What are CBD gummies and edibles?
CBD edibles are candies, gummies, snacks and other forms of food that are infused with CBD in different strengths, flavors and formulations. This allows you to chew and swallow CBD-infused products while the body naturally absorbs CBD just like it does when you’re absorbing nutrients via food intake. The body absorbs some nutrients in the mouth, some in the stomach and then some in the intestines.
Because CBD is non-intoxicating, it’s not commonly used recreationally like other product derived from cannabis. Instead, a major, cross-sectional study of CBD users found that sixty percent of people who use CBD are using it to “treat a medical condition”. They are doing so not on a whim but because of the growing body of research that suggests that it may have some health benefits. While the research is in its infancy, some of the strongest evidence shows that it may:
- Reduce inflammation and pain caused by inflammation
- Help manage anxiety
- Alleviate nausea in cancer patients, those with HIV/AIDS
- Reduce the frequency and severity of seizures
- Improve sleep
What are the advantages of CBD edibles over oils and other delivery methods of CBD?
The advantages of CBD edibles over other CBD delivery methods are many.
More precise dosing
We’ll get the No. 1 benefit out of the way first. Did you know that many people aren’t taking enough CBD to experience the reported benefits of it? Scientific research is built around precise dosing and measuring results, and yet, many who take CBD for a health reason don’t realize they’re taking much less than was used in any PubMed studies they may have read. They may take it inconsistently. They may not even know how much they’re taking.
CBD edibles should be clearly marked with a precise amount per serving or even per gummy. This way, you know exactly how much you’re taking. You can then incrementally increase your dose until you feel that it’s working.
This is important because there are so many factors to consider in dosing CBD like, bioavailability, weight, drug metabolism rate and kidney function. Edibles help you get to the right dose faster. And speaking of bioavailability, let’s take a look at how that applies to CBD edibles.
Bioavailability is a measure of how much of a substance gets into your bloodstream. This matters in both the medication and supplement industries because if a substance doesn’t reach the bloodstream in a high enough quantity, it cannot have any effects.
Any substance must complete a “first pass” test. This evaluates how much of a substance is lost due to factors like stomach acid and liver enzymes before reaching the blood.
A tincture taken orally has a very low bioavailability, around five to 10 percent, meaning 90-95 percent didn’t complete the first pass. However, most edibles are chewed thoroughly or sucked on, so they stay in the mouth longer than a tincture. This allows the soft flesh in your mouth known as mucous membrane to absorb some CBD directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the stomach/liver and increasing the amount that completes the first pass.
Longer, more balance time spent in the system
Vaping CBD is one of the fastest ways to get CBD into your body. It also has the highest bioavailability, second only to direct infusion/injection. But the cannabidiol also leaves the body more quickly. Because the CBD in CBD edibles is absorbed through the mouth, stomach and intestines, it can stay in the system for one to three days rather than the two to three hours that vaped CBD stays in your bloodstream.
This offers you a more balanced delivery method. It’s easier to maintain a certain level of CBD in the system at all times. For those using CBD for health reasons, that’s important.
Many find edibles more convenient because they’re easy to carry and dose. Tinctures and vape oils can spill and may be hard for those with arthritis, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, or other health challenges to open because of the child caps.
CBD can be full-spectrum or isolate. Full-spectrum maintains its entourage of terpenes, antioxidants, chlorophyll and other cannabinoids while isolate is pure CBD from which all of these things have been removed.
While full spectrum CBD is popular and may offer added benefits, it has a “leafy taste” that some find objectionable. Pure CBD isolate (the kind generally used in edibles) has no taste, so you only experience the food flavors that normally consist of various fruit juices, herbs, or other natural flavoring.
Better for those with a “vape aversion”
Many people have an aversion to inhaling a foreign substance, even one that people believe may have health benefits. Those who have never smoked and don’t vape may prefer to avoid the vaping delivery method. CBD edibles give a very agreeable alternative to vaping. Additionally, they may simply not have the equipment to vape and don’t want to invest in it. You don’t need any special equipment to consume edibles.
Easy introduction into the CBD space
Some may hesitate when trying CBD because of its nearly century-long tumultuous history of “guilt by association” to other types of cannabis. Because of this, they may not want to try a tincture, which “feels” more like medicine. However, this same person may be okay with trying a gummy that’s clearly labeled “no THC”. Why? It seems more innocent, making edibles a great way to introduce a hard-to-convince parent, sibling, uncle, or friend to give CBD a whirl.
As a reminder, you should never give someone CBD without first telling them what it is and you should never give CBD to someone under 18 unless instructed to do so by their treating physician.
Common questions about CBD gummies and edibles
How do you choose the best CBD edibles?
In addition to understanding the advantages of CBD edibles, it’s important to know what to look for when evaluating edibles. Not all edibles will meet their intended purpose. This guide helps you get your desired results.
Who will be using the edible?
The best CBD edibles could go uneaten if the one who is to consume them doesn’t like the infused food. This is especially true if that CBD-infused food is intended for a dog or cat. It’s hard to get dogs, and even more so cats, to eat something they don’t like. Look for edibles that are specifically designed for pets and come in flavors that pets love like chicken, fish and cheese.
Is it hemp or CBD?
Buyer beware! Some products may be made of “hemp” instead of CBD. Not all parts of hemp are high in CBD, so these two words may often be used together to describe where the CBD comes from, but they’re not interchangeable. You want products that contain cannabidiol (CBD). The label should say how much it contains.
What CBD dose do you need?
A CBD edible should list a very precise dose so you know exactly how much you’re taking. If that’s ambiguous or the edible is larger, forcing you to only eat half of it to get the right dose, you won’t be able to precisely dose.
Is it THC free?
Unless you live and will only have the edibles in a place where marijuana is legal, you shouldn’t be in possession of a product that has THC in it. Never assume it’s THC free, especially if you’re visiting Colorado, Canada or another marijuana-friendly place. Look for seals and statements that the product in “THC free”.
Are you purchasing from a trusted source?
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that only 31 percent of CBD labels were accurate as of Nov. 7, 2017. While we hope that if this study were redone today, it would show different results, the fact remains that we don’t know for sure. The CBD industry, as well as the supplement industry as a whole, is very under-regulated. It’s important to only purchase CBD edibles from trusted sources. Look for CBD products that have been reviewed by a third party for quality and consistency.
CBD edibles are convenient and more precise method to take your CBD, but there are also many factors to consider when choosing which edibles to buy. Look for “No THC”, clear labeling of milligrams, and only buy from a trusted source to ensure that the label is accurate.
Additional Research on CBD Edibles