Best CBD Capsules and Softgels of 2021

Written by 
Sian Ferguson, CBD and Cannabis Writer.
|Check IconMedically reviewed by 
Eloise Theisen, RN, MSN, AGPCNP-BC.
|Last Updated:
* Leafreport may receive compensation. Here’s how we make money.
* Our review is consumer-focused only and we do not check or take a stand regarding medical effects.
* Statements regarding CBD products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
* Please advise your physician prior to each use of CBD.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many cannabinoids that are found in cannabis and hemp plants. CBD is non-intoxicating — meaning it doesn’t make you feel high — and is instead used for health and wellness reasons.

Although more research is needed before we fully understand the effects of CBD, many people swear by it. Some promising research suggests that CBD can be used for pain, anxiety, and even seizure conditions. With that said, you should consult with a doctor before using any health product, including CBD products.

CBD comes in many different forms, including in the form of CBD oils, edibles, and pre-rolls. One popular delivery system is CBD capsules and softgels. These are used like any other capsule or softgel, which makes it a simple, convenient way to take CBD.

We compared a few CBD capsules and softgels and chose some of the best ones on the market. If you’re not sure which products to try, read on to see our top 10!

How we chose

We chose these products from a list of more than 3000 of different products, spanning over 150 of the most well-known CBD brands. We assessed these products based on price, lab results, hemp quality, transparency, customer service, brand reputation, and other criteria. From here, we chose the top ten CBD capsules and softgels.

For more information on how we choose our products, check out this page. We have also implemented an unbiased ranking system for rating brands and products out of 100 points.

Our articles are written and reviewed by a team of experienced cannabis journalists, doctors, nutritionists, and other health experts.

Our picks

Best Overall — Elixinol

Elixinol Daily Balance Capsules 60ct

Overall Score
Product Review
97out of 100
$64.99 $0.07 mg/CBD
Visit Site
Score Breakdown
Quality Assurance
40/40
Hemp Quality
17/20
Extract Type
20/20
Additional ingredients
10/10
Price
10/10
CBD Amount Score IconTotal CBD 900 mg
Available Bottle Sizes Score IconUnitsNA
Potency Score IconPotency15 mg/ml

Elixinol is a highly reputable brand. Based in Iowa, Elixnol has registered their products with Iowa’s Consumable Hemp Regulatory Program, a program that allows the state to regulate hemp products. Their products are also certified by the US Hemp Authority. Their Daily Balance Capsules are ideal for anyone who wants a simple CBD product without any added ingredients.

 

Quality AssuranceIcon
Quality Assurance
40/40

Third party tests confirm that Elixinol’s CBD capsules are free of contaminants and contain the advertised amount of CBD. Their lab reports can be viewed on their website.

 

Hemp QualityIcon
Hemp Quality
17/20

Elixinol’s CBD is derived from US-grown hemp, which was grown to comply with the USDA’s organic standards. The company’s products are certified by the US Hemp Authority, and all Elixinol’s products are registered with Iowa’s Consumable Hemp Regulatory Program.

 

Extract TypeIcon
Extract Type
20/20

These capsules contain full-spectrum CBD.

 

Additional ingredientsIcon
Additional ingredients
10/10

Other than hemp extract and MCT oil this product has no added extras – which is ideal if you prefer a simple CBD supplement. These capsules are vegan.

 

PriceIcon
Price
10/10

At about $0.07 per miligram of CBD, these capsules are an average price.

Pros Cons
  • Vegan
  • Certified by the US Hemp Authority
  • Registered with Iowa’s Consumable Hemp Regulatory Program
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • No broad-spectrum options for capsules

Best Everyday Product — CBDistillery

CBDistillery Full Spectrum CBD Softgels – 30mg – 60 Count

Overall Score
Product Review
92out of 100
$115 $0.06 mg/CBD
Visit Site
Score Breakdown
Quality Assurance
40/40
Hemp Quality
15/20
Extract Type
20/20
Additional ingredients
7/10
Price
10/10
CBD Amount Score IconTotal CBD 1800 mg
Available Bottle Sizes Score IconUnitsNA
Potency Score IconPotency30 mg/ml

Based in Colorado, CBDistillery is a reputable brand that aims to make high-quality CBD affordable for more people. They have a range of broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD softgels.

 

Quality AssuranceIcon
Quality Assurance
40/40

Third party tests show that CBDistillery’s CBD capsules and softgels are free of contaminants and contain the advertised amount of CBD. Their lab reports can be viewed on their website.

 

Hemp QualityIcon
Hemp Quality
15/20

CBDistillery’s CBD is sourced from organic hemp grown in Colorado. CBDistillery is also certified by the US Hemp Authority certification, which sets strict quality standards for hemp growers.

 

Extract TypeIcon
Extract Type
20/20

CBDistillery offers both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD softgels. Their broad-spectrum CBD products contain no THC at all.

 

Additional ingredientsIcon
Additional ingredients
7/10

As can be expected from full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD, the lab results show that these products also contain small amounts of other cannabinoids. The softgels come in gelatin-based shells.

 

PriceIcon
Price
10/10

At only $0.06 – $0.07 per miligram of CBD, these capsules manage to be affordable without compromising on quality. They also have a generous loyalty program and offer discounts for veterans, EMTs, firefighters, police officers, and active-duty military personnel.

Pros: Cons:
  • Certified by the US Hemp Authority
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Loyalty and discount program
  • Both full-spectrum and broad-specrum options
  • Not suitable for vegans

Best Potency — Lazarus Naturals 

Lazarus Naturals Cycling Frog 200mg Full Spectrum CBD Softgels 25ct

Overall Score
Product Review
95out of 100
$80 $0.02 mg/CBD
Visit Site
Score Breakdown
Quality Assurance
40/40
Hemp Quality
15/20
Extract Type
20/20
Additional ingredients
10/10
Price
10/10
CBD Amount Score IconTotal CBD 5000 mg
Available Bottle Sizes Score IconUnitsNA
Potency Score IconPotency200 mg/ml

A reputable brand based in Oregon, Lazarus Naturals offers the “Cycling Frog” range, which includes high-potency full-spectrum CBD softgels. These are ideal for someone who’s used to using CBD. If it’s your first time using CBD, we’d recommend a far lower dose.

 

Quality AssuranceIcon
Quality Assurance
40/40

Third-party lab reports show that the capsules contain the advertised amount of full-spectrum CBD. The test results are easily available on the website.

 

Hemp QualityIcon
Hemp Quality
15/20

Lazarus Naturals uses pesticide-free, non-GMO, Oregon-grown hemp. Part of their farmland earned USDA Organic Certification in 2020, and they’re planning to have all of their products certified as organic in 2021.

 

Extract TypeIcon
Extract Type
20/20

This product contains full-spectrum CBD.

 

Additional ingredientsIcon
Additional ingredients
10/10

The product only contains hemp extract and coconut oil. The softgel is derived from animal gelatin.

 

PriceIcon
Price
10/10

At first glance, this product might seem expensive – until you consider how much CBD is in each softgel. You’d be paying just over $0.01 to $0.02 per milligram of CBD, making it incredibly good value for money. Lazarus Naturals also offers an assistance program, giving a 60 percent discount to veterans, people on long-term disability, and low-income families.

Pros: Cons:
  • Partly certified organic by the USDA
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Generous assistance program
  • High potency
  • Very good value for money
  • Not suitable for vegans
  • No added beneficial ingredients
  • No broad-spectrum option in this potency level

Best Value For Money — Lazarus Naturals 

This product is great value for money, and it’s also one of Lazarus Naturals’ plant-based options. Each softgel contains 50mg of CBD, although there is also a 25mg option.

 

These products are tested by a third-party lab. The certificates of analysis show that this product contains the advertised amount of full-spectrum CBD. Their lab reports can be viewed on their website.

 

Lazarus Naturals uses pesticide-free, non-GMO, Oregon-grown hemp. Part of their farmland earned USDA Organic Certification in 2020, and they’re planning to have all of their products certified as organic in 2021.

 

This product contains full-spectrum CBD.

 

This product also contains d-Limonene, Myrcene, and β-Caryophyllene – all terpenes that are naturally found in hemp plants. It also contains flaxseed oil and coconut oil.

 

This product works out to between $0.02 and just over $0.03 per miligram of CBD, making it excellent value for money. Lazarus Naturals also offers an assistance program, giving a 60 percent discount to veterans, people on long-term disability, and low-income families.

Pros: Cons:
  • Partly certified organic by the USDA
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Generous assistance program
  • Very good value for money
  • Plant-based
  • None

Best Plant-Based Softgels — Reakiro 

Reakiro CBD Vegan Capsules with Piperine 450 mg

Overall Score
Product Review
93out of 100
€24.99 €0.06 mg/CBD
Visit Site
Score Breakdown
Quality Assurance
33/40
Hemp Quality
20/20
Extract Type
20/20
Additional ingredients
10/10
Price
10/10
CBD Amount Score IconTotal CBD 450 mg
Available Bottle Sizes Score IconBottle Size 30 ml
Potency Score IconPotency15 mg/ml

Reakiro is a reputable European CBD brand that offers a wide range of products. These vegan vegan full-spectrum CBD softgels are encased in a plant-based shell, making them ideal for vegans and vegetarians. The softgels contain added piperine.

 

Quality AssuranceIcon
Quality Assurance
33/40

These softgels have been tested by a third-party lab. The lab reports confirm that their products contain the advertised amount of CBD – however, they don’t test for the presence of harmful contaminants like heavy metals and pesticides. Their lab reports can be viewed on their website.

 

Hemp QualityIcon
Hemp Quality
20/20

Reakiro’s hemp is grown in Europe from EU-certified seeds.

 

Extract TypeIcon
Extract Type
20/20

This product contains full-spectrum CBD.

 

Additional ingredientsIcon
Additional ingredients
10/10

In addition to full-spectrum CBD, these softgels contain piperine, a terpene that is found in hemp plants as well as black pepper. One study compared a CBD supplement with piperine to a CBD supplement without piperine. The subjects who took the piperine supplement seemed to absorb CBD better: with the piperine supplement, the maximum concentration of CBD in the blood was six times higher than with the normal CBD supplement. However, this higher absorbancy can lead to more side effects, so keep this in mind when using a CBD product with piperine.

 

PriceIcon
Price
10/10

Because they’re based in Europe, their prices are in euros. For this product, it works out to about $0.05 per miligram of CBD, making it cheaper than most brands.

Pros: Cons:
  • Grown from EU-certified seeds
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Good value for money
  • Added piperine
  • Plant-based
  • No other plant-based potency options
  • No plant-based broad-spectrum options

Best Product With Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients — Elixinol

Elixinol Omega Turmeric CBD Capsules

Overall Score
Product Review
95out of 100
$69.99 $0.08 mg/CBD
Visit Site
Score Breakdown
Quality Assurance
40/40
Hemp Quality
17/20
Extract Type
20/20
Additional ingredients
10/10
Price
8/10
CBD Amount Score IconTotal CBD 900 mg
Available Bottle Sizes Score IconUnitsNA
Potency Score IconPotency15 mg/ml

These vegan supplements contain turmeric and omega 3 fatty acids. Research suggests that both these ingredients have anti-inflammatory effects, making them great for anyone who wants to boost their overall health.

 

Quality AssuranceIcon
Quality Assurance
40/40

Third party tests confirm that these capsules are free of harmful contaminants and contain the advertised amount of full-spectrum CBD. Their lab reports can be viewed on their website.

 

Hemp QualityIcon
Hemp Quality
17/20

Elixinol’s CBD is derived from US-grown hemp, which was grown to comply with the USDA’s organic standards. The company’s products are certified by the US Hemp Authority, and all Elixinol’s products are registered with Iowa’s Consumable Hemp Regulatory Program.

 

Extract TypeIcon
Extract Type
20/20

These capsules contain full-spectrum CBD.

 

Additional ingredientsIcon
Additional ingredients
10/10

This product contains DHA, an omega 3 fat, as well as turmeric. Both omega 3 and turmeric are used to reduce inflammation. The DHA is derived from algae, making it a plant-based alternative to fish oil omega 3 supplements.

 

PriceIcon
Price
8/10

The price rounds out to nearly $0.08 per capsule, which is a fair price when you consider the added DHA and turmeric extract.

Pros: Cons:
  • Vegan
  • Certified by the US Hemp Authority
  • Registered with Iowa’s Consumable Hemp Regulatory Program
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Added DHA and turmeric
  • No broad-spectrum option

Best Product With Anti-Pain Ingredients — Joy Organics

Joy Organics CBD Softgels With Curcumin

Overall Score
Product Review
83out of 100
$89.95 $0.12 mg/CBD
Visit Site
Score Breakdown
Quality Assurance
34/40
Hemp Quality
15/20
Extract Type
16/20
Additional ingredients
10/10
Price
8/10
CBD Amount Score IconTotal CBD 750 mg
Available Bottle Sizes Score IconUnitsNA
Potency Score IconPotency25 mg/ml

Joy Organics has a range of CBD softgels, including this product, which combines CBD with curcumin. Curcumin, which is found in turmeric, is associated with anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.

 

Quality AssuranceIcon
Quality Assurance
34/40

This product has been tested by an independent lab. The reports show that they contain the advertised amount of broad-spectrum CBD. Their lab reports can be viewed on their website. Joy Organics is a member of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable.

 

Hemp QualityIcon
Hemp Quality
15/20

Joy Organics uses US-grown hemp.

 

Extract TypeIcon
Extract Type
16/20

This product contains broad-spectrum, THC-free CBD.

 

Additional ingredientsIcon
Additional ingredients
10/10

In addition to CBD and other cannabinoids, this product contains curcumin. The shells are gelatin-based.

 

PriceIcon
Price
8/10

This product works out to just over $0.09 per miligram of CBD, which is not bad considering the added curcumin. Joy Organics also offers subscriptions, in which case you’ll get 20 percent off.

Pros: Cons:
  • Board member of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Added curcumin
  • Subscription program
  • Not suitable for vegans
  • No full-spectrum options

Best Product With Energy-Boosting Ingredients — Lazarus Naturals

Lazarus Naturals is a reputable brand that offers a wide range of CBD products. Their energy formula combines CBD with caffeine as well as vitamin B12, a vitamin often used to reduce fatigue. It also contains L-Theanine and rhodiola. This capsule is vegan.

 

Third-party lab reports show that the capsules contain the right amount of CBD, and that it is indeed CBD isolate. These test results are easily available on the website.

 

Their pesticide-free, non-GMO hemp is grown in Oregon. Part of their farmland earned USDA Organic Certification in 2020, and they’re planning to have all of their products certified as organic in 2021.

 

This product includes CBD isolate.

 

In addition to CBD isolate, these capsules contain caffeine, vitamin B12, and rhodiola. Rhodiola is an adaptogen, which means that it’s a herb used to help the body adapt to stress (and some research suggests it could indeed reduce the symptoms of fatigue and stress). The capsules also contain L-Theanine, which is associated with reduced stress and improved focus. The capsule shell is made from vegetable cellulose, and it’s vegan-friendly.

 

The price works out to $0.03 – $0.04 per milligram of CBD. CBD isolate tends to be cheaper than full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD. This price is very fair, especially when you consider the added ingredients. Lazarus Naturals also offers an assistance program, giving a 60 percent discount to veterans, people on long-term disability, and low-income families.

Pros: Cons:
  • Partly certified organic by the USDA
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Generous assistance program
  • Very good value for money
  • Plant-based
  • Added ingredients
  • None

Best Product With Sleep-Promoting Ingredients — Smilyn Wellness

Smilyn CBD Softgels With Melatonin For Sleep

Overall Score
Product Review
89out of 100
$75 $0.1 mg/CBD
Visit Site
Score Breakdown
Quality Assurance
40/40
Hemp Quality
15/20
Extract Type
16/20
Additional ingredients
10/10
Price
8/10
CBD Amount Score IconTotal CBD 750 mg
Available Bottle Sizes Score IconUnitsNA
Potency Score IconPotency25 mg/ml

Our own bodies produce melatonin at night to help us fall asleep. When we need an extra push, melatonin supplements can help us relax and get some shut-eye. Smilyn Wellness, a California-based brand, offers CBD softgels with added melatonin, which are ideal for taking before bedtime.

 

Quality AssuranceIcon
Quality Assurance
40/40

Third-party lab reports confirm that this product contains the advertised amount of CBD. They also confirm that they contain broad-spectrum extract that is free of THC. Their lab reports can be viewed on their website.

 

Hemp QualityIcon
Hemp Quality
15/20

Their hemp is grown in California.

 

Extract TypeIcon
Extract Type
16/20

These capsules contain broad-spectrum THC-free CBD.

 

Additional ingredientsIcon
Additional ingredients
10/10

The softgels contain melatonin, a research-backed sleep supplement. Because they’re broad-spectrum CBD products, they also contain a range of other cannabinoids, as well as beta-caryophyllene, a terpene that’s associated with relaxation and sleep. The shells are gelatin-based.

 

PriceIcon
Price
8/10

The price works out to $0.10 per miligram of CBD, which would be on the pricey side if it weren’t for the added melatonin. Since melatonin supplements are often a bit costly on their own, this price is quite fair. Smilyn also has a referral program.

Pros: Cons:
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Added melatonin
  • Referral program
  • Not suitable for vegans
  • No full-spectrum option

Best Product With Anti-Anxiety Ingredients — Receptra Naturals

Receptra Naturals Serious Rest Gel Capsules 25mg / 30 Gel Caps

Overall Score
Product Review
93out of 100
$69.99 $0.09 mg/CBD
Visit Site
Score Breakdown
Quality Assurance
40/40
Hemp Quality
15/20
Extract Type
20/20
Additional ingredients
10/10
Price
8/10
CBD Amount Score IconTotal CBD 750 mg
Available Bottle Sizes Score IconUnitsNA
Potency Score IconPotency25 mg/ml

Receptra Naturals is a well-known Colorado-based brand. They offer two kinds of CBD softgels: “Serious Rest” and “Seriously Relax”. While the “Relax” capsules are meant to be geared towards calming the mind, the “Rest” capsules contain more soothing additional ingredients. Namely, it contains chamomile, valerian, and linalool – three natural substances that are known to induce sleep and relaxation.

 

Quality AssuranceIcon
Quality Assurance
40/40

Their third-party lab reports show that their products contain the advertised amount of CBD. It also confirms that this is full-spectrum CBD and that the products are free from contaminants. Their lab reports can be viewed on their website.

 

Hemp QualityIcon
Hemp Quality
15/20

Receptra Naturals sources their CBD from Colorado-grown hemp.

 

Extract TypeIcon
Extract Type
20/20

These capsules contain full-spectrum CBD.

 

Additional ingredientsIcon
Additional ingredients
10/10

Receptra Natural’s Serious Rest CBD Capsules also contain chamomile, valerian root, and linalool, all of which are typically used to promote relaxation and sleep. The softgels come in gelatin-based shells.

 

PriceIcon
Price
8/10

At 0.09 per miligram, these are not the cheapest. But considering that the capsules contain additional ingredients, the price is decent. Receptra offers a generous discount to veterans and active duty members.

Pros: Cons:
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Added ingredients
  • Veteran discount program
  • Not suitable for vegans
  • No full-spectrum option

How to choose the best CBD capsules and softgels

Before purchasing CBD capsules and softgels, there are a few things you should consider. This includes:

  • Third-party testing: Only purchase CBD products that have been tested by an independent lab. The lab report, also known as a certificate of analysis (COA), should be accessible on their website. The COA should confirm the amount of CBD in each product, and it should verify that the product contains no harmful contaminants such as molds, pesticides, or heavy metals.
  • Type of CBD: There are three kinds of CBD: isolate, broad spectrum, and full spectrum. Full-spectrum CBD contains all the cannabinoids and terpenes that are found in the plant, and it’s considered more effective. However, if you want to avoid THC, opt for CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD capsules.
  • Added ingredients: Sometimes, you just want a simple CBD product with no bells and whistles. At other times, added ingredients like melatonin (for sleep) or curcumin (for inflammation) might be a bonus.
  • Plant-based: Many CBD capsules and softgels are not vegan or vegetarian as they contain animal-derived gelatin. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, please be aware of this and look specifically for plant-based capsules.
  • Price: Last but not least, it’s important to consider price. Bear in mind that CBD is usually taken as a daily supplement. It’s a good idea to look at the price in relation to the miligrams of CBD in the product – this helps you figure out whether you’re getting value for money.
  • Dosage: The amount of CBD you take may depend on factors like your weight and metabolism. We recommend starting at a low dose and gradually increasing it until you find your ideal dosage. Your dosage will also depend on the severity of your symptoms – so for example, you’ll need more CBD to deal with severe pain than a mild headache.

If you’d like more information on choosing the best CBD products, our detailed guide explains how to find high-quality CBD products from reputable brands.

Safety and side effects

At the moment, research tells us that CBD is safe for human consumption. It’s also not an addictive substance. With that said, some people experience side effects, such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea

CBD may interact with certain medications, especially those with a “grapefruit warning.” This is because CBD and grapefruit both affect the liver in such a way that it changes the way your body processes some medications.

Before using CBD, it’s a great idea to talk to a CBD-friendly clinician. Be sure to tell them about your medical history and the medication you’re currently using. They can advise you on using CBD safely and effectively.

Legality

Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and hemp-derived CBD products are legal to buy and use throughout the United States. This is defined as a product with 0.3% or less THC.

It’s legal to use CBD while driving. However, if you use a full-spectrum product, you may have a detectable amount of THC in your body, which means that you could test positive for cannabis use if you’re pulled over. This is especially important to keep in mind if you’re tested for THC at work and if you live in a state with restrictive cannabis laws.

What the experts say

“While CBD may help address a multitude of symptoms, there are two things to look out for when obtaining a CBD product: It is critical to utilize a reputable brand and identify correct dosing.” says Rebecca Abraham, RN BSN, a Certified Cannabis Nurse and the founder of Acute on Chronic.

Abraham notes that many companies claim that their products contain CBD when they do not. “Only purchase products that provide third-party lab testing results in batches on their final products and are open and transparent about both their ingredients and extraction methods.”

“Those especially new to CBD should consider a cannabis nurse or cannabis support clinician to help determine the right dose and check for drug interactions,” Abrahams adds.

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About The Authors
Sian Ferguson
Sian Ferguson
CBD and Cannabis Writer
Sian Ferguson is a freelance health writer based in Cape Town, South Africa. She has been reporting on CBD and cannabis for over five years. In addition to CBD and cannabis, her work also covers mental health, reproductive health, and social justice. She’s a regular writer for Healthline and PsychCentral, and has been published in The Washington Post, Complex, Greatist, HealthyWay, and more. She’s passionate about making empathetic, science-based health information accessible to more people.
Eloise Theisen
Eloise Theisen
RN, MSN, AGPCNP-BC
Eloise Theisen is a board certified Adult Geriatric Nurse Practitioner who specializes in cannabis therapy. For over 20 years, Eloise has worked primarily with cancer, dementia and chronic pain patients. In the last 6 years, Eloise has focused her efforts on cannabinoid therapies. Eloise has worked with over 6500 patients to help them effectively treat age-related and chronic illness with cannabis.
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