what do cbd gummies do

What do CBD gummies do?


CBD products in the U.S. have become increasingly popular over the last decade, with sales climbing from $108 million in 2014 to an impressive $1.9 billion in 2022.1 As demand has grown, so has the variation of CBD supplements on the market. Gone are the days when the only options were oils and tinctures. Now, many hemp companies are offering a variety of options to fit any preference, and one of the most popular is CBD gummies — a chewy, fruity CBD-infused morsel that makes incorporating cannabidiol into your health regimen a quick and easy affair.

So, how do CBD gummies work and what do CBD gummies do to your body? In this article, we'll discuss the ins and outs of CBD gummies, their benefits, and how to find the best quality CBD gummies to support your general health and well-being.

What Is CBD?

CBD (aka cannabidiol) is a special compound found in the cannabis plant. Actually, CBD is one of over 100 similar (but unique) compounds called cannabinoids. These cannabinoids are naturally present in both varieties of cannabis — the hemp plant and marijuana.

Of the 100+ cannabinoids present in cannabis, the two most abundant are CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) — the latter known for its psychoactive effects (aka its ability to get you high).

Two Sources of CBD: Hemp vs. Marijuana

Hemp and marijuana are two varieties of the cannabis sativa plant. They're very similar in appearance and smell, and both contain the same cannabinoids and other cannabis compounds, like terpenes and flavonoids, which are responsible for the plant's color and aroma. The key difference between the two is how much CBD and THC they contain.

  • Hemp has been specially cultivated to contain high levels of CBD and no more than 0.3% THC.

  • Marijuana (both recreational and medical cannabis) contains high levels of THC and moderate to low levels of CBD.

Because hemp contains such high levels of cannabidiol, most CBD products on the market are derived from hemp instead of marijuana.

What Are CBD Gummies?

What Are CBD Gummies

CBD gummies are little chewy morsels infused with CBD or hemp extract (which contains CBD as well as other beneficial cannabinoids and compounds). Gummies are often fruit-flavored and sometimes dusted lightly with sugar to add a pleasant sweetness and keep them from sticking together.

What Do CBD Gummies Do to Your Body?

Many health benefits are attributed to CBD gummies. They reduce stress, support a healthy sleep cycle, improve mood, and relieve occasional aches and pains (specifically those related to exercise-induced inflammation). You may experience some of these effects soon after taking CBD gummies, while others may take longer to kick in. Additionally, some CBD benefits are short-term and some are long-term.

Another perk of CBD gummies is that they provide two methods of absorption.

  • As the gummy is chewed, some of its CBD is released into the mouth and absorbed directly into the bloodstream through tiny blood vessels in the mouth — especially the ones under the tongue.

  • After the CBD gummy is swallowed, it travels through the digestive tract and is processed by the liver, after which much of the remaining CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream.

Once CBD enters the bloodstream, it begins to produce various positive effects through its interaction with the body's own endocannabinoid system.

The Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS, for short) is a complex collection of cannabinoid receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids — cannabinoids that the body produces itself (from "endo-" meaning "within").

ECS receptors are located all throughout the body, with special concentrations in the central and peripheral nervous systems, and in the gut. These cannabinoid receptors are designed to interact with the body's own endocannabinoids to help regulate vital functions, like appetite, digestion, immune and inflammatory responses, reactions to stress, and more.

The purpose of the ECS is to bring about an overall balance (aka homeostasis) between the body's many systems. Since cannabinoids like CBD are similar in structure to endocannabinoids, they readily interact with the ECS to further assist in maintaining balance and bring about even more positive effects.

What Do CBD Gummies Do for You?

As mentioned earlier, CBD gummies can produce various therapeutic benefits. Here, we'll delve into the main benefits attributed to CBD gummies.

What Do CBD Gummies Do for Pain and Inflammation?

It's normal to expect some muscle breakdown during exercise. This breakdown acts as a stimulant, triggering the body to rebuild the affected muscles and make them even stronger. 

No big deal, right? Not quite. According to a recent medical review, extended intense exercise can bring about increased inflammatory mediators (immune response molecules that contribute to inflammation and trigger tissue repair).2 This added inflammation can cause uncomfortable aches and pains, making it difficult to perform simple tasks, like walking up and down the stairs, let alone carrying on with your workouts.

For those getting grooved into a gym routine, or those who already incorporate physical training into their daily schedules, exercise-induced inflammation can be a pretty annoying (and painful) speed bump.

Fortunately, one of the processes that the ECS helps regulate is inflammation. CBD gummies can relieve the aches and pains related to inflammation due to physical stress or repetitive movements (like when working out or playing sports). In other words, a CBD gummy before or after exercise can bring your body back into balance — which is exactly what the ECS is all about.

What Do CBD Gummies Do for Stress?

CBD is often used to alleviate day-to-day stress, which can be defined as “mental or emotional strain from adverse or demanding circumstances — especially from the problems or pressures in one's life.”3

While the specific causes of stress may seem elusive, the effects of stress are as real as they are varied.

Manifestations of stress include:

  • Insomnia

  • Fatigue

  • Problems focusing

  • Gut issues

  • Over- or under-eating

  • Irritability

  • Poor motor coordination

  • Headaches

  • Feeling sad for “no reason”

When you consider all the possible manifestations brought about by stress, the importance of managing it is clear.

As mentioned above, CBD gummies can have both short-term and long-term effects. A good example of this is the way in which CBD combats stress.

  • CBD's Short-Term Effect on Stress: Let's say you have an important meeting with a client, a public speaking gig, or another event that tends to increase your feelings of anxiousness — taking CBD beforehand could help manage that stress.

  • CBD's Long-Term Effect on Stress: If you're generally sensitive to the day-to-day stressors of life, taking CBD regularly can bring about a sense of calm and balance.

What Do CBD Gummies Do for Sleep?

CBD Sleep Gummies

Experts in the field recommend that children get a minimum of 8 to 9 hours of sleep (depending on age), and adults receive at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Insufficient sleep (poor quality of sleep or not enough sleep) can result in daytime sleepiness, poor performance, reduced quality of life, accidents, high blood pressure, and more. Chronic sleep deprivation is associated with even more serious issues such as heart disease and stroke.

A 2023 review published by the National Library of Medicine cited a survey from 2005–2008 that found a high percentage of American adults were experiencing insufficient sleep of less than 7 hours a night. The rates were generally higher in younger age groups and for some minority groups.

American adults experiencing insufficient sleep:

  • 37% of adults aged 20–39 years

  • 40.3% of adults aged 40–59 years

  • 32% of adults aged 60 or older

  • 34.5% of on-Hispanic white adults

  • 53% of non-Hispanic black adults

  • 35.2% of Mexican-Americans

  • 41.7% of other ethnicities4

CBD Sleep Gummies are an effective and natural supplement used to promote good and restful sleep. There are a number of ways in which gummies achieve this:

  • Reduced Stress
    People who are stressed are frequently kept awake by anxious feelings and racing thoughts. CBD taken regularly can help to alleviate daily stress and bring about a calmer, more balanced mood — both of which make it easier to fall and stay asleep.

  • Alleviated Pain
    Aches and pains from daily exercise or repetitive movement can also make it difficult to fall asleep. CBD gummies work with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to alleviate physical discomforts associated with exercise-induced inflammation, making it easier to get comfortable and fall asleep.

  • Balanced Sleep Cycle
    Just as CBD works with the ECS to bring about an overall balance throughout the body's many systems, it also works to bring sleep cycles back into balance. Taking a CBD gummy about 45 minutes before bedtime can help prepare your body for a good night's sleep. 

CBD Gummies vs. CBD Oils and Tinctures

CBD Gummies vs CBD Oils

CBD gummies offer the same wellness benefits as most other CBD products, so why would someone choose gummies over a CBD oil or tincture?

While individual motivations may vary, some common reasons that many prefer CBD gummies over other types of supplements, include:

  1. CBD gummies usually taste better than oils and tinctures (which tend to have an "earthy" flavor that may be unpleasant to some).

  2. CBD gummies are easier to dose as each gummy contains the same amount of CBD. Maintaining a consistent CBD regimen is as simple as taking one or two CBD gummies a day for most people.

  3. CBD gummies are easier to take on the go, while CBD oils and tinctures may be less travel-friendly.

Cannabis-Derived CBD Products vs. Hemp-Derived CBD Products

Earlier, we talked about how most nonprescription CBD products are derived from hemp. However, there are some products (including gummies) that are made from marijuana plants instead of hemp. Even though both hemp and marijuana are cannabis, it's the CBD products made from marijuana that are dubbed "cannabis-derived."

So what's the difference between hemp- and marijuana-derived CBD gummies?

One big difference is the legal status of the source plants.

  • The marijuana plant and its extracts remain illegal in many states as well as on a federal level.

  • Hemp, on the other hand, became federally legal in 2018, with the passing of the Farm Bill, and is legal in many states (though local laws may differ).

Another big difference is the THC content in each type of gummy.

  • Cannabis-derived CBD products (from marijuana) can have varying levels of THC, which could result in the consumer becoming impaired, feeling "high," or experiencing an unpleasant side effect like paranoia. Due to the psychoactive properties of marijuana-derived CBD gummies, they may interfere with your ability to perform daily tasks, to drive, or to stay focused on work and other important aspects of life.

  • Hemp-derived CBD products contain no more than 0.3% THC, which is too little to cause any impairment or get you high. Some hemp gummies contain zero THC, but these aren't as effective as the ones that have a little bit (as you’ll see in the next section).

While different from medical marijuana, marijuana-derived CBD does have relatively high levels of THC and a restrictive legal status, which may make it inaccessible to some (or simply not a good fit).

Types of CBD Gummies

There are three main types of CBD used to make CBD gummies. While they all offer benefits, some are more effective than others.

  1. Full Spectrum CBD Gummies
    In addition to plenty of CBD and a small amount of THC, full spectrum CBD gummies contain many of the other cannabinoids and compounds found in hemp, several of which have their own therapeutic value.

These cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids work together synergistically to maximize the overall benefits. Specifically, they all help to support the CBD. This is called the "entourage effect." While CBD alone has its benefits — which is why some companies sell pure CBD isolate — CBD is best when taken alongside its "entourage" of fellow cannabinoids.

  1. Broad Spectrum CBD Gummies
    Broad spectrum CBD gummies also contain a mix of other cannabinoids and hemp compounds, but the THC has been removed or reduced to undetectable levels. While broad spectrum has the potential to bring about the entourage effect (to a degree), it’s not considered as effective as full spectrum products.

  2. CBD Isolate Gummies
    CBD isolate is pure CBD without any other cannabinoids, compounds, or plant matter. CBD gummies made with CBD isolate will still provide therapeutic benefits, but they cannot produce the entourage effect and so its potential health benefits are limited.

The type of CBD that is best for you will depend on your personal situation and preference, but if you're looking for CBD gummies that will bring about the greatest impact on your well-being, then full spectrum CBD gummies are the ones you want.

How To Get the Most Out of Your CBD Gummies

How To Get the Most Out of Your CBD Gummies

Full-spectrum CBD gummies are great for both immediate and long-term relief. However, taking the first steps to incorporate CBD into your wellness routine can be a little daunting.

Common questions include: How do you choose good CBD gummies? What do CBD gummies feel like? When should you take them and how many should you take? Worry not! Here's your quick-start guide to CBD gummies.

How Do You Choose Good CBD Gummies?

There are a few things to look for when selecting high-quality CBD gummies.

  1. Full Spectrum CBD: As covered above, these are the most effective kind of CBD gummies and they'll produce the greatest results.

  2. USDA Certified Organic: Hemp is a bio-accumulator, which means it sucks contaminants and toxins out of the soil in which it grows, and faster than it can release it. So, CBD made from non-organic hemp may be contaminated by pesticides, heavy metals, and other dangerous substances. You can avoid the risk by simply choosing USDA-certified organic CBD gummies.

  3. Third-Party Testing: Reputable CBD companies will have their CBD products tested by a third-party to verify the specific cannabinoid content and confirm the absence of any harmful contaminants. The results of these tests should be made available to consumers as a certificate of analysis (COA), usually available on the company's website.

What Do CBD Gummies Feel Like?

Individual experiences may vary, but typically CBD gummies will make you feel relaxed and calm. If you were feeling stressed or achy, you may experience relief after taking CBD gummies.

It's important to remember that it takes some time for CBD to build up in your system. While some people may notice a difference almost immediately, it could take up to two weeks for you to experience benefits.

Trust the process, take the recommended starting dose, and give it time. Avoid increasing your dose until after taking CBD consistently for two weeks. At that point, if you feel like you need more, increase your dose gradually, a little at a time.

When Should You Take CBD Gummies?

When you take CBD comes down to your own personal preference.

Since CBD has relaxing effects which can contribute to a tired feeling (a good thing for those using CBD for sleep), some people prefer to take CBD in the evening before bed. Others take CBD in the morning to kick-start their day, and still others like to break up their dose, taking half in the morning and half at night. It's really up to you.

Whenever you decide to take your CBD, it's best to take the same dosage every day at the same time or times (if you decide to break up your dose into smaller doses).

CBD gummies and all CBD products are best consumed with a meal, particularly one that is high in fat content. Because CBD is fat-soluble, the fat in the meal helps the CBD to be absorbed more quickly and thoroughly.

How Many CBD Gummies Should You Take?

A few different factors will affect how many CBD gummies you should take. The three main ones are body weight, level of CBD experience, and the potency of the gummies.

If you're new to CBD, start with 1–6 mg of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight. For someone who weighs 150 pounds, that's between 15 and 90 mg of CBD each day.

If you have a lot of experience with CBD, you may be able to start at a higher dose. Just remember that some CBD supplements are stronger than others and taking too much CBD at once can cause digestive issues for some people. So start small and work your way up gradually.

The number of gummies you should take each day depends on how many milligrams of CBD you want and how potent the gummies are. Some gummies only have 10 mg of CBD per gummy while others have five times that amount. Be sure to carefully read each label so you know exactly how much CBD is in each gummy before you start taking them.

Full Spectrum CBD Products From Cornbread Hemp

Cornbread Hemp's full spectrum CBD gummies are vegan and USDA certified organic through every step of the process. Our gummies come in three different natural flavors (organic berry, peach, and watermelon) and are made with Cornbread Hemp's Flower-Only™ extract CBD for maximum therapeutic benefits.

Our gummies come in three different strengths so you can find one that's right for you no matter how far along you are on your CBD wellness journey.

Visit our online store to explore all of our full spectrum CBD products, including CBD gummies for sleep and general wellness.


About the Author
Jim Higdon, Co-Founder

Jim is a native of Lebanon, Kentucky. He holds degrees from Centre College, Brown University, and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Jim published Cornbread Mafia in 2012 before co-founding Cornbread Hemp. Full author bio here.


  1. Mikulic, M. (2022, July 27). Total U.S. CBD sales from 2014 to 2022. Statista. https://www.statista.com/statistics/760498/total-us-cbd-sales/
  2. Cerqueira, É., Marinho, D. A., Neiva, H. P., & Lourenço, O. (2020). Inflammatory Effects of High and Moderate Intensity Exercise-A Systematic Review. Frontiers in physiology, 10, 1550. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2019.01550
  3. Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. “stress (n.), sense I.6.a,” December 2023, https://doi.org/10.1093/OED/8775666074.
  4. Amin, F., & Sankari, A. (2023, July 25). Sleep Insufficiency. In StatPearls. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK585109/