You may have noticed your friends or relatives sneaking them into their mouths at dinnertime. You may have even seen a coworker take a bite when lunch was two hours ago. They look like multivitamins, but your friends tell you otherwise when you ask: they are CBD gummies. People take them to reduce the severity of ailments like pain, inflammation, anxiety, PTSD, insomnia, and more.
What are CBD gummies, though, and are they for you? If you are curious, here’s a loose overview to get you started:
What is CBD, and how does it work?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is one of over 120 compounds found in the cannabis plant called cannabinoids. If you think you have never heard of cannabinoids before, you have probably heard of at least one: THC, the compound in marijuana famous for making you high.
CBD, however, is not an intoxicant, so it does not get you high. What’s the fun of using it, then? Well, as mentioned previously, it offers a whole host of health benefits—just without the consequences of an inhibited mental state, like with medical marijuana.
Your body produces cannabinoids of its own, actually. You have a network of receptors, enzymes, and compounds called endocannabinoids (“endo” means “inside)” within your body called the endocannabinoid system, or ECS. The ECS plays a vital role in helping your body maintain homeostasis, which is its state of equilibrium. If something is out of balance, your ECS deploys endocannabinoids to help your body communicate with itself and correct the issue. For example, your body cannot function if its temperature gets too high. To cool you down, your ECS helps trigger your sweat glands to start producing sweat, redirecting heat so that you reach an optimal temperature.
Your ECS is involved in all kinds of bodily functions, such as pain, sleep, mood, digestion, appetite, motor control, memory, reproduction, pleasure, inflammation, immune function, and more. When you ingest phytocannabinoids like CBD (“phyto” means “plant”), it boosts your ECS as it conducts its duties, and thus can help your body maintain homeostasis more efficiently.
What’s so special about gummies?
CBD products come in a vast array of shapes and forms. Oils and tinctures are particularly well-known, but you can also buy vapes, patches, creams, lotions, sprays, edibles, infused teas, infused foods, etc. Each of these has its respective advantages; CBD creams can be great for addressing localized muscle pain by rubbing it into your skin. If you want CBD’s properties to work in your brain, though, then you need to ingest it (which still works well for physical ailments, of course).
CBD products can taste a bit “earthy,” though, so while sublingual oils are fantastic, gummies taste so much better. Like multivitamins, they usually contain ingredients like gelatin and sugar. It’s possible to buy gummies with other specialized contents as well, such as melatonin to promote a good night’s sleep.
Gummies also make it easier to measure each dosage; there’s a bit of guesswork involved with other products, but you know precisely how much concentrated cannabidiol is in each gummy (such as 5, 10, or 25mg). They’re also more discreet. Dropping oil under your tongue at work might draw odd looks until cannabis products are more widely accepted, but no one will bat an eye at an infused gummy. To get started with shopping, check out these awesome CBD gummies.
Are they legal?
CBD actually exists in an unusual and gray legal area. The 2018 Farm Bill removed industrial hemp from the DEA’s purview, so CBD products made from hemp (which is another kind of cannabis, though with a lower THC content than marijuana) are legal in the US as long as they have .3 percent THC or less.
At a federal level, that is. Each state writes and enforces its own laws. Some states are stricter about obtaining CBD, while others allow it to be sold online and in stores. Check your state’s local laws about CBD before you buy.
Be careful when shopping, too. CBD shifted from the DEA’s jurisdiction to the FDA’s, which has only approved one brand of CBD (Epidiolex, for treating two forms of epilepsy in children). The FDA maintains that CBD is illegal, but it doesn’t monitor the industry very closely. As a result, some companies mislabel their products or do not exercise healthy hemp farming practices. Toxins like pesticides and heavy metals could be in their gummies, oils, and other goods. Only purchase from reputable companies that are transparent about where their hemp comes from and send their products to third-party labs to test for purity and potency (they should make the lab results readily available on their websites, often called Certificates of Analysis).
CBD gummies are delicious and may be able to help tremendously with your anxiety or chronic pain, but be vigilant when shopping and talk with your doctor first. Are you curious about trying CBD gummies?