CBD oil is in everything from gummies to cold brew, but does it actually have any benefits if it's combined with other ingredients? Curious to try CBD? Here's what you need to know about cannabidiol and CBD gummies, which can relieve anxiety, pain, and inflammation. Get details and read the latest customer reviews about CBD Assorted Gummies (180mg-1800mg) by Experience CBD on Leafly.
We Asked Experts if CBD-Spiked Foods Do Anything at All
CBD oil is in everything from gummies to cold brew, but does it actually have any benefits if it’s combined with other ingredients?
A few months ago, during a pit stop at my local café, I noticed a new item on the menu: CBD cold brew.
Now, I normally avoid cold brew, which transforms me into a jittery, agitated wreck. But I had heard about the potential calming properties of CBD—short for cannabidiol, the non-intoxicating compound in cannabis—and wondered whether it would smooth out the caffeine’s stimulatory effects. Minutes later, I was cautiously sipping the supposed elixir.
For the rest of the day, I was focused and alert, but not anxious like I get when I down regular cold brew. Was the CBD working?
The same question stands for the bevy of other foods and beverages CBD has shown up in lately: chocolate-dipped pretzels, kombucha, salad dressing, even fried chicken, just to name a few. Some studies have suggested that pure CBD oil could be promising for certain health conditions, but none have looked at food products that contain CBD, leaving their effectiveness up for debate.
Does CBD in food even work?
First things first: It may be uber-trendy in wellness circles, but CBD “is not a panacea,” says James Giordano, a professor of neurology and biochemistry at Georgetown University Medical Center. Jeff Chen, director of the University of California Los Angeles Cannabis Research Initiative, agrees. So far, the FDA has approved a CBD drug for a rare, severe form of epilepsy, while animal studies and “very, very preliminary” human trials suggest CBD also has therapeutic potential for other conditions, such as anxiety and insomnia.
CBD, part of a class of compounds known as cannabinoids, acts on the same receptors as endocannabinoids, neurotransmitters your body naturally synthesizes. These receptors, found in the brain, make up the endocannabinoid system, thought to be involved in regulating numerous biological functions, including mood, sleep and pain. CBD can take different routes through the bloodstream to get to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, depending on how you consume it. When inhaled or applied under the tongue, for instance, CBD reaches the brain pretty quickly, Giordano says. But when ingested as an additive to food or drink, it takes longer. Before getting absorbed from the gut into the bloodstream, CBD gets metabolized in the liver, which inactivates some of it—meaning the amount that gets to the brain ends up being much smaller than the amount ingested.
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Chen notes that the dose of CBD shown to help ease pediatric epilepsy, schizophrenia, or anxiety in clinical trials was at least several hundred milligrams a day, although in one study, 15 milligrams of CBD seemed to boost alertness. This suggests that each condition or purpose requires a different dose of CBD. The dose in many products skews low, though: A single Hemp Bombs CBD gummy (one serving) packs only 15 milligrams of CBD for instance, while a can of Queen City Hemp CBD Seltzer contains 5 milligrams of CBD per 12 ounce serving. When contacted for comment, a rep from Queen City cited the aforementioned (very preliminary) human research and pointed out that CBD comes without the side effects that pharmaceuticals can have. Are the doses people are taking even effective for what they’re trying to treat, though? “We don’t know,” Chen says.
That said, if you swear by your nighttime CBD gummies, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re just experiencing a placebo effect. “Some people are very sensitive to [CBD], and even low doses of it can have an effect on them,” Giordano says. He adds that the sweet spot for most people lies somewhere between one and around 5 or 6 milligrams for every 10 pounds of their body weight. For a 100-pound woman, then, 10 milligrams is “a good low dose, and she may be sensitive to that effect.”
What factors influence whether a CBD food product works?
As explained above, the dose you take plays a big role. The higher the dose of CBD, the greater its absorption—that is, the amount that enters your bloodstream—and the sooner and more strongly you could feel its effects, Giordano says.
Product preparation makes a difference, too. “Putting anything in a liquid form versus a solid form will tend to increase its absorption,” Giordano says. Meanwhile, temperatures above 355 degrees Fahrenheit can degrade terpenes—active ingredients in many CBD oils that enhance their effects—he adds. (Smoking and vaping involve temperatures that evaporate terpenes, which converts them into a gaseous state but doesn’t degrade them.) On the other hand, exposing CBD oil to direct high heat—putting it over an open flame, for instance—can degrade its composition and lower its potency.
Whether you take the compound on an empty or full stomach also matters. A recent analysis found that the latter seems to enhance absorption. Since CBD is fat-soluble, it probably gets absorbed into the bloodstream along with the fats in the meal you just ate, Chen says. It depends, though. Giordano notes that the large fat globules from an especially rich, greasy meal can coat the inner lining of the gut, or mucosa, lowering absorption of CBD into the bloodstream.
Finally, your unique biology also comes into play. Everyone metabolizes and absorbs CBD at different rates, and they may respond differently to it once they metabolize it, with some experiencing heightened effects, and others lowered effects, Giordano says.
Can ingredients that you add the CBD oil to make a difference?
Since CBD is fat-soluble, consuming it in, say, olive oil, will generally allow more of it to cross your gut mucosa and enter your bloodstream, Giordano says. He adds that emulsified fat, or fat broken up into small droplets—found in foods like chocolate and mayonnaise—could do the same. Emulsions consist of fat blended with an ingredient that fat doesn’t dissolve in, which breaks up the fat into small droplets. These droplets easily pass through the mucosa, and CBD may join them for the ride.
Some ingredients could amplify the feel-good effects of CBD. Sugar and even the mere taste of chocolate can produce feelings of pleasure on their own in some people, but if you’re seeking the same sensation from CBD, then a sugary and/or chocolatey CBD-infused concoction could be “a double whammy,” Giordano says.
How might caffeine have affected my experience of CBD in that cold brew? Since caffeine speeds up metabolism, and the body absorbs caffeine pretty quickly, you could get “a synergistic effect” from the CBD and caffeine, Giordano says. As for why the cold brew didn’t leave me frazzled, the CBD might very well have countered the effect of the caffeine, he says. Everyone is different, though—for others, caffeine may counter the calming effect of CBD. But again, since CBD foods and beverages have yet to be tested in human studies, we can’t say for sure how specific types of products or their ingredients influence the effects of CBD, Chen says.
Is it safe to eat food with CBD in it?
Everything You Need to Know About Using CBD for Pain and Anxiety
Even if a product’s label says it contains 20 milligrams of CBD and zero contaminants, CBD products aren’t FDA-regulated, so they aren’t required to undergo testing to back up a manufacturer’s claims. That means “people should really take the time to research the products and the companies behind them,” Chen says. That research could be a simple Google search to see if anything negative has been reported about it. He also recommends consulting with your doctor if you’re already taking medications to ensure the CBD won’t react badly with them.
If you’re new to CBD, Giordano says to “start low and go slow.” Start with one milligram of CBD for every 10 pounds of your body weight. Give it 30 to 40 minutes to kick in. If you don’t feel anything, wait a day and take the same dose. “Sometimes your body has to actually acclimatize to the CBD on board,” Giordano says.
If you still don’t feel anything, wait the next day and up your dose to two milligrams of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight, and so on. Remember that for most people, the maximum dose is about 5 to 6 milligrams of CBD per ten pounds of body weight. Beyond that, you’ll likely excrete lots of CBD because you can’t absorb anymore, and you could experience negative effects, such as fatigue, disorientation and anxiety, Giordano says.
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Everyone’s Out Here Obsessing Over CBD Gummies—but Do They Actually Work?
Last year, “CBD gummies” was the third most googled food in the entire U.S. So yeah, you’ve likely heard of these little nuggets that contain cannabidiol (aka CBD), the part of weed that chills you out but not the part that inspires you to down a party-size bag of Doritos. Maybe you’ve even heard reviews—from stoner and non-stoner friends alike—about how the non-hallucinogenic bites are ideal for erasing Big Stress Energy or helping you wind down before bed. And you’ve probably still got questions. Great, ’cause we’ve got answers.
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Are you sure these work?
It does sound kinda like a scam, but solid scientific studies show that CBD can latch onto cells in your gut and immune system, relieving anxiety, pain, and inflammation, says Joseph Maroon, MD, a clinical professor of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. But that’s the pure stuff—there’s no legit research on the effectiveness of CBD in gummy form. In other words: They maybe work (at least, they did for our editors—see our own reviews below!).
Hey, FYI, we’re doing this SUPER-IMPORTANT survey on anxiety. Do us a solid and check it out here.
How many do I have to eat?
Figuring out whether you’ll need 2 or 10 to calm the hell down is (you guessed it) also a mystery, says Jeffrey Bost, a clinical instructor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Start with one gummy per day. Nada? Try two. Still nada? Slowly up your dose until you get some results. It’s pretty tough to OD on CBD, says Bost. The worst side effects of very high doses are drowsiness and mood changes. (And pls note that the long-term effects are still TBD.)
Where can I even buy some (without, um, getting arrested)?
If you live in a state where all types of devil’s lettuce are legal, you can buy CBD gummies almost anywhere—even at some gas stations. For everyone else, there’s the interwebs. Amazon sells them and can ship to your door for about $40 (yeah, chillin’ ain’t cheap).
CBD Assorted Gummies (180mg-1800mg)
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Choose from 5 different strengths:
180mg bags are temporarily OUT OF STOCK
360mg – 12 CBD Gummies (30mg per piece)
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1800mg – 60 CBD Gummies (30mg per piece)
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Recommended Use: Depending on your body type and prior use with CBD, we recommend starting with 1-2 gummies. If you are a first-time CBD user, try half to 1 gummy and see how your body reacts to CBD before increasing your servings.
Warning: May cause drowsiness and/or sleepiness; do not take when driving, operating heavy machinery or engaging in any activity that requires alertness.
Item NET Weight: 1.48 oz – 11.64 oz
SKU: 180mg SKU: CBD180EB
360mg SKU: CBD360EB
540mg SKU: CBD540EB
900mg SKU: CBD900EB
1800mg SKU: CBD1800EB
GTIN/UPC: 180mg GTIN/UPC: 850183008047
360mg GTIN/UPC: 850183008054
540mg GTIN/UPC: 850183008061
900mg GTIN/UPC: 850183008078
1800mg GTIN/UPC: 850183008702
These products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice from your primary physician or any other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
CBD Isolate Disclaimer
Before selecting a dose, please be aware that coated isolate products are not exact. Isolate tends to move around during shipment and small amounts may fall off the product. If you are looking for guaranteed CBD doses, please view CBD products that are labeled INFUSED or clearly state in the product description that they are infused with CBD.