First of all, I just want to say a massive thank you to Goodrays but also an even bigger SORRY to them too because these fantastically designed Goodrays CBD drinks and gummies have been sitting gathering dust waiting for me to find the time to crack them open and review them. Goodrays have honestly been absolute stars about it and had the patience of 10 million saints. So, thank you guys you absolutely rock! But, you know what they say – good things come to those who wait.
Disclaimer: Please note that this is a sponsored post and I have received monetary payment. I have been gifted products and compensated in return for an honest review. Any payment I receive goes to paying expenses, to keeping a roof over my head and this blog up and running, and most importantly to keep creating quality content for you all. I am not an affiliate of Goodrays and any purchases you make via them I will not be compensated for. I am not influenced by the company in any way and all opinions, ramblings, and thoughts are my own and 100% honest. If you’d like to know more, feel free to contact me.
You might’ve noticed that I haven’t posted in a long time. In fact, this is my first blog post since November 2021, and I haven’t reviewed any CBD products since April 2021. So, this blog post is a bit special to me because I’m finally back to doing something I’m super passionate about. You might also be wondering why the gigantic silence.
Well, I started working officially for Ninja Kitchen as a freelance Food Stylist and Photographer, and whilst the job is absolutely amazing, and so are the people I work with, juggling self-employment and home life as a single parent has definitely become beyond gruelling. I also lost a couple of regular clients due to the strain covid placed on small businesses so I had less to post in general. And I guess I just sort of lost faith in my abilities.
So, this year I am determined to endeavour to bring you guys the new and exciting content that you deserve. I would like to thank all the people that have still stuck by me over the years and apologise for what became a much bigger hiatus than I had ever expected it to be. But anyway, I digress… I think it’s time to get to know exactly who Goodrays are (other than the most understanding company ever) and why you guys need them in your life (and your belly)…
So, Who Are Goodrays?
Founded by Eoin Keenan and Chris Kelly in early 2020, Goodrays are super committed to creating premium, all-natural products made from high-quality ingredients, including rigorously tested cannabinoids and vitamins, to ensure that their customers have the opportunity to experience – in my opinion – some of the best CBD products currently available on the UK market (more on this later).
Eoin has had a keen interest in cannabis legislation for way over a decade, and in order to aid new cannabis ventures and push forward regulatory change across the globe he has been working with the industry-leading consultants, Prohibition Partners and Cannabis Europa. Goodrays are also incredibly into sustainability – working to become carbon neutral, is fully transparent in their supply chain, and they use plastic-free packaging too. What’s not to love about these guys?!
If you’d like to find out more about Goodrays, or just look at Eoin’s cute little smiley face, then click here.
What Is CBD and How Can It Help Me?
Because I haven’t posted in a while, and because I know some of you are new to my site, I think it’s worth explaining what CBD is. CBD, a.k.a. Cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring cannabinoid. In Layman’s terms, cannabinoids are compounds that are the active components of cannabis. CBD isn’t psychoactive like THC, as in – it won’t get you high. And want to know something super cool? Our bodies produce their own endogenous cannabinoids, endogenous cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes. These 3 elements make up the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
It wasn’t until the late 80s that the ECS was discovered by scientists. They found that the ECS continuously maintains a balance at a cellular level within the body (this balance is known as homeostasis) and is, in fact, active in every human being – from before birth until the end of life itself. This clever little biological system is responsible for controlling energy intake, nutrient transportation, and metabolism storage – it even regulates your brain, organ, and musculoskeletal functions. Basically, it’s responsible for a lot of cool stuff that keeps you alive. Want to know what’s even cooler? Your body actually knows how and when to make cannabinoids. But, for some unlucky people, their ECS doesn’t work properly and so it struggles to self-regulate. The end result is ultimately a deficiency in endocannabinoids.
CBD is also an excellent anti-inflammatory that doesn’t come with the same risks or side effects that regular NSAIDs (aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen etc.) do, such as; ulcers, heart attacks, and strokes. This makes it really useful for chronic pain management…
This deficiency can lead to you experiencing pain where you shouldn’t have pain, anxiety, obesity, and a whole host of problems. In fact, a number of common diseases are often linked to a deficiency of endocannabinoids, particularly those with no identifiable cause, including hyperalgesic ones – those with increased sensitivity to pain that is out of proportion to what is going on within the body. We’re talking about things such as migraines, IBS, fibromyalgia and inflammatory and immune disorders.
Now, this is where CBD comes in handy. CBD is a homeostatic regulator which balances the ECS. Homeostasis, as I mentioned before, is a state of balance within your body and lots of diseases can interfere with this balance. CBD acts as a buffer so that it can combat both deficiencies (and vice versa) within the ECS itself. For example, if you find yourself anxious or depressed your body is likely to be deficient in the neurotransmitter GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid). CBD will interact with the GABA receptor and amplify GABA’s natural calming effect. Again CBD can activate the serotonin receptor 5-HT1A (serotonin is the stuff that makes you happy) and again, induce a calming effect. Personally, I have found CBD incredibly helpful for this.
CBD is also an excellent anti-inflammatory that doesn’t come with the same risks or side effects that regular NSAIDs (aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen etc.) do, such as; ulcers, heart attacks, and strokes. This makes it really useful for chronic pain management and as an autoimmune disease sufferer, I can vouch for its effectiveness myself. Its anti-inflammatory properties also make it great for post-workout recovery so if you’re an amateur or even pro athlete you’re bound to find some benefits from it.
If you’re looking to improve or address health conditions, it’s worth noting that less is often more with CBD, as the more you have the more resistance your body will build to it and it can become less effective in the long run. Just because you don’t feel instant results, doesn’t mean it’s not working for you, it just takes time to find the right dose and to build up the cannabinoid levels in your body which is a different experience for different people. And if you’re not deficient in cannabinoids, or you partake in a lot of smoking of the devil’s lettuce, you might find it doesn’t do much for you at all. I’ve written more information about dosage here. So the Goodrays gummies would be great for regular dosing if you halved them, but not so much the drinks. If however, you’re in severe pain or having an anxiety attack, high doses can be beneficial in those situations. If you are looking for a way to control your own dosage it’s worth knowing that Goodrays also stock CBD oils too.
Goodrays CBD Drinks Review
So now that you know a little bit about what CBD is and about the company itself I think it’s time to explore its amazing product line. Starting with the very delicious all-natural and vegan sparkling CBD drinks line – with no gluten, added sugar, or artificial flavourings. That’s right you heard me – no added bullshit whatsoever! If you’ve had CBD oil before you’ll know it’s bitter as hell and the majority of companies’ CBD drinks are often laden with refined sugars, artificial sweeteners and flavourings. But not Goodrays, oh no, they will not do that shit to you, because they actually care about your health, and boy do they know how to make something so horrendous taste so fucking amazing. And that’s not an exaggeration. No 3-day-old bong water taste – just absolute deliciousness.
Let’s Talk Functionality
What really impressed me about the Goodrays CBD drinks range was the innovative addition of 5mcg of vitamin D3 to every can, which is 33% of your RDA. I’ve seen adaptogens being added and all sorts of things, but not really vitamin D, especially not across an entire drinks range. And why is that so impressive? Well, because in the UK we don’t get enough sunlight to make our own. As a result, we are often deficient. So, supplementation, especially in the autumn/winter months, is imperative. Vitamin D helps to support all kinds of things – from your immune system to regulating insulin levels and supporting heart and lung health. But the biggie for me is that it plays a huge part in the quality of your mental health, especially if you suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I won’t go into any detail but you can read more about that here if you’re interested. For all of the reasons I listed above, vitamin D compliments CBD so unbelievably well.
You can still drive, you can still function, but ultimately you’ll feel hella relaxed. Goodrays CBD Drinks ooze a straight-up, chilled vibe. Plus you’ll have zero hangovers to contend with in the morning – bonus!
These drinks are definitely perfect as an alternative to alcohol. You feel an instant wave of relaxation, maximum effects being felt within 20-25 minutes of consumption, and it’s like the sensation of having an alcoholic drink without being inebriated or losing your inhibitions. You can still drive, you can still function, but ultimately you’ll feel hella relaxed. Goodrays CBD Drinks ooze a straight-up, chilled vibe. Plus you’ll have zero hangovers to contend with in the morning – bonus!
Goodrays actually has the highest CBD content in their drinks that I’ve ever seen in the UK – a whopping 30mg of CBD isolate. When using isolate, a high concentration is more critical than if the product contained say, liposomal CBD. This is because liposomal CBD has a higher absorption rate than isolate does. Liposomal CBD is essentially CBD that has been encased in very tiny, fat-like particles. This allows the CBD to pass straight into cells, crossing the blood-brain barrier and nourishing cell membranes which is why it is so fast-acting and often has similarly rapid effects close to vaping.
However, as with any ingestable product, there will be a delay in absorption so a higher dose is essential in order to yield almost immediate results. You also absorb less into your bloodstream when you ingest CBD oils or isolate rather than when you vape or administer it sublingually (under the tongue). As far as I can see these drinks are marketed as a way to offer the consumer almost instantaneous relaxation. They aren’t for someone looking to balance out health issues by utilising regular micro dosing or playing with titration. They’re for someone looking for an immediate chill effect – so it’s not hard to see why that high dosage is a no-brainer.
So that’s my 2p on a product with such a high CBD content. But here’s what Goodrays have to say about it:
We did a lot of research, swallowed a lot of CBD at various doses and spoke to some very clever scientists about effectiveness to discover that the minimum dose for an average adult to feel the effect of CBD is around 25mg in a liquid solution. We add 30mg of CBD to each can of Goodrays to ensure all our consumers feel the relaxing effects of each can and get the full benefits of this amazing compound.
For those that don’t know, CBD isolate is cannabidiol in its purest form, isolated from all other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. It’s often available at 99% purity and using isolate will reduce manufacturing costs greatly, making it easier to offer a higher dosage within a product at a lower cost to the consumer. It can often be seen as a lesser form of CBD because of this, but to me, it just makes sense in an edible product as isolate has practically no flavour or smell to it. Like I said before, this isn’t meant for supplementation but rather, enjoyment. Although having said that, I can see ‘Cannabis Extract’ listed as an ingredient in the natural flavours list for 2 of the flavours, and in another 2 ‘Hemp Extract’ is listed as a sole ingredient. So, I’ll have to find out exactly what that means because you can definitely taste a slight bitterness. This brings me to the next section of my review…
Let’s Talk Flava Flav Baby
No, not the rapper, although what’s not to love about Flava Flav and his awesome giant alarm clock necklace? Or Public Enemy in general… But yeah, let’s get back to Goodrays and talk about how these little tinnies of juiciness taste. For starters, they’re available in the 4 following fruity flavours; Blood Orange & Grapefruit, Elderflower & Yuzu, Guava & Raspberry, and Passionfruit & Pomelo.
Now, I’m an absolute sucker for any exotic fruit flavour, so when I opened up the box to see all of those I was beyond ridiculously excited. And I tell you now, I was far from disappointed.
I love a bit of blood orange juice, although this was definitely slightly more grapefruit in flavour than blood orange. Not very sweet, but not too bitter either. I couldn’t taste CBD, and the edition of the citric and tartaric acid was cleverly utilised. It both smelled and tasted exactly like blood orange and grapefruit which was amazing, it was a very uplifting, summery little drink. I was left craving this one post-workout – I can’t tell you exactly why that was, maybe because of the citrus. But anyway, it hit all the right spots and was a firm favourite of mine.
Ingredients: Sparkling Water, Juice From Concentrate (Grape 4% and Lemon 0.5%), Natural Flavours (Grapefruit, Blood Orange, Tangerine), Acid: Citric and Tartaric, Acidity Regulator: Sodium Citrate, CBD Isolate 30mg (Contains Soya) Preservative: Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate, Natural Colours, Hemp Extract, and Vitamin D3 5mcg.
Nutrition: Kcal: 36 | Carbs: 7.8g | Sugars 5.6g
In my opinion, this was the smartest of the flavour combos as both flavours have the ability to disguise the bitterness of the CBD – very delicate floral elderflower and the tartness of the yuzu work so well together. I would have liked to have seen both amped up a little more as they were quite subtle and almost too watery, but a clever and unexpected combo nonetheless. The addition of grape juice also helped provide the sweetness that was needed without having to use any sugars or sweeteners.
Personally, I think that this would make the most perfect summer’s day drink. Just give me a little more flavour and I’ll be a very happy lady, especially as when I was a kid elderflower cordial was one of my favourite drinks. It’s a kind of timeless flavour and the yuzu just gave it that modern edge.
Ingredients: Sparkling Water, Grape Juice, Natural Flavours (Yuzu, Elderflower, Cannabis Extract), Citric Acid, CBD Isolate 30mg, Natural Colour (Concentrate of Carrot, Safflower and Apple), and Vitamin D 5mcg.
Nutrition: Kcal: 33.8 | Carbs: 7.2g | Sugars 5.2g
Initially, this was my least favourite of all the flavours, but it grew on me a little. My eldest daughter found this one to be her favourite. It starts off very guava but ends more raspberry. You’re sort of hit with mild acidity at first (happy to see malic acid included over citric acid) followed by the bitterness of the CBD. It’s not unpleasant but it does sort of linger. This was my least favourite of the 4 and I think it’s because it required more of a naturally bitter, yet acidic flavour like the other 3 citrus combos. That way, the bitterness would seem less artificial. I can’t put my finger on it but it was like drinking 2 very sweet but not particularly acidic or bitter flavours and for some reason, it just doesn’t work as well as the others.
Having said all of that, it was still a really gorgeous drink but the bitter aftertaste was a lot more noticeable than the other drinks so I felt let down. This is the kind of drink to enjoy whilst I’m laying in a candlelit bubble bath, watching Netflix because… that’s how I roll. (It’s not, I don’t have the luxury of that kind of time.)
Ingredients: Sparkling Water, Grape Juice, Natural Flavours (Raspberry, Guava, Cannabis Extract), Citric Acid, CBD Isolate 30mg, Natural Colour (Concentrate of Carrot, Safflower and Apple), and Vitamin D 5mcg.
Nutrition: Kcal: 33.8 | Carbs: 7.2g | Sugars 5.2g
This was the sweetest of all the flavours and definitely more passionfruit than pomelo. If you’ve never had a pomelo before it’s very much like a milder version of a grapefruit and is actually a hybrid of an orange and a grapefruit – which sums up the flavour well. It’s a household favourite and my kids will literally fight to the death over a pomelo (no joke!), to be honest so would I if they weren’t my kids.
Hands down, this was definitely my favourite flavour. It even smelt like passionfruit and pomelo. I couldn’t taste any bitterness and I think the subtle addition of pineapple in there really helped. It just made me feel comforted and I wanted to be sat on a beach with a cooler full of these things. Sadly I was just sat at my computer, in a dark room… writing this for you guys. But at least I had a very yummy drink.
Ingredients: Sparkling Water, Juice From Concentrate (Grape 4% and Pineapple 0.5%), Natural Flavours (Passionfruit, Pineapple, Pomelo), Acid: Citric and Lactic, CBD Isolate 30mg (Contains Soya) Preservative: Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate, Acidity Regulator: Sodium Citrate, Natural colouring (concentrate of safflower, lemon, carrot and apple.), Hemp Extract, and Vitamin D3 5mcg.
Nutrition: Kcal: 36 | Carbs: 7.8g | Sugars 5.6g
The great thing is if you’re undecided about which flavour to try you can pick up a mixed box of 4 cans for £11.95. I love that Goodrays has this option as a lot of the time you’re tied into purchasing at least 12 cans from other brands which can seem like a really big upfront cost for something you don’t even know if you’ll like enough.
So, overall – 10/10 for this drinks range. I couldn’t be more impressed! These are definitely going to be something that I’ll be buying again for my own personal enjoyment. Although I don’t drink alcohol myself particularly, I usually recommend to my alcohol-drinking friends CBD drinks to use as pre-made mixers in order to reduce the likelihood of a hangover. In this case, I wouldn’t recommend the Goodrays drinks range as mixers as they have very delicate flavours that would likely be overpowered by the alcohol and not taste so great. These are perfect as they are but you could definitely drink a couple of these after a night out before bed to induce a similar effect. Again if you’ve had a little too much to smoke, these drinks will help to quickly bring you down. Bye, bye whitey – hello good nighty.
Goodrays CBD Gummies Review
So, on to another exciting product – CBD gummies! The effects of these gummies don’t hit you as quickly as the drinks, but their portability makes them, in my opinion, a hugely desirable product. Carrying heavy cans in your bag to and from work or the gym isn’t great – it takes up space and well, is heavy. The texture was my favourite part about these vegan gummies – it reminded me of those like, fruit jellies old people get – a little dusting of sugar, quite tough when you first bite into them, but then really soft on the outside.
I was sent out the Goodrays Mixed CBD Gummies (30 x 25mg), £24.95 which contain the 4 following fruity flavours:
- Mango – This hits you with a bit of acidity first, then a subtle mango flavour, followed by a lot of bitterness and then it kind of goes back to being acidic again. I thought this would be my favourite but it was lacking in the acidity of a natural mango flavour and was too subtle. One of my favourite snacks is dried mango, especially when infused with lime. I feel like this could’ve been combined with a citrus flavour to amp it up a bit.
- Raspberry – The lighter-coloured red gummy had a nice natural raspberry flavour but it didn’t last for long and was just a bit too bitter although towards the end you were hit with a bit of acidity to help counteract that bitterness. This one was my 2nd favourite but thought it would be more acidic than it was.
- Lemon-Lime – I found this flavour confusing, it was sort of an incredibly subtle lemon and lime flavour and really bitter at the end but it did carry a good level of acidity. Definitely, my least favourite as it was largely bland and pretty bitter, and not very fruity either.
- Strawberry – Okay, now this one was nice. The darker red/purple shaded gummies were hands down the best flavour – which I wasn’t expecting. I’m not a big strawberry fan really. This had a very natural strawberry flavour, with a great amount of acidity to balance out the bitterness. The other flavours could learn from the mighty Strawberry for sure. This one honestly tasted like a sweetie. 10-year-old me was buzzing. But then shortly after the bitterness lingered in my mouth as though I had just eaten a sweet dipped in soap.
Ultimately these were lacking on the flavour side of things in comparison to the drinks, all of them (other than the strawberry flavour) lacked the acidity required to counteract the bitterness of the CBD but the texture was lovely, and the little crunch of the sugar coating on the outside was a nice touch. The functionality was great and this will probably sound weird but I love the fact that these are shaped like cubes. But ultimately I just wanted that depth and layering of flavour and a less soapy taste.
Let’s take a little look at the ingredients list and nutrition below:
Ingredients: Tapioca Syrup, Sugar, Water, Pectin, Natural Flavours, Cannabidiol Isolate, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Natural Colour, and Sunflower Lecithin.
Nutrition (per gummy): Kcal: 15 | Carbs: 4g | Sugars 2g
(*All other nutrition stats have been left off due to being so negligible)
Now, considering that these gummies only contain CBD isolate rather than full spectrum, I was honestly expecting them to be a lot less bitter. I’ve definitely sampled gummies in the past with a much nicer taste but they were from a US-based company. And were full spectrum too.
What I really love about these though is that they don’t have copious amounts of glucose syrup in them which is a common ingredient in gummies, instead, the healthier tapioca syrup was used and rather than soy lecithin, sunflower lecithin was used which I was pretty happy with. Fun fact – our brains are made up of 30% lecithin and the myelin sheaths (little fatty protective nerve coverings) are composed of roughly two-thirds lecithin. You can actually find a lot of health benefits linked to sunflower lecithin but not so much soy.
For 15 calories and 2g of sugar per daily serving, I don’t feel that these would hinder any particular health goal, and the benefits of CBD would probably outweigh those anyway. So, if you can get past the lingering bitterness and want a fast and convenient way to dose then these gummies are certainly for you! The good news is that you can actually buy individual flavours, rather than just mixed, so once you find out which flavour is your favourite you can buy that sole flavour. I think I might be buying myself a box of strawberry gummies in the future.
Wow, I mean where do I start?
Flavour-wise, for an all-natural, no added sugar CBD drinks range, Goodrays has absolutely nailed it. They truly have done an impeccable job. I don’t think people quite realise the skill involved in making CBD products taste good and the addition of vitamin D is beyond groundbreaking. Whilst the gummies provide a great portable way to dose CBD I think further improvements are needed on the flavour. They certainly aren’t the worst gummies I’ve tried but they aren’t the best either. They were definitely lacking in acidity to mask the bitterness and I think the malic acid needs throwing up a notch or two in order to counteract it, but also to compliment the lovely natural flavours too. Often when I buy health products I find this problem anyway – it’s really not uncommon. For this reason, I actually have my own supply of malic acid that I add to protein shakes or pre/post-workout formulas. But obviously, this isn’t something you can do with a pre-made solid food product. So, Goodrays I love you guys but I know you can make these even better than they already are.
The branding is so on point too, I honestly can’t get enough of it: from the website design to the drinks packaging, even all the way down to the shape and colours of the gummies. It’s modern, funky, and not too pretentious. And I’m happy to report that their Instagram isn’t pretentious either – which in all honesty every CBD brand these days is marketed in a painfully hipster way, and if it’s not hipster it’s clinical and boring. Goodrays managed to find a great balance between the 2. Oh, and I only saw 1 topless man on there which was at least in context to the post.
So, if you want to get your chill on, or if you’ve given up alcohol as your new year’s resolution, then head on over to Goodrays and pick yourself up some premium CBD products now!
New to CBD? Looking for some inspiration on how to incorporate it into your life? Then check out my CBD recipe section here and reviews here. Oh, and if you want to keep up to date with my deliciousness then sign up for my newsletter and I’ll love you forever – who am I kidding? I already do!
DISCLAIMER: Please note that I am not a qualified healthcare professional or nutritionist, I only write about my experiences and sometimes include information from scientific studies. CBD products are food supplements, not medicine. They cannot diagnose, treat, or cure diseases. Please consult your GP before taking CBD if you are pregnant, lactating, micro dosing psychedelics, or taking any medication. Please note that CBD is not intended for children under 18 years old.