CBD has rapidly become one of the most trendy ingredients in a wide range of consumer products, including oils, tinctures, capsules, gummies and fruit chews, edibles and beverages. If you’re starting or adding to your product line, you’ll want to know about your options and pros and cons of each. For example, different forms of CBD have different levels of bioavailability, which is the ability of CBD to be absorbed in the body, and your target customers may prefer certain delivery methods over others.

Keep in mind that everybody is different. Not only will the consumer experience vary from person to person, but also according to the quality of ingredients in your products. What follows is a general guide to common forms of CBD, and insight as to what consumers may look for in a CBD product.

Oil Drops and Tinctures

Oil drops are not the same as tinctures, although they are often misidentified as such. Oil drops are a blend of CBD with a neutral carrier oil like medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil. Terpenes and other active ingredients (melatonin, curcumin) may also be added. Oil drops are available with or without flavor enhancements.

A tincture is made by steeping CBD-rich hemp plant material in high-proof alcohol. To mask their inherent bitterness, tinctures often contain sweeteners. Both tinctures and oil drops can be highly concentrated and are generally considered to interact more quickly than edibles with the endocannabinoid system.

Research published in the International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences found that products taken sublingually (under the tongue) can be absorbed more quickly into the bloodstream than those taken via the digestive system. CBD oil drops are a desirable option for people who prefer a less processed product, as they often contain fewer ingredients. Consumers can also benefit by applying oil drops directly to their skin. But tinctures are less suitable for topical use, due to their alcohol content.


Capsules may be a preferred form of CBD for people who don’t like the taste of oil drop or tincture preparations. They can be used more discreetly, and are easier to carry in a purse or backpack.

Choose soft gel capsules or dry capsules, depending on your desired production method and your customers’ preferences. Soft gels are normally made of gelatin and CBD oil, and may act faster than dry capsules. Many people find them easier to swallow.

However, soft gels tend to have a shorter shelf life, whereas dry capsules can be stored for longer periods of time and can contain higher doses of CBD. If formulated with a water-soluble powder, they may be even more bioavailable than gel capsules.

Edibles and Drinks

People enjoy having choices when it comes to the CBD products they use. They want to experience variety, fun and novelty, which is why edible CBD products have taken the market by storm. This includes a range of products like gummies, fruit chews and baked goods, which vary in CBD concentration. Edibles like gummies or fruit chews can be customized to taste. Think an appealing range of flavors you can introduce to your customers — and tap into the memories different scents evoke around seasonal holidays.

Ingestibles might not be the most efficient way for people to use CBD if they want immediate absorption, but they are thought to last several hours longer.

Many companies are turning to water-soluble CBD for their formulations. GenCanna’s water-soluble powders are offered in CBD-isolate, full-spectrum and broad-spectrum formulations with a standardized 20% CBD content (200 mg/g). Our CBD isolate is 99% pure crystalline CBD extracted from our proprietary hemp plants. In isolate, by definition, almost all compounds other than CBD have been removed. Full-spectrum means that the product contains CBD, up to 0.3% THC and other naturally occurring compounds and cannabinoids. Broad-spectrum typically contains even less THC but does include other cannabinoids like CBG, CBC, and CBN.

You can add CBD powder to many products, including ready-to-drink beverages, drink mix powders and foods. A typical time of onset for water-soluble powders is around 20 minutes and the effects usually last up to four hours.


Consumers typically use CBD topicals with the goal of supporting the natural relief process from everyday aches; to soothe muscles, joints and certain types of skin irritations. You may have noticed CBD has become a popular ingredient in beauty products, like shampoos and conditioners, skin creams and acne products. In fact, Glamour magazine spoke with a cosmetic dermatologist who explained that CBD could be supportive of various beauty needs. She cited one study (in vitro) from 2014 that showed a promising connection between CBD and the human sebaceous gland after assessing the biological effects of CBD on the lipogenesis of SZ95 sebocytes. It found that CBD prevented lipogenic action of anandamide (AEA),a compound produced by our skin associated with acne, in situ and decreased basal lipogenesis. Researchers recommended further clinical in vivo trials to confirm the connection between CBD and acne.

While research is still new in humans regarding CBD’s bioavailability in topical preparations, there have been some interesting discoveries. For example, one clinical trial found that CBD ointment showed promise in supporting participants with skin conditions like psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Another study points out that topical administration may be ideal for targeting localized issues, although paradoxically, some people may present skin irritation. Consumers should always be informed of potential risks, so it’s best to recommend they try a small amount first and discontinue if they experience signs of irritation. Also, it’s helpful to know that oil-based technology is generally preferred for this delivery method.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to different form factors of CBD. If you’d like to discuss your options with us, we welcome your phone call. Or, reach out to us via the contact form on our website.

©2021 GenCanna, Winchester, KY
Frontiers in Pharmacology – A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans
International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences – Sublingual Mucosa as a Route for Systemic Drug Delivery
American Sleep Association – CBD: For Sleep and Insomnia
CBD Awareness Project – CBD and Bioavailability
Medical News Today – Edibles: How long do they last?
Chemisty & Biodiversity journal – Human Cannabinoid Pharmacokinetics
Project CBD – Best Way To Take CBD
Medical News Today – What’s the Difference Between CBD Isolate and Full-Spectrum CBD?
Clinica Therapeutica – A Therapeutic Effect of CBD-Enriched Ointment in Inflammatory Skin Diseases and Cutaneous Scars
Molecules – Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment
Glamour – I Replaced My Entire Beauty Routine With Only CBD and Hemp Products