The latest scientific findings have shown that taking the active ingredient cannabidiol, CBD for short, can have numerous positive effects on the body. CBD, like THC, is extracted from the female hemp plant. Unlike THC, however, CBD does not have an intoxicating effect on the body, but a calming and pain-relieving effect.
In this article we will bring you up to date with the latest science: Can taking CBD tablets really help you? How do you dose CBD tablets correctly? Which diseases could really be successfully treated with CBD? The answer to these questions and other advantages and disadvantages of taking CBD tablets can be found in our big CBD tablet test 2021.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best CBD Tablets: Our Picks
- 4 Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to evaluate and compare CBD tablets
- 5 Guide: Questions you should deal with before buying
- 5.1 What are CBD tablets?
- 5.2 How do CBD tablets affect the body?
- 5.3 When and for whom is it useful to take CBD?
- 5.4 How quickly do CBD tablets work?
- 5.5 Is CBD dangerous and does taking it have side effects or long-term effects?
- 5.6 How do I dose CBD tablets?
- 5.7 When and for how long do CBD tablets work?
- 5.8 What is the alternative to CBD tablets?
- 5.9 What is the shelf life of CBD tablets?
- 5.10 Are CBD tablets available for animals?
- Cannabidiol (CBD) is extracted from the female hemp plant. Scientists became aware of the active ingredient after it turned out that children with epilepsy can be successfully treated with CBD.
- Currently, numerous studies are investigating the effect of CBD on the body. Many studies have already found pain-relieving, relaxing and anti-inflammatory effects in the body through the intake of CBD.
- The dosage plays an important role when taking CBD. Interactions with other medicines and long-term effects of CBD intake are still very unexplored. The science on the active ingredient cannabidiol is still in its infancy.
The Best CBD Tablets: Our Picks
Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to evaluate and compare CBD tablets
When buying CBD tablets, you should pay attention to the following criteria:
- Base oil used
- Residual THC in the product
- Quality label
- Manufacturing process and ingredients
CBD tablets are available in different dosages. There is no standard dosage recommendation. How high your CBD dosage should be depends on your body weight, your metabolism and the application, i.e. in which area the intake should help you and have an effect.
It is recommended to start with products that can be dosed precisely and individually in order to accustom the body to the effect of CBD.
In the beginning, we recommend starting with a low dosage and gradually increasing the amount of CBD until you achieve the desired effect. Once this occurs, you should not increase the dosage any further.
The CBD content and therefore the CBD concentration can vary from product to product. We recommend that you use low to medium concentrations and if you want a higher dose, simply take more tablets per day.
Base oil used
The carrier oil used for the CBD tablets can also have an effect on the product. You should look to see if vegetable oils, such as olive or hemp oil, were used in the manufacturing process.
Residual THC in the product
It is possible that CBD products contain a residual amount of THC.
The THC content in the product is harmless as long as it is below 0.2%.
Therefore, when buying CBD, make sure that a THC content of less than 0.2% is indicated on the packaging. The THC content must not be higher than this in order to be considered non-intoxicating.
Taking cannabidiol (CBD) is associated with very few side effects. However, there is a potential health risk from poor quality CBD products, which may be contaminated with chemicals. CBD tablets are available in different qualities.
For the consumer, it is difficult to see which product can be classified as trustworthy. A study by Arge Canna in 2017 showed that manufacturers' claims regarding the CBD content of their products cannot always be trusted. (27)
Therefore, we recommend that you look for quality and organic labels. If you go for organic products, you make sure that your product is not contaminated with pesticides.
If you are not sure about the quality and ingredients, you can look for the quality labels AC Drops and Leafly.
Quality is also strongly related to origin.
In Germany, for example, the requirements for the production of CBD tablets are relatively strict. Therefore, you can assume that the German products are of good quality.
Manufacturing process and ingredients
In order to buy high-quality and pure products, you should inform yourself about the manufacturing process of your CBD tablets.
The highest quality CBD products are produced by the so-called "supercritical CO2 extraction". In addition, the process of extraction through alcoholic solutions provides excellent results.
A reputable supplier will list the exact ratio of CBD and CBDA on the product. Science is not yet in agreement about the effect of the two substances.
So far, scientific studies have almost exclusively investigated the substance CBD and not its chemical precursor CBDA.
In a study from 2013, it was found that CBDA showed a significantly greater effect in inhibiting vomiting in shrews and nausea in rats compared to CBD. (28)
Research into breast cancer and CBDA is also still underdeveloped. A very successful scientist in the field of cannabinoid research, Dr Sean McAllister, found that the active ingredients CBD and THC appear to inhibit and kill cancer cells.
He also noted that CBDA had insignificant effects compared to CBD in the cell viability assay with several types of cancer, which is why there has never been much interest in the molecule CBDA in research.
The following video also explains the differences between CBD and CBDA:
In his published study "Antitumour Activity of Plant Cannabinoids with Emphasis on the Effect of Cannabidiol on Human Breast Carcinoma", he found that CBD was the most potent of all cannabinoids in fighting breast cancer, whereas CBDA proved to be the least potent. (11)
So, in summary, CBDA has different qualities compared to CBD.
In tendency, the substance CBD can be considered more valuable. However, CBDA is believed to have much stronger anti-inflammatory properties compared to CBD and can enhance the effect of CBD.
We therefore advise you to buy products where the manufacturer precisely lists the CBD and CBDA content in the product. The higher the CBD content in the product, the higher the quality of the CBD tablets.
Guide: Questions you should deal with before buying
What are CBD tablets?
The term CBD tablets can be misleading under certain circumstances, because CBD tablets are usually capsules filled with CBD oil. This is why CBD tablets are also known as CBD capsules.
CBD is found in the hemp plant almost exclusively in the form of CBDA, the chemical "precursor" of cannabidiol (CBD). The "A" stands for Acid, which means acid in English.
To convert CBDA to CBD, it needs heat, light and time. The process of converting CBDA to CBD is also called decarboxylation. Read more about CBD and CBDA in the buying criteria section.
How do CBD tablets affect the body?
Taking CBD does not make you addicted. The substance CBD is therefore suitable for continuous use. (2)
In various studies, numerous benefits of the active ingredient CBD on the body have been determined. Symptoms of numerous diseases could be successfully treated or improved by taking CBD. In the study "Effectiveness of cannabidiol: Clinical studies with cannabidiol and extracts containing cannabidiol", the latest scientific results were compiled. (1)
When and for whom is it useful to take CBD?
Scientists became aware of the active ingredient CBD because taking it could help children with previously therapy-resistant epilepsy (Dravet syndrome). (3)
Reduction of anxiety
A reduction in anxiety was observed with the intake of CBD:
In a placebo-controlled double-blind study (This means that neither test subjects nor the persons administering CBD to patients knew about the purpose of the study) with 10 patients suffering from social anxiety disorder, a significant reduction in anxiety was shown.
A possible therapeutic benefit of CBD for anxiety disorders was concluded. (4)
24 patients with social anxiety disorder were treated with 600 mg CBD or placebo in a double-blind study:
CBD showed significant improvement in subjective ratings of anxiety and cognitive impairment. (5)
An anxiety-reducing effect of CBD was also demonstrated in the 2019 study "Anxiolytic Effects of Repeated Cannabidiol Treatment in Teenagers With Social Anxiety Disorders". The effects of CBD in the group treated with CBD oil (300mg) were as great as when using the pharmaceutical drug "Paroxetine". (6)
The effect of CBD on pain was already investigated in studies from 2003 and 2004:
A study with 34 people suffering from chronic pain concluded that THC and the combination of THC and CBD showed a significant improvement in pain compared to placebo. CBD alone, on the other hand, did not. (7)
The test subjects were administered either THC, CBD, a 1:1 mixture of the two substances or a placebo. The dosages of the substances ranged from 2.5 to 120 mg per day.
A significant improvement in pain was observed for both THC and CBD, but for CBD this was only based on the results of 12 patients. (8)
In a double-blind study from 2013 with 24 smokers, CBD was tested against placebo. Taking CBD reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by about 40 % within one week. (9)
Taking CBD in the right dosage helped patients sleep longer and deeper in one study.
The subjects were given either 40 mg, 80 mg or 160 mg of CBD or a placebo. Taking 160 mg of CBD showed a significant increase in sleep duration. In contrast, 40 mg, 80 mg and the placebo did not show any corresponding effect. (10)
In 2006, studies showed that CBD has an inhibiting and killing effect on breast cancer and cervical cancer cells.
In colorectal cancer and leukaemia, cancer cells could also be killed with the treatment of CBD. (11)
In addition, brain tumours could be inhibited with the intake of CBD. This is shown by the study "Cannabidiol rather than Cannabis sativa extracts inhibit cell growth and induce apoptosis in cervical cancer cells" from 2016 (12)
These findings were confirmed in the article "Cannabinoids in cancer treatment: Therapeutic potential and legislation" published in 2019.
It states that cancer models show that cannabinoids can effectively combat tumour growth. However, this effect seems to be largely dependent on the type of cancer and the drug dose and concentration. (13)
The body's own production of dopamine could be promoted with the intake of CBD.
Studies on animals have shown that CBD treatment is more effective against depression than commercially available pharmaceutical drugs. (14)
CBD for skin diseases and as an anti-aging agent
The endocannabinoid system takes over various regulatory tasks in skin metabolism and influences the growth and cell death of skin cells. It is also responsible for the production of sebum and hormones. A malfunction of this system is discussed by scientists as the cause of skin diseases such as acne, neurodermatitis, psoriasis, tumours of the skin and various forms of itching.
The intake of CBD can be helpful for these skin diseases. The active ingredient has an anti-inflammatory effect and regulates the formation of skin lipids. (15)
A study from October 2016 found that CBD could reduce the autoimmune inflammatory processes in type 1 diabetes. (16)
The 2014 study "Effects of Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Patients With Parkinson's Disease: An Exploratory Double-Blind Trial" concluded that CBD can improve the quality of life of Parkinson's patients.
However, further studies with larger samples and specific targets are needed before definitive conclusions can be drawn. (17)
Studies show that CBD can also be used successfully in the treatment of schizophrenia. (18)
As current Alzheimer's treatments do not stop the progression of the disease, new, effective therapies are needed. Therefore, the possible benefit of CBD in Alzheimer's disease is intensively discussed, as CBD shows anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and nerve cell-protective properties.
In studies with rodents, CBD was already able to counteract the development of cognitive deficits. CBD and THC in combination showed a possibly greater therapeutic benefit in studies. However, further studies are also necessary in this field. (19)
A scientific article from 2020 concluded that CBD has regulatory properties on the immune system. These could be helpful in autoimmune diseases such as hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's disease). (20)
Further scientific findings
In spring 2020, a study was published by the New Zealand cannabis specialist Graham Gulbransen, which again showed the multiple uses of CBD. The study evaluated the subjective improvements of 400 CBD patients.
Four different groups were treated with CBD:
- Patients with pain (rheumatism, fibromyalgia, migraine and chronic inflammatory bowel diseases)
- Patients with cancer-related complaints in the form of nausea, pain or stress
- Patients with psychological problems (anxiety and depression)
- Patients with neurological diseases in the form of multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, neuropathies or Parkinson's disease.
Of the 400 patients treated, 250 were very satisfied with the results of CBD therapy: they experienced a significant improvement in various types of pain, anxiety, sleep disorders and depression.
However, no significant improvement was recorded in patients with neurological diseases. The study used different dosages: from low dosages of 40 mg CBD per day to high dosages of up to 400 mg per day.
The different dosages could have been a reason why CBD therapy could not show the desired effect in some patients. (21)
How quickly do CBD tablets work?
This means that the tablet must first be digested and absorbed by the bloodstream. Every body needs a different amount of time for this. Therefore, twenty minutes to two hours can pass before the CBD shows its effect.
Is CBD dangerous and does taking it have side effects or long-term effects?
In some studies, patients were examined for side effects. These seem to be fairly minor, but the long-term effects of CBD use have not yet been sufficiently researched. Special care should also be taken when taking cannabidiol in combination with other medications, as interactions may occur. (6)
Taking CBD increases the sedative effect of other medications. You should also inform your doctor if you are taking other medicines with potential liver toxicity. (1)
CBD may interact with the following medications:
- Pantoprazole and omneprazole (acid inhibitors)
- Marcumar and warfarin (anticoagulants)
- Diclofenac (painkillers)
- Risperidone, haloperidol and clobazam (neuroleptics)
But interactions are also possible with other medicines:
Calcium antagonists and beta blockers, which are used for high blood pressure, heart disease or cardiac arrhythmias. Antihistamines, which are used to treat allergic diseases, antidepressants and medicines prescribed to lower cholesterol levels. Other interactions of CBD with medicines are known. (22)
Therefore, we advise you to take CBD only after consulting your doctor if you are already taking other medicines.
CBD can also have an adverse effect on the normal function of the placenta. We therefore advise you to take CBD during pregnancy only after consulting your doctor. (23)
If you suffer from weight loss or loss of appetite, you should also discuss taking CBD tablets with your doctor. While THC can increase appetite, CBD can have an appetite suppressant effect. (24)
Based on the latest and largest controlled CBD study, the following side effects were observed very frequently at a dosage of 20 mg CBD per body weight: Vomiting, fatigue, fever, upper respiratory infections, decreased appetite, cramps, lethargy, drowsiness and diarrhoea. However, you can breathe a sigh of relief: 20 mg/kg body weight is a very high dose of CBD that is never used in everyday life. (1)
A meeting of the "World Health Organization" (WHC) came to the conclusion that adults should not have any restrictions when taking CBD for a longer period of time. However, this has not yet been proven with sufficient certainty.
Long-term CBD consumption by children has not yet been researched.
It is conceivable that the intake of CBD in children could influence the development of the central nervous system. (2)
In the next section, we will bring you up to date with the latest scientific findings on the correct dosage of CBD products.
How do I dose CBD tablets?
When subjects took 100 mg of CBD, no positive effect was noted; when they took 300 mg, a positive effect was noted (for example, a person with anxiety was able to give a speech in front of a small audience); and when they took 900 mg, the effect disappeared again. (25)
According to the latest scientific findings, the dosage of the active substance CBD seems to play a major role in the intake of CBD. This is a major limitation for private intake.
The doses used in everyday life are significantly lower than the amounts that were examined in studies and helped to achieve a positive effect (studies that led to positive results used a dose of about 300 mg CBD per day).
Lower doses, as used in everyday life, have not yet been sufficiently researched. We therefore do not know whether a low dose can also produce the desired effect.
In general, we recommend the following procedure when starting to take CBD: You should increase the dosage slowly and adjust it to your individual body weight and metabolism. You can divide the daily dose into two doses (morning and evening). (1)
When and for how long do CBD tablets work?
CBD is a very young topic for research. Therefore, it has not yet been sufficiently investigated whether the positive effects achieved by taking CBD could have a lasting effect on the body, or whether they are only limited to the period of intake. (1)
What is the alternative to CBD tablets?
In general, CBD in all dosage forms is easily digestible and has a high bioavailability. The different dosage forms come with advantages and disadvantages. Below we have summarised an overview of CBD oil and CBD tablets:
When you take CBD as an oil, the active ingredient passes more quickly into your body. If you also have a problem swallowing capsules or tablets, taking it as oil is better for you.
CBD oil is distributed in precisely defined quantities on equally sized capsules. The user can therefore not make any mistakes when dosing CBD tablets. In addition, you can take the capsules at any time, even on the go, simply with a sip of water.
Some people find the taste of CBD oil unpleasant. Since the tablets are swallowed directly and only dissolve in the stomach, the unpleasant taste experience of taking tablets is eliminated.
What is the shelf life of CBD tablets?
If you store your product unopened, the storage has a big influence on the shelf life of your CBD tablets. We recommend that you always store your product in a cool place away from light.
Are CBD tablets available for animals?
The meeting of the World Health Organization's Expert Committee on Drug Dependence concluded that cannabidiol (CBD) is well tolerated by humans and animals according to the study results so far. (2)
Image source: Budnyi/ 123rf.com
"Wirksamkeit von Cannabidiol: Klinische Studien mit Cannabidiol und Cannabidiol-haltigen Extrakten"
Report der Tagung des Expertenkomitees für Drogenabhängigkeit der Weltgesundheitsorganisation (WHO)
"Trial of Cannabidiol for Drug-Resistant Seizures in the Dravet Syndrome"
"Neural Basis of Anxiolytic Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder: A Preliminary Report"
"Cannabidiol Reduces the Anxiety Induced by Simulated Public Speaking in Treatment-Naïve Social Phobia Patients"
"Anxiolytic Effects of Repeated Cannabidiol Treatment in Teenagers With Social Anxiety Disorders"
"A Preliminary Controlled Study to Determine Whether Whole-Plant Cannabis Extracts Can Improve Intractable Neurogenic Symptoms"
"Initial Experiences With Medicinal Extracts of Cannabis for Chronic Pain: Results From 34 'N of 1' Studies"
"Cannabidiol Reduces Cigarette Consumption in Tobacco Smokers: Preliminary Findings"
"Hypnotic and Antiepileptic Effects of Cannabidiol"
"Antitumor Activity of Plant Cannabinoids With Emphasis on the Effect of Cannabidiol on Human Breast Carcinoma"
"Cannabidiol rather than Cannabis sativa extracts inhibit cell growth and induce apoptosis in cervical cancer cells"
"Cannabinoids in cancer treatment: Therapeutic potential and legislation"
"Translational Investigation of the Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD): Toward a New Age"
"The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities"
"Experimental cannabidiol treatment reduces early pancreatic inflammation in type 1 diabetes"
"Effects of Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Patients With Parkinson's Disease: An Exploratory Double-Blind Trial"
"Cannabidiol Enhances Anandamide Signaling and Alleviates Psychotic Symptoms of Schizophrenia"
"In vivo Evidence for Therapeutic Properties of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Alzheimer's Disease"
"Immune Responses Regulated by Cannabidiol"
"Cannabidiol prescription in clinical practice: an audit on the first 400 patients in New Zealand"
"Medical Cannabis: Adverse Effects and Drug Interactions"
"Cannabidiol changes P-gp and BCRP expression in trophoblast cell lines"
"CB1 cannabinoid receptor-mediated modulation of food intake in mice"
"Inverted U-Shaped Dose-Response Curve of the Anxiolytic Effect of Cannabidiol During Public Speaking in Real Life"
"Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs"
"EU-CBD-Markt: ARGE CANNA veröffentlicht 30+ Analysen"
"Cannabidiolic acid prevents vomiting in Suncus murinus and nausea-induced behaviour in rats by enhancing 5-HT1A receptor activation"