So, What’s the Deal With CBD Gummies?
We talked to the experts.
Updated Oct 11, 2018 3:00 PM
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Unless you’ve been living under a literal rock, you’re probably well aware that CBD is the new It ingredient, popping up in everything from face creams to pet products to gummies. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring nonpsychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant, which basically means that you can use any CBD product without worrying about the mind-altering effects of THC, the psychoactive part of the cannabis plant. Typically, CBD oil is diluted with a carrier oil, like coconut or hemp seed oil, and then it can be infused into all those products you’re probably seeing in stores and online today, like lotions, mascaras, and even drinks you can find at the local grocery store.
Largely due to some scientific studies that have confirmed that it may help assuage a variety of chronic problems, such as pain, anxiety, and insomnia, CBD is increasing in popularity. Many people swear by the pain- and anxiety-relieving powers of CBD, such as in the form of easily digestible gummies, but do they actually work? If you’ve been contemplating trying CBD gummies, here’s what you need to know.
How They Work
“CBD is known to have medical and therapeutic benefits, ranging from emotional well-being to reduced inflammation—thus less physical pain,” explains Mohnia Patel, founder of Shanti Wellness.“The main thing about CBD is that it works with every individual’s own biochemistry. CBD boasts a slew of benefits, but the science behind it is that the cannabinoids in CBD bind to cannabinoid receptors in our bodies (they’re everywhere) and balance out imbalances that could be causing stress, anxiety, inflammation, and more.”
Although many prefer to use a tincture for their intake of CBD, gummies are becoming more popular because we already associate them with a great way to take a supplement. After all, who doesn’t remember our parents handing us vitamin gummies in the shapes of our favorite cartoon characters when we were kids? Because they taste like candy, many people might find them easier to use, which, at the end of the day, is what matters. “It’s an easier way to take it for many people who struggle to swallow capsules or keep down tinctures,” says Dusti Arab, brand manager at diem CBD.
How to Find the Right Dose for You
When it comes to the right dose, that individual biochemistry that Patel mentioned will come into play. It may take some playing around with doses to find the right one for you that can have the desired effect and, moreover, whatever dose you find initially may not be the dose you stick within the long run. This is primarily because our physiologies change over time, so just as you may increase a prescription medication as time goes on, the same can be true for CBD.
What’s even more curious is that a higher dose, say four gummies instead of two (the usual serving size), may not actually be twice as potent, either. “With substances that bind to a lot of different receptors, like CBD, there’s often a sweet spot around a mid-size dose,” Nick Jikomes, a neuroscientist, told Leafly. “That means you can’t necessarily expect the substance to be twice as strong if you double the dose—in fact, you might see the opposite.”
Since the FDA has not created a Recommended Daily Intake (RDI), the dosing is pretty much up to you. However, a good place to start is by calculating 1mg to 6mg of CBD for every 10 pounds of your body weight, depending on your level of pain. So, for instance, with diem CBD’s 20mg per gummy, you probably only need one gummy a day if you’re around 150 to 200 pounds.
What to Know Before You Take Them
One big thing you should know before venturing into CBD gummies is that, technically, CBD is still in a legal murky area, and some states are beginning to crack down on the popularization of CBD edible products, like lattes and chocolates.
Another thing to keep in mind is that, because CBD affects people differently, it might take you a while before you find the exact right dosage of CBD gummies for you. Plus, we must not forget the placebo effect. Although there is research into the effects of CBD, there is also tons of anecdotal evidence that is likely helping to spread the popularity of CBD.
“CBD is also a neuroprotectant, with studies showing it may help patients with degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s. It’s also, fascinatingly enough, a potent antipsychotic, so much so that it’s suggested as adjunctive therapy for schizophrenia. We also know CBD is extremely helpful for managing epilepsy,” says Janelle Lassalle, CBD expert and cannabis content creator. “Emotionally, it often makes people feel a sense of deep calm and sometimes blissful euphoria. I’ve successfully used CBD to wean myself off anti-anxiety/mood stabilizers, use it to create art on a daily basis, and take it daily to help manage my PTSD.”
When it comes to CBD gummies, however, Lasalle cautions that they may not be the most potent way to get your CBD. “Most CBD gummies contain CBD isolate rather than a full-spectrum CBD extract, thus nullifying the majority of the health benefits offered by CBD,” she says. Meanwhile, Patel also warns against the sugar used in gummies. “In my opinion, most CBD gummies, which contain lots of sugar per serving, could actually do a disservice to our bodies. If you’re experiencing lots of anxiety or elevated levels of stress or sleeplessness, the last thing you want to put in your body is sugar,” she says.
Despite the legal gray area, possible placebo effect, and sugar concerns, CBD gummies remain a popular product for those who are curious about trying CBD but aren’t sure they want to commit to a tincture or other form. “They’re a very familiar product,” Lassalle says, “And I think that in and of itself eases the tensions of many who worry about trying CBD for the first time.”
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