• Manufacturers of CBD gummies typically extract CBD from hemp leaves and flowers, while hemp gummies are produced from hempseed extract. Products derived from hemp seeds contain little to no cannabidiol (CBD)(1).
  • CBD gummies may help manage anxiety, depression, inflammation, sleep, and pain(2). However, no conclusive clinical data shows that the benefits of hemp gummies or CBD gummies are substantiated.
  • Some gummies contain omega-3 fatty acids or melatonin, which brands claim may enhance the gummies’ purported benefits. However, gummies contain gelatin, which may not appeal to vegans.

What Are Hemp and CBD Gummies?

Hemp and CBD gummies are edible products individuals eat to take advantage of the purported therapeutic benefits of the cannabinoids and compounds found in the cannabis plant.

This plant contains around 540 chemical substances(3). Two cannabis varieties are the marijuana and hemp plants.

Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are cannabinoids commonly found in cannabis plants and studied by many researchers for potential health and wellness benefits.

CBD is a naturally occurring cannabinoid hypothesized to provide pain relief and anti-inflammatory effects(4).

THC is another cannabis constituent whose psychoactive properties may cause a euphoric “high” associated with marijuana use(5).

Other cannabinoids in the cannabis plant include cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabichromene (CBC).

CBN is formed from THC during the drying, storing, and heating process of cannabis products and may have anticonvulsant and sedative properties(6).

CBG is present in low concentrations in cannabis plants. Current literature suggests this compound may have anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties(7).

CBC is another cannabinoid recently investigated for its potential to help with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)(8).

Thus, individuals purchasing hemp or CBD gummies may base their buying decision on the amount of CBD and other compounds in the product.

Common Traits

Hemp gummies and CBD gummies are typically derived from hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant.

Gummies derived from hemp contain no more than 0.3% THC(9). This factor suggests that one common trait of hemp and CBD gummies is that both products do not have the same psychoactive properties associated with THC.

Another common characteristic of CBD and hemp gummies is that the low amount of THC makes them legal in the United States on a federal level. U.S. hemp farmers must only supply hemp products whose THC levels are below 0.3%(10).

Gummies may contain artificial ingredients like sweeteners or food coloring to help enhance the flavor or appearance of these products.

Additionally, gummies are made from gelatin, which may not be vegan-friendly. However, some brands claim to offer vegan gummies with vegetable-based ingredients.

Differences

Manufacturers typically produce CBD gummies using CBD oil extracted from the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant.

On the other hand, hemp gummies sold in the market use hempseed extract, usually made from hemp seeds.

Products derived from hemp seeds have little to no CBD(11). Thus, hemp gummies may not contain CBD.

However, due to the differences in how brands label their products, establishing a standard to differentiate CBD and hemp products may be challenging.

Some marketers label their CBD oil products as hemp oil, further confusing consumers. Thus, individuals need to review a product’s certificate of analysis (COA) to know if the product they are buying contains CBD.

COAs are third-party laboratory reports showing a CBD product’s actual cannabinoid content. This document may help consumers determine if the information on the product’s label is accurate.

What Are Hemp Gummies Used for?

No conclusive clinical data show any therapeutic benefits of hemp gummies or if these benefits are substantiated.

However, manufacturers selling hemp gummies may claim that these products are formulated for various therapeutic purposes, such as promoting wellness, improving cardiovascular health, or supporting healthy energy levels.

To enhance the purported benefits of hemp gummies, brands may add natural ingredients such as omega-3 fatty acids or melatonin to the products.

Omega-3 fatty acids may help decrease blood pressure and reduce cardiovascular disease risk(12).

Meanwhile, melatonin may help manage jet lag, sleep disorders, and anxiety before or after surgery(13).

Pros and Cons of Hemp Gummies

As an oral product served in bite-sized pieces, hemp gummies may be a convenient way to consume hemp-based products.

Researchers have not conducted extensive clinical trials to determine the potential benefits and side effects of hemp gummies on humans.

However, hemp gummies made from hempseed oil may contain little to no CBD.

Hemp seeds are void of cannabinoids on the inside. Although compounds from other parts of the hemp plant may “contaminate” the outside of hemp seeds, these seeds are cleansed before extraction, leaving trace amounts of cannabinoids on them(14).

What Are CBD Gummies Good for?

Individuals looking for the best CBD gummies may consider the therapeutic benefits of this product type as part of their purchasing decisions.

CBD brands marketing CBD gummies claim these products may help with pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, and sleep(15). Some individuals may consider these health benefits of CBD when purchasing CBD gummies.

Once the gummies are ingested, CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This biological system regulates many critical body functions, including temperature regulation, inflammatory and immune responses, pain control, and emotional processing(16).

The ECS contains various receptors, such as the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors help modulate immune functioning and inflammatory bowel conditions or regulate hunger, temperature, and alertness(17).

However, current research has only investigated the effects of CBD oil and not CBD gummies(18). Thus, there is no conclusive scientific data to back the manufacturers’ and consumers’ claims that CBD gummies are effective.

Another reason individuals buy CBD gummies is that these products contain almost no THC and are non-psychoactive(19). Thus, such products may not give consumers a euphoric “high.”

Pros and Cons of CBD Gummies

Research suggests that individuals with epilepsy or other psychotic disorders may consider taking CBD to help manage their condition(20). However, CBD may cause side effects, such as tiredness, diarrhea, and body weight changes.

Other tolerable side effects include reduced appetite, dry mouth, drowsiness, and fatigue(21).

In addition, CBD may have a bitter taste, which may not appeal to some consumers. Thus, sellers often add a large amount of sugar, such as cane sugar, to the gummies to offset CBD’s natural flavor(22).

Which Cannabis Product Is Better?

Individuals have varying preferences and needs, and these factors may influence the consumer’s decision on which particular product may work best for them.

For example, consumers who prefer to experience the benefits of CBD may choose CBD gummies.

When choosing the right product for the individual’s needs, other considerations include the extraction methods, product types, consumer preferences, and the seller’s offers.

Extraction Methods

Suppliers use various extraction methods, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), ethanol, or hydrocarbon techniques, to extract CBD and other cannabinoids from the cannabis plant.

  • Carbon dioxide extraction: This technique uses highly pressurized carbon dioxide for extracting cannabis plant compounds and other active ingredients.

CO2 is a non-combustible and odorless gas that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledges as generally safe for use in food(23).

  • Ethanol extraction: This method utilizes ethanol or ethyl alcohol as a solvent for CBD extraction. Many cultures have used this compound for centuries to extract various substances from plants(24).
  • Hydrocarbon extraction: The hydrocarbon technique uses butane or propane to extract plant compounds. These solvents are relatively affordable compared to those used in other methods(25).

Hydrocarbons are flammable and neurotoxic. Therefore, these chemicals can become a health hazard if not purged entirely from the CBD or hemp extract.

Manufacturers utilizing the hydrocarbon technique should follow proper safety processes to minimize the risks of contaminating the cannabis extract.

Product Category

After extraction, the extract is processed and categorized into full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate hemp or CBD products.

Full-spectrum cannabis products, such as full-spectrum CBD oil, contain all the significant cannabis plant compounds and cannabinoids, including CBD, THC, terpenes, and flavonoids.

Terpenes are essential oil ingredients that give cannabis plants a distinct aroma(26). Meanwhile, flavonoids are plant compounds that may serve as antioxidants and antimicrobials(27).

Combining the benefits of all these plant derivatives may produce an “entourage effect,” a phenomenon where all the compounds work synergistically to improve a product’s beneficial effects(28).

Broad-spectrum CBD oil may also contain similar substances in full-spectrum CBD oil. However, broad-spectrum CBD oil products are THC-free.

Meanwhile, CBD isolates are pure-CBD products only. They do not contain THC or any other cannabinoids and compounds.

Individuals who prefer the full therapeutic benefits of the entourage effect may consider taking full-spectrum CBD gummies. On the other hand, those who prefer consuming THC-free products may opt for broad-spectrum CBD oil or isolates.

However, individuals planning to purchase high-quality hemp or CBD gummies to help with existing medical conditions should consult a doctor before taking such products.

Laboratory Testing

To ensure that the hemp and CBD products are safe and have the appropriate cannabinoid content, CBD brands must send their CBD oil product samples to third-party labs for testing.

These laboratories analyze the products and report the results on a COA.

Third-party labs also check the product for contaminants, such as pesticides, solvents, or heavy metals that can cause a health risk to consumers.

Reputable CBD brands update their COAs regularly and post these documents on their website. This transparency allows the public to access these COAs anytime when needed.

Other Product Types

Aside from gummies, other types of CBD and hemp products include the following:

  • Oral products: These products are taken by eating and swallowing. Ingestion allows cannabinoids to pass through the digestive tract before entering the bloodstream.

Some oral products include capsules or CBD edibles, such as candies or chews.

  • Sublingual products: These products are typically administered under the tongue. Examples of sublingual products are tinctures, sprays, or lozenges.

Tinctures usually contain a carrier oil, such as coconut or hempseed oil, to dilute the cannabis concentrate.

Hempseed oil, which has little to no CBD, is typically extracted from hemp seeds and contains omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids(29).

  • Topicals: Topical products are applied to the skin to help provide relief to a specific area(30). Some of these products include creams, balms, lotions, or ointments.
  • Vapes: Consumers may consider taking hemp or CBD products by inhalation. This method allows CBD to pass through the lungs before spreading throughout the body(31).

Individuals with acute conditions like nausea may consider inhalation as a method to deliver CBD fast(32).

Still, users are cautioned that vapes may be connected with lung disease(33). Individuals using or planning to use vapes should be mindful of this adverse effect before vaping CBD.

CBD Brand Offers

Some individuals may look into a company’s offers when deciding to buy hemp or CBD gummies.

For example, a company may market its products as organic, non-GMO, or U.S.-made to appeal to consumers who prefer those features.

Additionally, the companies may offer discounts on quality products upon subscription or money-back guarantees if the consumer is not satisfied with the product.

Despite these offers, individuals planning to purchase hemp or CBD gummies to help manage existing medical conditions must first consult with a doctor or healthcare professional. These experts can provide medical advice on the best treatment for such conditions.

U.S. federal law specifies that CBD oil products whose THC levels are higher than 0.3% are illegal(34).

The 2018 Farm Bill established a framework to regulate U.S. hemp production(35). The law also removed hemp products containing less than 0.3% THC from the “marijuana” definition under the Controlled Substances Act(36)

The FDA advises suppliers that labeling or marketing CBD products as food additives or dietary supplements is illegal(37).

It is also worth noting that regulation and implementation of medical marijuana and CBD laws vary in all U.S. states.

As of February 2022, U.S. states such as Arizona, Colorado, Florida, and North Dakota, have comprehensive medical cannabis programs(38).

Thus, individuals planning to purchase hemp or CBD products should review their state laws to determine if such products are legal in their area.


  1. FDA Responds to Three GRAS Notices for Hemp Seed-Derived Ingredients for Use in Human Food https://www.fda.gov/food/cfsan-constituent-updates/fda-responds-three-gras-notices-hemp-seed-derived-ingredients-use-human-food
  2. What are CBD gummies? Are there any health benefits?https://www.drugs.com/medical-answers/cbd-gummies-health-benefits-3515165/ 
  3. Cannabis (Marijuana) and Cannabinoids: What You Need To Know https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/cannabis-marijuana-and-cannabinoids-what-you-need-to-know
  4. CBD oil: What is it and how does it work? https://www.eehealth.org/blog/2019/09/cbd-oil/
  5. Tetrahydrocannabinol https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/tetrahydrocannabinol 
  6. Cannabinol https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/cannabinol
  7. Chapter 99 – Potential Medical Uses of Cannabigerol: A Brief Overview https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128007563001150 
  8. A potential role for cannabichromene in modulating TRP channels during acute respiratory distress syndrome https://jcannabisresearch.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42238-021-00101-0 
  9. What are CBD gummies? Are there any health benefits? https://www.drugs.com/medical-answers/cbd-gummies-health-benefits-3515165/ 
  10. Ibid.
  11. FDA Responds to Three GRAS Notices for Hemp Seed-Derived Ingredients for Use in Human Food https://www.fda.gov/food/cfsan-constituent-updates/fda-responds-three-gras-notices-hemp-seed-derived-ingredients-use-human-food 
  12. Omega-3 Fatty Acids https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/17290-omega-3-fatty-acids 
  13. Melatonin: What You Need To Know https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/melatonin-what-you-need-to-know 
  14. Cannabinoid Profiling of Hemp Seed Oil by Liquid Chromatography Coupled to High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpls.2019.00120/full 
  15. What are CBD gummies? Are there any health benefits? https://www.drugs.com/medical-answers/cbd-gummies-health-benefits-3515165/ 
  16. The endocannabinoid system: Essential and mysterious https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-endocannabinoid-system-essential-and-mysterious-202108112569 
  17. Ibid.
  18. What are CBD gummies? Are there any health benefits? https://www.drugs.com/medical-answers/cbd-gummies-health-benefits-3515165/ 
  19. Ibid.
  20. An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2016.0034 
  21. What are the benefits of CBD — and is it safe to use? https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/is-cbd-safe-and-effective/faq-20446700 
  22. Medical Answers: What are CBD gummies? Are there any health benefits? https://www.drugs.com/medical-answers/cbd-gummies-health-benefits-3515165/ 
  23. CFR – Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=184.1240 
  24. CBD oil: An introduction https://www.projectcbd.org/wellness/cbd-oil-introduction 
  25. Page 244 of Healing With CBD https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AGlxnhS2SoFeOXEuysv75bd_C9pEnwsU/view 
  26. The Cannabis Terpenes https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7763918/ 
  27. Flavonoids as antioxidants https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10924197/ 
  28. The “Entourage Effect”: Terpenes Coupled with Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Mood Disorders and Anxiety Disorders https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC7324885/ 
  29. Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025619619300072 
  30. Page 210 of Healing With CBD https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AGlxnhS2SoFeOXEuysv75bd_C9pEnwsU/view 
  31. Best Way to Take CBD https://www.projectcbd.org/guidance/best-way-take-cbd 
  32. Ibid.
  33. Can vaping damage your lungs? What we do (and don’t) know https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/can-vaping-damage-your-lungs-what-we-do-and-dont-know-2019090417734 
  34. CBD & THC: Myths and misconceptions https://www.projectcbd.org/cbd-101/cbd-misconceptions 
  35. Hemp Production https://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/hemp 
  36. Hemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill https://www.fda.gov/news-events/congressional-testimony/hemp-production-and-2018-farm-bill-07252019 
  37. What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/what-you-need-know-and-what-were-working-find-out-about-products-containing-cannabis-or-cannabis 
  38. State Medical Cannabis Laws https://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-medical-marijuana-laws.aspx
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