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Hemp Gummies vs. CBD Gummies: What's the Difference?

 cbd gummies

From hemp-derived CBD to broad-spectrum CBD oil to hemp seed oil gummies, it is easy to get overwhelmed with all of the options. With so many hemp and CBD products hitting the market, it can be difficult to tell what product does what. Which CBD product contains beneficial, stress-busting CBD or contains small amounts of THC? Are there some that contain none of the above? Is hemp oil the same as CBD

A case in point is the gummy. Sweet, discrete gummies are easy to bring wherever you go. But is there a difference between a hemp gummy and a CBD gummy?

Most legal CBD products are derived from hemp, but not all hemp products contain CBD.

The short answer is yes. While you definitely know there’s CBD in a CBD gummy, hemp gummies are a bit more complicated. It helps to learn a little hemp plant botany.

In this short guide, we’ll explain CBD and hemp labeling and what to look for in your next gummy.

Hemp vs. CBD: What’s in a Label?

In 2018, congress passed the Farm Bill, which defined and legalized industrial hemp. Under these new federal guidelines, cannabis plants that contain less than 0.3% THC are now classified as hemp. Because hemp seed and CBD oils adhere to this limit, they do not have psychoactive properties, and do not get you “high.”

Most legal CBD products are derived from hemp, but not all hemp products contain CBD. Edibles and other hemp extract products may be formulated with any part of the hemp plant, but only products using the aerial parts of the plant contain CBD. Products derived from hemp seeds and roots contain other cannabinoids, but no CBD. 

Bottom line: Unless CBD is listed on the label, there’s no way to know for sure what you’re buying. In fact, some CBD manufacturers vastly overstate the amount of CBD in their products (as we’ll discuss in more detail later).

Legal, hemp-derived CBD products like gummies contain extracts of the hemp plant’s aerial parts (i.e., flowers, stalks and leaves). 

How State Laws Affect Labeling

A product labeled as a “hemp gummy” could contain hemp seed oil, CBD or both. Why would a company label their gummy as a “hemp gummy” if it actually contains CBD?

While hemp-derived CBD is legal at the federal level, states possess the broad ability to restrict its legality. For example, while you can buy hemp flower in New York, it’s illegal in Indiana (although you can still purchase CBD products made from leaves and stalks).

Likewise, several states have banned CBD edibles specifically. While you can buy CBD topicals and oils in Maine, North Carolina and Ohio, you can’t technically sell, market or buy CBD gummies in retail stores.

Due to the gray area of CBD edibles, and restrictions imposed by certain online marketing platforms, some brands have chosen to label and market their products as “hemp” nationwide. 

The only catch: when you buy a hemp product, there’s no guarantee that you’re consuming CBD at all. 

Likewise, there’s no way to know how your CBD was derived or how much is in a given dose. That’s why most people prefer hemp-derived CBD gummies to generic “hemp gummies.”

Marijuana-Derived CBD

Above, we noted that the majority of legal CBD products are derived from hemp. However, there are some exceptions:

  • Cannabis plants containing more than 0.3% THC — a.k.a. marijuana — can be legally farmed and sold in a growing list of  states, whether for medicinal or recreational use.
  • In states where marijuana is legal, you’ll likely find CBD gummies derived from marijuana rather than hemp.
  • Since these products may contain more than 0.3% THC, they could have psychoactive properties not found in CBD.

The Benefits of CBD Gummies

While it’s often unclear exactly what’s in your hemp gummies, CBD gummies boast a number of potential benefits.

Since CBD gummies are discrete and legal, it’s easy to carry them whenever you need a helping hand — whether before a stressful presentation at work or after a run.

To make sure you experience the benefits of CBD, it’s important to carefully inspect your gummies’ label. 

Likewise, CBD gummies with clear labeling make it easy to take your desired dose. While you need a dropper to measure and ingest CBD oil, you can pop a CBD gummy just like a  candy. Besides being tasty and easy to consume, CBD gummies boast a number of potential benefits including: 

  • Soothing nerves – Do you get stressed before flying? Perhaps public speaking is the stuff of your nightmares? Many people find that chewing a CBD gummy just before a nerve-racking event can help them take a deep breath and carry on calmly.
  • Supporting healthy sleep – Maybe your mind races once you crawl into bed. Or perhaps you wake up after just a few hours of shuteye and can’t get back to sleep. CBD is thought to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to regulate sleep cycles, which could help reduce tossing and turning. Try taking a gummy 30 minutes before your ideal bedtime.
  • Reducing post-exercise inflammation – Exercise creates microscopic tears in your muscle fibers. Recognizing these as a threat, your immune system kicks into high gear and creates inflammation at the site. The only problem is the resulting soreness. CBD is thought to help reduce exercise-induced inflammation so that you can recover quicker. 
  • Maintaining energy – Because CBD can help you calm down, some people associate it with sleepiness. However, because CBD supports your body and mood on so many levels, it can actually boost your overall energy and vitality.

Choosing Your CBD Gummies

To make sure you experience the benefits of CBD, it’s important to carefully inspect your gummies’ label. If your CBD brand doesn’t state the amount of CBD per bottle and per gummy, it’s impossible to know the potency of the product you’re consuming. 

However, just because a gummy is labeled doesn’t mean the information is accurate. Consider the following: 

  • The FDA found that close to half of CBD brands contained at least 20% less CBD than advertised (in some cases even less than that).
  • A few contained 120% more CBD than the label indicated.
  • Many products contained undisclosed THC.

So how can you make sure you’re not buying a gummy that’s much weaker or stronger than advertised? We recommend making sure you buy from a brand that third-party tests its products to verify the information on the label.

Beyond the amount of CBD, it can also be helpful to know how CBD was extracted. To that end, you’ll find three kinds of CBD gummies on the market:

  • Full-spectrum – Research indicates that the compounds in the hemp plant work better together, creating what’s known as an “entourage effect.” Full-spectrum CBD gummies also contain cannabinoids like CBG and CBN, along with terpenes and flavonoids. Likewise, hemp-derived gummies contain THC (in line with federal law, less than 0.3%). These gummies may have a more distinct hemp flavor, although flavoring agents can counteract it.
  • Broad-spectrum – All the compounds found in full-spectrum are found in this extract, with one major difference: There is no detectable THC. Broad-spectrum products are ideal for people who want to enjoy the natural taste and benefits of the hemp plant but who would rather avoid psychoactive THC.
  • CBD isolate – CBD isolated from the hemp plant’s 100+ other cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids is a popular ingredient in gummies, since it has less of a distinctive hemp taste. However, it will not produce the entourage effect.

Other Considerations for Hemp Gummies vs. CBD Gummies

Besides understanding the hemp and CBD content in your gummy, it’s important to check out the other ingredients on the label. If there are no listed ingredients, you won’t know what’s in your gummy. If they are listed, take a closer look:

  • If you’re vegetarian, vegetarian, kosher or halal, you probably already know that most gelatin is animal-derived. Certain food dyes like carmine are also made from animal parts. Look for a vegan gummy brand that uses natural dyes and vegan gelatins.
  • Be on the lookout for artificial ingredients (including artificial sweeteners). You’re likely taking CBD to promote your overall health. While you’re at it, make sure you’re avoiding any chemicals on your no-no list!

Flavor Counts

Finally, part of the joy of a gummy is biting into something sweet, tart and candy-like. Unfortunately, some taste cloyingly artificial, while others have a distinct hemp taste.

The only way to determine whether you like their flavor is  to make your first purchase! If you buy from a company with a money-back guarantee, there’s nothing to lose.

Zebra CBD: CBD Gummies You Can Count On

At Zebra CBD, we’re industry leaders in rigorously tested hemp products. In fact, we’re the only brand to offer both a Label Accuracy Guarantee™ and a money-back guarantee!

Our CBD gummies are formulated with full-spectrum hemp extract to provide the entourage effect. Naturally sweet citrus flavors are added for a bright yet earthy taste. With 25 mg of CBD, our gummies are potent and palatable! 

Thanks to their ease of use, they’re a great way to support your wellness goals, whether those include getting better sleep, coping with stressors or training harder.

Shop our line of CBD gummies for sale and other products to pamper yourself from head to toe. Whether you’re buying CBD gummies, balm or oil, what you see on the label is what you get.


Indy Star. Legalizing hemp flower could net big money.

Medical News Today. FDA Report Evaluates CBD Product Labeling Accuracy.,-THC-not-specified

FB. 2018 Farm Bill Provides A Path Forward for Industrial Hemp.

Vox. CBD Crackdown.

Co-founder of Copycat Copywriters, Adam has written for dozens of CBD and cannabis companies on a wide array of topics, including regulations, economics, farming practices and biochemistry.

About the Author

Adam Biederman Image

Adam Biederman

As co-founder and lead writer of Copycat Copywriters, one of Adam’s primary areas of expertise is within the budding CBD and cannabis space. He has written for dozens of CBD and cannabis companies, producing a collection of white papers, press releases, blog posts, articles and ebooks about a wide array of industry-related subjects, including regulations, economics, farming practices and biochemistry.

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