CBD-infused coffee may seem like an ideal and convenient way to take CBD.
For some, CBD and coffee is a match made in heaven: coffee gives you the jolt you need to boost your energy levels and focus, and CBD will help you to stay relaxed, as well as supporting the endocannabinoid system to promote better general health.
It’s no wonder that some are calling CBD coffee a “miracle drink”.
But is this really the case, and does CBD coffee live up to the hype?
The reality is, the answer is not that simple. That’s why we’re going to take a deep dive into CBD coffee, how it works, its benefits and its potential side-effects.
Let’s start by looking at what CBD coffee is, exactly.
What is CBD coffee?
CBD coffee is a combination of CBD, or cannabidiol, and coffee. CBD coffee can be brewed into standard hot coffee, cold brew or a range of other coffee drinks. It can be prepared by adding CBD oil to the already-brewed coffee, or by making the drink from coffee beans that have been infused with CBD. Like any kind of CBD product, the concentration of CBD can vary, so it is important to carefully check how much CBD is in the product and calculate how much of the compound you are consuming in each cup.
CBD coffee is different from marijuana-infused coffee. The latter is made from the marijuana plant and therefore has relatively-high THC content. The presence of THC not only means that you will receive the characteristic high, but it is also illegal in the UK, parts of the US and many other countries.
CBD coffee, on the other hand, is made from either CBD isolate of CBD extracted from the hemp plant. As such it has no to negligible levels of THC, and so has no psychoactive or addictive properties.
For more on the difference between marijuana and hemp, check out this post.
CBD coffee can be beneficial for people who love their morning cup of coffee (and maybe even a few more throughout the day), but find that it also makes them feel jittery. The CBD content means that it is loaded with many of the same benefits as CBD oil and other CBD products.
We’ll cover the benefits of CBD coffee in detail a little later, but first we’ll dive into how CBD coffee works exactly. To do that, it is important to understand the relationship between its two key ingredients: CBD and caffeine.
So let’s take a look at these two powerful compounds, and how they interact with one another.
CBD and Caffeine
CBD and caffeine are seen by many as a winning combination, because both are powerful in boosting alertness, helping us to wake up in the morning, and stay alert when working or studying. Furthermore, CBD helps to balance some of the negative side effects of caffeine, specifically its relaxing effects help to eliminate or reduce the jitters that some people experience when drinking coffee.
The two active ingredients in CBD coffee are:
- Caffeine: a compound that acts as a stimulant and is the key active ingredient in coffee, tea and energy drinks.
- CBD or cannabidiol: a cannabinoid, one of the unique compounds only found in cannabis plants. CBD is non-psychoactive, non-addictive and has a number of benefits for the human body, including nourishing the endocannabinoid system.
As a stimulant, caffeine makes us feel more alert and helps us out of the bed in the morning and allows us to burn the midnight oil. The downside of stimulants like caffeine is that they speed up your heart rate, bringing on the jitters and anxiety. In higher doses, caffeine can cause heart palpitations and panic.
CBD is known for its relaxing properties: one of the common uses of CBD products is to help manage anxiety. In this way, CBD can help to counteract the negative side effects of caffeine. Throw in the other benefits of CBD for supporting general health and wellness, and it’s not surprising that CBD coffee is becoming increasingly popular.
But how does CBD coffee work exactly? Let’s take a look.
How Does CBD Coffee Work?
You can therefore imagine how the CBD and caffeine work together to provide a positive experience for drinkers of CBD coffee, both because of the similarity in the effects of CBD and caffeine on the human body, and their vastly different impacts.
Essentially, CBD coffee works in two ways:
1) The CBD and caffeine both work to make you feel more alert, giving you an extra energy boost.
2) The CBD may help to counteract some of the negative effects of caffeine, particularly anxiety and indigestion.
We’ve already covered how CBD can help to counteract one common side-effect experienced by many coffee drinkers: that feeling of being jittery, anxious and even lead to high blood pressure and irregular heartbeat in some cases. Another side effect that some people experience when they drink coffee is indigestion. CBD is known for its role in supporting the endocannabinoid system to promote better digestive health, so the combination of CBD and coffee may be helpful here too.
We’ll explore how CBD can promote better digestive health, along with other benefits of CBD coffee in the next section.
Benefits of CBD Coffee
One of the most obvious benefits of CBD coffee is that it can be easily and discretely consumed. You can enjoy a cup of CBD coffee at home, at work or pretty much anywhere you want. It is also a good option for people looking for a type of CBD edible who don’t want or can’t eat sweet indulgences such as CBD gummies and snacks.
CBD coffee may also support better general health, in the same way that CBD oil or other CBD products can do so, because of the presence of the CBD compound in CBD coffee.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of drinking CBD coffee.
Better Digestive Health
As mentioned above, CBD, or cannabidiol, is a type of cannabinoid, a group of compounds found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids act on the endocannabinoid system in the human body, a system that controls or influences a large range of functions, from digestion to sleep cycles. Taking CBD can therefore promote better health and wellbeing in a variety of ways.
CBD can help to promote better digestive health because endocannabinoid receptors are present throughout the entire digestive system, and the endocannabinoid system is closely linked to the digestive system. The endocannabinoid system strongly influences our appetite and desire to eat.
Additionally, the endocannabinoid system helps to regulate the digestive system, and its proper function means that we can absorb food more quickly and efficiently. This is not only good for your overall health and wellbeing, but may also help to counteract indigestion that may be a side effect of drinking too much coffee.
Stress and Anxiety
The CBD compound interacts with the endocannabinoid system by interacting with the adenosine molecules which naturally occur in tissues all over the human body and circulate around the body in our blood. Adenosine is a critical part of the endocannabinoid system underlying many of our most important bodily processes.
When the CBD compound interacts with the adenosine molecules, this slows down nerve activity at the same time as expanding blood vessels. Both of these may help us to feel relaxed, which is why CBD is commonly used to help manage stress and anxiety.
The caffeine molecule also acts on adenosine, but in a very different way. Let’s take a look at that relationship, and how it gives us that famous energy boost when we drink a cup of coffee, next.
The relationship between caffeine and adenosine is very different from that of CBD and adenosine. While CBD binds to adenosine’s receptors, the caffeine molecule is very similar in size and shape to adenosine. When you drink a cup of coffee or other caffeinated beverage, the caffeine mimics adenosine your bloodstream and binds to their receptors. This blocks the pathways that signal to your brain that your body needs rest, making you feel less tired and more energized.
This is why CBD and caffeine have the opposite but complementary effects, giving you a calming but energizing boost when you drink CBD coffee. We’ll dive into this a bit further in the next section.
The unique combination of CBD and caffeine gives you the jolt you’re looking for when you make a cup of coffee, with the calming effect of CBD. This balance of calmness and energy is ideal for improving focus, allowing you to focus on work or study. You’ll have the energy to stay on task and be productive without being distracted by anxiety or the jittery side-effect of caffeine.
In fact, the feeling of mental alertness that you get from drinking a cup of coffee is supported further by the CBD content. Adenosine also works as one of the primary neurotransmitters that controls mental alertness in the human brain. The more adenosine that we have in the brain the more it slows down our neurons, meaning that they become slower at sending messages.
In practical terms, this means that this makes our thinking processes slower and makes us feel more tired. Caffeine blocks adenosine by attaching to its receptors and stops the adosine from slowing down the neurons. CBD also interacts with adenosine but in a different way, “modulating” it, that is making the receptors more efficient. This means that caffeine and CBD work together to make you feel more alert, thereby improving focus.
Other Potential Benefits
We know that the CBD compound activates the adenosine receptors in the human body. These receptors are also responsible for regulating coronary blood flow, myocardial oxygen consumption and other cardiovascular functions. This means that CBD promotes better general health, and some have argued that it could counteract some of the negative side-effects of coffee such as raised blood pressure and heartbeat irregularities.
However, once again, we should be clear that this area has not yet been extensively studied so there is no solid scientific evidence for this. Only time and further study will confirm the true nature of the benefits of CBD, and CBD coffee in particular.
How is CBD Coffee Made?
In order to make CBD coffee, you first need to extract the CBD compound from a cannabis plant. As with other CBD products, CBD coffee is generally made from CBD derived from hemp in order to ensure negligible THC content and comply with legal regulations.
CBD is a compound that is present in both the hemp and marijuana plants. Although CBD is found in the components of the hemp plant, including the hemp seeds and hemp flour but particularly the stem of the hemp plant. However, CBD cannot be readily ingested from the raw hemp plant and is easily destroyed during cooking.
Therefore, CBD first needs to be extracted from the hemp plant before it can be used to make CBD coffee. Check this post for more on how CBD is extracted.
Once extracted, CBD can be combined with coffee in two ways:
- Infused CBD into the coffee beans
- Adding CBD to the coffee drink once it has already been prepared
Adding CBD oil to already-brewed coffee is relatively easy, although care must be taken with the amount of CBD oil that is added to ensure the appropriate dosage. However, many people argue this is an inferior approach compared to infusing coffee beans with CBD.
Infusing coffee beans with CBD is a more complex process that occurs during the roasting of coffee beans. This works by using the natural oils released when roasting and grinding coffee beans as the “carrier” for the CBD compound. If this is not carried out correctly, it can completely ruin the taste of the coffee. This makes it important to buy high-quality CBD coffee that has been properly prepared to ensure the perfect-tasting CBD coffee.
The Best Way to Drink CBD Coffee
There are essentially two ways to make CBD coffee: either be brewing coffee using beans that have already been infused with CBD, or by adding CBD to the coffee after it has been prepared, usually with CBD oil.
Avid fans of CBD coffee generally prefer the first method, which they say not only results in a cup of coffee that tastes better, but one that is more powerful and fully delivers the benefits of CBD coffee. This, however, is a highly specialized process and not one that users can do themselves at home.
Infusing coffee beans with CBD involves coating the entire bean with CBD oil. This creates a CBD coffee bean that can then be ground and then brewed to prepare coffee. This is not something that you can do yourself at home, as it requires a very particular process and special equipment.
Some companies may also add CBD to the ground coffee after grinding but before brewing the coffee drink. Enthusiasts say that this is not as effective in delivering the effects of CBD compared to beans that are infused with CBD, and then ground.
You can also prepare your own CBD coffee by mixing CBD oil to your coffee, though some CBD coffee enthusiasts say this is an inferior method. However, if you do want to give this a try, simply prepare a cup of filtered, plunger or espresso coffee and then add CBD oil according to your regular dosage, and stir.
CBD oil is not the only CBD product that can be used to make CBD coffee. CBD coconut oil and CBD butter can also be blended into already-brewed coffee. Whether using CBD oil, CBD coconut oil or CBD butter, this is an easy way to enjoy CBD coffee, though the results may not be as potent as brewing CBD-infused coffee beans.
Finally, if you want the benefits of that unique combination of caffeine and CBD but don’t like the taste of coffee, you can also take caffeine tablets in combination with CBD oil or any CBD product.
Potential Risks of CBD Coffee
When discussing any new type of product, it is important to take a critical eye and ask “are there and side effects of CBD coffee”? So let’s check and see if there are any risks or side effects associated with this so-called miracle drink.
To date, there have not been any serious side-effects of CBD coffee reported. However, a relatively-new product that has not yet been thoroughly tested, there have not been any major medical or clinical studies into the short or long-term effects of regularly drinking CBD coffee.
We can assume, though, that any risks would be the same as those associated with the two main components: coffee and CBD.
In terms of the risks and side-effects of CBD, there is a chance of mild side effects, though these only occur in rare cases.
Side effects that have been documented in a small percentage of CBD users include:
- Low blood pressure
- Dry mouth
When it comes to risks of drinking coffee, this is an area that has been extensively studied over the years.
Studies have shown a number of common side effects for caffeine overdose:
- Jitters or nervousness
And in more severe cases:
- Muscle spasms
- Chest pains or heart arrhythmia (irregular or fast heartbeat)
It is important to note one pivotal word in accompanying these side effects: “overdose”. Caffeine is perfectly safe for most people in small to moderate doses. Experts such as the Mayo Clinic recommend that we do not ingest more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, the equivalent of around three to four cups of coffee. This is the recommended limit for healthy adults and any more may result in overdose.
These same guidelines in terms of recommended daily dosage should therefore be extended to CBD coffee. Be sure to check the concentrations of the product you are using and do not exceed the recommended daily amount for caffeine, as well as only taking the recommended dosage of CBD.
It is also worth considering that while it can be argued that CBD counteracts the negative side effects of caffeine, the opposite may also be the case. That is to say, the caffeine may undermine the beneficial effects of CBD to some degree. As a relatively-new product, CBD coffee has not yet been studied enough for us to be sure of the answer to that question.
Ultimately, this is something that is very personal, and you will need to determine for yourself whether CBD coffee is beneficial for you. It is probably safe to say, however, that if you are not a coffee drinker, CBD coffee is not the best way for you to take CBD, and you should consider another type of CBD coffee.
Summing Up: Miracle or hype?
So, when it comes down to it, is CBD coffee a miracle drink that can deliver all the benefits of caffeine without the drawbacks, while also providing the advantages of CBD? Or is it all hype, with the negative aspects of caffeine undermining the positive benefits of CBD?
The truth is, the full benefits as well as the potential side effects of CBD coffee are not fully known, and this area needs further study.
It seems that CBD coffee is a convenient way to take CBD if you’re already a regular coffee drinker, as this is a simple and delicious way to add CBD into your daily routine. Additionally, if you drink a lot of coffee and are worried about side effects, it is possible that CBD could help. However, cutting back your caffeine consumption may be a better solution and you should always consult your doctor if you notice any negative side-effects or issues from either caffeine or CBD.
Check out our other blog posts to learn more about how to safely enjoy the benefits of CBD, and keep checking back for the latest info!