EducationWhat are CBD edibles?

What are CBD edibles?

10 min read

Editorial Team

What are 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 cannabis and hemp. CBD is a non-intoxicating, but still psychoactive, neurotransmitter that affects mood, anxiety, the immune system, inflammation, pain, and healing.


What is CBD?

At the time of writing, there have been over 22,556 studies that have looked into the medical properties of CBD so far, with more 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 item has been infused with cannabis or a cannabis extract. Infusion is often done by cooking CBD, cannabis, or cannabis oil into a fatty 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 as a route of administration. 

Always follow dosing advice.

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 when the proper methods applied. Hence, the variety available to patients and the public is virtually limitless. 

The number of CBD infused edible options that are now available over the counter has grown to a point that they are considered quite normal in shops, even ones that do not specialise in health food. 

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 medicinal cannabis use 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 that the manufacturers can use. Whilst CBD is CBD, and CBD has the effect it has, when it is combined with other cannabinoids like THC or Cannabigerol (CBG), they can have a modulating impact on one another. Terpenes, which are found in cannabis and cannabis extracts, also have a modulating effect which is why some strains make you feel more excited, and others can make you feel drowsy. This is commonly referred to as the “entourage effect” .

  • Full Spectrum CBD contains the complete chemical makeup found in the source 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 all the THC removed to comply with regulations in some jurisdictions that still prevent THC from being present. 
  • 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 many reasons. 

Anxiety 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. 

Approximately 4% of the population suffers from PTSD, which is a very debilitating form of anxiety. People diagnosed with ADHD and autism have reported CBD administration being  helpful for the related symptoms surrounding social anxiety, panic, and slowing down the thought process. 

Other valid reasons people find CBD edibles useful are for inflammation and pain-related issues. CBD has shown potential for being a potent anti-inflammatory, and inflammation is an uncomfortable sensation that is also the cause of most forms of pain. CBD may help switch the pro-inflammatory response to the anti-inflammatory in a short space of time.  

Some patients find they may be able to stop taking or 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 be aided by the medicinal benefits of CBD. 

Sufferers of gastrointestinal issues such as IBS, Crohn's Disease, and Colitis also report 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 help with spasms and tremors associated with Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's', as well as helping with distress from certain forms of dementia, like Alzheimer's. 

Are CBD edibles right for me?

CBD edibles might be ideal for you if you are averse to the idea of having to inhale your medication or health food supplements. They are discreet, closely resemble 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. 

They are designed to be enjoyable, even delicious!

How do people take CBD edibles?

The best way to take CBD edibles is either when you need to because you need symptom relief or at set times of the day, so you can manage your symptoms to the best of your abilities. CBD is a potential rescue remedy for many conditions like cramping, MS spasms, or a Crohn's Disease flare-up. 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.

If you are interested in learning more about CBD edibles, and how they may help with your particular health concerns, we highly recommend seeking the advice of a that is both registered to, and experienced in prescribing medicinal cannabis.

What dose does it take to benefit from CBD edibles?

Everyone's different. As such, quoting exact doses is a difficult subject.

Some patients are highly sensitive to CBD. 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. A doctor that is experienced in prescribing medicinal cannabis will be able to guide you fully in terms of dosing requirements for your specific needs.

How long do CBD edibles take to start working?

It takes anywhere between 30 and 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 less talkative. 

Can I overdose on CBD edibles?

While CBD edibles (and CBD in general) has an extremely high safety profile, 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 are taking other medications, it is best to check if CBD interacts with them to ensure you do not have a negative and potentially harmful side effect. CBD edibles are processed through the liver, which is responsible for the processing of many pharmaceuticals. This can cause negative interactions, so always check with your prescribing doctor before CBD administration begins. 

Too much CBD can leave you tired, lethargic, removed, and losing interest in everyday tasks. 

Are there any guidelines on how much CBD can be taken 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. This is quite a high dose, which shows that there is a high level of tolerance for CBD without any serious side effects. For a 70 kg person, this would be 350 mg of CBD per dose. 

How do I know which CBD edibles I can trust?

Trustworthy CBD companies should always display the certificates of analysis (COA) on their website. This is a third party lab analysis of the product, and will display the exact ingredients contained in the specific product or medication. 

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.

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. Many CBD edibles contain animal products, most notably dairy and gelatine in chocolate and gummies. However, many brands work toward a sustainable planet and push towards ethical goals, such as veganism, to provide products that meet patients' moral codes.

Can CBD edibles be addictive?

CBD is not addictive. CBD is non-intoxicating, has an extremely high safety profile, and has shown true potential at helping to reduce the symptoms and severity of many health issues. 


CBD edibles are an effective and enjoyable way to get your daily dose of CBD. While it is difficult to give exact dosages, it's best to start low and slow before increasing the dose if needed. You should always consult your doctor before taking CBD Edibles, no matter the health concern you are trying to deal with, as they can interact with other medications. Always check for the third-party lab analysis certificate to ensure the product you are taking is trustworthy.

Don't let the stigma surrounding medical cannabis prevent you from getting a suitable treatment. Releaf provides tailored monthly packages, specialist consultations for medical cannabis, and a unique medical cannabis card for protection, all based on your medical cannabis prescription.

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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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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