Smilz is one of the most popular cannabidiol (CBD) gummy brands. Their branding is bright and playful, and the Smilz describes their gummies as "a new way to chill."
But are Smilz CBD Gummies overpriced? Do they contain unhealthy flavoring ingredients? Is there a marketing scam involved with this brand? And how do they compare to other CBD gummy brands?
In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we review every ingredient in Smilz CBD gummies and highlight a number of ingredients we consider questionable.
We'll compare Smilz to a leading CBD gummy competitor, share a YouTube review that describes a potentially fake celebrity endorsement involved in the marketing of this product, and explain why the test results published by Smilz concern us.
What's Really In Smilz CBD Gummies?
Other than hemp extract, which is the source of the CBD, there are a number of ingredients in this formulation that we recommend avoiding.
Corn syrup is a cheap, high-glycemic sweetener that has been associated with negative health outcomes in medical research. A medical review published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that corn syrup intake increased obesity risk, and potentially increased risk of high blood pressure and insulin resistance.
There is only 1.3 grams (g) added sugar per gummy, which isn’t terrible, but we consider corn syrup to be a worse option than regular sugar.
Citric acid is a preservative and flavor enhancer that has been associated with whole-body inflammatory reactions in a small number of patients. A medical review published in 2018 documented a series of case reports of patients severely affected by citric acid intake.
Smilz CBD Gummies also contain natural and artificial flavors. As referenced in our PureKana CBD reviews article, there are a number of negative health effects associated with artificial flavor consumption.
These gummies also contain four different artificial food dyes: yellow #5, yellow #6, blue #1 and red #40. A meta-study from 2012 found that yellow #5, yellow #6 and red #40 have been found to be contaminated with benzidine, which is a carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemical compound.
Overall we consider this to be the worst CBD gummy formulation that we’ve reviewed on Illuminate Health from a health perspective. While many CBD gummies have added sugar and some type of flavoring agent, we've never reviewed a brand with four different artificial food dyes and corn syrup.
We recommend avoiding these gummies.
Is There a Smilz CBD Gummies Scam?
A YouTube review on Smilz CBD Gummies, published by a creator name Jordan Liles, details a potentially fake celebrity endorsement scam related to Smilz CBD Gummies.
This information doesn’t mean that Smilz is involved with this potential scam, but it's a red flag about some of the affiliate companies marketing this brand. We recommend that any consumer considering Smilz give this a watch:
Highly Questionable Test Results
Smilz CBD Gummies has the most unimpressive test results of any CBD brand we've reviewed.
As shown in the image above, the document published by Smilz on their product pages clearly shows that this supplement has not been tested for any safety measures, including contaminants like heavy metals and pesticides. How can Smilz know whether their CBD is safe to sell to consumers if it has not been safety tested?
The test results do show that the product is accurately labeled and contains as much CBD as advertised, but potency testing is less important than safety testing in our opinion.
The document also clearly states that the test results (or the product -- it's unclear and unlabeled) expires on 02/01/2022. At the time of updating this article it's over 9 months later and this is still the set of results showing on the Smilz site.
Perhaps Smilz has completed another round of testing since then, but we consider it to be a red flag and a quality control issue that there is no updated test results showing on the site at the time of updating this article. We urge the brand to clarify this and explain if they conduct safety testing on their supplements.
Our Recommended CBD Gummy Brand
Lazarus Naturals CBD Gummies is our top-recommended CBD gummy pick.
We consider this gummy brand to be one of the healthiest options on the market because it's free of artificial flavors, artificial colors, corn syrup and citric acid.
Lazarus Naturals publishes product test results on a Test Results resource page on the brand’s website.
Lazarus’ test results prove the label accuracy and potency of the supplement, but also include contaminant testing proving that the supplement is free of contaminants like heavy metals and pesticides.
Smilz CBD Gummies cost $34.97 for 300 mg, while Lazarus Naturals CBD Gummies cost $37.99 for 1,000 mg. This makes Lazarus Naturals over 3x cheaper per serving.
Interested consumers can check out Lazarus Naturals CBD Gummies at this link to the product page at one of the brand’s official distributors.
Bad BBB Reviews
Smilz has unimpressive average ratings on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, which is an online resource that allows customers to publish reviews of popular brands. The brand’s average rating is 1.1/5.
There is actually an active investigation by the BBB into Smilz business practices, shown above, due to all of the complaints by customers. We have never seen this before for any of the hundreds of brands we've reviewed.
Many customers are complaining about being overcharged. A user named “Roderick F” claims the following:
“April 7th, I placed an order for a special they advertised and on the 8th of April realized I was overcharged by $123.69. April 12, I was finally refunded for the "Error". After never receiving my order, I again contacted the company after 3 weeks of waiting and told them I would like to cancel my order all together. On the 25th of April, I received an email stating $125.00 had been refunded to my account. It is now May 6th, money has yet to be retired”
While many brands have customer complaints on the BBB site, because frustrated customers are more likely to publish a review than happy customers, we do consider this score and investigation to be a serious red flag.
For a few comparative examples, CBDistillery (which is another major CBD brand) has an average rating on BBB of 3.18/5 and Charlotte's Web has an average rating of 3.09/5.
Why We Recommend CBD Oil Over CBD Gummies
We consider CBD oil to be much healthier as a product category than CBD gummies. Many CBD oils have a clean and effective formulation of hemp extract and a carrier oil like organic coconut oil. There tend to be no questionable additive ingredients, and these products also tend to be cheaper per serving.
For health-conscious and price-conscious consumers, we definitely think that CBD oil is the logical choice.