It’s no secret that CBD and all its forms have taken the wellness world by storm. We can safely say that’s what’s been going on the past couple of years, particularly since the Farm Bill of 2018 legalized hemp.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, has gained notable popularity for its various health benefits, and growing scientific evidence supports these potential properties.
And since the impetus of CBD is in the mainstream, CBD gummies are among the most popular ways to consume it. Not only are CBD gummies convenient, but they are also delicious, chewy, and easy to measure.
Despite their skyrocketing popularity, there are still many consumers who don’t fully understand it in 2021.
However, those who could benefit from CBD gummies deserve to get the most out of them!
And to get the most out of CBD gummies, we must understand what they are, how they work, and what side effects may arise.
But perhaps above all, individuals interested in CBD deserve to understand what makes a high-quality, effective, and enjoyable form of CBD.
In this guide, we’re mainly focusing on our top 10 favorite brands that provide CBD gummies.
Still, we’ll also be talking about the science behind CBD and why CBD has so much potential as a nonaddictive non-psychoactive substance.
As always, note that while we try to keep this guide comprehensive, it is not the end-all-be-all of brands that sell CBD gummies. That’s why a healthy pinch of salt is always encouraged.
What is CBD, and Where Does CBD Come From?
CBD, short for “cannabidiol,” is sometimes associated with marijuana. And while it’s true that they’re related to one another, there are some critical distinctions between the two.
CBD is also associated with marijuana because they both come from cannabis. And while this is true, let’s clarify what cannabis is.
Cannabis isn’t one type of plant, but a group is known as a genus, which falls under the botanical family Cannabaceae, the same family that includes hops (Humulus) and hackberry (Celtis).
When we talk about cannabis, we tend to talk about two kinds: the kind with a high THC count, which produces the psychoactive drug marijuana, and the kind with a shallow level of THC, and typically has fibers and textiles. This second type of cannabis is most often referred to as industrial hemp.
But while hemp doesn’t contain a lot of THC, it does hold a lot of CBD.
Both CBD and THC are known as cannabinoids, which have a special relationship with our bodies (more on this later). CBD and THC hold a few similarities, but the most significant difference is that THC is psychoactive and can give the user a sense of euphoria. CBD, on the other hand, isn’t psychoactive, but it can be highly beneficial.
CBD is a nonaddictive substance with remarkable abilities. Not only is it incredibly anti-inflammatory, but it can also help the body & mind relax.
But these properties are broad and branch into an almost endless number of ways in which we can benefit from them.
So let’s go over some of the major ones.
The Benefits of CBD
CBD’s long list of benefits is still being researched. Still, it’s widely believed that it all comes down to a series of receptors in our bodies known as the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system is primarily made up of receptors, enzymes, and transmitters. They all work together to help manage crucial functions in our bodies, like mood, stress, sleep patterns, and the inflammatory response.
As a cannabinoid, CBD is highly similar to the ones our bodies produce. When we consume CBD, it’s been theorized that it’s absorbed into the CB1 and CB2 receptors, resulting in the CBD influencing the endocannabinoid system’s workings.
Through this unique relationship, it’s theorized that CBD can help several ailments. So far, perhaps the most impressive benefit of CBD is its ability to treat severe conditions with seizures, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Currently, the seizure medication Epidiolex is the only FDA-approved drug containing CBD.
CBD also has a fascinating reputation for pain relief.
But believe it or not, this is hardly anything new.
As early as 2700 B.C.E., the first experiments on cannabis as a medicinal plant were recorded in China by the Father of Chinese Medicine, Emperor Shen-Nung. And in Ancient Egypt, Pharaoh Ramses II supported the use of cannabis oil as a means of pain relief among his subjects
In the 16th century, physician Garcia de Orta of Spain observed that hemp cannabis could improve appetite. In contrast, Chinese physician Li Shih-Chen noted its antibiotic properties.
And in the 17th century, cannabis was recommended by American physician Robert Burton to ease melancholy and anxiety.
The Research Behind CBD
Despite the oppression of cannabis in the 20th century, CBD’s returned to the mainstream in a big way, especially after the 2018 Farm Bill, which federally legalized all hemp products with less than 0.3% delta-9 THC.
Consequently, CBD’s popularity has skyrocketed in the past few years and the anecdotal claims on their benefits with it. It seems like every day, more individuals discover CBD and report success with it, whether it’s for their chronic pain, anxiety, depression, or even motion sickness.
But how does the evidence stack up?
Pain relief is one of the primary reasons people buy CBD, and this comes in a ton of different forms, from sports injuries to chronic pain.
How does CBD help relieve pain?
CBD’s pain-relieving properties are related to the endocannabinoid system and how it controls the inflammatory response.
Inflammation is one of the body’s effective forms of defense against injury and infection. But sometimes, things go wrong in the body, and inflammation may be recurring for an unknown reason or no apparent reason at all. Situations like this can lead to several inflammatory conditions, including fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
On top of that, prescription pain medications have developed a reputation for being abused, contributing to the opioid crisis.
So if there was a substance that was both highly effective and nonaddictive, that could make a significant difference in the lives of countless people.
Could CBD be that substance?
Several studies have shown that CBD may provide some relief in cases of chronic pain. For instance, one study from The Journal of Pain Research
observed that CBD might affect receptor activity in the endocannabinoid system, which reduces the inflammatory response.
In another study, researchers found that rats given CBD experienced less sciatic pain, nerve pain, and inflammation, and multiple human studies have found that CBD can help with pain associated with multiple sclerosis and arthritis.
Anxiety & Depression Management
Chronic pain isn’t the only rising issue in Western society; mental health is prevalent, too.
A broad spectrum of mental health disorders is becoming commonplace in American citizens, especially anxiety and depression. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is one of the biggest causes of disability globally, and many individuals with depression and anxiety go untreated to avoid stigma.
Seeing a professional should be a priority if you’re experiencing mental health concerns like depression or anxiety. However, some individuals may find some significant support with CBD.
In one human study, subjects were given either 150mg of CBD, 300mg of CBD, 600mg of CBD, or a placebo before a public speech assessment. Researchers found that those with 300mg of CBD had the most significant anxiety reduction.
There is also evidence that CBD may help treat insomnia, as well as depression. In one animal study from the British Journal of Pharmacology, researchers found that CBD had effects similar to antidepressants without habit-forming properties.
Potential Anticancer Properties
Perhaps one of the most exciting benefits of CBD could be its potential anticancer properties.
According to one study from The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, CBD has the potential to slow the progression of cancer cells and help the immune system target and kill them to boot.
In another study from The National Center for Biotechnology Information, researchers found that CBD may help induce programmed cell death in breast cancer cells.
Additionally, CBD could also be helpful for the relief of cancer-related symptoms, like nausea and vomiting. In one study, 16 chemotherapy patients found that CBD and THC reduced their nausea and vomiting.
Does CBD Have Side Effects?
Overall, it’s been observed that individuals tolerate CBD well, and experts widely agree that CBD is perfectly safe. But like any medicine, side effects may occur in some individuals.
In some cases, CBD may cause a reduction of appetite, drowsiness, dry mouth, diarrhea, and fatigue. And in some instances, CBD may have unwanted interactions with certain drugs like beta-blockers and blood thinners.
Additionally, pregnant or nursing should avoid CBD since experts are not entirely sure how CBD can impact fetal and infant development.
Always check with a doctor about the best course of action if you’re taking any medication. Still, side effects tend to be more likely when CBD is taken at high doses.
The possibility of side effects is one of the reasons why consumers should take CBD at moderate doses. Luckily, most gummies are only around 10-15 mg of CBD per gummy, a somewhat modest amount for the average new consumer.
CBD Isolate Gummies vs. Full Spectrum Gummies
No matter the type of CBD product, many consumers are confused by the kinds of CBD available: specifically, full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate.
So what's the difference?
As mentioned before, CBD comes from hemp, which is in the cannabis genus, also known as Cannabaceae.
And we talked about what a particular type of cannabinoid CBD is, but it’s not the only type. CBD is one of over 113 types of cannabinoids found in cannabis.
When CBD gummies are described as “full-spectrum,” they contain all cannabinoids found in hemp, along with all of the terpenes and flavonoids found in the plant.
On the other hand, CBD isolate is when a product only contains the CBD extracted from hemp, and broad-spectrum gummies have all of the cannabinoids except for THC.
What's all the fuss about full-spectrum hemp?
For many of these cannabinoids, research has only just begun. Still, there’s an interesting theory behind all of the cannabinoids as a whole: the entourage effect.
The entourage effect is a synergistic connection between all of hemp’s compounds, and it’s believed to influence CBD’s overall impact, possibly amplifying it.
However, this has not been proven, and many full-spectrum products are pretty expensive. Plus, full-spectrum gummies tend to have an aftertaste that not everyone will love.
Additionally, full-spectrum products contain THC, albeit a minimal amount, at less than 0.3%. And while this is not enough to get the user high, there is a slight chance it can create a false positive on a drug test.
Meanwhile, gummies made with CBD isolate contain no THC, so you can enjoy them worry-free without a weird taste
Why Use CBD Gummies?
It’s reasonably apparent why CBD is so popular, but why use CBD gummies, specifically? Why not oils or vapes?
Those well-versed in shopping for CBD know that there’s truly something out there for everyone, and gummies certainly have their appeals.
For one, you don’t have to bother with a bottle and stopper with CBD gummies. You can take them anywhere: whether it’s your cubicle during a stressful day at work, behind the wheel in a traffic jam, or if you need something for recurring pain throughout the day.
And let’s be honest: some CBD products, while helpful, are just dull and lackluster. But not gummies!
CBD gummies are a tasty, chewy candy that you can enjoy guilt-free. Sure, you’re getting a bit of a sugar fix, but you’re getting your CBD, too, so it counts as self-care.
But for those who wish to avoid sugar, rejoice: there are sugar-free options available, as well as vegan choices! But CBD gummies go beyond dietary requirements. There are also formulas with additional ingredients for support, like turmeric for inflammation or melatonin for better sleep.
What We Look for in Our CBD Gummies
We want to be as transparent as possible before we get into our top 10 favorite CBD gummies for 2021.
We know how frustrating it can be for new individuals seeking guidance with CBD gummies. For instance, you try a simple search query like “best CBD gummies” or “where to find CBD gummies” or “how to shop for CBD gummies,” and your results are rife with ads and sponsored posts. So many brands claim to be the best without ever explaining why.
So let’s talk about how we determined our favorites and how you can shop on your own in the wild with confidence.
Perhaps above all, third-party testing is essential in a CBD gummy brand. That’s why we strictly consider the companies that issue soil and culture tests from unaffiliated third-party labs and back up their results with certificates of analysis for each batch.
Too many brands will mislead consumers to believe that their CBD gummies are high in CBD, but the actual value is disappointing in the fine lines. Because of this, we made sure to stick with the CBD gummies that are genuinely potent in CBD and low in THC.
Let’s be honest: CBD gummies should taste good, period. Otherwise, what’s the point of buying them in the first place?
And yet, so many gummies on the market just taste off, with an aftertaste somewhere between herbaceous and hoppy. For some, it’s an acquired taste, but it’s not for everyone.
We tried to stick with the gummies that genuinely deliver on flavor.
To be clear, some companies are undeniably a lot of hype and fancy packaging. Still, the gummies themselves just don’t line up with others.
However, reputation still matters, especially in an industry where the products go virtually unregulated. Whenever you’re looking into a CBD company, take a few minutes to check out their reputation on outside sites like Reddit and Yelp, and pay attention to their feedback on customer service.
Too often, it’s easier said than done to find CBD gummies genuinely worth your money, especially when you’re not familiar with what a quality CBD gummy looks like. And sadly, some companies are built to exploit that.
Luckily, a growing number of brands are emphasizing transparency and responsible sourcing. That’s why we want to talk about how to source it.
First off, check for the proper processing and extraction methods. Before CBD products can be made, the CBD in hemp needs to be refined in a way that keeps out impurities and keeps THC at the legally acceptable level of 0.3%.
There are several ways CBD can be extracted from hemp, but one stands above the rest: CO2 extraction.
While other extraction methods include solvents, heat, and pollution, CO2 extraction is clean and adequate.
The best brands will also produce the more potent gummies, and they should contain natural benefits to create a delicious array of flavors.
Our Top 10 CBD Gummies for 2021
1. Joy Organics
It’s no secret that CBD gummies can be on the pricier side. Cost can be a massive factor, to the point that some individuals are discouraged from trying it.
Fortunately, there are options on a budget, and Joy Organics is a great example.
These all-natural CBD gummies feature broad-spectrum CBD, which includes all of hemp’s naturally occurring cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, except THC. For many individuals, broad-spectrum gummies can promote a sense of clarity and focus throughout the day.
Not only is Joy Organics cost-effective, but they’re known to make frequent offers and promotions each month, giving you an even better bang for your buck. Perhaps one of their most notable features is their subscribe-and-save option, which allows customers a 35% discount when they subscribe for deliveries every 2, 4, 6, 8, or 12 weeks.
But Joy never skimps out quality for affordability; all of their products are vegan and gluten-free. They’re made with all-natural ingredients like cane sugar and spirulina. Each jar contains 30 gummies with 10mg per gummy, and customers can choose between the flavors Strawberry Lemonade and Green Apple.
Joy Organics sources their hemp from all-American farms based in the United States. A third-party laboratory thoroughly tests every product.
2. Royal CBD
With the ever-growing demand for CBD and CBD gummies, new companies pop up all the time. One newcomer, in particular, may be promising: Royal CBD was founded in 2018 by a group by a team of researchers and advocates. This team was on a mission to create accessible CBD that leaves “No Room for Mediocrity” and locally sources their full-spectrum and isolate CBD from organic farms via CO2 extraction.
Additionally, each batch is tested for over 200 different possible contaminants in a third-party lab.
And not only are lab reports readily accessible, but they’re also easy to contact and disclose an email, number, and mailing address directly on their site.
Royal CBD also flavors their gummies with natural sweeteners, and they use natural colors, as well. Currently, they offer two options in CBD gummies: their classic Dots, and their Sour Gummies, each containing the flavors grape, orange, and strawberry.
They also offer two different potencies: 30 gummies containing 10mg each or 30 gummies containing 25mg each.
3. Hemp Bombs
If pure CBD isolate is more your thing, Hemp Bombs are a great place to look. Hemp Bombs offer CBD gummies in various flavors like Strawberry, Green Apple, Lime, and Blue Raspberry. Still, they take their options beyond great taste. Their CBD gummies come in specialty formulas, too, like High-Potency, Sleep, and Immunity.
Hemp Bombs process their CBD isolate from organic hemp through CO2 extraction for purity and potency. They also offer dosages ranging from 300 to 1500mg in both sample packs and jars containing 60 gummies.
When it comes to transparency, Hemp Bombs is among one the best, with its easy-to-access page for third-party lab testing. Even better, they made all tests easy to navigate by offering both a search bar for batch codes and an archive to click through.
Some CBD gummy brands are all packaging and hype, and some brands are so no-nonsense, it’s kind of intimidating.
And then there’s JustCBD: the brand that’s here to have a good time and to take CBD gummies seriously.
JustCBD has three key winning features: unique flavors, affordability, and flexible options. Founded in 2017, JustCBD offers a little bit of everything in CBD, including vapes, tinctures, lotions, and even bath bombs. Still, gummies are arguably their most well-known product.
And it’s probably because their gummies are nothing short of impressive, boasting what may be more options than any other brand around. For their classic gummies, you’ll find anything from Gummy Cherries to Apple Rings to Rainbow Ribbons. If you’ve grown tired from singular the generic cubes and bears from other brands, JustCBD is here to provide some much-needed novelty.
Aside from flavor and potency, JustCBD also offers different dietary preferences, such as sugar-free and vegan. They have a formula specially designed for sleep support, which combines CBD and melatonin.
JustCBD is also among some of the most beginner-friendly CBD brands. Not only do they offer some of the most affordable prices for CBD gummies, but they also sell small 250mg jars that make an approachable starting point. That being said, they never leave out the more experienced CBD users, who may have more interest in their 3,000mg Party Packs.
For those experiencing sleep and anxiety, CBDistillery offers some of the highest-potency, broad-spectrum CBD gummies on the market. In flavors like mixed berry, tropical fruit, and strawberry, CBDistillery’s gummies boast a whopping 30 mg of CBD each. This potency makes them an excellent option for those looking for a one-and-done remedy.
In most cases with CBD gummies, you can expect around 10mg a pop, and the dosage goes up with the number of gummies in the jar. While this allows users to enjoy snacking in their CBD, it’s pretty inconvenient for the folks who are tired of taking multiple gummies a day.
And rest assured that CBDistillery is about more than just potency; they’re also here to put your mind at ease with quality hemp and safe methods.
Sourcing healthy hemp grown outdoors in the sun and fresh air, the company isolates their CBD oil through CO2 extraction before gently heating then freezing. This method eliminates THC and any cannabinoids, terpenes, and fatty acids besides CBD.
And as per our standards, CBDistillery is also known to third-party lab test every batch for purity and potency. They’ve even been certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority.
6. Highline Wellness
In an industry with a high count of millennial consumers, Highline Wellness is just one of those companies with unspeakable appeal for this demographic.
Perhaps it’s the smart, simple color scheming on their packaging, or maybe it’s the easy-breezy language of their brand.
Regardless, Highline Wellness is a millennial-forward brand, and its quality backs up its impeccable style. Highline Wellness offers a beautifully curated assortment of CBD gummies that take natural flavors.
For instance, their “Immunity Blend” uses vitamin C and zinc to boost immune health. At the same time, “Gut Health” is made with apple cider vinegar to support an effortless cleanse. There are even formulas designed to balance out energy levels, like a caffeinated “Energy” blend and a “Night” blend made with melatonin.
Of course, they also have a simple, straightforward “Anytime” blend, which is purely a CBD gummy. However, consumers should note that while all of the other CBD gummies appear to be vegan, the gummies in this blend appear to be made with gelatin, which is animal-derived.
We like Highline CBD’s gummies because they are incredibly transparent and offer a certificate of analysis from a third-party lab directly on the product’s page.
7. Fab CBD
Fab CBD is known as a popular favorite for its CBD gummies, mainly due to its delicious taste and stellar ingredients.
Their all-natural formula is made from organic, non-GMO hemp grown in Colorado, where some of the world’s best hemp is known to be cultivated.
And as a full-spectrum product, these CBD gummies contain all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids naturally found in hemp to help promote the entourage effect.
Like all CBD gummy brands, Fab CBD tests its products through third-party labs to ensure quality and purity. However, their lab results aren’t the easiest to find, and customers have to look around the website for the results.
While Fab doesn’t offer as many types of gummies as some of the brands in this list, each jar contains a streamlined assortment of natural, fruit-derived flavors. They’re also offered in 2 different formulas: “Anytime” and “Nighttime.” “Nighttime” incorporates L-theanine, GABA, 5-HTP, ashwagandha, and melatonin for a better night’s sleep.
These gummies are THC-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free. On top of that, Fab CBD makes pretty generous offers and promos throughout the year, making them an approachable brand for beginners. Not to mention that they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee and offer a 30-day return policy.
8. Sunday Scaries
Sunday Scaries was founded by former bar owners Mike and Beau, who were both stressed out and prone to anxiety.
If you’re seeking CBD to ease stress and anxiety, Sunday Scaries is a fitting choice for many individuals.
Made with organic, Colorado-sourced hemp, this company divides its production line between San Diego and Denver. These hemp gummies are available in vegan and non-vegan formulas. Both contain vitamin D3, coconut oil, and cane sugar. Still, the vegan recipe includes the addition of vitamin B12 to support a plant-based diet.
Sunday Scaries is arguably one of the most popular brands for CBD gummies around. While their distinctive name and bold packaging draws attention to the brand, their high-quality formula and conscientious sourcing have taken on several loyal customers in the long run.
Each gummy contains 10mg of broad-spectrum CBD and comes in a delicious assortment of flavors.
Certificates of analysis are available on their website, and they offer a 100% money-back guarantee.
9. Kats Botanicals
Kats Botanicals offers broad-spectrum CBD gummies at potencies ranging from 300mg to 750mg of CBD per bottle and no THC.
According to the site, Kats Botanicals’ gummies are meant to be an all-natural choice in wellness that you can take on the go. Their CBD is intended to restore your inner calm, promote wellbeing, enhance focus, and aid in reducing tension.
So what do they mean, expressly, by “natural?” After all, “natural” is one of those buzzwords companies will sometimes use to give themselves a little extra appeal, but this could mean nothing about the product’s ingredients or sourcing.
However, Kats Botanicals is pretty clear about what makes their CBD gummies natural.
Their CBD gummies are made with vegan ingredients like pectin, turmeric, organic cane sugar, and tapioca. Their CBD is sourced from certified organic, non-GMO hemp.
As for transparency, Kats Botanicals makes their third-party lab testing available through a QR scan on each product. Plus, they offer a 30-day full refund guarantee for added peace of mind.
10. Cheef Botanicals
Cheef Botanicals is here to spread the word on hemp’s benefits while making it more accessible. They do this with a team of health-focused, savvy individuals passionate about CBD as a wellness tool.
Cheef Botanicals are driven to create high-quality, full-spectrum CBD gummies and other products like pills, capsules, and flower, all sourced from organic hemp.
Their CBD gummies are organic and vegan, and they’re sweetened with brown rice syrup to create a super soft, super tasty CBD gummy. Each jar contains 30 CBD gummies, each containing 10mg.
Cheef is also known to regularly test their gummies through a third-party entity. Their lab results are made accessible directly from the product page. Plus, they offer free shipping on all orders and offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.