When it comes to holistic dietary supplements, CBD is one plant extract that people can't seem to get enough of. You can find it in a variety of forms, including CBD oil tinctures, bath bombs, lotions, and even CBD gummies. If you’re curious about taking CBD but aren't sure where to start, CBD gummies are a simple and tasty option that's much less daunting than other edible products.
Cannabidiol, the scientific name for CBD, is a chemical compound found within cannabis plants. This cannabinoid, as it's called, has been of particular interest in recent years thanks to its many possible health benefits. When ingested via an edible like gummies, CBD works with cannabinoid receptors that are located throughout the human body to positively impact many bodily functions. This is made possible by the endocannabinoid system, or the ECS, which helps our bodies maintain balance and regulates mood, pain, sleep, stress, and much more.
If you type “CBD gummies” into your search engine, the long list of page results can be overwhelming. It's easy to find yourself asking questions like "Which brand can I trust?" or "How strong of a gummy should I purchase?" These concerns are important considerations to keep in mind before you buy any wellness product.
Throughout this article, I’ll help answer these questions and many others you might have, including how to shop for CBD gummies. To start, here are five of my recommendations for the best CBD gummies on the market today:
Not all CBD gummies are the same. In fact, there are three different hemp extracts that make different types of CBD gummies. Full-spectrum CBD extracts include cannabinoids from the entire hemp plant (even THC, up to the legal limit). This gives you the benefit of enjoying the other parts of the plant, like terpenes and phytocannabinoids, that can enhance the therapeutic effects of CBD. On the other hand, broad-spectrum CBD still extracts oil from the whole plant, but goes through a separate process to remove the THC. Finally, CBD isolate contains 99% pure CBD with no THC, terpenes, or other cannabinoids.
The type of CBD gummy you choose depends on your preference, although many people seek out THC-free CBD extracts (like isolate or broad-spectrum) since these are highly unlikely to affect a drug test.
Third-party lab test results are important when shopping for any CBD product online. These lab tests are performed by an accredited lab to provide an unbiased review of a CBD product, which helps ensure that the gummies you’re thinking about buying are free of unwanted chemicals and contain the labeled CBD content. You should always check for up-to-date lab test results for the specific product you are buying, and don't hesitate to ask the company any lingering questions you may have. The CBD market can be a confusing space, and brands that take the time to inform and educate their customers are the only companies worth buying from.
The makings of a great CBD gummy are on the label. First, you can discover if the type of CBD used is a high-quality CBD extract or isolate. Not only is this where you’ll find the type of CBD used, but you’ll also see other ingredients in the product.
You’ll want to look for natural ingredients like fruit or vegetable extracts, natural sugars (or no sugars if you are cutting back on carbs), as well as other therapeutic ingredients that could enhance the benefit of the CBD. One such ingredient may be melatonin, which is sometimes used in CBD gummies to promote healthier sleep habits.
With that criteria in mind, let's explore my top recommendations for CBD gummies you can buy online.
These CBD gummies make the top of the list for their strength, high quality, and great price. CBDistillery always uses CBD that has been extracted from U.S. Hemp Authority-certified industrial hemp plants, which are grown using natural farming practices. These gummies are made with CBD isolate, so they contain zero THC, plus they’re gluten-free, allergen-free, vegan, and kosher. They also come in a traditional formula, as well as a "PM" version that contains 1.5 milligrams of melatonin per chew to help promote better sleep.
Potency: 30 mg of CBD per chew
FAB is well-known within the CBD market for its high-quality hemp oils, and its CBD gummies are no different. These gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan chews feature a variety of fruit flavors and only contain 1 gram of sugar per gummy. It's also a plus that FAB only uses natural ingredients (like organic cane sugar and flavorings from real fruit) to make its gummies.
Potency: 25 mg of CBD isolate per chew
If you’re looking for a full-spectrum CBD gummy option, these tasty edibles from Plus CBD are the perfect fit for the job. Available in cherry mango or citrus punch flavors, each gummy is gluten-free and made with no artificial sweeteners. These gummies come in a lower concentration of CBD per chew and are available in 10-count or 30-count containers, which makes them perfect for beginners and regular consumers alike.
Potency: 5 mg of CBD per chew
Seabedee is one of the best tasting CBD gummies on the market. These edibles are available as sour neon gummy bears or peach rings, both of which taste like the original thing. The brand’s THC-free formula is backed by its third-party lab test results, and these tasty treats are made entirely in the U.S. As another low-dose option, these gummies are perfect for easy CBD dosage customization.
Potency: 10 mg of pure isolate CBD per gummy
Another great product for those just getting started with CBD are Green Roads Relax Bears. These gummies come in an assortment of flavors that pack a sweet n’ sour punch, but have a lower dose of CBD per gummy bear. Like all Green Roads products, its CBD Relax Bears are tested by an independent, third-party lab, and customers can easily view these test results using the QR code found on the product packaging.
Potency: 10 mg of CBD isolate per gummy bear
There are several variables that may affect how many CBD gummies you should take, like the amount of CBD in each gummy or how your body metabolizes CBD. Most people take 1 to 2 gummies at a time, with an average of 10 milligrams per gummy. If this is your first time trying a CBD edible, start at a low dose (i.e. 5 to 10 milligrams) and increase slowly until you find your perfect CBD dosage.
In scientific studies pertaining to CBD dosage, researchers have looked at low, medium, and high doses of CBD to study their effects. One very recent systematic review shows significant improvements in conditions like anxiety in doses ranging from less than 1 milligram to 50 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day. Meanwhile, a different case study on the effects of CBD on anxiety and sleep used a dose of 25 milligrams per day. This amount of CBD can be easily obtained from a hemp-infused gummy, although it may take longer to absorb into your body than a CBD oil tincture because the gummy must be digested. The absorption of CBD will likely be more gradual, so you should start with one CBD gummy at a time and wait 6 hours before deciding to take more in order to give the effects time to set-in.
CBD has the strongest scientific evidence for its use in epilepsy treatment, since the only FDA-approved CBD drug (Epidiolex) is prescribed to patients with Dravet syndrome (a hard to treat pediatric seizure disorder). However, most consumers are more interested in other possible benefits of CBD, like its ability to improve anxiety, pain relief, and insomnia.
Studies show that CBD may help you feel less anxious, and the compound has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders. Anxiety and stress levels may also affect a person's sleep, which is another area where CBD may prove beneficial since it has displayed a positive effect on sleep in various studies. CBD has also shown great promise in reducing inflammation that causes pain, and clinical evidence supporting the use of CBD for pain relief continues to grow.
In addition to these wide-reaching wellness advantages, CBD also has the added benefit of being non-intoxicating. So unlike medical marijuana, CBD won't make you feel high since these products are typically extracted from industrial hemp plants and contain little to no THC (the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis). This is a huge upside for people who are searching for all-natural relief, but don't want to feel high.
In light of these benefits, let's also discuss the possible side effects of CBD, which might include fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, change in appetite, and irritability for some people. However, research shows that these side effects are far less serious than those seen in typical treatments for health conditions that CBD may help alleviate.
A few years ago, consumers and manufacturers of CBD products faced many challenges trying to determine the legality of CBD. But with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, industrial hemp was made legal on a federal level, as long as the plants contain no more than 0.3% of THC on a dry weight basis. CBD is typically extracted from these types of plants, and it's also considered legal given the THC content also does not exceed 0.3%.
Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has its own set of guardrails for CBD products, such as:
The FDA has yet to evaluate CBD products for use as dietary supplements, which has left the CBD industry without regulations or standards to abide by. This has not affected the legality of CBD gummies, but it does put great importance on consumers to find trustworthy and transparent CBD manufacturers.
So, if you’re thinking of adding CBD gummies to your health and wellness routine, use the information and tips above to help you find the best CBD gummies for you. CBD gummies, unlike oils, are a convenient and discreet vehicle for CBD. This way, you still get the added support that your body may need, without feeling you're taking a medicinal tincture.
Although it’s important to remember that just like any other therapeutic product, you should talk to your doctor before taking CBD to make sure it won’t interact with your current medical regimen. Also, if you have a serious medical condition like diabetes or heart disease, be sure to ask your doctor if taking CBD is safe for you and if so, what dosage he or she suggests.
Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD is a registered dietitian, freelance writer, health editor, and founder of LighttrackNutrition.com. She has been a registered dietitian with the Commission on Dietetic Registration since 2010 and has over a decade of experience in the nutrition and dietetics industry.
This content is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice; it is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before consuming or using any of the products mentioned on this site.
Sign up for our Health Shopping newsletter to get your daily dose of retail therapy with great deals handpicked by our editors — straight to your inbox.