As states around the country change their laws regulating cannabis and hemp products, you have probably seen more and more products advertised as containing “CBD.” This is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, one of the primary, non-intoxicating active compounds in the cannabis Sativa plant. Unlike the famously psychoactive cannabis compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD has no psychochemical effects. It may, however, have certain beneficial medical properties, which is why it is often included in products from bath-bombs to oils and from supplements to food and drink. The FDA, however, has ruled it illegal to market CBD as an edible or to label it as a dietary supplement.
What are CBD edibles? What do they do? Are they safe? And, importantly, do they work? Before trying edibles, you probably want answers to these questions.
What Are CBD Edibles?
CBD edibles refer to any kind of product that delivers the CBD compound into the body through digestion. These edibles are typically infused with either CBD isolate (often found with chocolates, gummies, and beverages) or the much more effective broad- or full-spectrum CBD, which contains the extract from the entire hemp plant.
CBD can be delivered in the form of capsules, pills, and gummies and taken as a dietary supplement. The dosages for these supplements vary from 5mg to 50mg. Some of these supplements are infused with the CBD, and others spray CBD isolate over the surface of the dose, though this latter method is less effective. CBD supplements are often cut with other compounds, particularly melatonin or L-theanine, both of which can produce a sense of relaxation.
Some CBD supplements deliver the dosage in the form of a sublingual oil. It’s delivered as a tincture, spray, drop, or lozenge that dissolves under the tongue, or as a tonic that you swish around the mouth. Neither of these is really a digestive form of CBD. However, the chemical is mainly entering the body by means of absorption through the bloodstream.
CBD edibles are also available in the form of food and drink. CBD has been infused into water, tea, and beer, added in the form of shots to coffee drinks and added into foods through the use of carrier oil, such as hemp seed oil or coconut oil. Unlike THC, CBD is fat-soluble. So by combining it with a carrier oil, it improves its absorption into the body. Some of the more popular food-based forms of edible CBD are protein bars, dried fruit, candies, and baked goods.
Why Would Someone Use CBD Edibles?
Anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD can provide a variety of potential medical benefits when consumed. These include managing discomfort and nausea, relieving anxiety and stress, and moderating inflammation and chronic pain. It can also have effects on mood balances, making it easier to relax and experience a sense of comfort. CBD is appealing to many people because it offers a general remedy for a wide range of conditions.
Edibles can be an appealing method for taking CBD because the compound can be included in a wide range of types of good tasting foods or drinks. This also provides a measure of convenience, since the CBD can be ingested alongside a regular meal or as an easy supplement while eating, and it is typically already dosed by the producer. They can easily be purchased online or from a dispensary or health food store. Some people, though, do make their own CBD edibles at home; there are many recipes available online for using CBD isolate in a range of different cuisines.
CBD-infused edibles are discrete, expedient, can taste good, and are available in a wide variety of forms. Also, because most of the CBD in edibles is only absorbed into the body through the digestive process, the beneficial effects of the compound are typically experienced gradually and over a more extended period of time.
Are CBD Edibles Safe to Consume?
Unlike THC or other psychoactive compounds, consuming CBD cannot result in an overdose. Nonetheless, consuming too many CBD edibles, or CBD edibles that are not safely produced can result in side effects. Some people are more prone to these side effects than others. The effects may include headache, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, dizziness or light-headedness, and dry mouth. Mood changes such as irritability, agitation, lack of appetite, and lack of focus may also result from consuming CBD.
The FDA has determined that CBD has the potential to cause liver damage and can affect how other drugs or supplements work. When taken along with alcohol, it can cause profound and potentially dangerous drowsiness. It may also result in male reproductive toxicity and damage to fertility.
Many CBD edibles can contain some low residual levels of THC. This is particularly true of edibles made of full- or broad-spectrum CBD. These, however, are also the edibles that have the most beneficial effects.
Do CBD Edibles Work?
There is no scientific evidence that edibles are a more effective means of processing CBD. There is some reason to think that CBD edibles are generally less efficacious than CBD in other forms. Most CBD edibles take the form of junk food or sugary foods, which are not good for your body from a nutritional standpoint.
From a therapeutic standpoint, digestion is a highly inefficient and slow method for extracting the necessary chemicals from the CBD additive. Depending on your metabolism, weight, height, activity level, and general health, CBD from an edible will take around 30 minutes to 120 minutes to enter your bloodstream; by contrast, CBD oil takes only about 10 minutes to 30 minutes to start working. In addition, studies have found that the digestive process breaks down 80% to 94% of the CBD from an edible before it can enter the bloodstream.
In a cost-benefit analysis comparison with other forms of CBD, it is often more expensive to use edibles to obtain the same level of comfort and relief than CBD in different forms can provide.