Most people have tried gummy bears, gummy worms, jelly babies, and other gelatin-based confectioneries in their lifetime. It’s a simple treat that is easily infused with flavors and other additives, and is quite familiar to most of us.
In 2013, a little girl named Charlotte Figi brought the world’s attention to the impressive health benefits of CBD (a compound known as Cannabidiol). At five years old, a debilitating condition called Dravet Syndrome had her on her deathbed. This syndrome is a severe form of epilepsy that made her suffer from prolonged and frequent seizures. Her parents had exhausted all medical avenues trying to help her until they discovered a specific strain of Cannabis low in THC and high in CBD that stopped her seizures completely.
Her case highlights one of the many the fantastic benefits of CBD. Most cannabinoids have not been appropriately studied, mainly because Cannabis is illegal in many countries. In the US, the 1970 Schedule 1 classification of Marijuana was a big blow because it became nearly impossible to obtain funding for clinical research on the medicinal benefits of Cannabis. However, anecdotal evidence paired with more scientific research than ever before points towards CBD and other Cannabinoids as an option for many kinds of medical problems in addition to recreational, health and wellness benefits.
There are many choices when it comes to deciding how to take CBD, but CBD gummies are one of the best and most popular. First, let’s talk about what CBD actually is and how it’s different from THC.
CBD and THC
CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is one of many cannabinoid compounds found in Hemp or Cannabis plants. You’ve likely already heard of THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol), one of the most popular Cannabis compounds because it is psychoactive and causes the ‘high’ feeling associated with Cannabis and Marijuana use. CBD, on the other hand, is not psychoactive and does not affect the brain in the same way THC does. Instead, it works with the body’s Endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate bodily functions to maintain balance within the body.
CBD is usually extracted from Hemp, a type of Cannabis plant because Hemp contains naturally low amounts of THC (typically 0.3% or below). Such small amounts of THC have no perceivable psychoactive effects. In the US, the agricultural growth of Hemp for commercial use is legal in most states. In 2018, the Agriculture Improvement Act, or “Farm Bill”, removed Hemp from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act.
CBD choices: What kind of CBD should you take?
CBD can be taken in numerous forms, depending on the user’s desired goal. The most basic form involves smoking it in cigarette-like ‘blunts’ as is common for Marijuana, but this method is crude and does not eliminate the low amount of THC, Likewise, CBD can be smoked in pipes or water pipes, commonly called “bongs”.
Fortunately, CBD can be extracted from the Hemp and Marijuana plants. And, when processed correctly, it can reach a purity of almost 100% percent CBD. The CBD extracts or isolates can then be used in different ways.
Topical options such as lotions, creams, salves, and serums can be infused with CBD and applied directly to the skin to help with pain and inflammation of specific areas. The oil can be used as-is by adding it to different foods, mixing it in with drinks, or putting a few drops under the tongue. A very popular way to take CBD is buying or making edible CBD products like hard candy, baked goods, and gummies.
What you should know about CBD Gummies
CBD gummies are made just like the gummies you would buy at the store, only with CBD formulated into each piece. Ingredients usually include gelatin (or jelly mix), sweeteners, flavoring, and coloring.
Gummies made with Cannabidiol may or may not contain THC, depending on the manufacturer’s labels and the state in which you make your purchase. (THC is only legal for recreational sale in 11 states and Washington D.C.) The extract infused into CBD gummies can be Full-Spectrum, meaning all Cannabinoids and other compounds of the Hemp plant are present. This creates what is known as the Entourage Effect, which works to magnify the therapeutic benefits. However, your CBD choice can also be Broad-Spectrum, which has no THC compounds, or it can use a pure CBD isolate.
There are gummies with lower amounts of CBD, and others have it in higher quantities. Some even have added ingredients to improve their overall efficacy, such as melatonin for sleeping problems. Always read the label to understand all the ingredients to be sure of what you’re purchasing.
Cannabidiol has a naturally bitter taste, so sweetening is common practice. Some manufacturers prefer to use artificial sweeteners in their gummies, and others use corn syrup, natural sweeteners could also include cane or beet sugar. You can also find plenty of vegan CBD gummies made with agar instead of gelatin derived from seaweed. When buying gummies, read the label to ensure that you’re getting the type of sweetener you’re looking for.
Why people take CBD Gummies
CBD gummies are very popular because they are an easy and accessible way to ingest CBD. In addition to the wellness benefits, gummies are a great CBD choice for the following reasons:
- They taste great! CBD can be quite bitter, which discourages some people from using it. Gummies with their flavorings mask the bitter taste rather effectively.
- Gummies and other edible forms of CBD are absorbed very quickly into the bloodstream, reaching peak effect about two hours after ingestion.
- They are much healthier than other options, such as smoking or vaping.
- Gummies are easy to consume. If you have issues swallowing pills, gummies may be the answer. Just chew and swallow as you would any other treat. Plus, they’re a great way to take CBD discreetly if you’re working or traveling.
Pure CBD gummies are not psychoactive, meaning they do not produce a high. Most gummies are made from Hemp that has a THC content of 0.3% or less. Many have argued that there is no impairment or ‘high’, so CBD gummies are safe for work, driving, and other activities.
CBD Choices: What to look for when buying CBD gummies
All the information about Cannabis, Hemp, their extracts, wellness benefits can make CBD choices overwhelming. When deciding which CBD gummies to buy, consider these factors:
- Potency – This refers to the strength of the product. CBD is measured in milligrams per unit weight. For standard gummies, 5 mg is considered mild, while 10-25 mg is average for most users.
- Legality – CBD is federally legal in the United States as of 2018. Some CBD gummies also include THC, which remains illegal in many states.
- THC content – Any gummies made from pure CBD isolate will not have THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound that causes a ‘high’. If you want to remain fully functional, make sure you purchase THC-free gummies. Depending on where you live, you may not be able to purchase gummies with THC legally.
- Source – While CBD isolate has no THC, it also lacks other Cannabinoids that can be immensely useful to your body. If you want more of the wellness benefits CBD can offer, purchase gummies that use broad-spectrum Hemp extract. Full-spectrum extract contains the most Cannabinoids, but be aware that it will likely have a mild level of THC and may not be available for purchase.
- Ingredients – Most CBD gummies have sweeteners and other ingredients to improve their appeal. Pay attention to the ingredient lists for anything you might be allergic to or do not want to consume.
- The FDA does not mandate third-party testing data for CBD gummies and other supplements. Be aware that some CBD products may have claims or ingredients that are not supported by the FDA. Responsible manufacturers hire third-party testing and provide the results to the consumer to provide the best information available for their claims of potency and impurities.
Common wellness questions about CBD gummies
1. Can CBD gummies get you high?
As previously discussed, the answer will vary depending on the type of CBD gummies you purchase and consume. Cannabis and Hemp have over 500 Cannabinoids, of which only 104 have been identified and studied. The active ingredients in CBD gummies are Cannabidiol (CBD) and 9-Delta-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
That being said, THC is the primary phytocannabinoid known to cause psychoactive effects, otherwise known as the ‘high,’ and is the substance that makes Marijuana illegal. Agricultural Hemp in the US has less than 0.3% THC, which is not enough to cause any psychoactive effects, and is legal under the 2018 Farm Bill.
Given that CBD gummies are made from Hemp extract and CBD isolate, gummies purchased from reputable manufacturers will not get you high. However, there are CBD gummies with THC, a fact that must be fully disclosed on the label. These are mainly available for retail purchase in states or countries where Marijuana use is legal.
2. Can CBD gummies be used for anxiety?
Yes. CBD works with the endocannabinoid system in your body to calm your nerves and moderate hyperactivity. Treating symptoms of anxiety is one of the significant and more common uses of CBD. Anecdotal evidence from CBD users and some research studies show that people diagnosed with anxiety can use CBD to treat physical symptoms of anxiousness and to help the body relax.
3.What are the side effects of CBD gummies?
The FDA has designated CBD gummies, soft gels, and other CBD choices as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS), which means that experts say you can consume CBD gummies without undue risk to your health. According to Mayo Clinic, while CBD is safe for use, it could cause mild side effects in some people. These include dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness, and fatigue.
People who may be pregnant, are on medication, or have certain medical conditions should consult with their doctor before using CBD.
4. Can my pet use CBD gummies?
All mammals, including pets like dogs and cats, have the Endocannabinoid system that CBD regulates. For pets, gummies are not recommended. However, there are alternative products, like soft gels, that are easy to administer to your dog. Puncturing the soft gel, and squeezing the contents inside your dog’s jawline, or folding it into their food, is common. CBD products also work wonders to calm anxiety, alleviate pain, and treat other wellness problems your furry friend may be dealing with. Many veterinarians recommend CBD for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help pets with arthritis or other types of pain. Generally, you may be able to find pet-friendly treats. However, other forms like oil or CBD-infused treats are more likely.
5. Can I buy CBD gummies legally?
Yes, you can legally buy CBD in most states; it is legal to sell these CBD products in the U.S. as long as the product has less than 0.3% THC. Agricultural Hemp grown in the U.S. meets these standards, and it is the primary source of Hemp extract from which CBD gummies are made.
Some states are behind the times with respect to CBD, and have not made a legal distinction between CBD and THC. There are three so-called ‘red states,’ where Cannabis and all its forms remain strictly illegal. These are Idaho, Nebraska, and North Dakota. For all other states, there are varying degrees of Cannabis legalization, though CBD is federally legal in all 50 states and District of Columbia as a result of the 2018 Farm Bill.
It’s likely legal to purchase in your state if there are in-person retail stores that sell CBD, but it’s always best to consult your specific state laws to be sure.
6. Can children take CBD for health and wellness?
Charlotte took CBD at such a young age because her parents had no options left. Recently, the FDA approved a drug called Epidiolex to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two forms of very severe epilepsy that start in childhood. This is the first drug comprised of an active ingredient found in Hemp and Marijuana, CBD, that has been approved by the FDA.
Because the CBD is generally regarded as safe by the FDA, some parents are opting to give their kids CBD gummies to treat anxiety, insomnia, ADHD, and other conditions. While there isn’t widespread concern about children using CBD, you should always ensure that the CBD comes from a reputable supplier and does not contain THC. Always consult with your health care professional before administering any CBD product to children.
CBD gummies are the tastiest and most convenient way to consume CBD. They are available in numerous flavors, have added ingredients to benefit the body, and can be carried and eaten anywhere. After reading this, you can now confidently purchase CBD gummies and start experiencing the health and wellness benefits for yourself.