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CBD Gummies: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The candy edibles have widely reported benefits, but there is still some legal and qualitative gray area.

By Deep Patel

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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From coffee creamers to smoothies and everything in between, we've seen masses of entrepreneurs vying to create different ways to infuse or blend CBD into their products. One of the most popular has decades-old roots in the marijuana industry: gummies. Since the industry in general is still in its relative infancy, here's a helfpul breakdown, along with where gummies fit into the mix.

A Brief History of CBD (And Why CBD Gummies Have Become So Popular)

Although it may seem like CBD came out of nowhere, there has been a steadily growing base of users in states that have legal medical or recreational marijuana. The biggest reason for CBD's growth is that it offers a lot of the medical benefits of the plant without any of the psychoactive ingredients that people often associate with smoking pot. It has gradually begun to be viewed not as an illegal drug, but as a medicine offering pain relief, anxiety control and much more.

Last year's federal Farm Bill was the biggest catalyst for CBD (particularly industrial hemp) to become legal on a national level. CBD has since seen success not only among young people, but with older demographics as well. In fact, as noted by the American Association of Retired People, baby boomers have been one of the fastest-growing groups of CBD consumers on the market. The biggest reason for this upswing is the availability of items like gummies, which are a far cry from smoking a joint. When you add in the volumes of younger people who want to benefit from CBD without inhaling smoke, it's easy to see why gummies have become such a hit. But do they really work?

Related: Get in on the CBD Craze With These Tasty Gummies

What CBD Is Used For

CBD claims to cure many things, which explains its widespread adoption, as well as the skepticism it engenders. While studies have been done on everything from alleviating anxiety and depression to treating physical pain, the research into CBD is still growing. However, it has recently seen more acceptance among the mainstream science community. For example, as noted by Harvard Health, CBD has repeatedly been demonstrated to help people with chronic pain. Nevertheless, although early usage has been helpful in a number of issues related to mental and physical health, there has also been some skepticism as to which products are actually safe.

Which Products Are The Best?

The biggest problem with CBD (and particularly gummies) is that they are often ineffective or, in some cases, not as effective as advertised. A growing problem with federal legalization is that there's no regulatory body (i.e. the FDA) governing CBD production yet, but many entrepreneurs are still looking to enter the industry and create their own lane.

Granted, the industry has already seen these problems before. As noted by Ars Technica, nearly 70 percent of online CBD in 2017 was mislabeled or bunk. (This percentage has since diminished significantly.) So, when it comes to buying CBD, you should look at dosage and ingredients. As someone who is a confirmed health nut, one of my favorites is Verma Farms. Their gummies contain no pesticides, are non-GMO, THC-free and American-made. A range of companies have been experimenting with different ingredients for various purposes, which is why it's important to do your research.

CBD in the Spotlight

If you're looking for social proof of CBD usage, look no further than the celebs who've been coming out as fans. Stars like Kim Kardashian, Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Aniston and Mandy Moore have all publicly talked about their CBD usage, lauding the benefits. And if that's not enough, wait until you see the athletes who've thrown their support behind it.

CBD on the Field

The other area that has helped lead the national conversation around CBD use is athletics. Players from the NFL, NHL, NBA and even MLS have started to speak out about their use of CBD, with some even citing it as a part of their training routine. According to a recent story by Outside, a widespread trend among athletes is replacing traditional pain relievers like ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) with CBD, with many saying it's cleaner and less taxing on their bodies. As noted above, pain relief is a leading reason for using CBD, so it should be no surprise that the sports world is an industry where oils and gummies have taken things by storm. But how long will the high last?

Related: CBD Tinctures: 5 Things Every Consumer Should Know

Where CBD Is and What's Coming Next

While CBD is federally legal, certain state and local restrictions apply, such as in Virginia, where a prescription is necessary. This does put the industry in a weird gray area. Even being busted with CBD flowers or gummies can mean being detained and charged with possession until it's tested to be under 0.3 percent THC. Even though you'd probably still be dismissed, this would be a headache to deal with, and raises the question: Where does the CBD industry head from here? For now, sticking with a safe and less overtly taboo option like gummies (as opposed to flower or vapes) will help you get the CBD benefits you're after without the risk, which is why they're a top choice to consider.

Deep Patel

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Serial Entrepreneur

Deep Patel is a serial entrepreneur, investor and marketer. Patel founded Blu Atlas, the fastest-growing men’s personal care brand, and sold it for eight figures in 2023, less than 18 months after its launch.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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