Hemp Gummies VS CBD Gummies: Is There A Difference?

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Choosing between hemp gummies and CBD gummies can be tricky, especially if you're unsure what the difference is.

Hemp oil and CBD oil have different compositions. Both gummies have their potential health benefits, but they work in different ways, given their active ingredients. Hemp oil comes from the seeds of the cannabis plants, while CBD oil is derived from the resin glands on the flowers, which means only CBD products contain cannabinoids.

Here's a closer look at the key differences between hemp and CBD gummies to help you make the best choice for your needs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Hemp oil comes from hemp seeds, while CBD oil is made from the resin on the hemp flower. Hemp seeds don't contain cannabinoids and will not provide the same level of support for the endocannabinoid system.
  • CBD is the prominent non-psychoactive cannabinoid derived from hemp plants. It's been studied for its potential to support a healthy inflammatory system, normal recovery, metabolism, stress levels, and much more.
  • Hemp oil is made from cold-pressing hemp seeds. It's rich in omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. Its nutty flavor and low smoke point make it a suitable plant-based oil for culinary dishes.
  • Many scam companies try to get away with selling hemp seed oil products as CBD products. Do not be fooled by this deceptive practice, and always refer to third-party lab tests to verify the cannabinoid profile and potency.

What's The Difference Between Hemp Gummies and CBD Gummies?

What's The Difference Between Hemp Gummies and CBD Gummies?

While CBD or cannabidiol is an active compound derived from the hemp plant, hemp gummies and CBD gummies are very different products.

The main differences between the two are the active ingredients and how they're extracted from the cannabis plant.

Hemp oil is cold-pressed from the hemp plant's seeds and does not contain any active cannabinoids, and CBD comes from the resin trichomes on hemp buds.

These trichomes are separated from the larger organic plant matter during the extraction process to create a thick, cannabinoid-rich oil used to make products like CBD oils, capsules, and CBD gummies.

The manufacturers combine a set amount of CBD extract with a gummy-based candy formula made of either gelatin or a plant-based ingredient such as fruit pectin to make CBD gummies. This candy mixture is then poured into molds in different shapes and comes in many flavors for a tasty and fuss-free way to enjoy CBD.

Hemp gummies do not contain CBD—their main ingredient is hemp seed oil. Unlike hemp flowers, the seeds do not contain any levels of cannabinoids, which means they won't have any effect on the endocannabinoid system.

Beware Of This Shady Hemp Industry Practice

While hemp seed oil is an excellent culinary oil with a unique earthy flavor, rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, it doesn't have the same potential benefits for the endocannabinoid system.

Organic hemp gummies may be a viable option for those with nutritional deficiencies looking to enjoy a plant-based way to supplement fatty acids and trace vitamins and minerals.

Since the production process and the main ingredient is very different, some shady players in the CBD space will try to sell hemp gummies marketed as CBD gummies—with a higher price tag—to fool unsuspecting buyers. And it works.

We've come across many companies on Amazon selling hemp gummies and hemp oil with descriptions of the health benefits of CBD products. This is hugely unethical as it contributes to the misinformation surrounding the health benefits of hemp and the integrity of the industry as a whole.

It's essential that you, as a consumer, are aware of scams like this and know the distinctions between hemp gummies vs. CBD gummies to make the best decision for your health and your wallet.

CBD Gummies & Extract Types

When shopping for CBD gummies in-store and online, you'll come across three extract types.

CBD gummies are available in:

  • Full spectrum CBD gummies
  • Broad spectrum CBD gummies
  • CBD isolate CBD gummies

These extract types refer to how the CBD was manufactured and its cannabinoid and terpene profile. This is important as it gives you an idea of the quality, how to dose your gummies, and the experience you can expect from your product.

Full spectrum gummies are made in a way that preserves the highest amount of cannabinoids and terpenes from hemp—and they may contain up to 0.3% THC. 0.3% isn't enough to produce intoxicating effects in most people, but it does contribute to the entourage effect for a richer and more potent CBD experience.

Related Article: The Entourage Effect

Not everyone is okay with trace amounts of THC.

THC is the primary psychoactive compound found in marijuana plants. It's technically federally legal in hemp crops that maintain levels less than 0.3%. Some states have their own regulations on THC, and some individuals prefer a THC-free product.

This is where broad spectrum and CBD isolate products come in.

The difference between these two types of THC-free CBD extracts is that broad spectrum CBD still contains a range of other phytocannabinoids to encourage the entourage effect, while CBD isolate only has one active ingredient, CBD.

Broad spectrum CBD products aren't as easy to source as isolate because they take a lot more time and resources to produce a 100% THC-free product that still contains a diverse range of phytochemicals.

While CBD isolate products may be cheaper and easier to source, it's not necessarily better.

Most studies conducted on the health benefits of CBD found that it is much more effective when taken alongside other cannabinoids and terpenes. Many users often need higher doses of CBD when using isolate products [1].

What Are CBD Gummies Good For?

What Are CBD Gummies Good For?

CBD has become an increasingly popular compound in the health and wellness space because of its potential to support many different systems—from stress, pain, metabolism, mood, and immune response. This is because it tones the endocannabinoid system's ability to maintain homeostasis (balance) of these systems [2].

There are a few reasons why many people enjoy CBD gummies:

CBD Gummies To Support Discomfort

Pain relief is the top reason people seek out CBD gummies.

CBD has been shown to have the potential to reduce an overactive inflammatory response, which is often at the root of muscle and joint pain.

CBD's interaction with the endocannabinoid system has been shown to inhibit the release of specific pro-inflammatory cytokines. These cytokines trigger swelling, pain, and redness, leading to long-term discomfort and acute pain from inflammation [3, 4].

Another way CBD may help to relieve pain systems is through its interaction with the vanilloid receptors, specifically the TRPV1 vanilloid receptor, which sends pain signals to the brain [5].

In preclinical trials, using high doses (50 + mg), CBD effectively minimized the perception of pain associated with muscle and joint discomfort [6].

CBD Gummies To Support Sleep

Many people swear by the effects of CBD gummies to support a good night's sleep.

When taken about an hour before sleep in higher doses (50 mg +), CBD gummies can help the mind and body prepare for rest. Unlike sleeping pills, which shut down the central nervous system to force the body to sleep, compounds like CBD help ease the body for rest, which means you can wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and won't have to depend on the compound to get a good night's sleep every time.

CBD has been shown to interact with the GABA receptors in the brain, which act as a brake pedal to the stress response. It can help slow down anxious thoughts and nervousness before bed, allowing people to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night [7].

CBD gummies may also affect different sleep stages, improving the quality of sleep [8].

Related Article: How To Get Better Sleep

CBD For Energy & Mood

Interestingly, CBD has been shown to be an excellent supplement for improving energy levels and mood when taken in small doses in the mornings [9].

How can one compound help sleep and provide an energy boost?

It all has to do with doses and the endocannabinoid system.

The interesting thing about CBD is that it doesn't push a single set of receptors to exert its effects like many other over-the-counter compounds. Instead, it supports a system (the ECS) whose job is to maintain balance, which is why it can have so many health benefits.

Your overall mood can affect your job, school performance, and energy levels. CBD has been shown to the brain's response to serotonin levels, a critical neurotransmitter that stabilizes mood, concentration, and feelings of overall contentedness [10].

Why Do People Take Hemp Gummies (Without CBD)?

Why Do People Take Hemp Gummies (Without CBD)?

Hemp gummies derived from hemp seed oil do not have the same use cases or versatility as CBD gummies.

They're designed to deliver omega-3 and omega-6 in a delicious gummy format to support heart health and digestion—but they will not influence the endocannabinoid system, as they do not contain CBD or other cannabinoids unless otherwise stated.

Hemp seeds are believed to be a superfood.

They're comprised of over 30% fat and are rich in linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and sulfur. Hemp seed oil has a naturally nutty and slightly bitter flavor. Gummies can mask this flavor to make it an easier supplement to take regularly who don't enjoy the bitter flavor.

That being said, there are other forms of supplementation that may be better suited to provide higher doses of essential fatty acids made from fish oils, flax, or chia seeds.

A deceptive practice we've come across in the CBD industry is hemp seed oil gummies marketed as hemp-derived CBD gummies, which is especially relevant on platforms like Amazon, where there are a lot of restrictions around selling CBD edibles. Hemp seed oil is a very inexpensive ingredient compared to CBD extracts.

Some companies will mark up the prices of their hemp-derived gummies or hemp seed oil and dress it up with marketing terms associated with CBD to fool unsuspecting shoppers into buying their products — even though it doesn't contain any traces of cannabinoids.

Despite the legalization of hemp-derived CBD, there's a lot of misinformation and poor manufacturing practices on the market, and it's up to the consumer to do their due diligence when purchasing any sort of health product in stores and online.

Always refer to the company's third-party lab tests to ensure you're purchasing gummies with hemp extract.

Related Article: How To Read A Third-Party Lab Test

Is CBD Legal?

CBD is a legal compound as long as it's derived from hemp plants that contain no more than 0.3% THC.

It was legalized as part of the 2018 Farm Bill, and you can now find many different types of CBD products on the market, from CBD oil, capsules, gummies, topicals, and smokable products.

It's important to be aware that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't regulate CBD products as they do with supplements and medications, so many brands will get away with using the words "hemp" and "CBD" interchangeably without noting the significant differences in their marketing.

CBD Gummy Squares

The Takeaway: CBD Gummies vs. Hemp Gummies

If you're researching whether hemp gummies vs. CBD gummies make the best addition to your wellness routine, ask yourself what you're looking to use the gummies for.

If all you're after is plant-based omega 3 and 6 supplements, hemp gummies should do the trick. Still, if you want to experience the health benefits CBD and other hemp-derived cannabinoids can offer, then only CBD gummies will be a much better option.

When shopping for CBD gummies, shop from a reputable source that has good customer reviews on third-party websites and lists its independent lab tests to prove its cannabinoid contents.

Most CBD users and experts will agree that the best bang for your buck are full spectrum CBD gummies, as a little goes a long way. Full spectrum hemp products contain a wide range of cannabinoids and terpenes to amplify and balance the effects of CBD. Since THC isn't ideal for everyone, and full spectrum hemp extract may contain up to 0.3%, the next best option are broad spectrum CBD gummies, which are guaranteed free from THC.

If you must shop for a CBD isolate, you may notice that you need a higher strength to reach the same levels of effects. Whichever product you choose, it's best to start with a lower dose and work your way up until your body becomes accustomed to supplementation.

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Resources:

  1. Russo, E. B. (2011). Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid‐terpenoid entourage effects. British journal of pharmacology, 163(7), 1344-1364.
  2. Pagotto, U., Marsicano, G., Cota, D., Lutz, B., & Pasquali, R. (2006). The emerging role of the endocannabinoid system in endocrine regulation and energy balance. Endocrine reviews, 27(1), 73-100.
  3. Urits, I., Gress, K., Charipova, K., Habib, K., Lee, D., Lee, C., ... & Viswanath, O. (2020). Use of cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment of chronic pain. Best Practice & Research Clinical Anaesthesiology, 34(3), 463-477.
  4. Rajan, T. S., Giacoppo, S., Iori, R., De Nicola, G. R., Grassi, G., Pollastro, F., ... & Mazzon, E. (2016). Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of a combination of cannabidiol and moringin in LPS-stimulated macrophages. Fitoterapia, 112, 104-115.
  5. Costa, B., Giagnoni, G., Franke, C., Trovato, A. E., & Colleoni, M. (2004). Vanilloid TRPV1 receptor mediates the antihyperalgesic effect of the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, cannabidiol, in a rat model of acute inflammation. British journal of pharmacology, 143(2), 247-250.
  6. Stella, B., Baratta, F., Della Pepa, C., Arpicco, S., Gastaldi, D., & Dosio, F. (2021). Cannabinoid formulations and delivery systems: Current and future options to treat pain. Drugs, 81(13), 1513-1557.
  7. Bakas, T., Van Nieuwenhuijzen, P. S., Devenish, S. O., McGregor, I. S., Arnold, J. C., & Chebib, M. (2017). The direct actions of cannabidiol and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol at GABAA receptors. Pharmacological research, 119, 358-370.
  8. Moltke, J., & Hindocha, C. (2021). Reasons for cannabidiol use: a cross-sectional study of CBD users, focusing on self-perceived stress, anxiety, and sleep problems. Journal of cannabis research, 3(1), 1-12.
  9. Stanciu, C. N., Brunette, M. F., Teja, N., & Budney, A. J. (2021). Evidence for use of cannabinoids in mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and PTSD: a systematic review. Psychiatric Services, 72(4), 429-436.
  10. Sales, A. J., Crestani, C. C., Guimarães, F. S., & Joca, S. R. (2018). Antidepressant-like effect induced by Cannabidiol is dependent on brain serotonin levels. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 86, 255-261.

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