It does sound kinda like a scam, but solid scientific studies show that CBD can latch onto cells in your gut and immune system, relieving anxiety, pain, and inflammation, says Joseph Maroon, MD, a clinical professor of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. But that’s the pure stuff—there’s no legit research on the effectiveness of CBD in gummy form. In other words: They maybe work (at least, they did for our editors—see our own reviews below!).
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Figuring out whether you’ll need 2 or 10 to calm the hell down is (you guessed it) also a mystery, says Jeffrey Bost, a clinical instructor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Start with one gummy per day. Nada? Try two. Still nada? Slowly up your dose until you get some results. It’s pretty tough to OD on CBD, says Bost. The worst side effects of very high doses are drowsiness and mood changes. (And pls note that the long-term effects are still TBD.)
Last year, “CBD gummies” was the third most-Googled food in the entire U.S. So yeah, you’ve likely heard of these little nuggets that contain cannabidiol (aka CBD), the part of weed that chills you out but not the part that inspires you to down a party-size bag of Doritos. Maybe you’ve even heard reviews—from stoner and non-stoner friends alike—about how the non-hallucinogenic bites are ideal for erasing Big Stress Energy or helping you wind down before bed. And you’ve probably still got questions. Great, ’cause we’ve got answers.
If you live in a state where all types of devil’s lettuce is legal, you can buy CBD gummies almost anywhere—even at some gas stations. For everyone else, there’s the interwebs. Amazon sells them and can ship to your door for about $40 (yeah, chillin’ ain’t cheap).
Ultimately, the primary reasons why people use CBD is because it tends to have calming, relaxing, pain-reducing effects. It has been used to alleviate joint pain and nerve pain, reduce anxiety and stress, treat insomnia, improve migraines, and address nausea.
Also known as “cotton mouth,” CBD can potentially cause your mouth and eyes to feel very dry, notes Dr. Brent A. Bauer via Mayo Clinic. Though this side effect is more likely to occur with THC, it can happen with CBD, as well.
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Are There Any Benefits Associated With Using CBD?
The most comment side effects of CBD include drowsiness, gastrointestinal issues, dry mouth, reduced appetite, nausea, and interaction with other medications. Those are outlined in detail below.
It’s important to point out that CBD is not regulated by the FDA and therefore dosages might not be accurate. It’s also difficult to know what an appropriate dose is the first time you try a new product.
Wendy Rose Gould is a lifestyle reporter with over a decade of experience covering health and wellness topics.
Generally speaking, CBD is considered a safe substance when applied topically or taken orally. There are, however, some potential side effects to keep in mind when using this substance, the majority of which are mild.