Copaiba vs CBD: Which is the Better Plant Medicine?

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It’s pretty tricky to live in today’s society and not have heard about the wonders of CBD oil. Tales of this miracle oil claim it can help a wide range of conditions and say that it is the ultimate natural remedy!

But a natural remedy you might not have heard of is Copaiba oil. Despite being used in indiginous communities for thousands of years, this oil is only just gaining popularity in wider society.

Advocates for Copaiba oil say that it is the new CBD oil - but is this true? We’re putting it to the test with the ultimate Copaiba VS CBD debate. Which one do you think will come out on top?

This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read my full disclosure.

What is CBD?

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in marijuana and hemp, that act on cannabinoid receptors in our body (otherwise known as CB1 and CB2) resulting in varying effects.

CBD, or Cannabidiol, is one such cannabinoid that is found in cannabis and hemp. Despite coming from the plant known for getting you high, CBD is a cannabinoid that is not psychoactive

Are CBD and THC one in the same?

CBD is not to be confused with Tetra-Hydro-Cannabidiol (THC), the main cannabinoid in cannabis known for producing psychoactive effects. Although THC has benefits of its own, it is illegal in many places, or only available in extreme medical circumstances.

For CBD products to be legal in many places, they have to be tested for THC and be under a certain level. Some CBD companies, such as Joy Organics, will take extra measures to remove all traces of THC completely.

What is CBD oil?

Despite its name, CBD oil is not pure CBD in oil form. Are you confused yet?

CBD oil is actually a CBD rich product that is produced in one of two ways:

  1. 1
    By mixing CBD isolate (pure CBD) with a carrier oil such as grapeseed oil or coconut oil
  2. 2
    By extracting oil from the cannabis or hemp plant and removing THC

Either method is an effective way to produce a consumable product high in beneficial Cannabidiol, but the second method has the added benefit of containing other compounds that work together for the benefit of our health. This is known as the entourage effect - more on this shortly!

bottle of cbd oil on marijuana leaves

Benefits of CBD oil

High strength CBD oil has many beneficial effects, which is why products containing it are becoming more and more popular within our society.

Some of these amazing benefits include:

Related: ​8 Herbal Remedies for Anxiety Relief​​​

How does CBD oil work?

As previously mentioned, our body has its own endocannabinoid system, meaning that we have receptors in place for cannabinoids like CBD and THC. 

Why? Because our body actually creates its own cannabinoid compounds! One such cannabinoid is Anandamide, which plays an important role in functions such as memory, appetite, motivation and our reproductive system. 

(Fun fact: Ananda is actually the Sanskrit word for bliss!)

Research has suggested that shortages of endocannabinoids such as Anandamide could be the cause of conditions such as fibromyalgia, IBS and migraines. So it makes sense that supplementing with other cannabinoids would help these conditions!

But what about CBD oil, specifically?

CB2 receptors

Unlike THC, which binds to CB1 receptors primarily found in the brain and nervous system, CBD mainly works with CB2. These receptors are found in the immune system and the gastrointestinal system, hence why supplementing with CBD has such great effects in these two areas!

But this isn't the only way in which CBD works... among many other ways, this complex cannabinoid also activates the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, increasing the effects of the happy hormone. It also interacts with GABA receptors, which are known for producing calming effects in the brain!

The Entourage Effect

Although named CBD oil, it wouldn’t be fair to let CBD take all the credit.

Remember the entourage effect? As I touched on earlier, broad spectrum CBD oils containing high levels of CBD (such as those from Joy Organics) are beneficial because they contain a whole range of other phytocannabinoids and terpenes that work together in harmony!

In actual fact, CBD isolate isn’t really what you want. While CBD is a wonderful compound, by isolating it you’re missing out on all the other magical components of the marijuana or hemp plant!

How to take CBD oil

There are a few different ways of taking CBD oil. How you take it is mainly a matter of preference, though each product will come in varying degrees of strength.

Tinctures and sprays

This is my personal favourite method of consumption because it is the easiest to incorporate into my routine. 

Tinctures usually come in dropper bottles, which you drop under your tongue for fast absorption. You may also choose to drop it into tea or coffee for an easy way to consume. Some companies will provide bottles with a spray nozzle if this is your preference!

joy organics premium hemp tinctures

These premium hemp tinctures from Joy Organics contain high quality, organic, broad spectrum hemp oil so you can rest assured that you’re gaining a wide range of benefits from the hemp plant, minus the THC

They also come in mint, orange and lemon flavour so there is plenty to choose from if you’re not a fan of the natural taste of CBD oil! Taste aside, the added terpenes from the addition of these essential oils actually adds to the entourage effect - win win!


CBD gummies are a fun and easy way to consume the cannabinoid. They’re great for kids but also perfectly discreet if you happen to be self conscious about consuming CBD in public!

But with more and more gummies coming onto the market, how do you know which ones are the real deal?

Joy Organics CBD gummies contain a combination of phytocannabinoid rich hemp oil and CBD isolate to make a tasty and potent sweet!

And unlike some other brands, you don’t have to worry about any nasty sugars or additives. Joy’s gummies only contain 8 natural ingredients, they’re sweetened with stevia and they’re gluten free and vegan!

joy organics premium hemp gummies


Another efficient way to consume CBD oil is in supplement form, whether this be capsules or softgels. 

This is a good alternative if you’re really not a fan of the CBD taste. It is also easy to incorporate into any existing supplement routines you may have.

It is worth noting however that many supplements on the market aren’t vegan due to capsules or softgels containing gelatine. If this is a priority for you then make sure to check the ingredients to ensure that no animal ingredients are used.

My personal favourite vegan CBD supplements are these vegan friendly capsules from LoveCBD. They contain a diverse cocktail of cannabinoids and terpenes for the full entourage effect! It is worth noting however that they contain trace amounts of THC, so be sure to check the laws where you live!


With the fastest absorption rate of any CBD method, vaping is the perfect option for anybody who needs quick relief. This makes it ideal for sufferers or anxiety, panic attacks and flare ups of pain!

Vaping might also be a preferable choice for anybody who smokes marijuana but wishes to cut down or switch to healthier alternatives.

joy organics CBD vape pen

This vape pen from Joy Organics is a great option because of its phytocannabinoid rich hemp oil and high concentration of CBD. It has a very mild citrus flavour and leaves no odour on the breath or the air after exhaling! Another plus is that its rechargeable so you don’t have to worry about repurchasing batteries!


When used topically, CBD oil can be perfect for skin conditions such as acne, rosacea and sensitive skin. It also contains powerful antioxidants that help fight the signs of aging! Who doesn’t want that?!

Joy Organics have a whole entire range of skincare products that contain premium grade CBD. Whether you’re looking for a high quality CBD day cream, night cream, eye serum, face serum or face mask… they’ve got you covered!

joy organics CBD skincare range

Or if joint and muscle pain is your problem, CBD salve could solve that too!

Potential side effects of CBD

Although CBD has a favourable safety profile and side effects from CBD oil are rare, it’s worth noting that previous research has revealed the following complaints:

  • Anxiety
  • Appetite changes
  • Mood changes
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
what is copaiba oil graphic

What is Copaiba oil?

Copaiba is an essential oil derived from Copaifera tree, also known as the diesel tree. This tree is native to South America and has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. 

The oil is extracted from the sap of bark from the tree to create a highly concentrated essential oil with medicinal properties.

Benefits of Copaiba oil

Those who use copaiba oil may vouch for its benefits. Such benefits include:

Other claims include:

  • Treating infections
  • Helping with fungal infections
  • Improving mood

How does Copaiba work?

So how does Copaiba oil work it's magic?

Beta-caryophyllene (BCP)

The main component that gives copaiba its beneficial effects is Beta-Caryophyllene (we’ll stick with BCP for short…)

Despite claims from copaiba oil advocates, BCP is not a cannabinoid. BCP is in fact a terpene (remember that word from earlier?), which is an aromatic organic compound found in the oil. Terpenes are what give essential oils the fragrance that is necessary for use in aromatherapy.

If we want to get technical though, BCP does actually have effects on the endocannabinoid system. Like CBD, it acts on CB2 receptors to give us those beneficial effects that we’re searching for. 

Not only this, but it contains other beneficial compounds such as copaene, humulene and bergamotene!

Did you know: CBD oil also contains BCP, though in slightly lesser amounts than Copaiba oil? It contains humulene and bergamotene too!

How to use Copaiba oil

There are three main ways to use copaiba oil - in aromatherapy, topically or by ingestion.


Did you know that healing benefits can be experienced from copaiba oil without actually needing to ingest it?! Thanks to the terpene BCP, aromatherapy is a safe method to use copaiba to lift your mood and experience a sense of calm. 

Aromatherapy is arguably one of the most popular ways to use copaiba oil. One way to use copaiba in aromatherapy is by using an essential oil diffuser. Adding a couple drops to your diffuser will gradually release the aromas into the air so you can feel the benefits!

Alternatively, you can simply place a couple of drops into your hands and inhale deeply for quick and easy benefits. Healing has never been easier!

person using essential oils on hand for aromatherapy


Copaiba can be used topically too, which is perfect for skin conditions such as acne, scars and fine lines.

Thanks to its astringent properties, it is great to use as a toner. Simply mix a couple of drops into your favourite toner after cleansing.

Another option is to mix copaiba oil into your everyday moisturiser for its anti-aging effects!



To experience the benefits of internal use, try dropping 1-2 drops under the tongue 2-3 times a day. Or if you don’t like the taste, you can buy copaiba oil in supplement form.

Potential side effects of Copaiba oil

Though generally safe in small amounts, copaiba oil may cause some nasty side effects if a larger amount is ingested. Some of these uncomfortable symptoms include:

  • Stomach pains
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash
  • Tremor
  • Groin pain
  • Insomnia

When used topically there is the risk of:

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • A rash that leaves brown spots after healing

The oil is generally considered risk free for use in aromatherapy, though!

Copaiba oil VS CBD oil - which is the better plant medicine? This post compares the benefits, side effects, uses, costs and legalities so you don't have to! We're putting the popular cannabis derived oil to the test against one of Doterra's most popular essential oils!

Copaiba vs CBD

Now we’ve covered all the basics, let’s get onto our Copaiba vs CBD comparison. Which one proves to be the better home remedy when we put them up against each other?


cbd oil

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Reduces pain and inflammation

Reduces anxiety

Improves mood

Improves acne

Has antipsychotic effects

Has antibacterial properties

Improves gut health

Has antifungal properties

Reduces seizures in epilepsy


Helps with addiction recovery


Suppresses growth of cancer cells


Both CBD oil and Copaiba oil are reportedly beneficial for conditions such as pain and inflammation, anxiety, mood and acne. But while most of these claims are from personal accounts of using Copaiba oil, CBD oil has the added backing of a ton of research supporting its benefits!

That doesn’t mean to say that Copaiba oil doesn’t do these things, though. It’s just one of those things that you can’t really be sure of until you’ve tried it for yourself.

CBD oil also has the upper hand with impressive benefits like improving gut health, reducing seizures, helping with addiction and psychosis recovery and… suppressing the growth of cancer cells. Yes, you heard me correctly! I mean, I’m sorry Copaiba... but need I say more?

There are lots of claims to suggest that Copaiba oil is an effective antibacterial and antifungal remedy though, which is something that CBD doesn’t have. So if you find yourself with an infection Copaiba is the oil you might consider reaching for!

Plus where Copaiba oil lacks in research it makes up for in history. Medical research may not be behind it yet but it’s been used for thousands of years by indigenous communities, and that certainly shouldn’t count for nothing!

Variety of Uses

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Vape pens




CBD and Copaiba may both be consumable in tincture, supplement and topical form, but the two aren’t really comparable here. Why? A quick search for CBD supplements will give you tons of options for softgels and capsules, but you’re likely to struggle a bit more finding Copaiba supplements. Many people instead opt to buy empty capsules to fill with oil themselves, which is doable but certainly not as hassle-free as buying them ready made. 

The same goes for topical use too. Many skincare brands have cottoned on to the powers of CBD for skin health and are incorporating hemp derived oils in their products. There is so much choice now that it couldn’t be easier to incorporate CBD oil into your skincare routine!

There are more novel uses for CBD too, so if you want to get your hands on items like CBD vape pens and gummies then you won’t be disappointed! Copaiba is way behind on this front and it doesn’t look like it’s going to catch up any time soon, but for those of you who prefer DIY home remedies this isn’t likely to matter. If you prefer keeping it real with a couple of drops under the tongue, fancy products might not sway you either way!

Copaiba oil may have the upper hand when it comes to aromatherapy though. While you technically could use CBD oil in aromatherapy, it wouldn’t be the most cost effective or efficient way to use the oil. But when it comes to Copaiba, it is a match made in heaven with essential oil diffusers. If you’re looking for an oil to add to your aromatherapy collection then Copaiba is certainly one to go for!

Side Effects

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Side effects are uncommon but increase with dosage

Generally safe for use in aromatherapy


Side effects common if ingested in larger amounts


Risk of topical irritation with lasting effects

While neither oil is known for frequent side effects, there is always a risk of reaction to any medication or natural supplement.

In this case, I would consider CBD oil to be the safest option out of the two. While some side effects have been reported from the oil, they are generally mild in nature. There is also a substantial amount of research behind this compound to suggest the safety of it. I personally would feel much more at ease ingesting a well researched substance than one that we are a little less sure of.

I would be slightly more wary of ingesting Copaiba oil however - it’s true that many people report using it in small amounts with minimal issues, but it is not recommended to use in higher amounts unless you want some pretty uncomfortable side effects. 

But the problem is, there isn’t really too much information to be found about how much is “too much”. For this reason (and knowing how highly sensitive I am) I would steer clear of ingesting Copaiba oil all together. But that’s just me!

I would also be a little wary of using it on my skin, since there is a chance of a rash that leaves behind hyperpigmentation after healing. The rash I might risk... but the lasting marks are a definite no from me! There is of course no guarantee that this will happen to you, but I would still err on the side of caution and do a patch test rather than slathering it over your body and hoping for the best!

The plus side is that aromatherapy is generally a safe method to use essential oils. Since aromatherapy is the most popular way to use Copaiba oil, this would be a low risk option that you might consider (perhaps even more so than ingesting CBD!). If you’re wary of what you put in/on your body, and rightfully so, then aromatherapy may be the best way to go! 

I didn’t intentionally rhyme that last sentence… honest.


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Premium broad spectrum hemp oil containing 250mg CBD (30ml)

$34.95 (£28.31)

Therapeutic grade organic Copaiba oil (30ml)

$14.95 (£12.11)

In my opinion this one is a little hard to compare. This is because price and cost effectiveness are two completely different things. I do however feel compelled to acknowledge both in my comparison because I believe they are both important in their own right! 

Price inevitably plays a factor in the decision to buy any product because, let’s face it, nobody wants to splash out a lot of cash without the guarantee that a product is going to work for them. 

I’m not saying either of these products cost a lot. But I’m also not saying that they don’t. Because the bottom line is that cost is relative.

The difference in prices will of course vary from brand to brand, and for the sake of this comparison I’ve used the prices of two products that I consider to be both high quality and organic. It is however safe to say that, more often than not, Copaiba oil will set you back a little less than CBD oil will.

You can (if you wish) get Copaiba oil for as little as $4.99, but I wouldn’t suggest that you do so. I would instead recommend always purchasing a high quality organic essential oil. This way you’re getting more for your money… which brings me on to my next point about cost effectiveness.

While I have given Copaiba oil the upper hand on this occasion, I wouldn’t let this influence your decision alone. I am, to some extent, a believer in the saying “you get what you pay for”. In my opinion this holds true in the Copaiba vs CBD oil debate. While CBD oil may cost you a bit more than Copaiba oil will, this is a reflection of the quality and effectiveness of the product, as well as other factors such as the production process.

Just look at the benefits we mentioned earlier - there is no doubt that high quality CBD oils are powerful products and, in my experience, worth every penny!



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Legal in UK with restrictions

Legal in US

This is where, through no fault of its own, CBD oil falls behind. It is hard not to when up against a contender that has no legal restrictions whatsoever! So what exactly is the legal situation with CBD oil?

CBD oil is legal in the UK. It does however come with restrictions that say it must come from EU approved hemp and contain no more than 0.2% THC. This isn’t really an issue when it comes to acquiring CBD oil in Britain, but it no doubt has an effect on cost. 

Things are a little more complicated in the USA though. As each state has its own laws regarding marijuana, this also affects the legalities of CBD in states that don’t view it as an independent substance. 

marijuana legality in united states

Infographic from The Street

This handy infographic provides an overview of where each state stands in terms of marijuana and/or CBD oil use. For a more detailed understanding of the laws on CBD oil in your own state, check out the full article at The Street

If you live in a state that only allows CBD oil in extreme circumstances, such as Wyoming, this will most likely sway your decision towards trying Copaiba oil instead. This might also be the case for other countries in the world where there are tight laws around marijuana. 

I have given CBD oil credit where credit is due though, as things do seem to be progressing in the right direction. Hopefully soon enough CBD oil will be more widely available. But until then, Copaiba oil wins the legislation debate.

The Verdict

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More researched benefits


More variety of products on the market

No issues of legality

Less side effects


Despite its higher price tag and legal issues, CBD oil still comes out on top. Its impressive health benefits and lack of risks are hard to ignore, and the fact that there are so many CBD products on the market is only a bonus! If you have cash to splash and live in an area where it is legal, giving CBD oil a go is a no brainer!

With that being said, Copaiba oil is still an amazing essential oil to have in your collection with its own unique antibacterial and antifungal properties, and is worth a try in its own right! And what’s more - there is nothing stopping you using both!

Yes, I know… this entire post has pitted CBD oil and Copaiba oil up against one another. But the truth is, both oils have wonderful effects and they can be used simultaneously. So if you’re not the argumentative type you can always give in to both herbal remedies!

Have you tried CBD oil or Copaiba oil? Let me know where you stand on the Copaiba vs CBD debate!

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Advocates for Copaiba oil often refer to it as the up and coming CBD oil. But do the two really compare? This ultimate copaiba vs CBD oil comparison goes in depth into the facts about each oil including the benefits, side effects, costs, how to use and the best products!

About Esther

Esther is the founder of Through the Phases.  Her mission is to guide others to grow to their full potential and create their dream life using spiritual and personal growth practices. Read more about her story here!

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