In ancient China, in 2737 BC, a pharmaceutical pamphlet was published Shenong Benkaojing. But even though it is now several thousand years old, the compendium (whose title translates to “Divine Farmer’s Materia Medica”) still holds great significance. First, it is believed to have been influenced by Shennong, a mythical emperor known as the “Divine Farmer” and the widely believed father of Chinese medicine. But also, it is the first known written record that acknowledges the medicinal properties of the cannabis plant.
The Shennong Bencaojing no longer exists, but it is said to have credited cannabis with many physical and mental health benefits. It’s claimed that it can boost people’s moods, aid memory, and even ease symptoms of physical ailments like gout and constipation. All of this was written thousands of years ago, but much of it is true today. Now, modern scientific research has linked cannabidiol (CBD)—a nonpsychoactive component of marijuana—to relieving mild or temporary symptoms of anxiety, aiding sleep, and even reducing pain after physical activity.
CBD – not to be confused with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the ingredient in cannabis that gets you high – has gained quite a reputation for its health benefits. Now, the market is worth more than $5 billion. And arguably, one of the most popular ways to take it is in vegan gummy form. So here, with the help and guidance of the experts at Colorado-based CBD brand CBDistillery, we walk you through the basics of vegan CBD gummies, but also their benefits and some of their famous advocates (looking at you, Kardashians).
What are vegan CBD gummies?
In short, CBD gummies are small edible candy drops that contain CBD. But like regular candy, some CBD gummies are made with gelatin. The latter is a flavorless ingredient, derived from the bones, skin or ligaments of animals such as cows or pigs, that helps give gummy candies their chewy texture and mouthfeel. But it is not essential. Many vegan CBD gummies contain pectin, a fruit-based structural acid that acts similarly to gelatin.
CBD gummies get you high?
Most CBD gummies on the market won’t get you high, because they don’t contain THC, which is the main psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis plant. Instead, they contain CBD which is usually derived from hemp, a type of cannabis plant with low THC content.
“Cannabis can be classified as either marijuana or hemp,” explains CBDistillery’s Vice President of Marketing Alice Simons. “The fact that differentiates the two of them is the THC content,” he adds. “So here in the United States, the legal term for a hemp plant is a cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3 percent THC. It is basically the rules that we work under. We source all our products from hemp.”
That said, some CBD gummies on the market contain THC. CBDistillery’s Unwind gummies, for example, contain five milligrams of CBD in addition to THC. However, their consumption is not legal everywhere. Although some countries and states have begun to legalize or criminalize the use of marijuana, many places still have laws against it. In the UK, for example, CBD edibles cannot contain more than one milligram of THC.
Is CBD gummy safe?
CBD gummies are widely considered a safe product. But, that said, it’s important to note where you’re buying them from. “The market is not regulated,” says Symons. “We call it the Wild West.”
While CBDistillery is known for its high-quality products and transparent practices (and has third-party test results for every batch to prove it), not all brands operate responsibly. There are brands that sell inferior products, for example, those that are packed with sweeteners and preservatives. And consumers should also be wary of any brand claims they can’t back up. CBD is not a substitute for medical care, for example, and marketing it is irresponsible and dangerous.
“We’re under such a microscope, and organizations that are doing things right take that microscope very seriously,” Simons added. “There are so many bad actors out there who make claims about the products they’re selling or the industry as a whole, you just can’t tell.” Simons notes that CBDistillery wants more guidance and regulation from the government so that the industry is on strong footing to go more mainstream in the future. It hopes to receive further legislative guidance in 2023, but right now, it doesn’t exist.
The Food and Drug Administration can, of course, fine brands for false or misleading advertising, but it doesn’t go much further than that. “The industry is unregulated to the point where the FDA comes in and says ‘here’s how much CBD you can have in a product, what you can and can’t say,'” she notes. “It’s just by following the guidelines that you can’t say that CBD cures cancer. It doesn’t. So don’t go there.”
So, basically, CBD is safe, as long as you take it on purpose. The bottom line is: do your research on the ingredients before you buy, look for trusted certifications, and don’t be sucked in by a brand that claims CBD taken in gum form or any other form is going to cure or prevent. Chronic forms of disease. And with any supplements, it’s always best to consult with your primary care physician before taking.
Vegan CBD Gummy Benefits
According to CBDistillery’s own research, its CBD products—including its wide range of gummies—have many benefits. They are effective in helping people relax, sleep (one of its alternatives is melatonin, the sleep hormone), as well as relieve temporary symptoms of anxiety and pain after physical activity.
In 2019, the brand conducted a customer survey, which revealed that 88 percent said that taking CBD helped with temporary anxiety. Also, 89 percent said it helped calm their mind. Another 89 percent said CBD helped them sleep better, and 84 percent said it helped manage pain after physical activity.
Studies have also linked CBD to improved sleep, as it is associated with temporarily reducing levels of cortisol (the stress hormone). And it’s even been linked to an improved sex life. Research is limited in this area, but it may be because it helps reduce temporary anxiety, which can increase during sex.
However, it is important to note that although there are many benefits associated with CBD, it generally does not affect everyone in the same way.
“The thing about CBD is that it’s not one-size-fits-all,” says Simons. “If I take a product, and someone else takes the exact same dose, let’s say it’s a glue, we’re all going to have a different experience. This is due to the tolerance of the body, the health of the endocannabinoid system [a complex cell-signaling system in the brain and the body]And other factors that really play a role in how you metabolize the product.”
That’s why it’s important to start with a small amount and build up to a dose that works for you. “We have dosage recommendations on every package,” Symons continued. “It says grow until you get the kind of experience you’re looking for.”
Which celebrities use vegan CBD gummies?
CBDistillery is far from alone in the CBD industry. As established, the market is currently worth more than $5 billion, and from 2022 to 2030, it is expected to grow at an annual rate of about 17 percent. And undoubtedly, celebrities have played a major role in driving the industry forward.
Arguably Hollywood’s reality TV royalty, the Kardashians helped put the CBD on the map. Kourtney Kardashian sells it in topical serum form on her wellness platform pushAnd her husband, Travis Barker, recently launched his own vegan brand, which sells organic broad-spectrum CBD gummies.
Kim Kardashian has also been vocal about how much she loves CBD gummies for years. In 2019, he wrote push: “I’ve been a huge fan of CBD ever since I started feeling overwhelmed, which came with starting law school and having a fourth child.”
Other celebrities who have expressed their love for CBD gummy include Martha Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg and Busy Phillips, and many others claim to use it in lotions, creams and oils.
Simons agrees that the CBD industry wouldn’t be where it is today without celebrity involvement. “I always talk about summer 2019; It was the pinnacle of our industry,” he recalls. “At the time, one of the weirdest marketing moments of my career in this industry was when Kim Kardashian threw a CBD baby shower. It was things like that. You know, Martha Stewart is taking over a brand. I think the celebrity endorsement absolutely helped put it on the map.”
Why Are Vegan CBD Gummies Important?
Vegan CBD gummies may not be able to cure cancer, but as much scientific and anecdotal evidence can prove, they can help improve the quality of life for many people, and therein lies their true value.
Adrian Crawford, content strategist at CBDistillery, knows the positive impact cannabis products can have on people because he’s experienced it first hand. After back surgery, he was struggling to sleep through the night due to occasional discomfort. He tried cannabinol, another cannabinoid in marijuana, in a THC product, and the effects were life-changing.
“I bought some when I started at CBDistillery, and sure enough I slept through the night for the first time in months,” he recalls. Simons can also attest to the benefits of vegan CBD gums in particular. “I would say for me, one of my favorite products is our full-spectrum CBD gum,” he notes. “Getting what I need to relax at the end of the day and go to sleep at night.”
“It changes the entire quality of someone’s life,” Crawford adds. “Be it relaxation or recovery. It’s easy to be a missionary when you see it working for yourself.”