The fact is the different dosages of these two drugs can have wildly varying results, so it’s difficult to predict how different doses might interact with one another.
Does caffeine counteract CBD oil? The answer is a little more complicated than a mere “yes” or “no.”
1. Pace yourself
For example, many who use CBD in conjunction with caffeine report that it helps to ease some of the jitters that coffee tends to elicit, thereby making them alert but calm. And for those who find that too much caffeine can cause anxiety—a common side effect when consuming an abundance of coffee—CBD’s anti-anxiety properties can be the ideal solution. What’s more, as a powerful anti-nausea agent, CBD can help those who experience upset stomachs when they drink coffee.
One study has shown that caffeine and CBD have opposite effects on the endocannabinoid system. While the former shut down neurotransmitters, the latter activates them.
The endocannabinoid system is a complex network of enzymes and receptors that your body uses to regulate functions relating to mood, sleep, appetite, memory, and many other biological elements. It uses molecules called endocannabinoids — which are produced both naturally in your body and can be introduced from outside sources — that link with receptors throughout your body to route signals that drive these functions.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, has become nearly synonymous with wellness in the past year. Derived from hemp, CBD is the compound thought to make users feel relaxed. THC, on the other hand, is the chemical compound in cannabis that makes users feel high. The science is still lacking on what exactly a dose of CBD can do for you, but some believe it can be used to treat anxiety, though the research on that is inconclusive. Still, it’s pretty clear that CBD isn’t harmful, whether or not it’s actually helpful, so it seems worth trying if you want to shell out the cash and hope for the best.
I didn’t think CBD worked until, well, it did. I think. I’d once taken a small CBD gummy the week before my wedding and ended up lying flat on my back on my Brooklyn rooftop, watching planes slowly zoom overhead, feeling just. weird. Was this what relaxation felt like? Or was this a total placebo effect situation, with me just totally zoning out before the biggest week of my life?
Tasting CBD coffee
The first thing I noticed was that the CBD oil did not mix in well with my coffee—it floated on top in large drops and when I tried stirring it in, they just broke up into smaller droplets. I sipped the coffee regularly, aware that some sips were significantly oilier than others. Because the CBD was unflavored, it didn’t really affect the taste of the coffee in any way. In retrospect, it would probably have been delicious drizzled on some slices of avocado (next time!).
As a general statement, I am an anxious, not-at-all-chill, never-relaxed person. This personality type works for me. It’s how, within minutes of being commissioned this article by my editor, I agreed to try CBD in my coffee, got my hands on some unflavored CBD oil, and experimented with my own mental state.
Due to the aforementioned anxiety, I’ve tried to cut back on my coffee intake. This means one cup in the morning and another (OK, two more) in the afternoon. Though CBD is thought to help some go to sleep at night, the idea of starting my morning with a caffeine boost and some zen CBD relaxation was appealing, so I added a dose (33 milligrams) of Kush Queen’s Bare Daily Wellness Supplement Full Spectrum CBD to my morning brew.
Like with most applications of CBD, the research into its effects when mixed with caffeine isn’t as strong as it could be, but that’s changing. In the meantime, being informed about your use of CBD — like taking small doses at a time, and being certain of the quality of the product you’re using — can help you make informed choices about what works for you.
That said, there are some studies that have looked at what happens when you mix the two. A study published in The Journal of Internal Medicine found that coffee and cannabis activate some of the same pathways in the brain. "The neurotransmitters related to the endocannabinoid system — the same ones affected by cannabis —decreased after drinking four to eight cups of coffee in a day. That’s the opposite of what occurs after someone uses cannabis," a press release about the study emailed to Bustle said.
While the potential health-boosting effects of CBD have been documented, research about what happens when you mix CBD with caffeine is a little hit or miss. Part of the reason for this is that, until recently, CBD, which is derived from the hemp plant (not the marijuana plant), was lumped in with marijuana in terms of legality, which made acquiring federal funding for research far more difficult. Thanks to the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, however, it’s suggested that the market for cannabis products (and research into how they work) will boom even further in 2019.
Erin Magner writing for Well+Good said that some people report that mixing CBD with coffee amplifies alertness while taking the edge off of the sometimes harsh effects of caffeine. If downing an espresso leaves you feeling a little wired, a dash of CBD might mellow out that impact. “What I hear from people is that they’re able to experience that nice, alert, focused energy of coffee without any of the jitters,” Jewel Zimmer, founder of cannabis and CBD oil brand Juna, told Well+Good.
“It’s unclear at this point in time the exact interaction between CBD and caffeine,” she said. “At low doses, CBD is a stimulant and in higher doses it can cause sedation. Someone’s reaction to a combination of these compounds would not be easily predictable because various doses of each would affect the response.”
Once 2018 was declared the year of CBD, it seemed like you couldn’t stop hearing about the product. The cannabis compound, which doesn’t cause a high, has been shown to reduce anxiety, help you sleep, reduce inflammation, and more positive health effects. Whether you prefer chocolates, candies, ice cream, or lattes, CBD product developers never seem to cease expanding upon their creative offerings. But, what are the effects of mixing CBD with caffeine? Doesn’t combining stimulating caffeine with supposedly soothing CBD seem kind of. counterintuitive?
As to the exact effects of mixing the stuff with caffeine, a lot more research needs to happen — but there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence out there. While you might think that the jolt of your morning brew might cancel out your CBD-induced chill, anecdotally, this isn’t always the case. Dr. Bonni Goldstein, MD, the medical director of Canna-Centers, told Cady Drell writing for Marie Claire that figuring out how someone with react to CBD is a case-by-case thing — and the effects of mixing it with coffee aren’t fully understood.