CBD is the acronym for cannabidiol, a cannabinoid, or in other words, a naturally occurring molecule unique to cannabis plants.
Cannabinoids engage with the human endocannabinoid system, which affects basic biological functions, such as sleep, pain, mood, immune function and appetite.
However, CBD is non-psychoactive on its own; it doesn’t make people feel high, as is the case with THC, the other prevalent cannabinoid.
As a result, CBD products from hemp are widely used to alleviate a wide range of symptoms from common disorders and medical conditions.
CBD can take many forms. Many people prefer gummies over CBD oil and other forms because gummies are more enjoyable. They don’t have the distinct botanical flavor of CBD oil, and they’re easier to take than capsules or vapes.
Most gummies contain between 10–30 mg of CBD per piece, resulting in nice relaxation without excessive drowsiness. Many users end up taking more than one gummy at a time, but the optimal dosage is determined by a range of factors, such as the individual’s weight, age, metabolism, expected effects and whether it’s their first time with CBD.
CBD oil in most gummies comes from hemp plants and has been separated from THC and other cannabinoids. These products are labeled as “Zero THC” or “THC-free.” Some gummies may contain full-spectrum extracts with trace amounts of THC. Such products are still federally legal because they come from hemp, but states can regulate full-spectrum gummies on their own.
In this guide, we’ll cover exclusively THC-free gummies.
Continue reading to learn more CBD gummies, their health benefits, dosage recommendations and our top brand picks for 2019.
Royal CBD Overview
Our top pick, Royal CBD is a California-based brand selling premium CBD products from organic hemp. The company offers only one potency and flavor option of their gummies (10 mg, Fruit Punch), but the formula seems mastered to perfection.
Royal CBD gummies contain only natural ingredients, including the flavorings. They carry only three grams of sugar per container, resulting from the fruit juices that were added to achieve the appealing color and fruity flavors. It’s actually a guilt-free treat.
These gummy bears feature 99.9% pure CBD, with 10 mg in each piece. Such small increments allow for more accurate dosage without going too far and experiencing sedation or other mild side effects.
Since this is an isolate-based product, Royal CBD gummies have a pleasant, fruity taste, without the overwhelming botanical notes carried over from full-spectrum extracts. These are organic gummies, so they are priced a little bit higher than the competition, but still within reason.
DiamondCBD is the leader in making CBD-infused edibles, with an absolutely amazing selection of CBD gummies.
DiamondCBD offers an extremely wide range of shapes and flavors to choose from. Its gummies are available as bears, worms, sour tapes, frogs, mini fruits, rings and more.
Whether you want a pack of 12 gummies or are aiming for a jar of 100 mouthwatering treats, DiamondCBD has everything and beyond. All of their products are third-party tested in independent laboratories, with Certificates of Analysis attached to each product page.
However, when you put the abundance of flavors and shapes aside, you’ll see that these are pretty much the same products, but each in a different container. In fact, there are only two potency options to choose from—7.25 mg and 12.5 mg of CBD per gummy. These are very strange increments that may be difficult to dose, especially for beginners.
Why does DiamondCBD score the runner-up title? Besides the obvious dosage problem, we have some doubts about the quality of certain ingredients in these gummies. There are three artificial colorings, which could be substituted with fruit juices or concentrates. We prefer natural solutions, hence the lower note here.
CBDistillery offers two CBD gummy products that cater to different types of consumers.
The company’s standard CBD gummies are designed for daily consumption. Each gummy bear contains 30 mg of 99% pure CBD isolate, making them suitable for public employees or people who face routine drug tests.
CBDistillery also has a Night Time option. Similar to the standard version, Night Time Gummies contain 30 mg of CBD per count, but with 2 mg of sleep-aiding melatonin. Both products are sourced from U.S.-grown, non-GMO hemp and are suitable for vegans.
The reason we give CBDistillery gummies the third place is their sugar content, which is higher than in Royal CBD gummies due to the added cane sugar and grape juice concentrate. The taste is still pleasant, but some users may consider them too sweet in the long run.
CBDfx is another brand that offers multiple options for its CBD gummies. The company caters to both novice and experienced consumers, selling their gummy bears in two strengths—5 mg or 40 mg of CBD per gummy.
Moreover, CBDfx has various formulas in their lineup, each offering unique effects and benefits. On top of their regular gummies for daily use, CBDfx sells gummies infused with turmeric and spirulina for improved immune function; the company also sells sleep-inducing gummies with melatonin, as well as jet-setters that are packed with a vitamin complex.
Additionally, CBDfx also offers its low-potency gummies in eight-count packages as well as mix-and-match bundles for those who are still hesitating on which formula and flavor to choose.
Unfortunately, the CBDfx gummies are higher in sugar than the above brands—again, it’s the cane sugar and fruit concentrates that are to blame. On the other hand, the company claims to sell full-spectrum gummies, so those two ingredients were likely added to mask the unpleasant hemp taste.
PlusCBD Oil Overview
PlusCBD oil is another brand selling full-spectrum CBD gummies. PlusCBD Oil is better for people who prefer lower concentrations of CBD, as well as essential fatty acids, other phytocannabinoids, terpenes, vitamins and trace minerals.
Other ingredients of PlusCBD oil gummies include purified water, organic seaweed extract and organic cane sugar. They are also non-GMO and don’t contain dairy, soy, gluten or gelatin.
You can choose from two delicious flavors—Fruit Punch or Cherry Mango. Both are very good at masking the natural taste of full-spectrum CBD. There are 30-count and 60-count containers available; we recommend the latter because it saves you more money on the order. Still, the price per mg of CBD is very high considering the potency of these gummies, which is why we place it at the bottom of our ranking.
Shopping for the Best CBD Gummies: Buyer’s Guide
Many people dislike the taste of natural CBD oil, and they prefer to take their supplement in the form of a capsule or edible. Gummies are hands down the most popular edible product on the market for CBD users.
Most of the time, gummies are flavored with fruit juice or concentrate, which are responsible for their pleasant taste and mask the flavor of full-spectrum CBD. Unlike capsules, gummies are soft and fun to chew, making them a preferred option among people with dental issues or those who don’t like to swallow pills.
Gummies are available in a wide range of strengths. We’ve seen doses as low as 2 mg to a high as 100 mg per serving.
Below, we cover the most important features of CBD and discuss the potential health benefits of gummies, as well as how they turn out compared to other CBD formats.
What Is CBD?
Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are natural chemicals that interact with a neurochemical network known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). These interactions can affect functions like memory, immune response, pain transmission, appetite, mood and sleep.
As a result, products containing CBD can help users deal with symptoms associated with many physical and mental conditions, including:
- Anxiety and stress;
- Chronic pain;
- HIV and other diseases that affect the immune system;
- Insomnia and other sleep disorders; and
Since CBD comes from cannabis, and many people associate cannabis with marijuana and getting high, some people wonder whether their CBD gummies can produce any psychoactive effects.
The answer: no, as long as they are sourced from hemp. Hemp-derived products contain less than 0.3% THC, which is not enough to get the user high.
With marijuana, things are a little bit different. CBD oil from marijuana contains higher concentrations of THC and has moderate-to-potent psychoactive properties.
Marijuana-derived products are only legal in states that have legalized the medical or recreational use of cannabis.
Hemp extracts, including CBD gummies, are legal in all 50 states as a result of the 2018 Farm Bill.
Please note that this guide focuses on CBD gummies that have zero THC.
What Makes CBD Gummies Different From Other Products?
There’s a reason why CBD gummies have become so popular in the United States. They offer a unique experience for CBD consumers, combining easy dosing with fun and portability.
Here are the most common features of CBD gummies:
- Longer-Lasting Effects: CBD gummies are taken orally, just like other edibles. Given this, they typically have a slightly slower onset than CBD oil, but they also produce longer-lasting effects. However, the strength of effects also depends on the gummy’s potency.
- Low-to-Moderate Concentration: While it’s possible to find gummies with up to 100 mg per piece, most CBD gummies carry between 10–30 mg per count. The ideal potency depends on the consumer’s weight, age and the type of effects they desire. For most people the 10–30 mg range is sufficient, although larger people or those with severe symptoms may need stronger formats of CBD in their routine.
- Isolate vs. Full-Spectrum: Isolate-based products only contain CBD, while full-spectrum extracts feature the whole array of other non-psychoactive cannabinoids like cannabinol (CBN) or cannabigerol (CBG), as well as trace amounts of THC, terpenes and other nutrients. Most CBD gummies sold today are made with 99% pure isolate or using a broad-spectrum extracts, in which CBD and the remaining compounds were separated from THC.
- Lots of Flavors to Choose From: CBD gummies come in a very wide range of flavors, including fruity, exotic, herbal and sour options. Full-spectrum gummies also have more added sugar to mask the distinct taste of natural CBD.
- Sugars vs. Sweeteners: CBD gummies can be sweetened with natural fruit juices and concentrates. Some companies use sweeteners like stevia, erythritol or aspartame, whereas others use regular sugar for improved taste of their products. If you have a medical condition that excludes sugars from your diet, we recommend looking for gummies with natural sweeteners.
- Gluten-Free & Vegan: CBD users who are vegan or allergic to gluten can sleep safe—most CBD gummies available for sale today are gluten-free and vegan. However, we encourage you to always read product labels or reach out to company representatives if necessary.
- Affordable: Of course, CBD gummies are more expensive than your average Haribo bears, but considering the quality of ingredients, they are priced very reasonably for a guilt-free snack. For example, the average price for a package containing 30 pieces of 5 mg gummies is $20—this breaks down to roughly 67 cents per gummy and 13 cents per mg.
Are CBD Gummies Safe?
Most products containing CBD oil—including CBD gummies—are considered generally safe as long as they come from a trusted source. Their relaxing and pain-relieving properties are well documented and the list of side effects is very short. Most of them are minor and nearly non-existent when you take CBD in normal doses.
Common side effects of CBD include:
- Dry Mouth: This is the problem with most cannabinoid-based products. CBD may interact with receptors that control saliva production, resulting in mild or moderate dryness in the mouth. You may also notice strong feelings of thirst, especially when taking gummies with high concentrations of CBD. Staying well hydrated during that time should effectively curb the symptoms.
- Dizziness: Some users experience dizziness as a result of a temporary drop in blood pressure immediately after taking CBD products. For people with blood pressure issues or those taking certain medications, we recommend seeing a doctor before buying CBD gummies.
- Diarrhea: Extremely high doses of CBD may upset the stomach and trigger diarrhea.
- Appetite Fluctuation: CBD is thought to be a mild appetite suppressant, although some consumers report increased appetite after eating CBD gummies. This may be caused by the sugar inside the gummies, which further increases cravings.
In addition, CBD gummies with added sugar may not be a good choice for people with diabetes or other conditions where the patient needs to limit sugar intake. For these individuals, we recommend sugar-free gummies.
Can You Get High from Eating CBD Gummies?
CBD gummies can relax you, but they won’t get you high in the same way that THC products do.
Some full-spectrum gummies will have trace amount of THC, but in most cases, this amount won’t exceed 0.3%.
And despite the lack of psychoactive effects, CBD gummies in high doses can make you feel sleepy. That’s why we always advise new consumers to err on the side of caution, especially if they need to stay focused throughout the day—or when operating on machinery and motor vehicles.
How Many CBD Gummies Should You Eat for the First Time?
A CBD gummy may contain anywhere from 5 to 100 mg of CBD, so it all boils down to how strong your gummies are. As we’ve noted, there’s no one-size-fits-all dosage; the optimal amount of CBD for any given individual depends on a range of biological factors.
The table below illustrates general dosage recommendations for first-time CBD consumers based on their weight. If you’ve never taken CBD before, we advise you to start with the lowest range for your group.