Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical present in the cannabis plant that may possess many potential health benefits. As such, products containing CBD, including CBD gummies, are becoming increasingly popular. While evidence suggests that CBD is safe and tolerable, more research is necessary to understand these potential benefits and any possible side effects.

CBD is one of the many chemicals, or cannabinoids, found in the cannabis plant. These chemicals interact with the endocannabinoid system in the body, which is a complex biological system that helps regulate and balance key bodily functions.

Unlike delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is another well-known cannabinoid, CBD lacks the euphoric effects that some people may associate with the characteristic high of cannabis. As such, CBD may possess many therapeutic uses and benefits. However, as with any drug, some people may experience side effects when using products containing CBD.

In this article, we will discuss CBD gummies, including their potential risks, benefits, and how to use them.

Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3 percent THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3 percent THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.

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CBD is a compound present in the cannabis plant. Unlike other chemicals in these plants, CBD is not impairing and may have a positive effect on health. Typically, the CBD in many products derives from the hemp plant, which is a species of cannabis that is relatively low in THC. Alternatively, producers may manufacture CBD in a laboratory. It is available in many different types of consumer products, such as:

  • foods
  • oils
  • capsules
  • lotions
  • cosmetics

CBD gummies provide an easy, convenient, and often tastier way for a person to take CBD. Similar to gummy vitamins, this form of CBD offers an alternative for individuals who wish to use CBD but have difficulty swallowing CBD capsules or do not enjoy the taste of CBD oils.

Much like other CBD products, CBD gummies typically contain hemp oil with high concentrations of CBD. The main difference between gummies and other CBD products are that an individual chews these supplements before swallowing. A person can also choose the strength of the CBD gummies and control the exact dose, which may be more difficult with other CBD products such as oils.

While research suggests that CBD is safe, other evidence notes that it may be harmful to some individuals. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), potential side effects of CBD may include:

  • liver injury
  • interfering with other drugs, which could lead to injury or serious side effects
  • changes in mood, such as irritability or agitation
  • changes in alertness, such as drowsiness and sleepiness
  • gastrointestinal problems and changes in appetite
  • damage to male fertility

Click here to learn more about the possible side effects of CBD oil.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) add that many businesses that sell CBD products may also sell products containing THC. Therefore, it is important not to mix products up. Also, many CBD products do not undergo regulation by the FDA. As such, some CBD products may contain other ingredients, such as THC, pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, or fungi.

The World Health Organization (WHO) note that CBD is generally safe and does not appear to have abuse potential or the ability to cause harm. Research continues into the potential benefits of CBD and its possible therapeutic use. At present, the FDA has given approval to one drug that contains CBD. Epidiolex is a prescription drug that can help treat seizures.

Researchers are still investigating the other possible benefits of CBD and evidence indicates that CBD may help with:

Click here to learn more about the potential benefits of hemp oil.

Following the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, the United States government removed hemp from the legal definition of cannabis in the Controlled Substances Act. This means that some hemp-derived CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC, which may include CBD gummies, are federally legal.

However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of cannabis. There is no federal law enabling the legal use of medical cannabis, and as such it is illegal to use or prescribe medical cannabis in any state that does not have a law allowing people to do so.

Nonetheless, many states in North America have approved individuals having some use of medical cannabis. Each state varies on these rulings, therefore it is advisable for a person considering CBD or THC products to check their local laws regularly for any changes.

When using CBD products, health experts typically advise that people should follow the instructions on the packaging. Similar to gummy vitamins, people simply chew and swallow the CBD gummy. These products are available in a variety of strengths and flavors. Therefore, it is advisable for a person to start with a weaker strength to ensure they do not exceed the recommended dosage.

Click here to learn more about CBD dosage.

Additionally, if a person decides to try CBD gummies, they should ensure that they purchase these products from a reputable source and discuss taking CBD with their healthcare provider. This is to verify that the CBD will not impact any other medicines a person is currently taking or cause any adverse effects.

There is growing interest in CBD products, such as CBD gummies, and their potential health benefits. However, as with any drug, there is a risk of potential side effects. While researchers are continuing to investigate CBD, evidence suggests it is safe and tolerable when a person uses these products appropriately.

CBD gummies may provide an easy and convenient option for those considering CBD. Before taking any form of CBD, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare provider and ensure that CBD will not interact with any medications a person is currently taking.

Sources:

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Cannabis (marijuana) and cannabinoids: What you need to know. (2019).
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CBD: What you need to know. (2022). https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/featured-topics/CBD.html

Drugs (psychoactive): Cannabidiol (compound of cannabis). (2017).
https://www.who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/cannabidiol-(compound-of-cannabis)

FDA approves first drug comprised of an active ingredient derived from marijuana to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy. (2020). https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-drug-comprised-active-ingredient-derived-marijuana-treat-rare-severe-forms

Federal laws and penalties. (n.d.).
https://norml.org/laws/federal-penalties-2

Grinspoon, P. (2021). Cannabidiol (CBD): What we know and what we don’t.
https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476

Hemp production and the 2018 Farm Bill. (2019).
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Medical marijuana. (n.d.).
http://www.drugpolicy.org/issues/medical-marijuana

NCI dictionaries: Cannabidiol. (n.d.). https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-drug/def/cannabidiol

State medical cannabis laws. (2022).
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The Controlled Substances Act. (n.d.). https://www.dea.gov/drug-information/csa

What you need to know (and what we’re working to find out) about products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds, including CBD. (2020).
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