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Deep Dive Into 6 Popular CBD Gummies: The Good, The Bad, and The “OK”

Remember sour worms and gummy bears from good days gone by? Of course you do. The rough texture that becomes slimy and soft as you let stringy pieces of sugar melt away on your tongue…the memories alone make you crave the sweet sensation of these tasty treats.

But as you grew up, people started to tell you that you needed to eat healthier. You can’t eat the junk that comes in a plastic package, because “it’ll rot your teeth and your brain.” Shame on you for even thinking of the delicious goodness of Sour Patch Kids.

CBD gummies, on the other hand, changed the game. Candy, chocolate, and specifically gummies are among the most popular items in the growing market of edible CBD goods. The challenge now is figuring out what’s good and what should get tossed. CBD doesn’t come cheap, so when you’re making a decision about what to buy, don’t be impulsive and more importantly, don’t get ripped off. Make sure you properly vet the brands out there that are pushing CBD gummies.

We know the choices are overwhelming, so we’ve tried tons of different kinds of sour and sugary pieces of CBD candy – bears, worms, frogs and plain ol’cubes. At CBD expositions, samples of products flood convention halls, direct from various CBD retail stores and curated CBD boxes where you get a variety of surprise samples each month. We put together a review to share our team’s consensus of 6 popular CBD gummy brands on the market. Each gummy was evaluated, based on 4 key factors:

  1. Taste/scent – (goal: we would eat or use this if there wasn’t CBD in it)
  2. Price per mg – (goal: doesn’t break the bank, get the best bang for your buck)
  3. Lab reports – (goal: properly tested for undetected harmful ingredients)
  4. Full spectrum/broad spectrum/isolate – (goal: we want that Entourage Effect)

Here are our honest reviews of the best and the worst:

1. Best: CBD NYC Mini 20 mg Bears

At 20 mg each and with 30 pieces per bottle, these gummy bears offer a cheaper price per mg of CBD than any edible we’ve seen ($49.99 retail price for 30 pieces at 20 mg per gummy). On top of getting kudos for being on the cheaper end, these baby bears are super effective and tasty. They come in an assortment of fruit flavors and go a long way to help you ease tension. The teeny tiny size doesn’t make you feel bad about having 2 or 3…or 4. There is no aftertaste or sugar coating which can scratch up your tongue like many gummies out there. These are void of THC and gluten, and sourced from non-GMO, organic USA-grown hemp.

Lab reports are posted on their site, so we knew exactly what we were getting.

These bad boys are broad spectrum, our favorite kind of CBD (more to come on that in a future blog post).

2. Best: Smokiez High Clarity 25 mg Hemp Gummies Chew

Oregon-based Smokiez gummies provide 25 mg of CBD per piece in their chews (10 calories each, including 2 grams of protein). One pack has 10 pieces of chews (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and sugar-free options). The soy-free proprietary formula is something special despite being void of THC. These sweets are perfectly cut, soft and chewy. With a shelf-life of 1 year, you are safe to store these without them going bad, although let’s be honest – you’ll likely ravish them much sooner. Our team prefers two pieces in one sitting. The favorites of all flavors are sour watermelon and jamberry (which tastes like a blueberry, strawberry and raspberry mash-up). The least favored among reviewers was straight raspberry. The only downside was that we called in and wanted to find out if these were isolate, broad spectrum and full spectrum. No one picked up their phone – we only got a voicemail box. Note to Smokiez – invest in customer service!!

A single serving is one 25 mg gummy, with only ten pieces per package. Each package will cost you $24.95. Lab results can be found here.

3. Favored, but not a favorite: Upstate Elevator Co CBD Worms 30 mg

The fruity flavor tart worms from this Vermont-based company are awesome. Each wiggly worm has 30 mg of CBD, so they are pretty potent. Also included in one serving is 100% of your daily recommended dosage of Vitamin C, which is always nice. There is no THC or artificial preservatives; other ingredients include organic carrot juice and turmeric. There’s also no hemp aftertaste but lots of sugar on the worms. These are isolate hemp gummies, but we had to call in to find that out. We didn’t find that information listed anywhere on their site.

There’s 30 mg per gummy, and 25 gummies per bottle. Each bottle will cost you $69.99. Lab reports can be found here.

4. Favored, but not a favorite: Kushie Bites CBD Variety Pack

You get 1000 mg of CBD in this $40 variety pack of gummy chews, worms, bears, rings and one big octopus. What’s there not to like? The Colorado-made CBD company hooks you up with so many options with and without sugar on top. Each gummy has anywhere between 25-50 mg of CBD. You get 20 pieces in the variety pack, which equates to about 550 calories. Although they are gluten, fat and dairy-free, these do taste much sweeter than our favorite CBD gummies. The calorie count speaks to that, too. Our favorite in the pack is the rainbow that looks like you twisted up a sugared rainbow sour strip and trimmed it into a few pieces. Keep in mind, these are isolate. We had to call their representatives to figure that out – note to Kushie Bites, list that on your site!!

We found their lab reports here.


5. Needs Improvement: Just CBD 7 mg Emoji Gummies

When you are having a bad day, and are looking for CBD gummies, if they have a smiley face, you expect to start smiling. Just CBD just doesn’t do the trick. Although the branding is cute – these emoji gummies are coated with sugar and the flavors don’t taste very different. The 7 mg of CBD per moji is lower then most edibles so you need to have a lot for them to be effective, and the sugar from 5 or more can be annoying on your tongue. This is not a terrible option for first-timers who want an extremely low dose of CBD per gummy. These gummies have isolate hemp in them – you won’t get the entourage effect, but you will get CBD delivered into your system in its purest form.

These gummies will run you $40, but you can probably find a Groupon deal and get them at a discount. Lab reports are here.

6. Needs Improvement: Joy Organics 20 mg

These 8-ingredient serene orchard gummies have a subtle apple flavor and very hempy aftertaste. The high CBD content coupled with minimal additive ingredients likely create the residual taste after you chew. We wish that Joy would do something about the bitter taste, it’s not a serene flavor despite the clean ingredients and pleasant chew.

A 15-pack with 20 mg per chew will run you $44.95. These are broad spectrum, so you’ll get the benefits of that. But, we advise that you choose one of our favorites and save your money. Lab reports can be found here.

So, that’s a wrap for our gummies post! We hope you liked our breakdown of the best and worst in CBD gummies. Please leave us a comment below! Until next time… 😉

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CBD Company Profile: Pam’s Fizzy Factory

We fell in love with Pam and her fizzy factory after just one chill pill.

Founder and owner of Pam’s Fizzy Factory, Pam Fiske, creates eccentric, bright bath bombs, handcrafted soaps and all kinds of artisan bath goods. Fueled by a passion to make fun, beautiful products for everyone to enjoy, Pam began to incorporate CBD into her product line this year.  Despite not growing up in a cannabis-friendly household, Pam says “The demand (for a CBD line) became undeniable and the results are incredible.  I felt I owed it to my customers to offer the best products.”  Pam uses CBD isolate from hemp grown by U.S. farms – all of which are U.S. Hemp Authority Certified and third-party tested.

Other than employing website design specialists and marketing consultants, Pam runs her Fizzy Factory on her own and it’s impressive – the products are handcrafted and made fresh daily.  This creative genius offers bubble bars and bath bombs in shapes ranging from sharks, unicorns, sprinkled doughnuts and even Frapuccinos.  Since 2016, Pam’s Fizzy Factory’s goal has been to create effective yet unique, luxurious bath products to set the mood for any occasion.  Pam, a native of Chardon, Ohio, talks to us about her favorite item, the pain soothing salve:  “[It’s my favorite] simply because the results and reviews are phenomenal.  It really works to soothe your aches and provides a relaxing scent.”  

Let’s talk about our favorite – the 200 mg CBD-infused Chill Pill.  This bath bomb is appropriately named.  It comes odorless or in a spearmint and eucalyptus scent.  We love this, not just because it is bright and bold, but also soothing.  Our preference is for an aroma of eucalyptus and mint to fill the tub, creating a creamy white finish that dissipates into a clear, tranquil blue resembling a beautiful Caribbean beach.  It feels and looks like a Chill Pill, leaving the faint, pleasant smell on your skin for hours.  

Pam offers a CBD-free version of this bath bomb – “Chillin’ like a Villian” is made with epsom salts and avocado oil and will detoxify, soothe and moisturize your skin.

Follow Pam’s Fizzy Factory for new, handcrafted luxurious products – Pam will be releasing a full woman’s line of skincare products including face wash, moisturizer, body butter and foot cream!

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CBD and EMU for Pain: Interview with CBD District in Sunrise, Florida

When we think about relieving physical pain, we usually opt in to ingestion of a pharmaceutical pill.  What we don’t naturally think about is applying something topically, to our body’s largest organ – the skin.  As the CBD Movement emerged, the range of options for topical creams, oils, salves & rubs to treat pain have matured.

Ralph Minyan, Sales Manager of CBD District in Sunrise, Florida calls CBD “a gift from God”.  He has seen CBD help many customers along with family and friends.  Ralph says the best part about CBD is that “you cant get high – it just helps everything else”.
His father suffered from terrible back pain that caused a lot of trouble falling and staying asleep.  Ralph convinced his dad to apply pain relief rub with a low mg dosage of CBD on his back before bed.  His father started sleeping through the night and noticed far less discomfort.  Once in a while, he now uses an adhesive patch which can provide relief and reduce inflammation for up to 8 hours.  Sometimes he ops out for topical ingestion and takes 600 mg of CBD tincture.

Popular ways to ingest 600 mg dosage of CBD Ralph explains, are through either capsules or tinctures.  “When ingesting a CBD tincture, drop your dosage under the tongue and swish around for 15-20 seconds.  The cannabinoids absorb through your mucus membranes.  It’s one of the fastest ways to deliver the impact of CBD.”

He recalls another story of how his friend claims CBD changed his life.  Dealing with depression for years, this friend did not want to be medicated because of the zombie like side effects to his personality.  After a night of Ralph explaining the research of CBD reducing depression and anxiety, Matthew gave it a shot.  He adopted a 500 mg tincture routine and began to feel a little more uplifted.  He has stuck to his routine after trying it for the first time just this Spring and says it helps him keep a positive outlook. 

After seeing the impact that CBD has had on the quality of life of his father and best friend, Ralph says he “feels so good to be helping, i tell my customers – once you see results you will be as thankful as i am.”  

Ralph’s personal favorite CBD items?  Tea and pain relief cream.  The tea, he says is calming and a part of his bedtime routine.  When t comes to relieving soreness after a workout and fostering faster muscle recovery, he goes for pain relief cream.  “Look for Pain Relief Cream with EMU” he suggests.  “EMU absorbs quickly into the skin and is anti-inflammatory itself.  Add CBD and bam – the the relief rub does wonders.”

EMU Oil is derived from fatty oils of a large Australian ostrich looking kind of bird.  It is known to be a strong agent for relieving muscular aches & pains, arthritis and improving joint mobility.  Just like CBD, EMU is a natural anti-inflammatory agent which quickly absorbs into the skins, acting as a delivery agent for CBD.  When coupled together, this cream has a hard hitting impact.  One of our testers here at Noid Noirx is a chef who often gets attacked by some crackling heated oil in the kitchen.  She applied this cream to a dime sized burn and saw the wound heal after 3 days of application (twice a day).  The best part she says, it that it actually prevented blistering. 

We’ve also seen this cream help folks who suffer from  eczema & psoriasis.  Baby Boomers loved it on their knees and aching joints.  CBD NYC gets a plus in our books as their CBD is sourced from Non GMO, organically grown Hemp.  They are also FDA Registered and GMP Compliant

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Living with PCOS

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – a diagnosis full of cosmetic nuisances & physical pain to be dealt with, impacting an estimated 8-12% of women.
Ovarian Cysts, irregular and / or heavy periods, breakouts, thick or rapid hair growth and nerve & skin sensitivity are just a some of the side effects a woman with PCOS may have to adjust to.  These imbalances are manifested by a combination of nutritional and metabolic problems which adversely affect insulin and other hormones.
PCOS is a pain in the ass, but the world doesnt end.  There are a plenty of things to be done about being dealt a shitty hand of luck.  
For your vanity and overgrown hair frustration, Laser Hair Removal is an effective solution.  Working best for thick, dark hair, LHR can be painful, especially for women with PCOS; as nerve sensitivity is heightened due to hormonal imbalances.  Be sure to mention that you have PCOS at your salon or spa and spend the extra few bucks on numbing cream.  

Investing in LHR is not just for those with PCOS – anyone tired of shaving & waxing and associates razor burns, bumps & ingrown hairs should look into it.  There are tons of SPAs offering laser hair removal services.  For the NYC folks – my favorite salon is SkinPrologica by 23 st (I always go to Eataly afterwards).  
For your breakouts & internal regulation – give topical & ingestible CBD a try.  CBD helps to reduce internal and external inflammation & redness, (for more about how CBD partners with your EndoCannabinoid System [ECS], migrate here for a minute).   

You can ingest CBD a number of ways – edibles (gummies, candies, lollipops, tinctures), topical application (creams, oils, salves, balt salts, bath bombs), and smoke it.  

My favorite gummies are from CBD NYC – they are just really cute 20 mg CBD baby bears with a great fruit flavor and no hempy afterstate.  They also arent powdered with sugar which can irritate your tongue.  Lastly and most importantly (the purse), im a cheap-o and compared prices of gummies to find that these are the best bang for your buck when you calculate the price per mg ($50 for 600 mg).  The bears on the hunt for honey are void of THC & Gluten and sourced from NON GMO, organic USA grown Hemp. 

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How Accutane led me to CBD, and What to Look for in Your Fave CBD Products

For 13 years, I struggled with acne. It was indiscriminate and all over my body. The skin condition was cystic, nodular and every other variety; it was on my face, chest, back and every other crevice. My confidence and ability to be intimate with anyone for years was non-existent. This sk-insecurity prevented me from attending pool parties, dating, revealing my skin in any way, even looking into the mirror. I tried every over-the-counter topical treatment one could find at drug stores and Sephora – benzoyl peroxides, glycolic and salicylic acids from Neutrogena, Clean & Clear, Acne-Free, Olay and Proactiv. I spent thousands of dollars on facials, microdermabrasion & acne focused spa treatments to reduce breakouts and help with scarring. I was so dedicated to improving my skin that I went on a journey to try holistic solutions and took up vegetable juicing. I consumed and topically applied Coconut Oil, Fish Oil, anything and everything with collagen, retinol,Vitamin E & C, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Nothing worked consistently for me and it became a lot to manage. Many products were a hit or miss.

Every dermatologist that I visited recommended Accutane. The magic pill was said to permanently rid my body of acne. It sounded divine – but I was hesitant because no doctor could explain to me how it actually worked. Wikipedia couldn’t give me the facts either. It came to a point where I was desperate. I felt like my skin was controlling my life – without the confidence I so eagerly desired, I couldn’t perform as well as I wanted to at work. I found an excuse to never let any dates finish with a happy ending and any positive affirmation felt like a joke.

I took a leap of faith and decided to give Accutane a try. This is what was required: enrollment in iPledge, a program that all Accutane users must adhere to. The program requires patients to have monthly blood tests, ensuring vitals are not impacted by the drug. As a woman, I also had to have two consecutive blood tests to prove that I was not pregnant prior to being prescribed Accutane. If you are pregnant, there is absolutely no way you can take this drug. The packaging reinforces this – every pill is dispersed after pushing through a a big, bold image of a pregnant woman that has a huge fat Red X over it. My doctor explained to me that it was absolutely critical I have multiple methods of birth control – a birth control pill was preferred, but if not, iPledge makes you attest to all of your pregnancy prevention methods. After you submit your strategy to avoid a bundle of joy in the system, your doctor must also submit the same responses or your prescription is blocked.

It is a process that can be overwhelming but curing acne for life was the promised golden snatch so I went with it.

To say the side effects “sucked” is an understatement. I was constantly tired, at times lethargic. As if that wasn’t enough, my joints ached, my eyes & nose were dry, but even worse – my skin was severely dry. My face, especially around the chin area, resembled a flaky old beehive. I luckily didn’t experience anxiety or depression, which I was advised could both be side effects. What I did experience, which was revealed through my blood tests, was elevated levels of a protein produced by my liver. The alarming protein is naturally created when your liver isn’t properly functioning and signals a potential shutdown on the way. My body was raising a tired hand to alert whomever read my blood tests that something was wrong.

The only thing different (besides excluding all other types of medicines, alcohol, vitamins and even carrots) that I was doing was taking Accutane. Safe to say correlation implies causation in this case.

Outside of the liver impact, my white blood cell count was on a steady rise. During the 3 month period that I was committed to the regimen, my white blood cells rose from a normal range to nearly quadrupling at the end of month 3.

In addition to being scared shitless about my liver and overall health, I then developed anxiety which didn’t do much to help my well-being! My morale was ruined for a long time until I went further down the natural path of health, wellness and healing and came across CBD. And let me tell you – I’m very grateful. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD have done wonders for my skin. I did a lot of research to learn that everybody has an Endocannabinoid System (ECS) which naturally produces natural cannabinoids. These compounds help regulate bodily functions via 2 main receptors (CBD 1 and CBD 2), which are key to the nervous and immune system. Added plant cannabinoids (ingested or applied topically) help these receptors function more efficiently, leading to a stable and more balanced body. 

No Endocannabinoid system is the same, but what works for me may work for you. I apply CBD oil topically to my face after the shower and other parts of my body where I’m having skin issues. I also take either CBD capsules or ingestible tinctures (also some gummies from time to time). When buying your products, look for Full Spectrum. Full Spectrum items contain terpenes and cannabinoids including THC (the component responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis); but,in such a small amount that you will not high. Full Spectrum is the strongest, highest quality of CBD because the inclusion of all of the phyonutrients in the cannabis plant (even that tiny amount of THC) complement each other, growing stronger, more effective bonds. The more full the spectrum of cannabinoids, the quicker and better those bonds will work, helping you treat an ailment or get the relaxation you are trying to achieve. Broad Spectrum is not a bad option, it’s just stripped of THC; so, a little less effective. The more cannabinoids in the spectrum, the more synergistic the effect. A CBD isolate, although still beneficial is the mildest of the three and contains the least amount of cannabinoids.

Also important when buying CBD – take a look at the ingredients and review the lab report. Many products although marketed as CBD or Hemp contain Hemp Seed Oil, which is very different. Pay attention to the Certificate of Analysis (COA) Lab Reports. The COA will tell you the complete breakdown of what the CBD and plant that the CBD came from was tested for. I’ve seen a number of Lab Reports that don’t test for harmful toxins, despite being FDA-compliant. Most CBD products have a QR code which when scanned, pulls up the lab report; but the company’s website should also have it. Stay informed on the quality of your CBD!

Another tip, specific to edibles: looked for “CBD-infused”. Another unsettling thing that we have learned while staying up late looking at lab reports is that some companies are spraying edibles with CBD rather than infusing the food with it. This significantly reduces the quality of what you are buying as the spray rubs off on the packaging and unevenly spreads the CBD across each piece.

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PMS Got You Down? CBD PMS Stick will get you right back up.

Like many women, I’ve struggled with abdominal pain & cramping every time Mother Nature makes her monthly check-in. And like many women, I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), making my time of the month often feel debilitating and miserable (more about living with PCOS). And also like many women, I’ve searched for what feels like infinite solutions to this monthly week of anything-but-fun changes to my body.

Midol, hot water bottles and heating pads all offer relief but have their constraints. I personally do not like taking medicine unless it’s absolutely necessary. I’m always concerned with what chemicals are in the perfectly white little pills manufactured in a lab by large pharmaceutical companies. Growing up, there were also whispers among my girlfriends of the harmful impacts of long-term Midol use. This little pill then became impossible for me to use after I had liver issues resulting from a brief attempt at trying Accutane (acne sufferers – read here for more on my experience). So, I resorted to heating compresses – hot water bottles and electric heating pads. Although they work and are surely warm and cozy ways to address PMS pain, they leave you remote and limit your abilities to keep the pace of your daily grind. In the winter, it’s not so bad because you can stay in and watch Netflix, but who wants to apply heat to your belly in the summer after a grueling day of period pain, a miserable commute and humidity (if you live in NYC like me – that subway smog is really something special). It’s also a depressing and demotivating feeling to be laid out just waiting for the heat to penetrate your abdomen and not feel like a scorned alien is trying to escape through your navel. Then there is also the fun chance of burning yourself, which I was unfortunate enough to experience a few times.

Upon embarking on my journey to try CBD products, I discovered this topical PMS Pain Relief Pocket Stick from Blondie’s Bombs; which, for the risk-averse is an amazing option for menstrual (and endometriosis) relief, containing 150 mg of pure Hemp CBD.

The subtle minty scent mixed with essential oils and menthol crystals makes the fragrance of this product super soothing. The balm itself is smooth and absorbs quickly but if you rub it too roughly against your skin, you’ll have little pieces break off. I like to slowly glide the stick directly across my lower abdomen with a medium amount of force for about 5 minutes, before massaging the substance onto the rest of my stomach. I’ve even tried the pocket stick on other areas of my body where I feel pain and it works just as well. It’s more than just a menstrual pain stick, I’ve used it on sore calves after a long rigorous hike.

What is so wonderful about the packaging of this product is that it fits in your pocket. It’s a compact travel sized stick that you can take with you to work, on vacation, even on a date. You don’t have to feel lethargic and count down the days until your cramps are over. You can use this balm and take control of your period, reducing the pain and feeling empowered.