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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.)
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!).
How many do I have to eat?
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.
If you live in a state where all types of devil’s lettuce is 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).
Are you sure these work?
Can eating a CBD gummy really help knock you out at night? Can sucking on CBD mints really help relieve nagging knee pain and encourage faster recovery? These are all questions we need answers to, and not just what is touted on social media.
Both marijuana and hemp cannabis plants have CBD and THC, but hemp cannabis plants contain a very low concentration of THC—0.3 percent or less—which means there is little chance the plant can get you as high as Cheech and Chong. Nearly all CBD found in commercially available food and drink is gleaned from industrial hemp, which is now legally grown on American soil courtesy of the 2018 Farm Bill that removed it as a controlled substance. It’s this same plant that produces hemp foods like hemp seeds and hemp protein powder.
What is CBD?
While the hype surrounding CBD is real, the research is much less so. When it comes to CBD, it’s a matter of the anecdotal evidence greatly outpacing the science, which is murky at best.
There are a variety of ways to consume CBD but the most common product types are oral tinctures, topical solutions, and edibles. Oral tinctures are taken—you guessed it—orally, while topicals are used on the skin, and edibles are ingested like food. Typically, the word ‘edibles’ has been associated with marijuana. It often conjures up images of pot brownies or space cakes, for instance. But CBD edibles are quite different and include everything from gummy candies to protein powders.
How Do You Consume It?
From helping to soothe battle-worn muscles to improving sleep to turning down the dial on anxiety, the list of benefits awarded to CBD anecdotally seems to grow by the day. And because of the loosening up of federal and state laws along with no shortage of athletes who are always looking for a competitive edge, the market for CBD-infused edibles has exploded. You can now slather CBD honey on your morning toast and fortify your post-run smoothie with CBD protein powder, all without the drawbacks or abuse potential marijuana. So should you buy into the buzz and be stocking your pantry with more of the stuff? Let’s first do a quick refresher.