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.
Despite this push towards legitimizing CBD research, New York City’s health department recently told restaurants that CBD could not be served in edibles (like lattes) because it was "not safe as a food additive," according to Eater. CBD is still legal to sell on its own in other forms (and you’re certainly free to spike your own latte), but the decision has cast doubt over the safety and efficacy of the ever-popular CBD lattes.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Cannabis is known for inducing cravings or sparking one’s appetite. But that’s due to the THC, not the CBD, so I can’t say what made me so delightfully hungry to gobble down an entire steak and deconstructed cheesecake. I was noticeably sleepy after lunch, but again, that’s probably due to the filling meal, rainy weather, and the fact I was jetlagged from a return flight from Paris just days before.
Tasting CBD coffee
Knowing that I’d be documenting my CBD experience, I was hyper aware of any changes that may occur with my chemically enhanced coffee routine. Only, none came. (At least, noticeably.) My morning continued as usual: reading Travel & Leisure magazine, checking and responding to emails, and commuting via the New York City ferry to Manhattan’s financial district, where I had lunch at Manhatta and cleaned my plate.
Following Kush Queen’s advice, I added my second dose of CBD to my cup of coffee at my coworking space, which made me feel both illicit and cool—despite the fact that I was wearing socks with pumpkins on them and everyone else around me was conducting business in chic heels and cool boots. This, perhaps, may be the strongest effect of CBD: the cool factor. It’s trendy. It’s also kind of expensive (the 1-ounce bottle of CBD cost $35.99, and a bottle this size has roughly 30 droppers full, making each dose over a dollar per serving), so I consider it a luxury product.
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!).