While CBD oils and vape juices come in a great many flavors and strengths, capsules and softgels can be more difficult to choose. After all, you won’t taste something that you swallow whole with water.
So, how do you decide which product is best to buy? We scoured all the available options and narrowed it down to the four best CBD capsules and softgels in 2020: the highest quality, best value, best THC-free, and highest concentration.
If you’re looking for an instant consumable packed with CBD, or you just need a CBD solution for when you’re on the go, check out our best CBD capsules and softgels below.
Top CBD Capsules and Softgels
Each of these products excelled in quality, value, and customer service, earning them the highest overall scores in our ranking.
Highest Quality Capsules/Softgels: Kanibi Softgels
Offering both softgels and gummies, Kanibi caters to both those who like to taste their hemp and those who don’t. This company looks after their consumers with regular discounts, special discounts for military veterans, and a money back guarantee.
Best Value Capsules/Softgels: CBDistillery Capsules
CBDistillery came to the market with a simple promise: to shake up the existing, overpriced model for CBD products. They did just that, producing a range of CBD softgels that cost less per unit than our other top picks.
Best THC-Free Capsules/Softgels: Medterra CBD Gel Capsules
While the “THC-free” label can be applied to any product with less than 0.5% THC in the formula, some people prefer to play it safe with entirely THC-free CBD. Medterra offers a range of organic, completely THC-free gel capsules.
Highest Concentration Capsules/Softgels: cbdMD CBD Capsules
You don’t always need to turn to CBD oils or vape pens to get the highest concentration of CBD. cbdMD capsules are available in bottles of 3,000 milligrams, with 50 milligrams of CBD within each unit. You should always start with a lower dose, but if you have a high tolerance, these capsules might be for you.
Keep reading to find our full reviews of each of these products and to learn how they landed at the top of our list.
QUICK OVERVIEW: Our Top Picks for CBD Capsules and Softgels
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Table of Contents
Our ranking of the best CBD oil capsules and softgels is based on a thorough evaluation of CBD companies and their products, which gives us a ton of data to work with. We look at everything from the price of the product to company transparency and customer service — and we want to share as much of that information as possible.
For beginners (or the insatiably curious) we’ll also cover some general knowledge about CBD — what it is, how it works, and its current legal status. You’ll also find a section on CBD capsules which will give you an idea of what to look for in a good product.
You can, of course, read through the whole ranking from start to finish. If you’re looking for something specific, though, the links below will help you find what you’re looking for:
- Best all-around CBD capsules
- Best full spectrum CBD capsules
- Best THC-free CBD capsules
- Value comparison
- Cannabinoid potency
- What is CBD?
- Safety concerns and side effects
- Is CBD legal
- Why choose CBD capsules
- How to choose CBD capsules
Best CBD Capsules and Softgels
Ingredients: Full-spectrum hemp extract (25 milligrams CBD), MCT oil.
Testing notes: Go down easy, but pack a punch. Relaxing, mellowing effect. Gummies are laden with fruit flavors, with a candy-like consistency.
The softgel capsules from Kanibi contain 25 milligrams of full-spectrum CBD per unit, in bottles of 30 capsules. For those who prefer their CBD in a form they can taste, you can also pick up chewy Organi Gummies, which have 10 milligrams per chewable in bottles of 30. They’re delicious and infused with fruit, but with a hempy undertone.
While they’re not the cheapest softgels or capsules on our list, Kanibi offers a 15% discount for your first visit to the website. There’s also a discount when you order two or more bottles at the same time. And at the time of publication, a site-wide sale brought down the price on every product considerably. It’s this combination of affordability and quality that gave Kanibi a top spot on our list.
- Full-spectrum CBD extract
- 100% U.S. grown organic hemp
- Double laboratory tested
- One concentration available
Ingredients: Fractionated coconut oil (MCT—medium chain triglyceride), full-spectrum hemp extract (aerial parts), sunflower lecithin, gelatin (gelatin capsules).
Testing notes: Gummies pack a strong flavor. Capsules were easily swallowed, and effects felt more readily with higher concentration capsules.
At CBDistillery, you’ve got access to both full-spectrum and CBD isolate supplements. Their mission statement highlights how the company was founded due to an industry that was becoming “vastly overpriced”. They’ve managed to become our highest value brand, so they must be doing something right in this regard. And more than 26,000 verified reviews and testimonials only further cements this fact.
The capsules available from CBDistillery come in 30-milligram concentrations as standard, though they come in two bottle sizes of either 30 ($60.00) or 60 ($115.00) units. This breaks down to $2.00 or $1.91 per capsule respectively. Comparatively, you’d need to pay around $2.39 to achieve the same dosage from cbdMD. And Kanibi softgels, while a similar price-per-unit, are less concentrated. CBDistillery also produces gummies, including their Nighttime Gummies, which claim to help sleeping cycles.
- Most affordable capsules
- Full spectrum and isolate
- Huge customer praise
- Limited choice available
- No money back scheme
Ingredients: 99% pure CBD (cannabidiol), medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, bovine gelatin.
Testing notes: Helped wake us up in the morning. Sleep appeared more consistent when taken before bed. Easily taken with water.
Medterra is so confident in their CBD capsules that they’ll give you your money back within 30 days if you’re not satisfied—perhaps because their industrial hemp is grown under strictly controlled and GMO-friendly conditions in the U.S. And as part of the Hemp Pilot Research Program, they can ship to all 50 states, as well as internationally.
This company offers just one type of capsule. You can pick up a bottle of 30 capsules in strengths of either 25 milligrams (or 750 milligrams per container), or 50 milligrams (1,500 milligrams per container). It’s recommended to start with a single dose—or capsule—per day, taken either in the morning or evening. For chronic insomniacs, dosing in the evening could help promote a more rested sleep cycle.
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Laboratory tested
- Classified as THC-free
- Only two concentrations
- Not vegan-friendly (gelatin)
Ingredients: Cannabidiol (CBD) and MCT oil.
Testing notes: Easy to swallow. Higher concentrations may have a more calming effect. Slow and prolonged rate of ingestion.
At cbdMD, there’s a huge focus on using only the highest quality hemp and most sophisticated manufacturing methods. Their CBD capsules contain only two ingredients: CBD and MCT oil. All of cbdMD’s products go through rigorous testing, including third-party tests, the results of which you can find on their website. And if you’re looking for the highest doses of CBD per capsule, cbdMD is a strong contender.
You can pick up cbdMD CBD capsules in two sizes, with bottles of 30 or 60 units. The 30-unit bottles come in strengths of 450 milligrams (15 per unit), 1,000 milligrams (33.3 per unit), or 1,500 milligrams (50 per unit). The 60-capsule bottles come in concentrations of 1,000, 1,500, and 3,000 milligrams (50 milligrams per unit). If you prefer to chew your CBD, you can also buy bottles of 30 chewable gummies, in concentrations of either 300 or 750 milligrams.
- Concentrations up to 3,000 milligrams
- Vegan (gelatin-free)
- Non-GMO farming
- Not 100% THC-free
- Gummies less concentrated
5. Joy Organics: CBD Softgels 25mg
Ingredients: Phytocannabinoid-Rich Hemp Extract, Polysorbate Emulsifiers, Medium Chain Triglycerides, Beta Caryophyllene
Testing Notes: Translucent softgel with clear, light amber liquid. Average sized capsule (13mm)
Joy Organics, a family business based in Colorado, swept onto the CBD scene in 2018 with an extensive line of THC-free CBD products. From the beginning, they’ve been getting it right – from high-quality ingredients to first-rate customer service (including free shipping and a generous return policy).
They use water-soluble CBD in their capsules which may help with absorption, and they offer capsule options for sleep (with melatonin) and joint pain (with curcumin).
- Quality ingredients
- Highly transparent company
- Fantastic customer service
- Less established brand
Shop Joy Organics
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6. Populum: Hemp Oil Softgel Capsules
Ingredients: Full spectrum hemp extract, MCT fractionated coconut oil, gelatin, purified water, glycerin
Testing Notes: Translucent gelcap with clear, amber liquid. Very light hemp smell. Average sized capsule (13mm).
Populum’s fresh, welcoming website illustrates the company’s approach to making CBD accessible to the masses. The company’s line of high-quality products are packaged beautifully, and they use top-of-the line ingredients in their manufacturing.
Populum’s capsules come in a single strength of 25 mg per dose. They contain traces of other cannabinoids (like CBC and CBDV), though our test didn’t find any THC. These are a bit pricey but, as always, Populum’s customer service was great, and the free shipping is a welcome bonus.
- Great customer service
- Capsules arrive with a copy of third-party lab test
- Great website experience
- Only one potency option
Save 15% with code: Hacker15
7. Endoca: Raw Hemp Oil Capsules
Ingredients: Full spectrum hemp oil, Omega-6, Vitamin E
Testing Notes: Long (20mm), opaque orange capsule containing dark green liquid
Endoca was first founded in Denmark and has only recently established itself in the United States. The company grows its own organic hemp in northern Europe and uses clean CO2 technology to extract its true full-spectrum hemp extract.
These capsules are kosher, vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO. And most importantly for this category, they include a broad range of cannabinoids in addition to CBD, including CBDa, CBDV, CBN, CBC, and CBG. If you want to experience the entourage effect, this is a great option.
- Fair pricing
- Responsive customer service
- Capsules have a broad range of cannabinoids
- Strict return policy
- Imported hemp
8. Green Roads: CBD Capsules 750
Ingredients: Hemp Derived Cannabinoid Extract, Safflower oil, Vegetable cellulose
Testing Notes: Translucent, average-sized softgels containing clear, amber colored liquid.
Green Roads, another Colorado-based company, has been around since 2011, making it one of the pioneering companies of the industry. The company is committed to providing customers with pharmacist-formulated products, quality ingredients, and accessible third-party lab tests.
Green Roads’ capsules contain 25 milligrams of organically grown, CO2-extracted CBD oil with no THC whatsoever. The drawback is a fairly strict return policy – Green Roads only accepts unopened products for returns.
- Super fast customer service
- Local hemp
- Solid return policy
- Only one potency option
- Returns available for unopened products only
9. CBDPure: CBD Softgels 750
Ingredients: Organic hemp oil, concentrated hemp extract (containing CBD)
Testing Notes: Translucent gelcap with clear, dark green liquid. Average sized capsule (15mm).
Established in 2016, CBDPure is based in the Pacific Northwest but sources its organically grown hemp from Colorado. The company follows strict CGMP manufacturing guidelines as well as stringent quality control protocols to provide consistently dosed products (which our lab test verified).
CBDPure offers full spectrum, easy to swallow gelcaps with a solid 25 mg of CBD per dose.
On the other hand, customer service is lacking. It took us five days to get a response to an email inquiry, and it was a pretty perfunctory answer.
- 90-day Money-Back Guarantee
- Lab results on website
- No free shipping
- Poor customer service
10. Charlotte’s Web: Extra Strength Hemp Extract Capsules
Ingredients: Hemp Extract, Rice Bran, Maltodextrin, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Cellulose, Fractionated Coconut Oil. Contains Coconut.
Testing Notes: Long (21mm), transparent capsule containing yellowish powder.
If you’ve heard of CBD, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Charlotte’s Web. The company is one of the oldest and most trusted CBD companies in the industry. They grow their own strain of hemp (for which their company is named) and control the entire process of production – from seed to sale.
Charlotte’s Web’s full spectrum capsules come in two potency options and there’s no gelatin in them, so they’re appropriate for vegetarians. And our lab test actually showed a bit more CBD than labeled, so they’re erring on the right side. One downside: customer service wouldn’t send us a lab report before purchasing.
- Seed-to-sale control over product
- Established, trusted company
- Two potency options
- Difficult to see lab tests before purchasing
- Hard to find ingredients list on website
11. Hemplucid: Soft Gel Caps 50 mg
Ingredients: Hemp Seed Oil, Gelatin, Purified Water, Glycerin, Hemp CBD Oil
Testing Notes: Capsule looks almost black but contains a clear, dark green liquid in translucent gelcap. Average sized capsule (15mm).
Hemplucid, a Utah-based CBD company, was established in 2016 and is building a reputation for predictably high-quality products and solid customer service. The company is dedicated to using full spectrum CBD, and our lab test found traces of cannabinoids like CBG, CBDa, CBDV, CBC, and a tiny amount of THC.
The capsules we reviewed pack a powerful punch of 50 mg of CBD per capsule, while still staying small enough to swallow easily. But if you’re looking for a lower (or higher!) concentration, Hemplucid has you covered with multiple potency options.
- Solid return policy
- Good customer service
- Multiple potency options
- Slow website
12. Infinite CBD: Isolate Capsules
Ingredients: Powdered coconut oil, CBD isolate, gelatin capsule
Testing Notes: Opaque, black and white capsule containing fine white powder. This capsule is large: 23mm long and pretty chunky.
Infinite CBD is a newer company that offers a wide range of CBD products. The company sources their hemp locally in Colorado and they use CO2 for their extraction process. All products at Infinite are isolate-based, so if you’re trying to avoid even traces of THC, this company could be a good choice.
We reviewed their 25 mg capsule, but the company also offers potencies that range from 10 mg up to 100 mg of CBD per capsule, making it easy to customize your dose. However, the company has a strict return policy. You’ll have 14 days to change your mind about the purchase – and they only accept unopened products.
- Great value
- Lots of potency options
- Responsive customer service
- No post-formulation lab tests
- Strict return policy
- Capsule may be hard to swallow
Shop Infinite CBD
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13. Lord Jones: CBD Gel Capsules
Ingredients: Hemp Oil, Polysorbate Emulsifiers, Medium Chain Triglycerides, Beta Caryophyllene, Gelatin Shell (Gelatin, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Water)
Testing Notes: Translucent gelcap containing clear, golden liquid. Average sized capsule (15mm).
Lord Jones markets itself as the luxury option, and it’s no accident that the company is often promoted by celebrities. They are an L.A.-based company which offers a solid line of THC-free products made with CBD extracted from domestically sourced hemp.
The company offers gelcaps with a dose of 25 mg of CBD per dose. They use a water-soluble formula, which may help with absorption. And the lab test they sent us was up-to-date and included results for a wide range of contaminants.
- Free shipping
- Responsive customer service
- Water soluble formula
- No lab results on website
- Only one potency option
14. PlusCBD Oil: CBD Oil Softgels Gold
Ingredients: Hemp oil, extra virgin olive oil, vegetarian softgel
Testing Notes: Translucent gelcaps with clear, golden liquid. Very light hemp smell. Average sized capsule (13mm).
Owned by CV Sciences, PlusCBD Oil is one of the major brands in the CBD industry. The company offers a wide range of CBD products, all made with hemp sourced from Europe. The company does not guarantee that their hemp is organic, but they do provide extensive third-party lab tests that show results for pesticides and other contaminants.
With naturally occurring Vitamin E, fatty acids and CBD, PlusCBD’s capsules support a healthy mind-body balance. At 15 mg per gelcap, these offer a moderate dose of CBD, and the capsules were small and looked easy to swallow.
- Good value
- Extensive third-party testing
- Fast customer service
- Imported (European) hemp
- Strict return policy
Shop PlusCBD Oil
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15. Steve’s Goods: Full Spectrum Hemp Distillate Capsules
Ingredients: Hemp extract, MCT oil
Testing Notes: Translucent gelcap with clear, amber liquid. Very light hemp smell. Average sized capsule (15mm).
Steve’s Goods is a Colorado-based company that sources local, organic, Colorado-grown hemp for its wide range of CBD products. Most of the products at Steve’s Goods are full-spectrum, and their capsules are no exception. Our lab test picked up traces of CBC, CBG, and CBDV in addition to CBD.
These 25 mg gelcaps are a great value and come with a solid return policy. According to customer service: “If you are not satisfied with a product you can certainly exchange it for another one or receive full credit back for your goods!”
- High level of transparency
- Great value
- Solid return policy
- Only one potency
- Shipping is a bit pricey
Choosing the Best CBD Capsules and Softgels: Our Methodology
If you’ve already tried shopping for CBD capsules, you’ll know that there’s a lot to choose from! So how did we narrow down the list to the companies you see here?
First, we knew that we wanted to look at both established companies and some that are newer to the industry. We keep our ear to the ground for brands that consumers are talking about and combine those with companies we know have proved themselves in the past. This resulted in a pretty hefty list of companies that seemed worth evaluating further.
Once we had our list, our research separated the wheat from the chaff (as it were). Here’s a breakdown of our methodology for evaluation:
Third-Party Lab Testing
One of the advantages of taking capsules is that you don’t have to worry about measuring out your dose of CBD. But what if companies aren’t paying close attention to potency? Instead of trusting that companies are dosing their capsules accurately, we sent samples to an independent lab for testing.
This is an important enough category that any company with a capsule that had less than 20% of the CBD labeled was knocked off the ranking. Because what’s the use of great customer service if you’re not getting what you paid for?
Product Quality and Value Evaluation
While the samples were at the lab being tested, our team scrutinized the quality of the capsule using a variety of criteria. We looked at the quality of the hemp, where it was sourced, and growing and extraction practices.
Then we performed blind product testing. For this test, we placed capsules in numbered (but otherwise unmarked) containers and evaluated them for appearance, smell, size, and texture. We took notes on all of that, looking for anything that just seemed weird or off-putting.
The final component of this category involved scoring the company on the price per milligram of CBD. Keep reading to find our price comparison chart!
Because shopping for CBD can be overwhelming, we scrutinized company websites to test out the consumer’s experience.
We looked for things like helpful product descriptions and transparent information about growing, manufacturing, and testing processes. And we went through the purchasing process to make sure it was smooth and glitch-free.
This is the part where we get to pose as customers. Sadly, no wigs or false mustaches were involved, but we emailed and called customer service to find out how helpful company representatives were.
We noted how long a response took as well as how thoroughly our questions were answered.
When it comes to CBD capsules, everyone wants to know what they’re actually paying — but sometimes the labels just don’t make price comparing that easy.
So we’ve done the calculations for you. In the table below, you’ll find the price per milligram of CBD for each company on our ranking.
|$ per mg CBD
|CBD mg each
|CBD Softgels 750
|CBD Gel Capsules
|CBD Capsules 750
|Hemp Oil Softgel Capsules
|CBD Softgels 25mg
|Extra Strength Hemp Extract Capsules
|Soft Gel Caps 50 mg
|Pure Hemp Extract CBD Capsules
|CBD Oil Softgels Gold
|Concentrated CBD Capsules
|Raw Hemp Oil Capusules - Medium
|Full Spectrum Hemp Distillate Capsules
The potency of a CBD capsule is one of the most important pieces of information you need as you shop. This tells you how careful a company is to dose their capsules accurately (and if you’re getting what you paid for).
We sent samples to a third-party lab for evaluation. The table below shows the cannabinoid potency testing results so that you can compare it to their labels.
|CBDV, CBN, CBC, CBG
|CBDV, CBC, CBGa, CBG
|Δ8-THC, CBDa, CBDV, CBC, CBG
|Δ8-THC, THCV, CBDa, CBDV, CBC, CBG
|CBDV, CBC, CBG
|Δ8-THC, CBDa, CBDV, CBC, CBG
|CBDV, CBC, CBG
|CBDa, CBDV, CBC, CBG
|CBDa, CBDV, CBN, CBC, CBGa, CBG
What is CBD?
CBD is everywhere, but what is it exactly?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. Simply put, it is a cannabinoid – a chemical that can be extracted from a cannabis plant. Scientists have identified over a hundred cannabinoids, of which CBD and THC (the one that makes you high) are the most dominant.
Cannabinoids like CBD interact with our endocannabinoid system, which consists of inter-related chemicals and receptors that are spread throughout our bodies. This system, which is present in most animals, helps support a variety of functions like appetite, mood, pain, and sleep. Broadly speaking, it maintains balance within our bodies.
The effects of CBD oil are wide-ranging and, while scientific research is in the early stages, the evidence of its potential benefits is beginning to pile up. These benefits include reduction of pain, inflammation, anxiety, and seizures. It’s also been shown to have neuroprotective properties and there’s evidence that it may even help cancer cells to self-destruct.
These benefits are great in themselves, but there are two things that are making scientists even more enthusiastic about CBD’s potential. Unlike THC (which also has a list of associated benefits), it won’t make you high. In fact, it actually tends to dampen the psychoactive effects of THC when present.
Safety Concerns and Side Effects
CBD’s been getting a lot of attention for its potential benefits, but is it safe for most people?
The short answer is yes. The World Health Organization has declared that CBD has a good safety profile, and its safety is mentioned in numerous scientific studies of CBD. It’s one of the reasons that scientists are so motivated to figure out exactly how it works.
That means that any side effects you might experience will be mild to moderate, and may include things like dry mouth, sleepiness, or light-headedness.
On the other hand, if you’re taking medications, you should definitely inform your doctor that you want to try CBD. Drug interactions are possible and could result in unforeseen (and undesirable) consequences.
The other potential issue with CBD has to do with drug testing. Hemp-derived CBD must have, by law, less than 0.3% THC. That’s not enough to make you high, but it may be enough to build up in your body over time and cause you to fail a drug test.
If you have to take drug tests for work or for any other reason, it’s best to stick to an isolate-based CBD product. You should also be aware that just because a product is labeled THC-free, that doesn’t mean there can’t be small trace amounts. It’s like decaffeinated coffee; the amount of THC just has to be below what the testing equipment can detect to get the THC-free label.
A good isolate product should be over 99% pure CBD, but be sure to check third-party lab tests to make sure!
Is CBD Legal?
At the federal level, hemp-derived CBD is legal and has officially been removed from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of controlled substances.
According to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is defined as a cannabis plant which contains no more than 0.3% THC. This is why CBD companies generally assure customers that THC levels for their extracts are at that level or lower.
The situation does become more complex, though, at the state level. Some states have taken a less friendly position on CBD, so it’s a good idea to find out what your local laws are. For more info, check out our interactive map: Is CBD Legal in Your State?
Why Choose CBD Capsules or Softgels?
The CBD industry boom has brought with it a plethora of ways to get CBD into your body. CBD capsules are one among many options, but they do offer a couple of distinct advantages.
Probably the most appealing aspect of capsules for consumers is that they offer a simple way to get a consistent dose. A method like vaping makes it very hard to know how much CBD you’re taking in, and with a tincture, you need to figure out how much CBD is in each dropper (which can be tricky with unmarked droppers).
And then there’s the ease of use. If you want to take CBD in the middle of your work day, holding a tincture under your tongue for a minute may not be super convenient. Taking a CBD capsule is both easy and discreet. It’s also a flavor-neutral option if you’re not a fan of the taste of hemp oil.
And unlike other edible products like CBD gummies or candies, you’re not adding sugar to your diet.
There is a drawback to all the convenience, though, which has to do with bioavailability. Because swallowing CBD oil means that the CBD has to pass through your digestive system, the reality is that much of the CBD will be destroyed in the process — before it can enter your bloodstream.
There is some evidence, though, that water-soluble CBD (or nano CBD) fares better in the digestive tract than the non-water soluble variety. Some companies are taking note and using nanotechnology for the CBD they use in their capsules.
Another possible drawback to capsules is that it will take longer to take effect than CBD you take under your tongue or into your lungs (by vaping). On the other hand, if you want a slower, longer release of CBD into your system to deal with chronic pain or sleeplessness, CBD capsules may offer advantages over faster methods.
How to Choose CBD Softgels and Capsules
There’s a lot to choose from out there, so here are a few key things to keep in mind:
- Look for CBD oil sourced from organically grown hemp plants. This is super important since hemp is really, really good at pulling toxins out of the soil.
- Buy from a company with third-party lab reports. If they do potency testing of their products after they’ve been formulated, that’s even better.
- Pay attention to the potency of the capsule! They can range from as low as 10 milligrams up to 100 milligrams per capsule.
- If you’re looking for help with sleep, some companies offer CBD capsules that contain melatonin.