CBD Pills: Uses, Benefits and Side Effects

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CBD pills

Once upon a time, the only way to get the cannabidiol you needed was to smoke your favorite high-CBD strain. These days, CBD fanatics have so many more options:

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Now you can add one more method to the growing list of choices: CBD pills. One of the major benefits of CBD pills (as we’ll discuss at length below) is that they’re discreet. Have you ever noticed that pretty much everyone takes a pill of one kind or another? Getting your CBD in pill form means you’ll blend right in.

But what are the other benefits of CBD pills? How can you use them? And are there any side effects? The experts at Honest Marijuana tell you everything you need to know about one of the newest forms of CBD medication.


What Is CBD?

Chemical formula of Cannabidiol on a blackboard

Put simply, CBD (the shortened form of the word cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in high concentrations in the cannabis (marijuana) plant.

Other common cannabinoids include:

The extraordinary thing about CBD molecules — and all cannabinoids, for that matter — is that when you ingest them, inhale them, or rub them on your skin, they interact with the neurons in your brain and receptors in your body to produce some very beneficial effects.

We’ll discuss those benefits — and how you can harness them to treat a variety of disorders — after we delve a bit deeper into one of the easiest ways to take CBD.

What Are CBD Pills?

CBD pills spilling out of a bottle next to marijuana

CBD pills are pills (duh, right?) that contain extracted natural cannabinoids suspended in a fatty oil. Basically, you cram as much CBD-goodness as you can into a gelatin capsule and you’ve got yourself a CBD pill.

Most often, CBD pills are made with CBD isolate — the cannabinoid in its purest form. The process of making CBD isolate (or extract), separates (or isolates) the CBD from all the other stuff that makes up the marijuana plant.

Hence the name CBD isolate. It’s very much akin to the almost-100-percent pure THC distillate that’s making the rounds of the canna-community.

Once you’ve extracted all the CBD from the plant matter (which is its own complicated process), you can use it to make your very own CBD pills.

Want to give it a try? Here’s a simple recipe to get you started.



  • Your favorite cannabis concentrate (e.g., shatter or wax)
  • Olive, vegetable, or coconut oil (make sure to use the kind that’s liquid at room temperature, not solid)
  • Food scale (with measurements in milligrams)
  • Oven
  • Slow cooker
  • Oven mitts or pot holders
  • 10cc syringe with blunt-tip needle
  • Size 1 empty cellulose capsules (cellulose is vegan and lasts longer than gelatin)
  • Patience


  1. Weigh out your marijuana first. Everyone needs a different dose, so try taking the amount of medicine you would ordinarily consume from a joint, bowl, or bong hit and use that as the amount you will use per capsule.
  2. Multiply your amount of medicine for the cooking process based on how many capsules you want to make. Cut your usual amount in half if you are a new cannabis user since the same amount of smoked CBD can give you a much stronger high than ingested CBD.
  3. Bake the buds on an oven-safe pan lined with aluminum foil for 20 minutes in a 225-degree-Fahrenheit oven to decarboxylate your cannabis.
  4. Grind the buds into a fine powder and mix them with olive, vegetable, or coconut oil.
  5. Heat them in a slow cooker on low for three to six hours.
  6. Once the liquid has cooled, inject it into gelatin capsules with an oral syringe.
  7. Store the CBD pills in your refrigerator to enjoy at your convenience!

CBD Pills: Uses

CBD pills — and the cannabidiol (CBD) they contain — can be used to treat a wide variety of ailments and disorders. Here are just a few of the main uses for CBD pills.

1) Reduce Pain And Inflammation

CBD acts on the vanilloid receptors in your brain. These receptors regulate pain perception and inflammation throughout your body. So when CBD triggers the vanilloid receptors, pain and inflammation go down. This makes CBD pills a possible treatment for disorders like fibromyalgia.

2) Protect Your Body And Brain

CBD pills and brain health

CBD is a powerful antioxidant that protects both your body and brain from damage caused by harmful molecules (free radicals). Free radicals have a negative effect on your body, but they can also have a negative effect on your brain.

The buildup of free radicals can contribute to neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have shown that the antioxidant properties of CBD can work to counteract the effects that result from this (and other) debilitating brain disorders.

3) Suppress Nausea & Stimulate Appetite

CBD has a two-fold benefit as a digestive aid. First, it stimulates appetite, making it easier to take in the calories needed to stay healthy. Second, it suppresses nausea so that those calories will stay where they’re supposed to — in your body.

These two CBD benefits can be particularly important for patients being treated for cancer. Some disorders (and even treatments) decrease appetite and increase nausea. These side effects can, in turn, prevent your body from healing correctly. CBD works to counteract these two problems.

4) Combat Anxiety And Depression

CBD pills for anxiety

Anxiety and depression are partially dependent on the activity of the adenosine and serotonin receptors in your brain. CBD interacts with both.

The CBD in CBD pills activates the adenosine receptors to help them work properly. This lessens the anxious, paranoid feelings so common with anxiety disorder. The CBD in CBD pills also activates the serotonin receptors to produce an antidepressant effect. That makes CBD pills a promising treatment for a wide variety of mental disorders.

5) Inhibit Cancer Cell Growth

Laboratory studies are showing that CBD inhibits certain body functions so that cancer cells can’t spread. Those same studies are also showing that CBD somehow interferes with cancer cell growth and may even cause those same cells to die.

6) Treat Psychotic Disorders

Psychotic disorders, like schizophrenia, are treated by increasing serum anandamide levels in the brain. Pharmaceuticals do exist to help with this, but they often have significant side effects.

CBD pills, on the other hand, also increase serum anandamide levels — without the debilitating and life-altering side effects of clinical pharmaceuticals. That’s a significant step in the right direction for brain-based disorders that are notoriously difficult to treat.

7) Suppress Seizure Activity

Seizures are disruptions in your brain’s electrical activity that result in violent shaking and loss of body control. Like psychotic disorders, anxiety, and depression (all brain-based disorders), seizures can be extremely difficult to treat.

CBD pills stabilize your brain’s electrical impulses and keep them from running amok. This results in a significant decrease in seizure frequency.

Charlotte Figi is a prime example of the effectiveness of CBD. Charlotte suffers from Dravet syndrome and would experience upwards of 300 seizures a week. That had a serious impact on Charlotte’s young life. After starting a course of CBD treatment, Charlotte had just one or two seizures per month.

Now that we’ve discussed some of the uses for CBD pills, let’s look at some of their many benefits.

CBD Pills: Benefits

If you still haven’t found the way to consume cannabis that works best for you, give CBD pills a try. Here’s why they may be just what you’ve been looking for.

1) Discreet Consumption

As we mentioned earlier, CBD pills are very discreet. Everyone’s taking pills, so you won’t stand out when you take your CBD medication. Just pop the pill in your mouth and take a drink of water. It’s quick, easy, and painless.

2) No Psychoactive High

Getting high

CBD doesn’t interact with the receptors in your brain the same way that THC does. Because of that, CBD pills won’t produce a psychoactive high.

That means it’s now easier for medical users who need to take advantage of CBD’s medical benefits during the day and don’t have time to stop to let a high wear off.

3) Counteraction Of THC’s Intoxicating Effects

The intoxicating effects of THC are well-known. They include:

  • Altered perceptions
  • Lethargy
  • Couch lock
  • Paranoia
  • Memory loss
  • Drowsiness

CBD pills keep those intoxicating effects from becoming too extreme.

4) Non-Addictive Treatment

The cannabidiol in CBD pills — or any cannabidiol, for that matter — is not addictive. This is because cannabidiol doesn’t stimulate the cannabinoid receptors in your brain like other psychoactive chemicals.

Because those cannabinoid receptors aren’t activated (no high is created), there’s no uncontrollable drive to keep coming back for more. So, basically, because the cannabidiol in CBD pills doesn’t produce any kind of psychoactive effects, it isn’t addictive.

5) Powerful Results

Because of the way your stomach processes CBD, CBD pills are more powerful than more traditional consumption methods (like smoking, dabbing, or hitting a bong). That means that you’ll need less to feel the same effects.

For example, you might have to smoke a full joint to get the medicinal benefits that come with just one CBD pill. With CBD pills, you get more bang for your buck, so to speak.

6) Longer-Lasting Effects

Digestion is a relatively slow process. So when you take a CBD pill, the effects last longer than they would if you used a CBD cream or smoked a CBD blunt. That means that you’ll need fewer CBD pills over the course of a day.

So far, we’ve highlighted the many uses and benefits of CBD pills. Now, let’s discuss the side effects.

CBD Pills: Side Effects

Unlike THC, the cannabidiol in CBD pills produces only two side effects.

1) Dry Mouth

CBD suppresses the activity of your saliva glands. This can cause your mouth to feel dry. Thankfully, it’s not a been-through-the-desert-on-a-horse-with-no-name type of dry mouth. Instead, it’s usually just a mild dryness that you can reduce by staying hydrated.

2) Decreased Ability To Metabolize Medication

Cannabidiol and CBD pills can interfere with your liver’s ability to process other medications. This could have unintended consequences if the CBD pills you’re taking aren’t meant to completely replace another medication.

For example, let’s say you’re taking medication for high blood pressure. Then you start taking CBD pills to combat pain and inflammation.

Cannabidiol does not affect blood pressure (other than tempering anxiety), so the CBD pills can’t act as a substitute for your blood pressure medication. So the problem, then, is that the CBD pills essentially negate the effects of your medication without replacing them.

On the other hand, let’s say you’re taking medication for depression. Then you start taking CBD pills to combat pain and inflammation.

Cannabidiol DOES positively affect anxiety and depression, so in this case, it doesn’t matter if the CBD pills negate the effects of your medication.

Regardless of the medications you are currently taking, be sure to consult a doctor before adding CBD pills to your daily routine.

3) Biphasic Properties

This side effect of CBD pills is a bit more complicated than the super-easy-to-understand dry mouth and the OK-that-makes-sense metabolization thing.

So, let’s start by looking at the word itself. If you tease apart the unfamiliar word “biphasic” into its constituent parts, you’ll discover two, more familiar words: bi- and phase (or, at least a part of the word phase).

Bi-, of course, means two. That’s not too difficult. A phase is a distinct period or stage in a series of events or a process of change or development.

Put the two words back together and you discover that biphasic is basically just a fancy term for “two different stages.”

At certain levels, then, CBD provides a certain list of effects (stage one). At other — often higher — levels, CBD provides different effects (stage two).

This biphasic idea may be new to some readers, but it isn’t all that uncommon. Alcohol, for example, is extremely biphasic.

Below a certain blood alcohol content (BAC), alcohol provides a stimulating effect, which is why you feel energized and ready to party when you first start drinking. Above that blood alcohol content, alcohol provides a depressant effect, which is why people tend to pass out after too many shots.

That’s not to say that CBD will act as a stimulant at one dosage level and a depressant at another, but the effects may change as the dosage increases.

It’s worth being aware that the effects of the CBD in your CBD pills may change the more you take, just as it’s worth being aware that you’ll probably experience dry mouth and potential interference with any meds you’re taking.

The more knowledge you have, the better you’ll be able to achieve the best experience every time you down your CBD pills.

Can You Take Too Many CBD Pills?

Cell phone with a picture of a concerned emoji

Technically, it is possible to take too many CBD pills. Having said that, it’s also technically possible to drink too much water…but you’ve really gotta want it in both cases.

We’re not sure about water, but a high dose of CBD tops out in the 50,000-milligram range. That’s 33 tablespoons — a little over two measuring cups — of pure CBD.

You’re not going to get anywhere near that amount in any CBD pill on the market.

To put that in perspective, an average 180-pound male suffering from severe pain only needs to take a single pill of 25 milligrams (⅛ teaspoon) to feel relief. That’s a long, long way from 50,000 milligrams (0.05 percent or five ten-thousandths of the total).

And even then, the “overdose” effects might not be all that bad.

One user took an extremely high dose of CBD and reported little more than an extreme sense of drowsiness (which, for those who’ve suffered from pain, migraines, or extreme anxiety know, would be a welcome side effect anyway).

We’re not saying it’s OK to swallow two cups of CBD, so please don’t read this information as some sort of challenge.

We’re simply saying that you shouldn’t be worried about taking too many CBD pills when you’re first starting out.

CBD Pills Versus Smoking

Close up a lit smoking marijuana blunt in someone's hand

Getting your cannabinoids from CBD pills, or any edible for that matter, is drastically different from smoking it. Even the same strain will feel a bit different depending on how you partake. And it all comes down to onset and duration.

Smoking weed causes an almost immediate onset of effects but tapers off quickly after that.

Think of smoking weed like slamming the accelerator of a 1000-horsepower racecar to the floor. Zero to 100 in four seconds flat is about what it feels like when you’re toking on a strong strain of your favorite weed.

Unfortunately, all that power really eats up the gas, so the thrill or the medication doesn’t last very long.

The effects of smoking a high-CBD/low-THC weed strain trail off rapidly over the course of an hour or so until you’re back to normal contending with anxiety, pain, and nausea.

On the opposite side of the coin, the CBD in CBD pills causes little to no effects for up to an hour. After that, the effects will build for another hour or so and then taper off slowly over the next two to three hours.

Think of ingesting CBD pills like push-starting that 1000-horsepower racecar, accelerating slowly over the course of several miles, and then setting the cruise (do racecars have cruise?) at 55 m.p.h. for a scenic drive through the country.

You might not experience the rush of zero to 100 in four seconds that you get with smoking, but CBD pills give you a much longer, more sustained level of effects.

Bottom line: you’re probably not going to feel anything for a while after you pop your first CBD pill. That’s just the way your body works. Be patient and refrain from taking another one so you don’t create a “bad trip”.

Need more info about CBD pills and weed you eat? Check out this article from the HMJ blog: How Long Do Edibles Last? Everything You Need To Know.

Are CBD Pills Right For You?

Bottle of Hemp Oil Gummies

We get asked this question all the time. While each individual’s needs are different and we can’t speak specifically about your situation, the Honest Marijuana answer is always, “Try them and see.” That’s really the best advice when trying any new consumption method.

One of the best things about CBD pills (or any CBD product, for that matter) is that there really are no downsides to experimentation. It’s very hard to take too much CBD, and the side effects are basically non-existent.

So talk to the budtenders at your local dispensary and see if they can recommend a CBD pill you can try. If for some reason you don’t like getting your CBD that way, you can always switch to another method. That’s the beauty of marijuana — there are more ways than we can count to get your ganja on and relieve whatever is ailing you.

However you decide to get your CBD on — and especially with CBD pills — always choose a product made from the highest-quality cannabis you can afford.

We always recommend headies and beasters for all your joint-smoking, bowl-packing, blunt-rolling, brownie-baking pleasure.

Low-quality bud, such as mids and regs, will produce a low-quality final product. That low-quality final product will diminish any medicinal effects you experience.

When shopping for cannabis products, always opt for the ones made from the highest-quality buds so that the end result doesn’t leave you dissatisfied and downhearted.

And, if possible, choose a strain or product grown organically. You won’t have to worry about heavy metals, pesticides, and other harmful stuff finding their way into your body.

Plus, with a high-quality, organic strain like those grown at Honest Marijuana, you’ll need less of whatever it is that you’re taking to experience the effects you’re after.

A fraction of a CBD pill made with high-quality bud goes a long way.

If you live in Colorado, find some Honest Marijuana and discover what the purest marijuana experience on the plant feels like (hint: it’s like nothing you’ve ever felt before).

For more information on all things cannabis and to check out our 100-percent all-natural marijuana products, visit HonestMarijuana.com today.

The post CBD Pills: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects appeared first on Honest Marijuana.

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