There is no question that the CBD industry is big business, and the CBD edibles sub-niche is a rapidly growing part of it. One 2019 study, by Green Entrepreneur, states that the cannabidiol edibles market will be worth $4.1 billion per annum by 2022. The sale of CBD chocolates and gummies alone surpassed the billion-dollar mark in 2018.
Several large corporations have entered the space now that the financial potential is apparent. As the name suggests, CBD edibles are types of cannabidiol that you can eat. They have already gained prominence in the marijuana sector as a ‘healthier’ method of ingesting THC. It is a similar story among CBD users. Aside from avoiding the stigma of smoking or vaping, you can consume edibles discreetly as there are no plumes of smoke or vapor lingering behind you.
The range of products is genuinely mind boggling as seemingly everyone is getting in on the act. Apart from CBD gummies and chocolate, there is also honey, syrup, peanut butter, and an assortment of sweet and savory goods.
However, the CBD market is also an unregulated one. The combination of minimal oversight and a potential goldmine has led to many brands starting up to ‘get-rich-quick.’ The result is an industry awash with low-grade products. As a result, finding the best CBD gummies and other edibles isn’t as easy as one might think.
In this article, we point you in the direction of three of the best edibles on the market. First, however, let’s look at who should use them, their bioavailability, and possible dangers.
Who is Best Served Using CBD Edibles?
With so many consumption options, why should you eat your CBD, and who are the best candidates? Whether you want the best CBD edibles for pain or anxiety, it often boils down to convenience. While a lot of people still smoke cannabis, not many do the same with hemp.
Indeed, individuals with respiratory issues should steer clear of any form of smoking. If you elect to smoke hemp or high-CBD cannabis strains, the combustion process will likely burn off many useful cannabinoids and terpenes. Here are a few relevant ‘boiling points.’ All temperatures are in degrees Fahrenheit:
- CBD: The best estimate is 356 degrees.
- CBDA: 248 degrees.
- THC: 315 degrees.
- Linalool: 388 degrees.
- Myrcene: 334 degrees.
- Caryophyllene: 349 degrees.
- Pinene: 311 degrees.
These compounds are associated with benefits such as being anti-inflammatory and helping to treat pain, insomnia, and nausea. For the record, combustion occurs at 451 degrees. When you smoke something, the material in question is exposed to a much higher temperature.
The best vaporizers on the market permit temperature control, which means you can remain below the figures mentioned above. However, the recent vaping epidemic, which caused dozens of deaths, has left a stain on that particular industry. This is even though the majority of victims apparently used black-market cannabis oil. The presence of an ingredient called vitamin E acetate is implicated in many of the cases.
For those who use CBD edibles, it is a combination of simplicity and great taste. Whether it is chocolate, gummies, or honey, using it is as easy as popping it in your mouth. In general, edibles taste great. The main issue is stopping yourself from using more! In summation, CBD edibles are ideal if you want a quick and easy way to consume the cannabinoid, without smoking or vaping.
A Question of Bioavailability
The term ‘bioavailability’ relates to the proportion of a drug that enters the circulation when it enters the body and can have an effect. Regardless of the CBD product you use, it must journey from the point of administration to the bloodstream. One exception is certain CBD topicals which only penetrate the first layer of skin, and are for localized relief.
Once CBD reaches your bloodstream, it travels to the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and impacts its cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. It also reaches non-CB receptors such as 5-HT1A, our serotonin receptor. The method of administering CBD dictates the overall absorption rate.
One of the downsides of CBD edibles is the relatively low bioavailability. When you consume CBD orally, it enters the digestive system before it is absorbed. The cannabinoids must also pass through the liver. This process, known as the first-pass metabolism, significantly reduces the concentration of cannabinoids. The enzymes in the liver are responsible and massively decrease the absorption rate.
A study by Marilyn A. Huestis, published in Chemistry & Biodiversity in August 2007, looked at human cannabinoid pharmacokinetics. The researcher found that the bioavailability rate of orally consumed CBD was between 4% and 20%. Even in the best-case scenario, you only get 5mg of ‘useful’ CBD from a 25mg edible.
CBD consumed sublingually (such as CBD oil) has an absorption rate of between 12% and 35%. Vaporized cannabidiol has a much higher bioavailability of between 34% and 56%. The wide range suggests that this is an area not particularly well-researched.
There are new ways to boost the absorption rate of cannabidiol. These include liposomal microemulsion and the use of nanotechnology. Even the use of a ‘carrier’ oil such as MCT can slightly boost bioavailability. However, you should note the ‘true’ amount of CBD that impacts the body when buying any product.
Are CBD Edibles Dangerous?
There are many warnings attached to marijuana edibles. It can take up to two hours for that hash brownie you ate to affect. Unfortunately, there are a few tragedies associated with the overuse of cannabis edibles. What often happens is that an inexperienced user impatiently eats far too much THC because they don’t realize how long it takes to work. Then, they panic as they endure a potent intoxicating high.
As CBD doesn’t cause intoxication, there is nothing to worry about in that regard. However, this hasn’t stopped the FDA from outlining its opposition to the cannabinoid. In November 2019, it issued a statement that warned consumers about the supposed health-hazards of CBD-infused foods, beverages, and other products.
The FDA said that “CBD has the potential to harm you, and harm can happen before you become aware of it.” The agency went on to suggest that liver damage, side effects from drug interactions, and mood changes were possible side effects. At the risk of straying into ‘whataboutism,’ it is a staggering position for the FDA to take. After all, it has no issues allowing killer opioids to flood the market.
CDC data shows that over 46,000 people died from an opioid-related overdose death in 2018. Yet somehow, the FDA believes a cannabinoid with a good safety profile, according to the World Health Organization, is harmful. Meanwhile, it is ‘okay’ for us to have easy access to drugs that kill over 100 people a day!
Mislabeling & Testing
The FDA is tarring the entire CBD industry with the same brush. There is no question that inferior products are flooding the market. Perhaps if the Government legalized the compound federally, they could improve the overall standard? A disturbingly high percentage of CBD products are mislabeled.
One study by Bonn-Miller et al., published in JAMA in November 2017, looked at the labeling accuracy of CBD extracts sold online. It analyzed 84 products from 25 different companies. The CBD content was labeled accurately in just 31% of cases. Even more disturbingly, the researchers found THC in detectable levels in over 20% of products.
When purchasing CBD edibles or any other product, make sure you only buy from brands that offer third-party lab reports. Now, let’s take check out three of the top companies in the sector.
1 – Premium Jane
This brand uses products made from USA-grown hemp, and all products contain a maximum of 0.3% THC. You can view an array of lab reports for different products on the website. The only CBD edibles product it sells is CBD gummies. The quality and taste of the product makes up for the lack of variety.
Its gummies are vegan-friendly and contain 25mg of CBD apiece. There are 30 pieces in a container for just $55. Certainly, Premium Jane’s CBD gummies are among the best value in the industry. For peace of mind, we can also tell you that this sweet treat is non-GMO and organic. You don’t have to worry about pesticides or fertilizers. The brand extracts CBD from hemp using CO2 extraction.
According to Premium Jane, its CBD gummies contain less than 0.02% THC. Aside from the pure CBD isolate used, the product contains organic glucose syrup, organic cane sugar, and other natural flavors and colorings. The design is that of a ‘gummy bear,’ and the mixed flavors include blackcurrant, carrot, and pumpkin. They taste amazing.
2 – PureKana
Hots on the heels of Premium Jane comes PureKana. Along with its rival, PK is now recognized as one of the best, most trustworthy brands in the CBD industry. The brand uses hemp grown organically in Kentucky and also utilizes solvent-free CO2 extraction. It has a broader range of CBD edibles than its competitor, including gummies, honey sticks, toothpicks, and beverages.
Its CBD gummies are similar to Premium Jane’s in many ways. They are vegan, contain 25mg of CBD per piece, and use an isolate, so there is no THC. You get 20 gummies in a container for $40. PureKana also uses organic cane sugar, to go along with organic tapioca syrup and natural flavors.
The PureKana ‘Pure Picks’ range consists of 10 x 25mg CBD toothpicks per pack. They cost just $20 on sale and are a great way to try cannabidiol in a completely different fashion. We are also fans of the Honey Sticks, which also come in Chocolate Mint and Raspberry flavors. Each pack contains 10 x 10mg ‘straws’ for $21.99, which you can eat, or stir into a hot beverage. The sheer quality of PureKana’s products ensures it will likely remain a market leader for a considerable time.
3 – Charlotte’s Web
This was the most famous CBD company in the early days of the industry. It came to prominence after its founders, the Stanley brothers, devised a method of treating a young girl called Charlotte Figi. She had Dravet’s Syndrome and endured hundreds of seizures per week. After using CBD oil from the later renamed Charlotte’s Web cannabis strain, her rate of seizures fell to a couple per month. Sadly, Charlotte recently passed away.
CW offers three distinct types of CBD gummies. Each one consists of 60 gummies with 5mg of CBD apiece. At $44.99 for 300mg of total CBD, this product is a little on the expensive side. However, there are additional ingredients. For instance, the ‘Calm’ range includes lemon balm and L-theanine. The ‘Sleep’ option features 1.5mg of melatonin per gummy. Meanwhile, the ‘Recovery’ gummies include ginger and turmeric.
In all cases, the CBD comes from the Charlotte’s Web strain. The brand states that it uses a ‘proprietary’ process to extract the cannabidiol from the plant. The gummies also contain other cannabinoids and terpenes, so it is a full-spectrum option. Though CW’s products are expensive, you are getting a guarantee of quality.
Final Thoughts on the Best CBD Edibles on the Market
We believe that the three brands outlined in this article are among the best in the industry. Aside from providing premium-quality CBD edibles, they all sell top-notch alternatives such as oil, vape juice, and topicals. What you’ll notice is that this trio of companies has already forged a positive reputation in their niche. This is due to several years of high-quality service. You can easily find third-party lab reports, and each brand is renowned for excellent customer service.
At the time of writing, there is no federal regulation of CBD in place. A handful of states, such as Florida, have implemented a system of oversight. However, in most locations, the quality of products is hit and miss. You should undoubtedly avoid ‘gas station’ CBD, and products without Certificates of Analysis (COA). As for the CBD edibles aspect of the market, it is only going to grow. Soon, there won’t be many foods or beverages NOT infused with CBD!