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As COVID-19 has swept through the UK, there has been an unprecedented surge in the demand for CBD. To date, this year alone, over eight million UK citizens have spent in excess of 150 million pounds on CBD products and interest in CBD products has doubled since March 2020.

CBD is used for its wellness-supporting benefits offering a natural alternative for health and positive lifestyle changes, and one of the biggest growth areas has been CBD edibles.

What are CBD edibles, and what are the options?

While edible cannabis conjures up images of cannabis brownies and other baked goods, the options for CBD edibles are much more extensive because CBD is legal and enjoys more mainstream and widespread popularity in the UK.

CBD gummies are the most popular and for good reason. Firstly, they look like Haribo (albeit with a much higher price point), so they don’t stand out if you want to consume CBD without drawing attention. Secondly, they taste great. Many people struggle with the potent, earthy taste of CBD, so a gummy that combines the efficacy of CBD with the taste of a sweet is the perfect combination. Thirdly, the small size of the sweets allows you to experiment with dosage and monitor your intake carefully.

CBD edibles are either a food or drink that has been infused with CBD extract and the options extend much further than just CBD gummies. Other popular options for CBD edibles include chocolate, snack bars, CBD bites, granola, smoothies, green juice, protein bars, trail mix and a range of different hardboiled and chewy sweets.

Who chooses CBD edibles?

CBD gummies are popular with a more mature market, many of whom have experienced the wellness-supporting benefits of CBD but don’t enjoy the taste of CBD drops. It’s an interesting question to consider as CBD gummies typically look like a regular chewy sweet but have a significantly higher price point. Surprisingly, CBD gummies are actually the most popular with mature clients who are interested in the benefits of CBD but want to mask the taste.

What share does the CBD edibles market have?

According to the Cannabis Trade Association, Europe’s cannabidiol market is worth around £480m with the UK contributing the largest share (around £110m). The CTA estimates that just over half of CBD products sold across Europe are dietary supplements (in the form of oils), a third are CBD vapes, and the remainder (around 20%) of the market is made up of cosmetics and edibles. Benefitting from the popularity and widespread use of CBD oils, the market share of both cosmetics and edibles is expected to grow significantly in the next few years.

How will the CBD edibles market be affected by the Novel Food Regulations?

Currently, CBD edibles are legal in the UK as long as they contain less than 0.2% THC. However, because they are sold as a food supplement, CBD brands may not make claims about the health benefits of consuming CBD. This is set to change on 31 March 2021, when only CBD companies who have a valid application submitted under the Novel Food Act will be permitted to continue selling gummies and other CBD edibles.

What should I look for when choosing a CBD gummy or other CBD edible?

  • Great taste, the reason you’ve opted for a gummy rather than a CBD oil is that they taste better. Choose a brand that offers a number of different flavours that you can try.
  • High-quality hemp, the gummies should contain high-quality organic hemp.
  • Third-party lab testing, check that the gummies have been tested by an independent tab and that the results are freely available.
  • Established brand, it’s easier, especially if you are new to CBD, to choose an established brand with a good reputation.
  • Ease of dosing, with some types of edibles it can be difficult to monitor your dosage (such as granola, trail mix or chocolate).
  • Advanced extraction, the manner in which CBD is extracted from hemp is important, opt for CO2 extraction if possible.
  • Free, fast delivery, rather order from a website that will deliver quickly (and won’t charge you for it).
  • THC-free, the gummies should contain less than 0.2% THC so that the product is legal and non-psychoactive.
  • Ingredients, you’re taking CBD for your health, so it is important that all the ingredients in the gummy are also health and wellness-supporting. They should be vegan, organic, natural ingredients with no added sugar.
  • UK-made, locally made gummies are held to a higher standard of production than those from elsewhere.
  • Online ordering, buying online is more convenient and allows you to compare different products as well as accessing their lab test results before purchasing.

What is the dosage?

The correct CBD dosage with gummies varies from person to person, depending on your needs. You also need to take into consideration that different brands of gummies offer different doses as well. This means that, for most people, the right amount of CBD will need some experimentation. It is best to start with a low dose and gradually increase over a period of a few weeks to find the right level that offers the benefits you are looking for. In general, most people find that 30mg of CBD once or twice a day is a good amount.

It is important to consult your doctor before taking CBD, as there can be interactions with prescription medications.

Are they better than CBD oil?

Gummies are enjoying a surge in popularity largely because:

  • The effect from gummies can last longer, so you can get relief throughout the day or night, although you will feel the effects of CBD oil faster.
  • Its easier to monitor your dosing, you can track exactly how many gummies you’ve eaten, whereas controlling the number of drops you ingest is a bit trickier.
  • They taste delicious, especially compared to CBD oil which can be very difficult to consume because of its off-putting taste.

How long does it take to feel the effects?

This varies widely as each person is different. Your endocannabinoid system, metabolism and what you’ve had to eat before can have an effect on the rate of absorption of CBD from gummies. Most people report feeling the effects of the gummies within 30 minutes of consumption.

With the growth of the CBD edible market set to rise rapidly in the next few years, there are some important factors to consider when choosing what type of edible to buy (and the options are close to limitless), what dosage to follow and what to look for when making your CBD edible purchase. Buying a CBD edible is a personal choice, and it may take some experimentation with different brands and doses before you find the right fit for your needs and your lifestyle.