EducationAll the basics you need to know about CBD edibles 

All the basics you need to know about CBD edibles 

10 min read

Editorial Team

All the basics you need to know about CBD edibles 
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound produced inside the glandular trichomes of the cannabis plant. Next to Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it is the most abundant phytocannabinoid found in medical cannabis and hemp. CBD is a non-intoxicating but still psychoactive neurotransmitter that has shown potential in being able to modulate patients' mood, anxiety, immune system, inflammation, pain, and general healing. 

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At the time of writing, there have been over 22,556 studies that have looked into the medical properties of CBD, and more are being conducted all the time. CBD is considered relatively safe and has few side effects, which a very minimal number of patients feel.

What is an "edible"?

An edible is typically the term used when a food or drink product has been infused with cannabis or a cannabis extract. Infusion is often done by cooking CBD, cannabis, or cannabis oil into a fatty or sugary base that is then infused into cakes, chocolate, gummies, or dried fruit. 

Cannabis edibles are eaten in order to feel the effects of the cannabis or specific cannabinoid that has been included. Edibles provide a way to safely consume cannabinoids without having to be exposed to the harmful effects of smoking or avoid using their lungs as a route of administration. 

What different types of CBD edibles are there?

CBD edibles come in all forms, sizes, and different doses. CBD can be infused into almost anything with the proper methods applied. Hence, the variety available to patients and the public is virtually limitless. 

Chocolate, cakes, brownies, cookies, gummies, hard-boiled sweets, soft drinks, seltzers, beers, chewing gum, dried fruit, and syrups are all products that have been infused with CBD and act as discreet ways to take a dose without making it obvious you're administering CBD. These innovative products have helped remove the stigma around CBD and general medical cannabis application as a regular therapeutic compound.

What is the difference between Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate CBD?

When buying CBD edibles, it is wise to be aware of the different types of CBD ingredients that the manufacturers can use. Whilst CBD is CBD, and CBD offers the range of effects that it does, when CBD is combined with other cannabinoids like THC or Cannabigerol (CBG), they can have a modulating impact on one another. Terpenes (the aromatic compounds) which are found in cannabis and cannabis extracts, have also been shown to have a modulating effect. This is known as the “entourage effect”

Edibles, and many other medicinal cannabis products, are split into three main categories:

  • Full Spectrum CBD contains the complete range of cannabinoids found in the plant, which have been extracted into the final concentrate. CBD is the prominent cannabinoid here and is usually extracted from high-CBD cannabis and hemp cultivars.
  • Broad Spectrum CBD refers to a full spectrum extract that has had the THC removed to comply with regulations in some jurisdictions that still prevent THC from being in any products due to local drug laws. If you have a driving job and do not have a prescription for THC in the UK, trace amounts of THC could show up on a saliva, blood, or urine test, putting your employment at risk where there is zero tolerance.
  • Isolate CBD is another further refinement of broad or full spectrum CBD extracts, where the pure CBD is removed and isolated at over 98% CBD. Pharmaceutically pure versions are available that reach 99.9% CBD, and these are used in pharmaceuticals such as Epidyolex.

Why do people take CBD edibles?

People take CBD edibles for a huge variety of reasons. Anxiety is one of the most common reasons and affects many people in the UK. Around 8% of the population suffers from a generalised anxiety disorder, and 8 million people suffer from some form of anxiety disorder at any given time. In 2021 28% of 16 to 28-year-olds were suffering from anxiety of some form. This decreases with age, where only 5% of 70-year-olds experience it. More women experience anxiety than men, 37.1% compared to 29.9%, respectively, reported "high levels" of anxiety - an increase of around 17% and 11% in the last decade.

People diagnosed with ADHD and autism find CBD helpful for the related symptoms surrounding social anxiety, keeping calm, and slowing down the thought process.

Other valid reasons people find CBD edibles useful are for inflammation and pain-related issues. CBD is a potent anti-inflammatory, and inflammation is an uncomfortable sensation that is also the cause of all pain. CBD has been shown to potentially help switch the pro-inflammatory response to the anti-inflammatory in a short space of time and can promote healing also. Some patients find they can decrease the amount of steroid and nonsteroidal medications used to control inflammation. Joint pain such as arthritis, muscle pain caused by fibromyalgia, and injuries from sports or overexertion may also be aided by the medicinal benefits of CBD.

Gastrointestinal issues such as IBS, Crohn's Disease, and Colitis also find CBD edibles useful at reducing inflammation and associated anxiety. And whilst not a gastrointestinal issue, cramps from menstruation and pain caused by polycystic ovaries have been known to be eased by CBD edibles.

CBD edibles may bring relief from the spasms and tremors associated with Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's', as well as helping with distress from dementia and Alzheimer's.

Are CBD edibles right for you?

CBD edibles might be ideal for you if you do not like to inhale your medication or health food supplements. They are discreet, often looking like everyday food products, and they are usually dosed in a way that means you don't have to eat the whole packet or product at once. 

If you are considering adding any form of medicinal cannabis to your current treatment plan, you should always seek the advice of a doctor that is experienced in, and registered to, prescribe such treatment options.

How do people take CBD edibles?

Most patients take CBD edibles if and when symptoms pop up. Some prefer to take a daily CBD edible to help control more chronic issues, but this is a discussion that you should have with your prescribing doctor.

CBD has shown great potential as a rescue remedy for many conditions like cramping, MS spasms, or a Crohn's Disease flare. CBD lasts about 3–5 hours in your system, so knowing when to time your doses throughout the day will help you stay in control of your health more.

What is a “normal” CBD edible dose?

Everyone's different, and so the dosage range is quite wide when it comes to CBD edibles. They have been proven to be well tolerated and safe at many dosage sizes. For sensitive people, as little as 2.5 mg of CBD can have an effect, but others with more severe conditions or higher tolerance to CBD may require 25 mg or even higher doses. It is best to start low, slow, and gradually build up. Again, speak to your doctor when it comes to CBD dosage sizes.

How long do CBD edibles take to start working?

It takes about 30–90 minutes for a CBD edible to start working, so if you don't feel anything in that time, don't worry because it might not have taken effect yet. Taking your CBD edible with other food or half an hour before or after will help improve the bioavailability of the CBD. 

What do CBD edibles feel like?

The feeling of CBD, for most people, is a calming and content feeling in the same way that quiet and peaceful meditation can bring you. Some people call it serene, and others find it a little more relaxed than even that. Your body may feel lighter; your mood can be lifted. Some people feel tired and exhausted if they take higher doses, which can make them feel less social.

Can I overdose on CBD edibles?

CBD edibles are safe, but as with all therapeutic options, there is a chance you can take too much – don't worry, though, the chances of coming to harm are incredibly slim. CBD is non-lethal, so you cannot fatally overdose on it by itself. If you take another medication, it is best to check if CBD interacts with it to ensure you do not have a negative and potentially harmful side effect. Too much CBD can leave you tired, lethargic, slightly emotionally removed.

Are there any guidelines on how much CBD can be used daily?

The government's advice from the Food Standards Authority (FSA) on CBD edibles in the UK is not to exceed 70 mg daily or 28 drops of 5% tincture per day. For children prescribed Epidyolex to treat severe infant epilepsy, 5 mg per kg of body weight per dose is prescribed, which shows that higher doses can be well tolerated, even with children patients. For a 70 kg person, this would be 350 mg of CBD per dose.

How do I know which CBD edibles I can trust?

Companies that want you to know you can trust them often have their certificates of analysis (COA) on their website. They also indicate what dosage a product has in the packet and per item in the packet. If prescribed CBD edibles, you can be sure they are trustworthy due to the strict regulatory framework they have to adhere to as a medicine legally.

Are CBD edibles safe for children?

Yes, CBD has been proven to be a safe therapeutic option for all ages. It is imperative to consult with a doctor for all ages, but especially for patients under 18 years of age. 

Are CBD edibles vegan?

Whilst there are many products in the CBD edible market, not all are created equally or with the same consumer base in mind. In today's market, the range of CBD edible options is pretty huge. Some are vegan, some are not. However, many brands work toward a sustainable planet and push towards ethical goals, such as veganism, to provide products that meet consumers' and patients' moral codes of living.

Can CBD edibles be addictive?

CBD edibles are not addictive because CBD is not addictive. CBD is non-intoxicating and has been proven to be safe and well tolerated at a wide range of dose sizes. 

Conclusion

So, as we can see, CBD edibles can be a great supplement to any lifestyle. They bring potential relief from a wide range of symptoms relating to many health issues, are easy to take, and come in such a wide range of options. Whilst more research is needed into the effects of CBD edibles on humans, current evidence does suggest that they can be hugely beneficial for many people with ailments and chronic conditions. 

At the same time, it is important to remember that CBD edibles are not a miracle cure-all and should always be taken under medical guidance. The best way to ensure you are taking the right dosage for your specific needs is to have a discussion with your doctor or specialist about how CBD could fit into your treatment plan. With this in mind, you can make an informed decision about whether CBD edibles are right for you, and your health needs.

If you would like to learn more about medicinal cannabis, and CBD in particular, we are here to help. Releaf understands the importance of medical cannabis in treating various medical conditions. With our tailored monthly packages, specialist consultations for medical cannabis, and a unique medical cannabis card for protection, you can access the treatment you need without worrying about the stigma. 

It is important to seek medical advice before starting any new treatments. The patient advisors at Releaf are available to provide expert advice and support. Alternatively, click here to book a consultation with one of our specialist doctors.

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Authors

Editorial Team

Article written by the Releaf Editorial Team, a group of seasoned experts in cannabis healthcare, dedicated to enhancing awareness and accessibility in the field through their wealth of knowledge and experience.

Our articles are written by experts and reviewed by medical professionals or compliance specialists. Adhering to stringent sourcing guidelines, we reference peer-reviewed studies and scholarly research. View our editorial policy.

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