What are CBD Gummies? Properties, Benefits, and Side Effects

Gummies and Edibles are arguably the most pleasant and convenient way to enjoy the benefits of CBD. In this article we will address what CBD is and how people may be able to benefit from it.
Written by 
Medical Team, Leafreport's Clinician Team.
|Last Updated:
What are CBD gummies

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, frequently comes up as a result of the changing regulations around its use, accumulating data on its effects, and the continually growing range of CBD products available to consumers. But what exactly is this compound, and what are the demonstrated medical benefits of CBD?

We will help you to navigate the various CBD products that are currently available on the market. In addition, we will equip you with the knowledge you need regarding how to potentially make use of them.

What is CBD?

CBD is one of the active ingredients in the hemp plant, which is related to the more commonly known marijuana plant. It is the second most abundant phytochemical element of the Cannabis plant. People often think of the intoxicating effects of Cannabis that occur because of a different naturally occurring substance, called tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC. Although these different substances all impact the endocannabinoid system, they each do so in a unique manner by interacting with different receptors. THC is able to cause intoxication because it interacts with specific receptors that lead to this effect. CBD, on the other hand, is not able to cause intoxication because it does not interact with cannabinoid receptors in the way that THC does.

Though it does not cause the intoxicating effects normally associated with marijuana, CBD does have an impact upon the body. It does so by binding not to cannabinoid receptors but to other receptors that are involved in mediating pain, sleep, mood, and other phenomena. The effects CBD exerts through these receptors are the reason that the compound has gained enormous popularity. It also explains why there is extensive research directed toward investigating exactly how the compound affects the brain and other bodily systems and the mechanisms underlying how it may provide therapeutic benefits.

CBD Benefits
CBD Benefits


What Does CBD Do?

The use of CBD has proven effective in treating some medical conditions. For instance, the data obtained concerning the benefits experienced by people afflicted by select forms of epilepsy when treated with CBD have been so convincing that, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Epidiolex, an oral CBD drug, for use some epilepsy patients. Another CBD drug with THC, that treats multiple sclerosis, has been approved in the United Kingdom.

The potential for CBD to benefit people with several other medical conditions is under investigation. Scientists are particularly interested in the use of CBD for diseases of the brain. They have found that CBD may be able to reduce the amount of amyloid-b and tau, which are hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, in the brain. They have also uncovered important ways that CBD can reduce inflammation. This effect can protect the heart from vascular damage, improve recovery from stroke, and help in the treatment of skin conditions like acne.

It is important to remember, however, that while many medical patients claim that CBD has been revolutionary in their treatment plans for everything from epilepsy to insomnia to chronic pain, more clinical trials are needed to determine the exact influence and side effects of various CBD products.

Whereas there are specific CBD drugs that are approved by the FDA, there are also a number of consumer products on the market that people can access without a prescription from a medical doctor. Though navigating the regulatory environment can be confusing because of some conflicting rules and regulations, fortunately there are some guidelines that apply to most of the U.S.

All 50 states have legalized the use of CBD, though certain concentrations may still be restricted in certain states. The related substance that is still controversial is THC. If a product is derived from the marijuana plant has more than a 0.3% concentration of THC, it may not be legal.

How is CBD taken?

One of the things that can be cause the consumer difficulty when navigating the CBD market is the variety of products and the different ways that they can be consumed. People consume CBD using methods ranging from smoking the substance to applying it to the skin topically. One of the most popular ways to consume CBD is through edibles. Edible CBD products include things that you consume orally like drinks, chocolate, or candy gummies that are infused with CBD oil.

About CBD Edibles

As the use of CBD has grown, the range of CBD infused edibles and cooking products has increased immensely, as people like to consume CBD orally. Consuming CBD orally is, in fact, the most common way that CBD is used. It is now possible to find CBD in everything from cooking oil to candy.

Why do people like edibles so much? There are a few reasons. One is the convenience. It is simple to ingest CBD through a food product. For those who want to ingest CBD in an easy and quick manner, edibles are an obvious solution. One downside of some edibles though is that they are processed by our digestive systems and are subject to our metabolism once they are swallowed. This means that they are broken down and may not provide the same level of effects as they would if they did not have to go through the digestive system.

For those who want to feel the effects of CBD quickly, some edible products are better than others. For instance, some products are designed to go under the tongue. By holding the product under the tongue, people can enjoy what is known sublingual consumption of CBD, which has been shown to have clinical benefits.

With sublingual administration, CBD is exposed to the mucous membrane under the tongue. When CBD and the highly vascular tissue under the tongue come into contact, CBD is able to enter more directly into the bloodstream without having to go through the digestive system the way it has to if it is simply swallowed. With this sublingual route, the CBD is not broken down. What this means is that the product with CBD will not only take effect faster but they will also require lower doses to impart their effects.

One thing people like about gummies is the variety of flavors available. Consumers appreciate flavoring agents for their ability to mask the natural flavor of CBD oil, which people sometimes find unappetizing. Nonetheless, people do also have to contend with the fact that gummies tend to be made of sugar and so consuming them also requires consuming sugar. If gummies are the best consumption method for you, then you should calculate the total amount of calories and milligrams of sugar that you will be consuming along with the desired quantity of CBD.

Quality and Selection of CBD Gummies

Not all CBD gummies are created equal. Companies have different standards for the production of the CBD and the candies themselves. Many companies will also offer an array of different concentrations in each product. For example, a product line may contain candies containing 10mg, 20mg, 25mg or more of CBD per piece. Higher concentrations do not necessarily indicate that gummies are of higher quality or that they are better for the consumer. The recommended quantity of CBD to consume is based upon the consumer’s weight and individual health history.

As with any other food, companies are required to put dietary and allergen information on their labels. There are many options for vegan, kosher, gluten-free, and even sugar-free CBD gummies. The most “pure” CBD gummies available will feature 99% pure CBD, with no THC included. The terminology for this is “isolate”, meaning that the CBD has been isolated from the plant extract and does not contain THC. Pricing is another important part of choosing which CBD gummies are right for you. Prices may range from anywhere from $2 to $40 per gummy depending on the company.

Consuming CBD Gummies

So how do you use CBD gummies? You should consult a doctor before taking any CBD products, in order to avoid adverse medication interactions and potential side effects based upon your specific medical history. Very generally speaking, the lowest level dose of CBD you can find in most edibles is 10mg. CBD capsules can go up to 200 mg, which is typically used in CBD trials and scientific studies. However, when it comes to edibles, you will determine the dose based on your weight and severity of your pain/symptoms. This is something that your doctor can also advise you on once you meet with them to discuss your options for CBD.

Because the CBD is being consumed and processed by the digestive system, it will take some time to be absorbed into your bloodstream and exert an effect on your body, so you may not notice the positive effects (or potential side effects) for a little while. For this reason, it is important to start with a very small dose of CBD, especially if you’ve never had it before, and gradually increase the quantity as you become familiar with your body’s tolerance. One of the benefits of this delayed-release is that the positive benefits of the CBD stay active in your system longer, as they are metabolized by the digestive system.

Potential Side Effects or Adverse Effects

Because there have been few direct studies and trials on edibles and gummies, it is difficult to determine the specific effects of these products and whether the benefits or side effects of CBD will be experienced by everyone. Complicating matters are the different formulations of the products made by different companies. You should consult your doctor before trying CBD, and should follow up if you notice any adverse side effects that result from taking CBD products or supplements.

Some side effects may include:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Withdrawal symptoms that range from restless sleep to strange and vivid dreams/nightmares, or hallucinations (rare)
  • Possible interactions with blood thinner medications

These side effects may vary from person to person, and from product to product. You may experience one, all, or none of these side effects, or some other side effect not listed here. Always check with a doctor before taking CBD.

Because CBD is marketed as a supplement and not a medication, the FDA does not monitor the production of any CBD products, or screen the contents of these supplements. It is therefore important that you understand the realities of these products so that you can evaluate their quality and the impact they are likely to have on you.

Where to Buy CBD Gummies and Edibles

You can find CBD gummies and other edibles in most establishments where medical marijuana products are sold. Dispensaries and other brick-and-mortar stores that carry natural supplements and medicinal products will likely carry CBD products, though you should be sure to clarify whether they are THC free (“isolates or broad spectrum”) or contain the allowable concentration of THC, which according to the FDA is 0.3% or less. If you have specific dietary restrictions, such as a gluten allergy or if you are vegan, be sure to read the packaging closely to ensure that the products you select are produced responsibly and are guaranteed to be dietary restriction friendly.

Alternatively, there are many websites where you can find high-quality CBD products, from cooking oil to capsules to gummies and even drinks! When searching for high-quality products, there are a few different factors to consider. The best companies will likely list their CBD source on their website or in their literature, which can help you determine the quality of the product. Be wary of those that are unwilling to share their source, as companies who refuse to be transparent may be manufacturing unreliable products.

The extraction process for CBD products also matters. Look for companies that process their CBD using ethanol to remove toxins. CBD extracted with supercritical carbon dioxide has much to recommend it, as this is the most natural and harmless method of processing the plants without introducing harsh chemicals.

Finally, companies that allow third parties to test their products are likely to have some of the most reliable products. Most websites will provide their third party lab testing results.

Once you have purchased CBD products, store them in a cool, dry place such as the pantry. The product label should list the shelf life, but most products have a shelf life of 6 months to one year.

The Bottom Line

There is a lot to consider in the dynamic world of CBD products. Scientific data will continue to grow to help us understand how CBD affects us and how to develop and consume products that will enable us to benefit from this substance. For now, educating ourselves on what is known about CBD is highly recommended. Acquiring an education can help us get our hands on the best products available if we choose to try CBD. There are several advantages to the edible route of administration, which explains the popularity of gummies and other edibles. With the right information and approach, it is likely that many people can enjoy the benefits of edibles with ease and at a reasonable cost.


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Medical Team
Medical Team
Leafreport's Clinician Team
The clinicians in our team bring their experience from across the spectrum of medical specialties, as well as their perspective from years of clinical practice, research, and patient advocacy. Medical Review, provided by members of Leafreport’s team, ensures that our content is accurate, current, and patient-focused.

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