the cutest name on this list, this Charlotte’s Web product has a supersimple ingredient list (just the brand’s full-spectrum CBD and EVOO) designed to maximize CBD’s benefits.

Remember: Full-spectrum CBD contains all the compounds naturally found in the cannabis plant, and this may boost the therapeutic effects — especially when it comes to mood disorders and anxiety.

These are definitely on the pricey side but have some pretty cool perks, like a secure band to prevent leaks and capsules designed to resist oxidation.

Reviewers say the capsules help them drift off to sleep and keep chronic pain at bay. Many also praise the stellar customer service. But a few people complain that the pricing is kinda steep.

Best for beginners

Lazarus Naturals CBD Softgels

  • Price: $
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 50 mg per softgel
  • Count: 10 per container
  • COA: available online

If you’re brand-spankin’-new to CBD or totally unsure whether full-spectrum is the right move for you, this 10-pack is the perf way to test it out.

These babies are a full-spectrum product — making way for that beloved entourage effect we keep chatting about — and cost only $18. If you end up loving them, you can always swing for a bigger container. The 200-pack costs $200. We LOVE an economical buy.

Reviewers like that the softgels are easy to toss into a bag and that they work just as well as pricier options.

Best customer service

CBDfx CBD Gel Capsules

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 25–50 mg per capsule
  • Count: 30 capsules per container
  • COA: available online

Next up are CBDfx CBD Gel Capsules. These organic, gluten-free capsules are made with U.S.-grown hemp and coconut-derived MCT oil.

These are third-party tested (obvi), and test results are available via a QR code found on the packaging. The brand also offers a generous 60-day guarantee.

Reviewers appreciate the quick shipping and excellent customer service. Most people also say the oil is effective at relieving pain.

Best CBD isolate

Green Roads CBD Softgels

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: isolate
  • CBD potency: 25 mg per unit
  • Count: 30 softgels per container
  • COA: available online

Green Roads’ CBD softgels are made with CBD isolate, which means they’re 100 percent CBD — no terpenes, no flavonoids, and definitely no THC (We checked the COA and confirmed that there’s def no THC, but it doesn’t look like the product was tested for terpenes.)

Even though you don’t get the same synergistic effect you’d get from full-spectrum and broad-spectrum products, research suggests that CBD isolate still has benefits for conditions such as chronic pain. But it requires a very specific dose to be effective — not too high, not too low. That means it might take some trial and error to find the right dosage for you.

As a bonus, these softgels are cruelty-free and contain no artificial flavoring or coloring.

They boast a 4.8-star rating and rave reviews from happy customers. People say the softgels help them relax. Customers also like that the softgels contain no artificial ingredients.

Best budget

R&R Medicinals THC-Free Softgels

  • Price: $
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 30 mg
  • Count: 34 softgels per container
  • COA: available online

R&R Medicinals’ CBD softgels are broad-spectrum (THC-free, baybayyyy — you know we checked that COA) and pretty frickin’ cheap considering you get 34 softgels per container.

The brand grows its own hemp in Colorado and says the hemp is USDA certified organic, which is pretty sweet for the price.

There aren’t any reviews specifically for this product on the site, but reviewers across R&R Medicinals’ site go wild for the brand’s CBD products, praising them for being super high quality at an excellent price point.

Best unflavored

Bluebird Botanicals Classic CBD Oil Capsules

  • Price: $$$
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 15 mg per softgel
  • Count: 30 capsules per container
  • COA: available online

Bluebird Botanicals is a Colorado-based company certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority. The company’s CBD capsules contain full-spectrum hemp extract and organic hemp seed oil at 15 mg of CBD per capsule.

They’re also flavorless, so you don’t have to worry about finding a way to get rid of that nasty aftertaste common with CBD products.

Bluebird says it’s committed to making a wellness lifestyle accessible to all. The brand offers payment plans and subscription discounts for its products.

People say the capsules are easy to swallow and like that they’re not full of additives and fillers.

Best vegan capsules

Sunsoil Vegan Capsules

  • Price: $
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 20 mg per capsule
  • Count: 30 capsules per container
  • COA: available online

PETA would be proud. But TBH, you don’t have to be a hardcore animal rights activist to want to avoid animal byproducts in your CBD.

These veggie-friendly capsules are flavorless, and each contains a respectable 20 mg of CBD. You’ll find only organic MCT oil in these cuties. And the CBD oil is made from organic hemp harvested right on Sunsoil’s Vermont-based farm.

They’re a bit bigger than your average capsule, so keep that in mind if you have trouble swallowing pills.

Customers say the vegan CBD helps with all sorts of issues, including anxiety, joint pain, and stress. And they love that it’s manufactured right in Vermont.

Still not sure if CBD capsules are for you? Let’s take a look at the good and the not so good.

There are tons of CBD products on the market. These just happen to be our faves. If you’re interested in doing your own research and shopping online, have at it.

But it’s kinda the Wild West out there since the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD products the same way as other kinds of meds and supplements.

However, there are definitely some best practices to keep in mind when shopping for a quality CBD product:

Up-to-date COA

Make sure the COA is up to date and comes from a legit third-party lab.

It should also contain contaminant testing info for:

  • molds
  • heavy metals
  • chemicals and solvents
  • pesticides

And the COA details should match what’s on the product label. There’s *some* room for error, but if the brand says you’re getting 25 mg per capsule and the COA says it’s more like 15 mg, they’re kinda ripping you off.

Same goes for THC. If a brand says its product is THC-free, make sure the COA confirms that’s actually true.

CBD source and type

Look for U.S.-grown hemp because it’s subject to agricultural regulations.

The type of hemp matters too. To make sure it’s legal at the federal level, any CBD product must contain less than 0.3 percent THC.

We talked about the diff types of CBD above, but here’s a little recap:

  • Full-spectrum CBD *does* contain some THC and is known for having synergistic effects thanks to the combination of all the diff compounds.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD does *not* contain THC, but it *does* contain other compounds (read: terpenes and flavonoids) known for being little bada$$es all on their own.
  • CBD isolate does *not* contain anything except CBD.

If you want to avoid THC entirely, go for broad-spectrum or isolate products. But if you’re down to experiment with the therapeutic effects of full-spectrum, give it a try.

Softgels vs. capsules vs. pills

Here’s a breakdown of the major diffs among these three:

  • Softgels. These are typically made of gelatin and contain liquid. They tend to be the priciest of the three forms.
  • Capsules. These are similar to softgels. They have a two-piece structure and typically contain powder — though CBD products will usually be called gel, oil, or liquid capsules since CBD needs a carrier oil.
  • Pills or tablets. These are usually the cheapest variation of a supplement. They’re solid pieces that don’t have a gelatin coating. Again, since CBD needs a carrier oil, actual CBD pills aren’t a thing — though people often call them that.

Red flags to watch out for

Because a ton of CBD companies are pretty new, it’s important to dig into who you’re buying from. Here are some key things to watch for:

  • Bad reviews. Always, always, always read the consumer reviews. These will give you a better look into which products are legit and address your specific needs. Be wary of products that have customer complaints.
  • A history of legal trouble. This is major red flag city. A quick Google search should reveal any recent lawsuits or legal issues.
  • Wild claims. Don’t buy into boastful marketing claims. CBD rocks, but it’s still a bb in the medical world, so we’re still waiting on research to confirm its benefits.

Grab a glass of water and swallow. That’s pretty much it.

Dosing, on the other hand, is a bit more complicated. What works for your buds may be too high a dose for you — especially if you’re new to CBD.

Start with the lowest dose and work your way up slowly. Emphasis on slowly!

Most manufacturers will tell you whether to take 1, 2, or more capsules at once, but always check the potency since some brands offer ultra-potent products and strength varies by brand and product.

CBD can take hours to kick in, so don’t immediately pop another pill if you’re not feelin’ anything. Expect to experiment for a bit while you figure out the dose that’s right for you.

What are CBD capsules?

CBD capsules are pills or softgels that you take by mouth. CBD products don’t make you high because they contain only teeny-tiny amounts of THC, if any.

Should I use CBD in pill form?

Yes! Unless you have trouble swallowing a pill or can’t find a dose that works for you, pills are a convenient way to take CBD. They’re easy to take, and there’s no need to fuss with a dropper. They’re also flavorless.

How many CBD capsules should I take?

That depends on the potency of each capsule and whether you’re new to taking CBD. Not everyone feels the same effects at the same dose.

Bottom line: Start with a low dose and increase it slowly if you feel the need.

What are the side effects of taking CBD?

Studies have shown that CBD is generally considered safe. However, CBD users may still experience some side effects, such as:

  • fatigue
  • diarrhea
  • appetite changes
  • weight fluctuations

Before using CBD, be sure to talk with a healthcare professional. This is especially important if you’re taking any meds, because CBD can have significant drug interactions.

CBD pills are great because they come in a familiar form and provide exact dosing to take the guesswork out of the equation.

Talk with your doc before trying CBD and do your research. Think about what you want to take CBD for and tweak the dosage as necessary. But start slow!

Is CBD legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level but are still illegal under some state laws. Cannabis-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved and may be inaccurately labeled.