It’s a big wide world of CBD products, especially edibles. The options can be overwhelming and plentiful, and most CBD products are not yet FDA-approved. This doesn’t mean they’re bad for you, but it does mean they aren’t regulated. So, where exactly do you even get started?
Don’t panic! I’m here to help you take some of the guessing work out of choosing the right CBD edible for you. So join me on this journey as I discuss what to look for, what to avoid, and why it matters.
What is CBD?
Before we get into what makes a great CBD edible, let’s talk first about what exactly CBD is. CBD stands for cannabinol. Cannabinol is a cannabinoid that can be produced by the body or plants. If it’s produced by a plant, it is called a phytocannabinoid. If it is produced by our bodies, it is called an endocannabinoid. We will discuss endocannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system soon, don’t you worry!
CBD can come from either the hemp or marijuana plant. Because the farm bill of 2018 made hemp federally legal, many CBD products you’re going to see are hemp-derived. This keeps them from getting tied up in red tape since marijuana isn’t federally legal. (Hemp is defined as a cannabis sativa plant with 0.3% or less THC content.)
Cannabinol is a nonpsychoactive drug, meaning it affects the body, not the brain. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is psychoactive, which means it targets the brain. Many people will describe CBD as giving them a ‘body high,’ which makes a lot of sense knowing that the compound does not target our brains.
Research is still being conducted on the impacts of CBD. But so far, many studies show that CBD may reduce inflammation, help with pain management, reduce stress, anxiety, and insomnia symptoms. You should consult with a doctor before introducing CBD into your routine.
What Makes the Best CBD Edible
So what exactly are we looking for on this list?
First, we want to ensure that the edibles in question are high-quality. Organic isn’t necessary, but it doesn’t hurt. High-quality might seem obvious, but it’s something we are looking out for.
Next, I want these product ingredients to be transparent. If they have a Certificate of Analysis, I’d love to see that before I make my purchase. A COA is a great way to know exactly what you’re consuming. Having a COA produced by a third-party lab is also a great point. We’ll talk more about this in a moment.
They need to taste good! Otherwise, will you eat them?
They need to have an appropriate amount of CBD content. Since most CBD products aren’t FDA-approved, there are no guidelines to adhere to. Many companies are using this to make a quick buck right now, so it’s definitely something to look out for.
The Certificate of Analysis
The Certificate of Analysis is a great tool when out in the wild shopping for cannabinoid products.
Also known as the COA, a Certificate of Analysis comes with your marijuana or hemp-derived products. Like the ingredients on the back of a soup can, the COA breaks down the product makeup and proves that it is what it claims to be by offering test results from a laboratory.
A COA’s purpose is to make sure you know as much information as possible. You know with that COA if the cannabinoids in question have passed inspection if they are safe to ingest and that they are precisely what their producers claim they are.
A big red flag is to check if the COA was completed by the company producing the product or a third-party lab. A third-party lab has no horse in the race, so to speak, so if the product in question was tested by a third-party lab, the results are more dependable. Of course, this isn’t always true, but it’s an excellent way to narrow down your search.
The Endocannabinoid System, What is it?
This will feel like a detour, but I think it’s necessary to understand why CBD and other cannabinoids are natural for our bodies. This is a very brief overview, and it is simplified, but I feel it’s worth touching on what the ECS is before we delve into why CBD is good for you.
In 1992 the endocannabinoid system was discovered. That discovery has launched us into researching and learning about the actual impacts of hemp and marijuana on our bodies. Because the ECS exists, we know that ingesting or inhaling cannabinoids works for our bodies. Our bodies are literally primed to receive the compounds to improve our well-being.
The ECS has two receptors called the CB1 and the CB2. The CB1 and CB2 receptors’ sole purpose is to receive and bind to cannabinoids. They bind to either cannabinoids that are produced by the body known as endocannabinoids, or cannabinoids produced by plants, known as phytocannabinoids.
Finally, the way we respond to specific cannabinoids is a result of the exact cannabinoid in question, how potent it is, and which receptor it binds to.
Okay, now let’s go shopping!
Shopping List of the Best CBD Infused Edibles
I feel like overall, the edible world of cannabinoids is saturated with gummies. And while a CBD gummy is delicious (they fooled me into taking my vitamins for years), there are so many other options these days. This list is going to give you the options you crave, don’t you worry!
You can’t talk about CBD products without mentioning the powerhouse that is Charlotte’s Web. They offer a huge amount of options for CBD edibles and oils. Their website is also really cool because you answer questions about what exactly you’re looking for. It helps you choose the right purchase without overwhelming you with many options.
I’m a big fan of Charlotte’s Web CBD Sleep gummies. These taste good and work great. As a lifelong insomniac, I’ve tried a lot of different ways to turn my brain off and just get some rest. Charlotte’s Web’s gummies have done a lot for me.
What I don’t like about this product is not being able to find a COA. That being said, Charlotte’s Web is one of the few FDA-approved CBD product companies. In fact, even wellness giant Massage Envy is now featuring its oils.
This particular Charlotte’s Web product is 10 MG of CBD in a container of either thirty sixty, or ninety gummies. The thirty pack is only $30 but to double that amount with sixty gummies, it’s only $44.99. And for $56.99 you can get the tub of ninety gummies. I consider this a really, really good deal.
Pros and Cons of Charlottes Web CBD Sleep Gummies
- All-natural ingredients.
- While there is no COA on the website, there is a long list of ingredients present and explanations of why they are included in the product.
- Available online and in select brick and mortar stores.
- Available to ‘subscribe and save’ with monthly shipments.
- No COA that I can find on the website.
High Peaks Sparkling Water and Hemp Extract seltzers have to be one of my favorite CBD products. It comes in three flavors: watermelon mint, black cherry, and grapefruit. What I love about these is that the flavors are subtle but tasty. I don’t like when seltzers taste overly sugary, even if there isn’t sugar added. It just isn’t what I want when I reach for water.
There is no sugar, carbohydrates, or calories in these waters, so you can chug them not only guilt-free but knowing that you’re doing your body right. It does have 100% Full spectrum CBD, water-soluble hemp, and purified carbonated water. But wait. What does all that mean?
Full spectrum CBD means the hemp in this product contains all the goodies that come along with it naturally, including other cannabinoids and natural oils. But CBD is hydrophobic, which is exactly what it sounds like: it doesn’t mix easily with liquid. High Peaks alters the CBD to make it water-soluble, making the CBD spread through your body faster and more effectively.
What my body loves about this seltzer is that it not only hydrates and quenches your thirst, it’s made with hemp extract. Which may help reduce pain, muscle inflammation, and muscle regeneration.
What I love about High Peaks is its transparency. Each product has a COA link which is easy to find. Check out the COA for the Sparkling Water and Hemp Extract Grapefruit flavor. You’re going to see that COA’s on websites are a rarity, and I don’t like that.
Pros and Cons of High Peaks Sparkling Water and Hemp Extract
- High Peaks has three tasty flavor options.
- All-natural ingredients.
- A comprehensive certificate of analysis on the website, performed by a third-party lab.
- No sugar, carbohydrates, or calories.
- While High Peaks is available for wholesale, it isn’t common in many brick-and-mortar stores. You can more easily purchase their seltzers through their website or Amazon.
- I’d love to see more flavors!
Unicorn Jerky from Sunday Scaries is another one of my favorites. This is a rainbow candy intended for daily use. Its purpose is to take the edge off your day and make everything a little easier for you.
A pouch of Unicorn Jerky contains ten rainbow bites with 10 MG of broad spectrum CBD per candy piece. They are rainbow in a tribute to Pride, and $1 of each sale of this candy is donated to an LGBTQ suicide hotline called the Trevor Project. Which offers support to LGBTQ people contemplating taking their own life.
If you needed another reason to try this product, it has gotten great reviews from powerhouses like Cosmopolitan and Esquire. Tasty? Check. Packed with positive-mood-inducing CBD? Check. Gives back to a good cause? Check! The Unicorn Jerky truly is a treat for your brain and your body.
Pros and Cons of Unicorn Jerky
- Aims to elevate your mood and relieve self-doubt.
- Certificates of quality of products are visible and easy to find on the website.
- Raw ingredients are sourced from a reputable third-party lab.
- You can subscribe to get monthly deliveries and save $4 a pouch.
- Meant for daily consumption but only contains ten candies. Larger packs would be better.
- This is candy, so it is sugary.
- No COA is visible on the website.
Hawaiian CBD Honey: Lehua and Wilelaiki by Mana Artisan Botanics are another can’t miss CBD edible. It is raw and organic honey from (you guessed it) Hawaii.
The honey itself is a rarity, as Lehua honey is harvested from the Ohi’a Lehua tree, which only exists in Hawaii. The Wilelaiki honey is a product of Christmas berry trees also in Hawaii. Before the hemp extract is even introduced, this blend of honey is packed with enzymes, antioxidants, and minerals.
Adding the hemp extract adds cannabinoids without impacting the rich, floral flavor of the honey. There is a lot of hemp in this product, with 150 MG per one ounce. However, the largest container you can get is only four ounces for $35.
What’s more, this honey can be used both topically and internally. Yes, that means you can either put it on your skin or add it to your diet. Mana Artisan Botanics recommends this as a face mask to refresh and cleanse your skin.
Like Sunday Scaries, Mana Artisan Botanics also gives back. They remove one pound of plastic from the ocean with every product sold.
Pros and Cons of the Hawaiian CBD Honey: Lehua and Wilelaiki
- High-quality and rare honey is used as a base in this product.
- All the ingredients are organic.
- It can be ingested or used topically.
- No COA was visible on the website.
- Due to the high-quality ingredients, this is expensive for a small amount.
Question: Why is CBD Good for You?
Answer: Studies are still being conducted to research the impacts of CBD or cannabidiol on our bodies. Right now, we are seeing reports that it helps with sleep as it sedates and that it has been known to reduce muscle inflammation. Many studies show that it reduces stress and anxiety. There are even promising studies on it helping with mental clarity and focus.
Question: Should You Take CBD Daily or as Needed?
Answer: It is essential to consult with your doctor before introducing any CBD into your diet. However, daily use of CBD may help with daily upkeep, like maintaining less stress and anxiety. However, if you aren’t always an insomniac, taking a sleepy-time CBD before bed isn’t always necessary. So, in short, I’d recommend a little bit of both once you’ve consulted your doctor.
Question: Will CBD Get Me High?
Answer: No. CBD is a non-psychoactive drug, which is one of the things that differentiates it from THC, which is psychoactive.
Question: Does Every CBD Product Need to Have a COA?
Answer: No, but it does help them in their transparency. I personally would like to see them become more common, especially on websites before purchase.
Question: What are Others Ways I Can Consume CBD?
Answer: There are many ways to consume CBD. Edibles are the most popular, but tinctures are another popular form of consumption. If you are comfortable with smoking or vaping, you can buy CBD Oil or flower to vape or smoke. You can also buy CBD Isolate, a pure form of CBD to make your own tinctures and edibles with.
Final Thoughts on How to Find the Best CBD Edibles
It’s true that the world of CBD and CBD edibles specifically is saturated and overwhelming. Taking the time to research and figure out what is right for you is very important. So is consulting with your doctor before ingesting any CBD.
When you’re out there looking for a CBD that works for you, though, make sure you are purchasing something with transparency, ideally a COA, and an appropriate amount of CBD in them.