CBD Edibles Vs. CBD Oil

When it comes to consuming CBD, you have plenty of choices of methods. You can smoke CBD flowers that have no or minimal THC, eat an edible, consume CBD oil, apply a topical CBD product, or take a capsule, among other options. Two of the most frequently compared and popular methods of using CBD are edibles and oil. How do these compare to each other? And is one better than the other?

A Refresher on CBD

Before getting into the differences between CBD edibles and oil, take a moment to refresh your memory on CBD. CBD stands for cannabidiol. This is one of the main cannabinoids that occur naturally in cannabis, and it is also found in hemp. 

CBD is non-psychoactive, as marijuana’s psychoactive effects are from THC, another cannabinoid. CBD is legal at the federal level in the United States and many other areas, provided it has less than 0.3 percent THC. Pure CBD products will not show up on a drug test, but products with trace amounts of THC may. It is also possible for the trace amounts of THC in some products to lead to incredibly mild psychoactive effects. If you want to ensure you do not have any psychoactive effects and can pass a drug test, always opt for THC-free CBD products

Understanding CBD Edibles

CBD edibles are mostly any food or drink that has been infused with CBD. There are many forms of CBD edibles, with gummies, chocolate, and other candy being the most popular. However, you can find CBD edibles in a range of foods and a growing number of drinks. It is also possible to make your own CBD edibles using CBD oil or another type of CBD extract.

Understanding CBD Oil

CBD oil is a liquid extract of CBD. It is typically just the extract itself along with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or essential oil. You can use CBD oils by placing a few drops under your tongue and letting your mouth absorb them for a minute or so before swallowing. You can also add CBD oil to food, drinks, or topicals to infuse those items. 

Understanding CBD Oil

Comparing Taking the CBD

The first difference you will notice between CBD edible and oil is how you take them. As mentioned, you take CBD oil by placing a few drops underneath your tongue, or by mixing it into something else. To take CBD edibles, you eat or drink the item as you would normally. 

One of these methods is not necessarily better than the other, as each has its high points. 


If you want discretion, then both oils and edibles are reasonably discreet. Edibles, however, can be a bit more discreet as it is common to eat or drink in public, but it is not as common to put drops in your mouth in public. Even so, this is unlikely to be a factor due to the minimal difference. 

Intuitive Nature

Consuming CBD edibles is easier than CBD oil just because eating and drinking are natural. You will have to adjust to using CBD oil, but because it is so simple, this should not be a problem. 


Some people are not always hungry or maybe on a diet. In this case, you may not want to have to eat to take your CBD. If that is the case, oil is the way to go. Or, you can opt for a healthy edible and eat it at mealtimes. 

Dietary Restrictions 

Those with allergies and dietary restrictions will find oils that meet their limits more easily than edibles. That said, the range of edibles available means that you should be able to find something. 


Some CBD oils will taste slightly hemp-like, which you may or may not like. If you do not like this flavor, you can either look for a flavored CBD oil or opt for edibles. 

Comparing Onset Time of Effects 

One of the most significant differences between CBD edibles and oils is how long it takes for you to start noticing the effects. This comes down to how the body processes the CBD. 

If you eat a CBD edible, your body will have to digest the food before you start to feel the effects of the CBD. This can easily take a half-hour to two hours for onset to begin. 

By contrast, CBD oil typically reaches your bloodstream in 10 to 30 minutes because you absorb it right through the mouth. 

Additionally, the effects of CBD edibles tend to last longer than those of oils for the same reason, the slow digestion. 

Comparing Onset Time of Effects 

Absorption Rate

The way that your body processes CBD edibles and oils also affects its absorption rate. CBD oils tend to have higher bioavailability, meaning that more of the CBD reaches your bloodstream. Bioavailability of oil is typically 12 to 35 percent, while that of edibles is just 4 to 20 percent. 

In other words, using CBD edibles will require you to start with a higher dose to get the same amount of CBD as you would with oil. 

Ease of Dosing

There are some variations in ease of dosing with edibles and oils. If you use pre-measured edibles, then dosing is always very clear and requires no effort on your part. By contrast, using CBD oil requires you to measure your dose carefully. Most CBD oils come with droppers to make up for this need.

That being said, CBD oil has greater flexibility in dosing. For edibles, you cannot usually eat half or a quarter of an item to get a smaller dose. You can overcome this by opting for edibles with lower doses. Instead, your dosage would have to be in multiples of the dose per individual edible. By contrast, the liquid nature of CBD oil and the use of droppers lets you customize your dose to a greater extent. 


There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing between CBD edibles and CBD oil. Edibles are useful if you do not like the flavor of hemp or CBD, want something delicious, or want something that is pre-portioned and pre-dosed. CBD oil is ideal if you do not want to have to eat or drink to take your CBD and want to be able to adapt your dose. 

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