CBD Gummies - What, Why and How to Access in Australia
CBD products are quickly gaining popularity among Australian medical patients. CBD is known to have an assortment of therapeutic benefits and relieve an array of medical conditions. Although most popular in oil form, edibles like gummies provide an alternative method of consuming CBD.
In this article, we will outline some background on CBD gummies, how they are made and how you can access them in Australia.
What is CBD
CBD (aka Cannabidiol) is one of the many chemical compounds called cannabinoids found in cannabis. Unlike THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the main psychoactive component of cannabis, CBD does not make you high.
We have no doubt you have already heard of the many health benefits of CBD. From relieving symptoms like pain, inflammation, seizures & epilepsy, to helping with PTSD, depression, anxiety and more.
CBD oils are currently the most common CBD product in the Australian market. The oil is created by isolating and extracting the CBD from a high CBD strain, and then further processed by diluting it with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil.
Please check out our complete guide to CBD oil in Australia for a more in-depth article on CBD oils.
CBD gummies are precisely what they sound like - a CBD edible in a gummy candy form.
CBD gummies are generally more accessible and discrete delivery method compared to other forms of CBD. Smoking cannabis flower or using vape pens is still somewhat controversial and sometimes known to have negative health impacts. Some patients may also dislike the taste of CBD oil or are unable to swallow capsules.
This is where CBD gummies shine - they are discrete enough to consume in public and are easily chewed and swallowed, just like a regular gummy.
How CBD gummies work
Once the CBD gummy is consumed, it is absorbed by our gastrointestinal system and works its way to our liver and through to our circulatory system. The CBD is then released and interacts with tiny receptors within our endocannabinoid system (ECS) - altering our mood and bodily functions.
As our digestive system works at a relatively slow pace, it usually takes around 30 - 60 minutes for the effects to kick in. However, edibles are also one of the longer lasting delivery methods, with effects generally lasting longer than when inhaling or taken sublingually (tinctures).
Will CBD gummies make you high?
CBD by itself is non-psychoactive and will not give you the high or intoxicating effects associated with marijuana. The main psychoactive compound found in cannabis is THC, which is another cannabinoid found in marijuana plants.
There are three types of CBD products on the market:
CBD isolate - contains only CBD without any other cannabinoids
Broad-spectrum CBD - contains CBD and other cannabinoids, but generally no THC
Full-spectrum CBD - contains all cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, including THC.
In general, CBD isolate and broad-spectrum gummies contains little to no THC, and will not make you high. Refer to the manufacturers labelling to determine whether the product is free of THC.
Health benefits of CBD gummies
CBD has recently gained mainstream popularity due to its alleged therapeutic properties and medical applications. Recent research has demonstrated huge potential into supporting a variety of conditions including:
Seizures / Epilepsy
As a side note, there may be some potential side-effects with using CBD products. We strongly encourage our readers to consult a GP or a specialist clinic prior to administering any CBD products.
How CBD gummies are made
CBD gummies are generally made using the classic gummies recipe - sugar, glucose syrup, flavouring, citric acid, gelatin and food colouring. The secret ingredient, of course, is the added CBD extract.
Extracting CBD from cannabis is a complex process, usually involving using some form of solvent to separate the active compounds from the raw plant. Below are a few different methods of CBD extraction:
Once the CBD is extracted, further processing is done to combine the CBD isolate and gummy formula into the final product.
As with other confectionery products, the ingredients used in CBD gummies may vary. Some offerings may contain additives such as preservatives and artificial ingredients.
Patients with allergies and vegan requirements may be able to find products more suited to their needs. Look for organic products made with real sugar and natural flavourings.
Are CBD gummies legal in Australia?
Similar to other cannabis products, access to CBD products requires TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) approval.
The process usually involves a consultation with a medical practitioner to determine your eligibility based on your medical history and condition. If CBD product is deemed suitable by the doctor, they will apply for approval on your behalf through the TGA.
Once approved, the doctor will provide you with a valid prescription and outline the process to obtain the CBD product depending on your state.
Find out more on the process for accessing CBD products in Australia here.
How to choose CBD gummy products
Since CBD gummies come in different shapes and forms, it is hard to tell whether you are purchasing the right product. Below are a few points to consider when selecting the right CBD gummy brand.
Organically grown Cannabis
As CBD is extracted from cannabis, the source of the raw plant can have a huge effect on the end product. In our opinion, organically source will contain less toxins, pesticides, and other residuals that may affect the quality of the end product, and will be better for the environment.
As mentioned earlier, organic ingredients would be ideal for patients which may be sensitive to artificial flavouring and colours.
There may also be soy-free, non-GMO, gluten-free and vegan options to suit different dietary requirements.
Most CBD gummy products will specify the amount of CBD per serving (E.g. 10mg CBD per gummy).
To get the best bang for your buck, work out the total serving size and CBD per mg vs the product price - but keeping into consideration the product quality as mentioned above.
"Most reputable companies will have their product cannabinoid content lab tested by a third party"
Most reputable companies will have their product cannabinoid content lab tested by a third party. This ensures you are actually getting the CBD content that is advertised on the product.
It is best to avoid products which do not stipulate individual cannabinoid content or simply specifies “cannabis extracts” as the ingredients.
Access CBD gummies in Australia
Since the amendments to the Narcotic Drugs Act in 2016, Australian patients have been able to access CBD products. CBD products and cannabis patients are steadily increasing year on year - with more than 100 different CBD products available in Australia since the start of 2020.
However, there are still limited CBD gummy products available for patients in the current market. The only accessible methods might be through importation with the help of a medical practitioner, or through one of the licensed cannabis suppliers in Australia.
We can only hope as cannabis laws mature in Australia and catch up with the rest of the world, more CBD products will become available for Australian patients.