101 Guide to CBD Infused Edibles

August 10, 2022 15 min read

CBD Edibles

CBD edibles comprise a wide range of CBD-infused products for oral or sublingual intake. They include products like cannabidiol gummies, soft gels, gummy bears, breath strips, CBD-infused chocolates, and more. Whichever option you take, CBD edibles offer great taste, are discrete, and represent an easy and convenient way to take your daily dose of CBD.

For centuries, cannabis has been infused in food products and medications and crept into ancient Buddha and Hindu religions as early as 1000 BCE. In ancient India, for example, a mixture of spices, ghee, milk, and cannabis was used as a mild sedative to reduce stress and anxiety. Over the years, cannabis has had its fair share of legislation which, in the US, for instance, led to the enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill that federally legalized industrial hemp. Thanks to this Farm Bill that redefined cannabis in the Controlled Substances Act, many of us have come to utilize CBD in medicinal and recreational spheres.

Regarding CBD-infused edibles, most people are familiar with CBD-infused gummies that come in delicious flavors. However, the edible list has been diversified by manufacturers to include things like CBD-infused chocolates, cookies, meals, and soft drinks. It can even be used in a daily dosage by sipping on a cup of tea or coffee. Since edibles are increasingly becoming a staple in the US and Western society, this article looks at basic truths about CBD edibles.

What Are CBD Edibles?

CBD is a naturally-occurring compound that has demonstrated its effectiveness as a perfect sleep aid and ability to reduce chronic pain and inflammation – and comes without the intoxication or psychoactive effects associated with marijuana. CBD edibles refer to the broader category of hemp-derived food products meant for oral intake to deliver CBD dosage. In the wake of the enactment of the Farm Bill in 2018, CBD gummies – the most popular edibles – ranked third behind romaine lettuce and unicorn cake in the most commonly searched foods, according to McPartland & Sheikh (2018) on Google's 2018 annual search data report.

Numerous CBD-infused derivatives have flocked the market, including desserts, protein powders, gummy bears, teas, capsules, hemp chocolates, coffee, cocktails, energy drinks, and CBD-infused meals. CBD edibles contain hemp or marijuana-extracted CBD as a base. Since these products are made from CBD hemp extract that contains a THC limit of 0.3%, they can be legally retailed or purchased in all 50 states.

Forms Of Cannabis Edibles Based on Cannabinoid Composition

When looking at the base ingredient contained in edibles, cannabis edibles come in three basic types.

  • CBD edibles are CBD dominant and contain little or no THC – usually less than the acceptable limit of 0.3%. Hence, CBD dominant edibles will not produce any intoxication or feelings of a 'high.'
  • THC edibles: THC dominant edibles contain little or no CBD. Because of the superior THC level, they deliver a strong mind-altering effect. They are legal only in states that permit cannabis use for recreation and medication.
  • Balanced THC/CBD edibles: These contain equal amounts of CBD and THC and are ideal for those looking to benefit from hemp's tonic benefits and marijuana's psychoactive effects.

Cannabis Edibles Based on Extract Types

CBD edibles can be classified into three categories depending on the extract types, namely:

  • Full-spectrum edibles are made from hemp extract, including all 40 cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and THC.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD edibles contain all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, except that THC is removed.
  • CBD isolate edibles are made from 99.9% pure CBD extract. That means its base extract is stripped of all other cannabinoids, waxes, oils, terpenes, and flavonoids, except CBD.

Regarding the manufacturing process of CBD-infused edibles, CBD oil is typically obtained from the hemp plant via the industry-standard CO2 extraction process. Once the oil is extracted, it is blended with other ingredients to create products like chocolates, gummy bears, soft gels, and more. If you are a DIY enthusiast, you can obtain CBD oil and create your edibles from the comfort of your home.

Types Of CBD Edibles

Many people are jumping on the bandwagon of medical marijuana because of its powerful therapeutic potential to alleviate suffering and pain linked to numerous ailments. Unlike the mainstream pharmaceutical solutions riddled with long-term side effects, many patients are turning to CBD edibles to manage pain and ease symptoms associated with numerous medical conditions, including anxiety, IBD, chronic pain, inflammation, and depression. Picardo et al. (2019) wrote about CBD's effectiveness for these conditions.

Vapers and non-vapers alike have not been left behind too. They also consider CBD-infused edibles an easy and more convenient way to consume CBD. Practitioners also recommend CBD gummies, tinctures, capsules, and CBD-infused drinks as better alternatives to smoking or vaping. If you are considering a better, nutritious, and delicious way to consume a daily dose of CBD, check out the different variations of CBD edibles. While the numerous varieties in the market may make it tough to decide, this section explores the four types of CBD-infused edibles and how to select the best option that suits your needs.

CBD Gummies

Cannabidiol gummies, or CBD-infused gummies, are the most popular forms of CBD edibles in the market. Gummies contain high content of CBD designed to deliver a continuous dosage to the patient for several hours. They deliver long-lasting effects and are ideal dosages for long daylight hours. They are easy to consume, carry along on travel trips, and are available in various concentrations, shapes, colors, and flavors, including strawberry, lime, citrus, watermelon, and peppermint.

With many brands offering gummy bears, you can always find one that suits your taste. A pack of CBD gummies could contain between 20 to 60 pieces, each packing a discrete amount of CBD that accurately delivers your CBD dose. Some CBD gummies pack a small amount of CBD, while others are highly concentrated, so check the potency before making a purchase. The reason gummy bears are popular is that they come infused with other ingredients that mask the raw taste of CBD oil.

CBD Capsules

CBD capsules are the most popular form of CBD pills and represent one of the easiest edibles to ingest CBD conveniently. Every capsule is formulated using CBD and ingredients such as essential oils that naturally occur in the hemp plant. Capsules are quite popular because, besides providing the beneficial effects of CBD oil, they mask the raw taste of CBD oil and reduce the risk of overdose.

Once ingested, Scrimali (2020) discovered that CBD capsules are digested gastrointestinally to release cannabidiol into the bloodstream, which subsequently offers relief and relaxation from pain, anxiety, nausea, and inflammation, among others. CBD capsules are great options for non-smokers or non-vapers to ingest CBD because they reduce the risks associated with respiratory damage or exacerbating lung cancer.

CBD Energy Chews

Also referred to as CBD sweets, CBD-infused chews are the perfect edibles as they represent a healthy and effective way to enhance energy levels. They are formulated with all-natural and active ingredients that will boost your physical and mental health without causing side effects. Like CBD gummies, they are available in different colors and flavors, such as strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, etc., making it easy to enjoy them daily. CBD energy chews are a great option to boost energy levels and stay alert during long working days.

CBD Chocolate Bars

CBD has come a long way and has found its way into chocolate bars and cookies on the market. CBD chocolate bars contain CBD extract as a base but may be infused with other ingredients such as cocoa, fruits, nuts, and spices. Due to their delicious and great-tasting nature, these bars are ideal for non-smokers or those who don't like the raw taste of CBD oil.

CBD Tinctures

Tinctures are liquid solutions formulated using essential oils and CBD extract for medicinal application. They are readily available in today's hemp marketplace and come in a variety of concentrations and too. Usually, they contain a CBD content of between 10 – 30% and come packed in bottles with a dropper for accurate dosage. CBD tinctures for humans and pets are both designed for oral or sublingual intake, and it is recommended that you hold a few drops under the tongue for 30 to 60 seconds before swallowing.

Baron (2018) stated that tinctures are highly preferred for various ailments, including alleviating stress, anxiety, acne, PTSD, and diabetes, among many other auto-immune diseases. Depending on the active cannabinoids in their formula, taking a few drops can ease pain, boost energy, and elevate your mood without the psychoactive effects.

How Long Do CBD Edibles Take to Kick in Effects?

The duration for CBD edibles to work depends on various aspects, including the edible's concentration, individual CBD tolerance, body weight, etc.; unlike smoking or vaping, which kicks in effects faster, edibles have to undergo digestion before CBD can enter the bloodstream. CBD edibles usually take between half-hour to 2 hours before taking effect. However, there is no one-size-fits-all time frame because that is determined by the aspects mentioned earlier.

Should You Consume CBD Edibles?

You can barely get it wrong with CBD edibles if you are getting started with CBD and looking for the most convenient way of consumption. When using CBD, start with a low dosage, monitor progress, and increase the daily dosage. Weston-Green et al. (2021) found that edibles offer the tonic therapeutic benefits of CBD and are also discrete to take on the go and taste great. Test out the different edible options and stick with the one that goes in tandem with your individual needs.

Regarding the usage of CBD edibles or any CBD-infused products, little is known as of yet. However, Lim et al. (2017) indicated that CBD possesses numerous health and mental benefits. Regarding the side effects, nothing long-term has been made concrete. However, some short-term side effects observed with excessive intake of CBD include drowsiness, fatigue, nausea, and irritability.

Another safety issue could come with manufacturers' composition of ingredients in CBD edibles. Currently, the hemp industry is still unregulated – despite the FDA's apparent regulations and individual state by-laws – and shady or unscrupulous companies have taken advantage of such loopholes to offer substandard CBD-infused edibles on the market. Always obtain your edibles from FDA-compliant brands.

Advantages Of Using CBD Edibles Over Other Forms

CBD edibles contain shallow amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the component of cannabis responsible for the psychoactive effects – and are, therefore, legal in all 50 states. Since 2018, edibles have ranked consistently high on Google searches. What prompted this popularity? This section explores the perks of using CBD edibles to ingest CBD as opposed to other forms of hemp-infused products.

Ease Of Dosage

The most prominent benefit of using CBD gummies and other edibles is their ability to grant patients power over dosages. As with cannabidiol medications, it can be a dosing challenge accurately and effectively. Though with CBD edibles, you can manage levels of CBD per serving, and you can also calculate accurate dosage amounts.

For consumption methods such as inhalation, there is no guarantee of the same amount of vapor every time you make a puff. With edibles such as gummies, every gummy piece packs the exact amount of CBD extract, enabling the user to track the amount of CBD already consumed. That way, patients can work out a perfect dose of preference that can regulate their treatment.

The Convenience and Discreteness of Edibles

CBD's biggest selling points are the numerous tonic therapeutic potentials, minimal side effects, and the lack of psychoactivity. Henson et al. (2022) established that CBD is an ideal alternative for conditions such as depression, chronic pain, and anxiety. Unlike mainstream pharmaceuticals that possess side effects, CBD users can medicate and, at the same time, lead normal lives without the worry of the side effects of intoxication.

The versatility of CBD is epitomized by the numerous ways you can consume it. For example, you find it messy and difficult to measure dosages, store, or take with you on the go with tinctures, topical products, and concentrates. This inconvenience also goes for vaporizers because some locations may not permit smoking, and users may not take their dose. Contrary, with edibles such as CBD sweets, CBD gummies, and chocolate bars, you can discreetly wrap them and consume them whenever and wherever you go.

Edibles Offer Great Taste

CBD edibles appeal to ingest because of their great-tasting formulas. Some people don't fancy CBD oil tinctures' earthy and unflavored taste. That goes for non-smokers or non-vapors who would rather use edibles to ingest CBD. The variety in flavoring with CBD edibles is quite a selling point.

Buying Guide to CBD Edibles

Find A Reputable and Trustworthy Brand

When shopping for quality CBD edibles, always consider the best CBD brands. There are a plethora of CBD brands flocking the market. However, with the apparent lack of regulation in the hemp marketplace, we cannot overstate the importance of brand reputation. Key indicators of best brands include comprehensive independent third-party testing, extensive online presence, and FDA-compliant and GMP-certified manufacturing facilities.

Presence Of Infused Ingredients

What ingredients are the company using to create its line of edibles? When looking for the best CBD edibles, consider the CBD content and the composition of ingredients used. Some brands utilize harsh synthetic additives that undermine the effectiveness of their products. Honest brands utilize all-natural, non-GMO, and 100% organic ingredients.

THC Content

Federally, the acceptable THC limit is 0.3% or less. That directive should help to check your local state by-laws regarding the purchase and use of CBD edibles. If you want to steer clear of THC, consider edibles whose base extract is broad-spectrum or pure CBD isolate. That is because full-spectrum edibles contain some THC and are ideal if you want to experience hemp's synergistic entourage effect.

Legal Status of CBD Edibles

The CBD marketplace has navigated a complex and challenging regulatory landscape in the United States, and the same goes for Europe and the rest of the world. That means many industry stakeholders are still operating in a grey area. In the US, for example, edibles are legal in all 50 states. In Europe, the EU's food regulation governs the sale of hemp-infused foods and medications. In Australia, all hemp-infused products have a total ban.

And while the dispute over hemp's legal status continues to rage worldwide, derivatives such as CBD edibles keep growing in popularity. The lack of clear-cut regulatory guidelines in the industry means most people are still confused about CBD's legal status in the US. Nevertheless, let's get it right:

  • Thanks to Hemp Farming Act, CBD is 100% legal on a federal level. All CBD edibles derived from the cannabis Sativa L strain containing 0.3 THC are considered legal.
  • Under the 2018 US Farm Bill, all hemp-derived products are legal in all 50 states and can be purchased and consumed by adults 18 + years.;/
  • States that permit cannabis for medicinal and recreational use have legalized CBD-infused edibles that contain more than 0.3% THC.
  • Thanks to the removal of hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) lost jurisdiction over hemp.

Where To Buy CBD Edibles Near You?

Most CBD brands utilize the franchise business model that includes various chain stores across the country or state. When looking for CBD gummies, below are the places you can seek CBD edibles near your residential estate:

  • Cannabis dispensaries (especially if your state by-laws permit CBD edibles)
  • Local health stores.
  • Head shops/smoke shops.
  • Vape shops.
  • Local pharmacy
  • specialty shops.

Choosing The Correct Dosage for CBD Edibles

What is the appropriate dosage for your CBD edibles? If you have incorporated hemp edibles such as gummies or CBD sweets in your wellness routine and are wondering what an optimal dosage looks like, here is the ideal perspective. Despite the burgeoning popularity of CBD edibles, most users still can't determine what dosage works for them. It is understandably so because there is no straightforward answer to this question. However, understanding the factors determining edible dosage can help determine what is ideal for you. Before you settle for your dosage, consider:

  • The potency of the edible.
  • Your body weight.
  • The medical condition you are looking to address.
  • Individuals' body chemistry and CBD tolerance.

Overall, there is no one-size-fits-all edible dosage. It varies from person to person, so work with an expert or experiment to find out what works for you. As a rule, always start with low dosages and advance gradually. Edibles such as gummies come in various potencies, ranging from 5 mg to 25 mg of CBD. For an individual looking to consume 25 mg of CBD, one edible that packs 25 mg will be enough. On the contrary, you may need 5 gummies of 5 mg each to meet your dosage obligations.

What Are the Potential Benefits Of CBD?

CBD is a naturally occurring compound present in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, which causes mind-altering effects, CBD possesses many therapeutic and anti-inflammatory properties that scientists have only recently begun harnessing for medicinal purposes. Fernández‐Ruiz et al. (2013) revealed CBD's potential in alleviating symptoms associated with numerous ailments. Below are the potential health benefits of CBD:

  • For relieving pain and inflammation.
  • To reduce anxiety and depression.
  • It helps in improving the quality of sleep.
  • To improve overall health and wellness.
  • To reduce seizures in patients with severe epilepsy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are CBD Edibles?

CBD edibles refer to the broader category of hemp-derived food products meant for oral intake to deliver CBD dosage. They range from CBD gummies and CBD-infused chocolate bars to CBD energy chews and sweets.

Are CBD Edibles Legal in My State?

Yes. Thanks to the Hemp Farming Act and the 2018 US Farm Bill, all hemp-derived products with less than 0.3% THC are federally legal. However, since some states have passed by-laws that govern cannabis use, you must check with your local state regulation.

How Long Does It Take for CBD Edibles to Kick in Effects?

Cannabis edibles are designed for oral or sublingual intake and can vary in activation time depending on their base cannabinoid and infused ingredients. However, expect CBD or THC-infused edibles to take effect between half-hour to 2 hours.

What Does A CBD Edible Feel Like?

The effects of an edible creep in slowly, but once the impact builds up, the intensity will be felt and last long. Vaping or smoking may be faster to notice the onset of effects, but that feeling dissipates faster than edibles.

How Long Does an Edible "High" Last?

The length of time an edible "high" lasts depends on the amount of dosage, body weight, and tolerance levels. An orally ingested edible containing THC can make you feel high anywhere from 90 minutes to six hours.

What Are the Side Effects Associated with Edibles?

CBD edibles can have side effects depending on the type of cannabinoids present, and the dosage taken. Von Wrede et al. (2021) revealed that it is difficult to overdose on CBD. However, too much dosage has been observed to cause fatigue, nausea, and drowsiness.

Can Edibles Redden Your Eyes?

Yes. Contrary to the popular opinion among veteran users who think smoking is solely responsible for red eyes, cannabis edibles can also make your eyes red. The shallow amounts of THC in the edibles act as a vasodilator that widens your blood capillaries in the eyes. This increases blood flood that causes the reddening of the eyes.

How Do You Fix the Red Eyes That Result from CBD Edibles?

The redness doesn't irritate the eyes. Even then, the eyes' natural color will be restored as the primary effects of THC consumption wears off.

What Is the Appropriate Edible Dosage for A Beginner?

Because of the varying body chemistry from one person to the other, everyone responds differently to CBD. Some may feel that 10 mg is sufficient, while others may feel nothing even if they consume 25 mg of THC. The rule of thumb is to start with low dosages and increase gradually as you monitor progress.

Is Cannabis Legal in Canada?

Recreational cannabis became legal in Canada on October 17, 2018. but it was until a year later, on October 17, 2019, that the government decided to legalize recreational edibles. However, many hemp forums have raised issues with Canada's weed quality. Do due diligence before making a purchase.

Can Anyone Purchase CBD Edibles?

Yes. Anyone of 18 + years and residing in a state where it is legal can purchase CBD edibles and any CBD-infused product that meets the THC limit of 0.3%. More particularly, CBD edibles are accessible without prescriptions and can be bought over-the-counter in local smoke shops and health stores.

Where Can You Buy CBD Edibles?

CBD edibles are retailed in-store from manufacturers or via online retailers. However, local vape and smoke shops or health stores also stock these products. The apparent lack of regulation has created loopholes that unscrupulous companies take advantage of to offer substandard products. So be careful to make your purchase from a reputable vendor.

Can CBD Oil Appear in A Drug Test?

CBD should not be a cause for concern when screening your blood. For the most part, drug screenings look out for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which indicates if the subject has been using the psychoactive component of marijuana. However, huge dosages of CBD in the range of 1000 mg could potentially contain traces of THC and may trigger a false positive in your blood. CBD shouldn't be a reason to worry when conducting a drug test unless your edibles' base extract is full-spectrum CBD containing all the constituent cannabinoids.

How Can I Get a Legitimate CBD Edible?

Study the ingredients present in the formula. A good manufacturer usually reveals all constituent ingredients on the product label or edible packaging. Check to see that the brand is FDA-compliant, conducts comprehensive independent third-party lab testing, and utilizes its formulation process in a GMP-approved facility or a regulatory body of the same stature.

What Is the Extraction Process of Cannabis?

The cleanest and solvent-free process that is also considered the industry standard is CO2 extraction. This process is hailed for its ability to preserve the cannabinoid integrity of extracts to ensure all the naturally-occurring terpenes, flavonoids, and all hemp cannabinoids are maintained.

Are CBD Edibles the Most Convenient Way to Consume CBD Oil?

Yes. While the best consumption method depends on an individual's preference, it is widely accepted that CBD edibles offer the ultimate convenience in terms of ease of dosage, discreteness, as well as great-tasting formulas. Though, regarding efficiency, vaping is the best way to consume CBD.

Should You Consume CBD Edibles?

CBD has shown a huge potential for easing symptoms associated with numerous ailments. If you decide that CBD is right for you, numerous consumption methods aside from edibles exist.

References

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Fernández‐Ruiz, J., Sagredo, O., Pazos, M. R., García, C., Pertwee, R., Mechoulam, R., & Martínez‐Orgado, J. (2013). Cannabidiol For Neurodegenerative Disorders: Important New Clinical Applications For This Phytocannabinoid?. British Journal Of Clinical Pharmacology, 75(2), 323-333.

Henson, J. D., Vitetta, L., & Hall, S. (2022). Tetrahydrocannabinol And Cannabidiol Medicines For Chronic Pain And Mental Health Conditions. Inflammopharmacology, 1-12.

Lim, K., See, Y. M., & Lee, J. (2017). A Systematic Review Of The Effectiveness Of Medical Cannabis For Psychiatric, Movement And Neurodegenerative Disorders. Clinical Psychopharmacology And Neuroscience, 15(4), 301.

Mcpartland, J. M., & Sheikh, Z. (2018). A Review Of Cannabis Sativa-Based Insecticides, Miticides, And Repellents. J. Entomol. Zool. Stud, 6(6), 1288.

Picardo, S., Kaplan, G. G., Sharkey, K. A., & Seow, C. H. (2019). Insights Into The Role Of Cannabis In The Management Of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Therapeutic Advances In Gastroenterology, 12, 1756284819870977.

Scrimali, T. (2020). Negent: Cannabidiol-Based Aromatherapy-Theoretical Aspects, Pharmacology, Clinical And Research Perspectives, Economic And Social Implications.

Von Wrede, R., Helmstaedter, C., & Surges, R. (2021). Cannabidiol In The Treatment Of Epilepsy. Clinical Drug Investigation, 41(3), 211-220.

Weston-Green, K., Clunas, H., & Jimenez Naranjo, C. (2021). A Review Of The Potential Use Of Pinene And Linalool As Terpene-Based Medicines For Brain Health: Discovering Novel Therapeutics In The Flavours And Fragrances Of Cannabis. Frontiers In Psychiatry, 12, 583211.