How to shop for the best CBD gummies

Gummies are an incredibly popular CBD product. Learn what makes CBD gummies so special, and how to shop for the highest-quality CBD edibles.

  (photo credit: CBDfx)
(photo credit: CBDfx)

With the sudden proliferation of CBD products everywhere, it may seem like picking out CBD gummies is easy. Just pick up a gummy jar from that display by the grocery checkout line, or order some gummies from that ad that popped up in your social media feed, right? Not so fast. There’s a little more to finding CBD gummies that will actually work for you than just grabbing whatever gummy product crosses your path. As with any wellness product, CBD gummies should not be a casual purchase. 

But that doesn’t mean it needs to be difficult, either. We’re here to help with advice on things to look for as you try to find the right CBD gummies to best serve your needs. So, read on to learn how to shop for the best CBD gummies

First, What Is CBD and Why Might I Want to Try it? 

CBD is the popular abbreviation for cannabidiol, which is a cannabinoid found in hemp plants. It is the second most prevalent organic compound present in cannabis plants, after tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Legally speaking, hemp is a low-THC form of cannabis typically grown for industrial purposes. THC, of course, is the compound in cannabis that causes users to feel high and exists in greater amounts in the form of cannabis commonly called marijuana.

These days, in addition to industrial uses such as making fabric, paper, and other goods, hemp is also grown to produce CBD for wellness supplements, such as the CBD gummies we’re discussing here. It is important to note that CBD does not cause intoxication, unlike its better-known cousin, THC. The perceptible effects of CBD are generally associated with a sense of calm, not impairment. CBD doesn’t get invited to parties the way THC does, but it can be useful to help people with their wellness goals. 

Some Common Uses for CBD (and CBD Gummies!)

Research into CBD and its effects is still in its early stages, yet studies and clinical trials are already finding that this cannabinoid shows real promise in helping to alleviate symptoms of a wide range of conditions and has relatively low incidences of side effects. That’s probably why CBD has gained so many fans over such a short period. One of the first things you should decide when you’re buying CBD gummies is what wellness goals you’re looking to achieve with them, as CBD gummies frequently can contain other active ingredients to boost the specific effects desired. 

CBD for General Wellness

Understanding the benefits of CBD begins with an understanding of the body’s endocannabinoid system. This system helps to keep many of the body’s various systems and organs in balance, or homeostasis, and in doing so, regulates such crucial functions as sleep, mood, memory, appetite, motor control, pain, immune, stress, and more. 

CBD mimics the body’s own endocannabinoids and helps to bolster this system. Thus, CBD and other plant-based cannabinoids generate a wealth of health and wellness benefits for the mind and body. This is the chief reason CBD has become such a popular wellness supplement, with products as diverse as CBD gummies and other CBD edibles, such as CBD capsules and snacks, CBD vape oil products, CBD oil tinctures, CBD creams and balms, CBD for dogs and cats, and more. 

CBD as a Gentle, Effective Sleep Aid

Sleep disorders are more common than ever these days, and that means a greater number of people looking for a way to help them get the sleep they need. Several have found that CBD is a useful, natural sleep aid that is non habit-forming. CBD’s calming effect is thought to help soothe anxiety and allow both mind and body better conditions for attaining restful sleep. Many CBD gummies made for sleep also incorporate other natural ingredients, such as melatonin or chamomile, to enhance their effectiveness in this goal. Unsurprisingly, CBD sleep gummies are among the most popular of all CBD edibles.

CBD for All-Natural Pain Relief

Everybody experiences aches and pains at some point in their lives. Whether it’s from chronic conditions, such as arthritis or migraine headaches, or more everyday occurrences like post-workout soreness, many users are finding that CBD offers relief from pain. CBD gummies can be a safe alternative to over-the-counter and pharmaceutical pain remedies, with no known risk of chemical dependency. Please note that it is illegal to make medical recommendations for the use of CBD, so please consult a physician if you’re thinking of using CBD for anything beyond minor aches and pains.

CBD to Promote Skin Health from the Inside Out

CBD demonstrates anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that make it interesting to those looking to address skin health. Studies are finding that CBD may relieve symptoms of conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema. Beyond that, CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects can help reduce redness and swelling, while its antioxidant properties help fight damage-causing free radicals and prevent premature appearance of aging. 

For both pain and skin health, many people will take CBD gummies or other CBD edibles in addition to topical CBD products, such as creams and lotions. In this way, the issue can be addressed internally, though the endocannabinoid system, and via direct application to the affected area. 

CBD for Stress Management and Relaxation 

The relaxing effect of CBD gummies isn’t just good for helping you fall asleep. Used in different dosages or with other supplemental ingredients, CBD can be a natural way to reduce the stress of everyday life. As more and more people turn away from alcohol consumption, CBD is finding an audience with those looking for a healthy way to unwind at the end of a long day without having a drink – or several. 

CBD can be found in a number of energy products, as well, as that same gentle calm can help the mind relax and de-stress, and give you laser focus. Many people take CBD multivitamin gummies and other vitamin and nutrient-boosted gummies with CBD to take advantage of that mental calm, giving them a healthy start to their day

These are just a few of the more popular uses for gummies and other CBD products. If you feel you may benefit from CBD as part of your wellness routine, we encourage you to look deeper into the ways this natural compound is being employed by people just like you and the studies into its potential benefits.

Possible Side Effects from CBD Gummies

All supplements have their pros and cons, but CBD side effects are fairly rare and generally occur when a person takes much more than the recommended CBD dosage. CBD side effects can include dry mouth, lethargy, diarrhea, and reduced appetite. CBD can also interact with some prescription medications, so if you’re taking medication and thinking of trying CBD, consult your doctor.

Choosing the Right CBD Gummies in a Crowded Market

Once you know the wellness goals you want to address with CBD gummies, you can start looking at specific products. And you will find that there are a lot of gummies to choose from. You will also find that not all of these gummies are created with equal care. As with any relatively new product, sudden popularity creates opportunities for less scrupulous companies to cash in with subpar products. To avoid those potential pitfalls, let’s look at some things you should consider when shopping for CBD gummy products. 

Insist on Organic CBD Gummies

Among the most important things to look for is CBD gummies made with organically grown hemp. Remember earlier when we mentioned that hemp is often grown for industrial uses? Well, that hemp doesn’t necessarily need to be grown organically if it’s going to be used to make paper. But it’s a different story if it’s being used to make something people will ingest. 

That’s because hemp is an incredibly efficient bioaccumulator. That means that as it grows, hemp pulls all kinds of things from the soil into the plant itself. If what’s in the soil includes chemicals from fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides, that stuff will be in the plant as well. And if it’s in the plant, it will also be in the CBD oil used to make your gummies. That’s why it’s so important to only buy organic CBD gummies. 

CBD Gummy Purity: Safe & Clean Oil Extraction

Of course, starting out with good, organic hemp doesn’t do much good if you introduce contaminants while trying to extract the CBD oil from the organic matter. Unfortunately, some companies do just that by using chemical solvents, like butane, to make their products. These oil extraction processes leave behind traces of those chemicals in the finished product, making them unfit for consumption. 

We recommend looking for gummies and other CBD products that were made with CBD oil extracted with carbon dioxide. Not only is CO2 oil extraction exceptionally clean, leaving behind no harmful residues, it is also one of the best ways to extract the full range of organic compounds from hemp (meaning more CBD for you!). This can be useful particularly for those who want a full spectrum CBD or broad spectrum CBD gummy. 

CO2 oil extraction requires a substantial investment in equipment to perform properly, which is why it is not popular with CBD companies out to make a quick buck. However, if you want the safest, purest CBD products available, CO2 oil extraction is the only way to go. 

Third-Party Laboratory Test Results for All CBD Gummies 

Reputable companies producing CBD edibles and other hemp products have nothing to hide, and they will prove this by having their products tested by independent labs and publishing their results. 

Gummies produced by cheaper CBD brands have been found to have wildly inconsistent concentrations of CBD, often making them much less potent than advertised. Third-party lab tests will confirm the amount of CBD (by mg) in your product, as well as the mg of other cannabinoids in your product, most notably THC. They’ll also tell you if there are any of the harmful chemicals, which we discussed above, in your CBD product.

All the best CBD companies will provide such a test for each of their products, confirming the CBD potency and the purity of each product. If the gummies you’re considering for purchase don’t come with a third-party lab test, find yourself some other gummies!

What Else Is in Your Gummies?

We’ve discussed the importance of buying gummies that contain organic CBD, extracted with clean CO2 and backed by a third-party lab report. But CBD isn’t the only ingredient in your gummies. 

Check the ingredients list to see if your manufacturer is making your gummy product as effective as possible. If you’re looking for sleep gummies, make sure the additional ingredients are effective sleep supplements. If you want gummies for morning use, make sure your product has enough energizing ingredients to offset CBD’s natural relaxation effects. 

And whatever ingredients are in your gummies, make sure they’re natural. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to purchase organic gummies that meet all of our criteria for purity and potency, if the CBD brand pollutes it all with artificial sweeteners and preservatives. CBD is a natural wellness supplement. Make sure the ingredients back that up.

Other Considerations in Buying CBD Gummies 

For some, dietary restrictions and ethical concerns play a role in choosing CBD edibles, such as gummies. For example, vegans are unlikely to want to buy a CBD gummy product that contains animal-derived gelatin, or are not free of cruelty in their production and testing. Others may need a gluten-free CBD gummy product, or be looking specifically for something non-GMO. 

If these are your concerns, we recommend looking for these things in the manufacturer’s literature about their CBD products. Companies offering these features will let customers know, so don’t just assume that all CBD gummies will suit your preferences or needs. 

CBD Gummies & Bioavailability

Bioavailability refers to how readily a substance is absorbed by the body when it is ingested. This can also be affected by the method by which CBD is consumed. As edible products, CBD gummies are consumed simply by eating them. This offers some benefits as well as challenges with bioavailability. 

CBD is highly lipophilic on its own. This means that CBD is very easily soluble in fat. Conversely, CBD is not particularly soluble in water. What all that adds up to is that when eaten, CBD is going to be more easily absorbed by the body if it is taken in combination with something containing fat. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to chase your CBD gummies with a double cheeseburger every time you take them. 

However, a small snack with high fat content, such as avocado slices, seeds or nuts, or even a cup of coffee with cream, makes for a good accompaniment and will help speed the CBD’s effectiveness. And one upside to the slower CBD absorption of edible consumption is that the effects last longer, making this good for applications when it’s not practical to take more frequent CBD doses.

Credit: CBDfxCredit: CBDfx

How Long Does It Take to Feel the Effects of CBD Gummies?

Gummies and other edibles take longer than other types of CBD products to absorb into the bloodstream. This is because gummies have to pass through the digestive tract before the CBD can be absorbed, which can take 30 minutes to two hours depending on personal bioavailability factors, such as height, weight, metabolism, and CBD tolerance.

How Long Do the Effects of CBD Gummies Last?

While it can be frustrating waiting for your gummies to kick in, the plus side is that the effects of edible CBD products are incredibly long-lasting, often from six to eight hours (again, depending on personal bioavailability factors).  

Gummies vs. Other CBD Products 

There are many ways to take CBD, but gummies are among the most popular of all CBD products. And for good reason, too. Gummies offer a lot of advantages over other methods of CBD consumption. Gummies are simple, for one, with no other equipment required. Just chew and swallow. You don’t need water to wash gummies down, and there are no batteries to go dead at the worst time. 

Unlike oil tinctures, CBD gummies don’t typically come in fragile glass bottles, and there’s no risk of gummies leaking. Gummies are easily portable, too. Simply put a few gummies in a sandwich bag if you want to bring your CBD with you during your day. 

And compared to vaped methods of CBD ingestion, gummies are discreet, with no clouds of exhaled vapor or suspicious-looking pens. CBD gummies also offer the benefit of consistent dosage. While it can be nearly impossible to take exactly the same size puff from a vaporizer time after time, every gummy in your jar will have the same amount of active ingredients. 

Final Thoughts on CBD Gummies

With all the potential uses for CBD, combined with the ease of use and consistent dosage offered by CBD gummies, we think you’ll find these products to be an excellent addition to your wellness regimen. Now that we’ve shared some of these plusses with you, we hope you’ll consider trying gummies with CBD for yourself! 

This article was written in cooperation with CBDfx.