The Complete Guide to Cannabis Pills and Capsules

Everything you need to know about using marijuana in pill form - plus our list of the best cannabis and CBD pills.


What if it were possible to achieve the health and recreational benefits of cannabis and CBD without the use of messy oils, bitter tinctures, unhealthy edibles, or having to prepare and smoke pungent flower? Cannabis pills are a simple yet revolutionary way to discreetly reap the benefits of medical and recreational marijuana without any extra fuss. Read on to discover why cannabis pills are rapidly gaining popularity, what makes them an ideal dosing method, and how to find the right cannabis pill formulation for you.

What are Cannabis PIlls?

Cannabis pills are quite possibly the easiest, most discreet, and most precise way to consume cannabis. Just like vitamins or conventional pharmaceutical pills, marijuana pills precisely dosed are quick and easy to take. Available in different formulations, ranging from pure encapsulated flower to oil-based softgels, cannabis pills can be found in various THC:CBD ratios, as well as simple cannabinoid isolates (including THC, CBD, and lesser-known cannabinoids such as CBG and CBN). Some cannabis and CBD pills also contain botanical adaptogens or other ingredients that act synergistically with cannabis, enhancing its effects.

Types of Cannabis Pills

  • Gelcaps or Softgels – Cannabis or CBD softgels (also called gelcaps) consist of a clear, relatively soft, dissolvable gelatin (or vegan alternative) outer shell filled with pure cannabis/CBD oil or a distillate suspended in a carrier oil. The MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oils typically used in these suspensions aid the body’s absorption of cannabis compounds, making softgels feel more potent than other cannabis pills.
  • Flower Capsules – Flower capsules are comprised of a hard, two-piece digestible shell filled with decarboxylated cannabis or hemp flower. Decarboxylation is the process of heating flower to convert compounds like THCA and CBDA into accessible THC and CBD. A major benefit of flower capsules is the synergistic “entourage effect,” in which whole-plant compounds work together, enhancing one another’s qualities.
  • Tablets – Solid, stable, and small, cannabis tablets are infused with crystalline cannabinoids and other ingredients, tightly compressed within a thin protective coating. Tablets are often cheaper, with a longer shelf life than capsules, and they can be cut into smaller pieces for smaller doses. However, cannabis tablets can be slightly harder to swallow than capsules and may impart a mild aftertaste.

Benefits of Cannabis Pills

  • Precise Dosage – One of the biggest benefits of cannabis pills is that they are precisely dosed, leaving no question as to how much cannabis or CBD you’re ingesting.
  • Convenient – With no messy oils or flower to manage, and no dropper or smoking paraphernalia required, pills are the easiest and cleanest way to consume cannabis. All you need is a sip of water to wash it down.
  • Discreet – Cannabis pills are the most discreet dosing option out there. Not only are they small, portable, and odor-free, but they are easy to pass off as simple vitamins or conventional medicines in front of nosy bystanders.
  • Alternative to smoking, vaping, edibles, and tinctures – Cannabis pills are a flavorless alternative to bitter-tasting tinctures and are free of the sugar and other indulgent ingredients present in most edibles. Pills are also an ideal alternative for people with lung conditions that make smoking or vaping difficult, as well as those wanting to avoid the tell-tale smell of weed.
  • Long-lasting effects – Cannabis pills take a little while to kick in, but once they do, they stay in your system for up to eight hours, delivering effects that can last twice as long as smoking or vaping.

Who Are Cannabis Capsules For?

Cannabis pills are an excellent way for anyone (of legal age) to discreetly dose cannabis or CBD. Cannabis and CBD pills have a wide variety of uses and applications, including pain relief, achieving a better night’s sleep, stress and anxiety relief, boosting energy, appetite regulation, or even enjoying a recreational high. People who prefer not to smoke, vape, or eat cannabis can achieve all of its benefits in one simple swallow.

How to Use Cannabis Capsules

Since cannabis pills are broken down in the digestive system, they deliver a strikingly similar experience to edibles. Cannabis capsules typically take between 30-120 minutes to kick in. While they don’t provide the near-instant effects felt with smoking or vaping, the effects of cannabis pills can last for up to eight hours. However, users can expect the effects to gradually taper off after a peak is reached (typically within the first few hours).

Always follow the manufacturer’s recommended dosing guidelines. When in doubt, start small – especially if you are new to edible cannabis. You can always take another pill later if you want a stronger high or heavier pain relief. But once you’ve taken too much, there is no choice but to ride out the high (with THC pills), or succumb to the grogginess (with CBD pills) – and with cannabis capsules, these effects can last for hours.

How to Store Cannabis Capsules

To keep cannabis pills of all types fresh and potent for as long as possible, always store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Heat, sunlight, and exposure to oxygen can accelerate the degradation of THC and other cannabinoids, potentially lowering their potency. And, of course, always store cannabis pills well out of the sight and reach of children and pets.

How to Shop for Cannabis Pills

Desired Effects

Not all cannabis and CBD pills will have the same effects on any given user. Consider your current cannabinoid tolerance, the strength of results you’re looking for (i.e. treating significant chronic pain or PTSD-related insomnia vs. taking the edge off of mild social anxiety), and whether you prefer using tablets, capsules, or softgels. If you’re new to cannabis pills, dispensary staff or a qualified medical marijuana physician can help you figure out where to start.

Trusted Sources

Only buy cannabis or CBD pills from licensed dispensaries and other reputable retailers. No-name CBD or marijuana pills from a local convenience store or smoke shop are unlikely to be made with high-quality cannabis and may also contain unhealthy additives.

High-Quality Ingredients

With so many high-grade options on today’s market, there’s no reason to settle for subpar weed pills. Look for brands formulated from organic, sustainably-grown cannabis or hemp that are third-party lab tested for potency and purity – ensuring the absence of heavy metals, pesticides, mold, or other contaminants in your cannabis capsules. For those who prefer or require them, many brands produce gluten-free and vegan cannabis softgels and capsules.

Positive Reviews

Always seek out cannabis tablets or capsules backed by ample positive reviews. You can find these shared online by fellow consumers or from other trusted cannabis resources (like us!). To start your search, see our list below of the best cannabis and CBD pills on today’s market, all from high-quality brands we trust.

Our Favorite Cannabis and CBD Pills

The Best Cannabis Pills

1906 New Highs

The fast-acting collection of cannabis drops from 1906 New Highs combines low-dose pairings of THC and CBD with other medicinal and adaptogenic botanicals to create amazing targeted effects. Whether you’re looking for energy, focus, social lubricant, arousal, stress relief, or deep sleep, 1906 New Highs’ Go, Genius, Bliss, Love, Chill, and Midnight cannabis drops deliver effective results. In addition to crafting high-grade edibles and CBD:THC pills, Colorado-based 1906 New Highs is dedicated to furthering legalization and social justice efforts. 1906 New Highs drops are currently available in dispensaries in eight US states.

The Best CBD Pills

Premium Jane

Premium Jane’s doctor-endorsed, full-spectrum CBD gelcaps are among the very best CBD pills for anxiety, sleep, and stress relief. Each tasteless, odorless capsule contains a powerful 40 mg CBD. Premium Jane’s CBD capsules are GMO-free, made with organic, US-grown hemp, wrapped in a gluten-free casing, and lab-tested to ensure quality. Premium Jane is based in Scottsdale, Arizona, with products available online and at specialty stores throughout the US.

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