Before CBD became the hottest thing in the wellness world, your options were pretty much limited to CBD oil or capsules. Today, you’re spoilt for choice. You can get CBD in everything from tea to toothpaste and, of course, gummies.
But which is best: the original oil, or the new bears on the block? Here, we break down the difference between CBD oil and CBD gummies so you can decide.
What is CBD?
If you’re new to CBD or you need a refresher, here’s an explainer of what CBD is and how it works.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a substance known as a cannabinoid. It’s one of 120 cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, another being tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC (the one that gets you “high”). The hemp plant also includes lots of natural phytochemicals like fatty acids, vitamins, terpenes and flavonoids.
Your body makes its own cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids. These are part of the body’s endocannabinoid system, or ECS, which helps to regulate functions like sleep, immunity and appetite. When you consume external cannabinoids like CBD, they act on the receptors in your ECS in a similar way to endocannabinoids. That’s where the effects of CBD and THC come from (we talk more about how this works here).
To make CBD products, oil is extracted from the hemp plant and processed. If you’ve seen a CBD product referred to as “full-spectrum”, that means nothing was removed from the oil, and the product contains all the natural cannabinoids and other phytochemicals. “Broad-spectrum” means that only the THC was removed, while “isolate” means that the CBD was extracted and used on its own.
So which is better? CBD oil or CBD gummies?
Both CBD oil and CBD gummies have a similar effect in terms of the end result. Which one is best for you will mostly be down to your individual preferences. Let’s look at the main ones…
Bioavailability basically means how much of the CBD your body will absorb. Because it enters your bloodstream directly from under your tongue, CBD oil has the best bioavailability of them all.
On the other hand, you only absorb some of the CBD from gummies though the mouth. Once you swallow them, they have to make their way through the liver and digestive system, where some of that CBD is lost.
Thanks to that detour around the body, you’ll have to wait a bit longer to feel the effects of CBD if you take it in gummy form. It takes about 20-30 minutes for CBD to hit the bloodstream after taking CBD oil, compared to around two hours for gummies.
If it’s starting to sound like an open-and-shut case for oils, hold that thought! Despite the initial time lag, the effects of CBD last much longer with gummies. Rather than a quick hit, you get a steady, extended-release over a couple of hours.
Gummies take this round, too. Thanks to the terpene content, CBD oils often have a strong, earthy taste that not everybody can get into. Many have flavourings to mask the taste, but some people prefer to just skip oil altogether.
Gummies are a great alternative. Take our ZenBears, for example. Because we use a CBD coating, you don’t get the same earthy taste you’d find in an oil. All you can taste is the delicious, fruity goodness from our natural fruit juice flavourings!
Most CBD oils come with droppers, but it can be hard to measure out an exact dose. With CBD gummies, each sweet contains a pre-measured amount of CBD so you always know how much you’re taking.
If you want to be precise about your dosage, CBD gummies are the easier choice. However, if you do prefer oil to gummies, you can get more accurate dosing by choosing a spray bottle instead of a dropper.
Another thing to think about: some disciplined (and frankly suspicious) people can stop at one sweet, but others (e.g. me) might be tempted to sneak one or four more gummies from time to time. You can easily overdo it on CBD this way, so if you have an uncontrollable sweet tooth, maybe go for the oil instead!
What’s the difference between CBD oil and CBD gummies?
To make CBD oil, the final product is usually mixed with carrier oil like coconut oil or MCT oil, and perhaps some flavourings. You take it sublingually, which means you place a few drops under the tongue and wait for it to be absorbed into your bloodstream.
There are a couple of ways to make CBD gummies, but we make ZenBears by coating our tasty gummies with CBD.
Both CBD oil and CBD gummies can be carried around easily, but many find the actual delivery to be more convenient with CBD gummies. You might not want to mess around with a dropper, especially if you’re in a public place, but you can just discreetly pop a gummy no matter where you are.
CBD oils have a slight edge in terms of speed and bioavailability. If your priority is to get as much CBD as quickly as possible, that means oils are your best bet.
However, in every other aspect, we believe gummies are the superior choice. They deliver much the same effects as oil, and they last longer to boot. As a bonus, they’re super tasty and they’re about as convenient as it gets.