CBD Oil & Coffee: The Perfect Pair or Marketing Hype?

Espresso Shot Being Pulled

Coffee has long been the most widely consumed form of caffeine on the planet. In a recent survey of 3,000 people, 64 percent said they had a cup of joe within the last day. In contrast to coffee's long history, CBD oil has had a short and explosive life. The benefit-packed hemp extract has risen to popular consciousness thanks to its long list of potential therapeutic uses. From reducing seizures to soothing anxiety, CBD-rich oils are increasingly pervasive in modern society.

The energizing and focus enhancing effects of drinking coffee can be beneficial but come with anxiety-inducing downsides. Many users have turned to dosing their morning (or afternoon) cup with CBD oil - looking to the therapeutic benefits of these hemp extracts to balance out caffeine's unwanted effects. With anxiety levels at all-time highs, the draw of alertness without the jitters is catching the attention of many.

This appeal has led to CBD-infused coffee popping up everywhere from the local cafe to the grocery store - with supportive print and online articles throwing gas on the fire. These write-ups offer one-off anecdotal evidence, however, they are often written by someone with no CBD knowledge and a lack of focus on the science.

As this trend is accompanied by businesses jumping on board to help fuel the demand for CBD-infused coffee, the question of effectiveness remains. We take an in-depth look at the science, anecdotal evidence, and the current state of affairs to try to answer the question: Are CBD oil and coffee the perfect match, or just a temporary fad fueled by marketing hype?

Effects of Coffee

Coffee Cups

Coffee is typically thought of as a mild cognitive enhancer helping to increase one's ability to focus, wards off sleepiness and improves short-term memory. For most, coffee provides a nice boost in the morning. If overdone, this stimulation can result in the jitters - feeling shaky, having sweaty palms, and even bringing on anxiety.

The stimulating effects of coffee or tea are linked to caffeine's role as an adenosine receptor antagonist. This means caffeine blocks adenosine, the natural compound in our body, from binding and activating adenosine receptors (A1, A2a, A2b, and A3).

These receptors play a role in anti-inflammatory effects, the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and glutamate, and normal and pathological processes such as sleep.

Effects of CBD Oil

Hemp Leaf

Most popularly, CBD and the many neighboring cannabinoids and terpenes found in full-spectrum CBD oil are known to reduce anxiety, provide anti-inflammatory benefits, and help improve sleep quality.

While the list of potential benefits of CBD oil continues on to include seizure prevention and cancer treatment, the common CBD user is likely looking for more routine applications - especially if they are simply hoping to spice up their morning coffee.

In addition to stimulating the body's endocannabinoid systemCBD’s anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety effects are in-part attributable to the inhibition of adenosine reuptake.

Overlapping Actions of CBD Oil & Caffeine

Knowing that caffeine and cannabinoids in hemp oil like CBD both act on the adenosine receptors, the question then becomes: how do caffeine and CBD oil act on these receptors when consumed together?

Unfortunately, research is very limited on the subject. ProjectCBD has some comments on the subject, suggesting:

"When mixed with caffeine, CBD’s effects on adenosine would probably be dwarfed by caffeine’s antagonistic activity at adenosine receptors. The extent to which this might diminish CBD’s medicinal properties is unknown. Given cannabidiol’s many modes of action, it is unlikely that this would be seriously problematic."

Additionally, caffeine is metabolized by the same enzyme as CBD. The CYP450 enzyme, specifically CYP1A2, is inhibited by CBD leading to interactions with many substances. This means that a slower rate of caffeine processing through the body will occur. This could lead to a longer, drawn-out caffeine effect.

Complimentary Benefits of Combining CBD Oil & Coffee

Hemp Leaf and Coffee Cup

While the overlapping actions don't give much of a reason to consume CBD-infused coffee, the independent actions of the two substances offer complimentary benefits on paper:

  • Coffee's boost of energy and alertness can be "smoothed out" by CBD's anti-anxiety effects.
  • Both substances are antioxidants, working together to rid the body of toxins.
  • Caffeine's interruption of sleep could be mediated by higher doses of CBD providing a sedative effect.

Ultimately the entire question comes down to anecdotal experience. Looking for stories, you'll find plenty of perspectives. Some people are enjoying the benefits, some observe no difference, and others found downsides. Since it is safe to add a couple drops of your favorite hemp oil to your next cup, the final answer is up to you.

How to Make Your Own CBD-Infused Coffee

While you may find many pre-packaged types of coffee available, the best way is to take the infused drink for a test drive is to simply make it yourself. Today's CBD market is wild, while you have many solid brands providing great products, you also have misrepresented or even synthetic alternatives being used by shady companies.

The best way to try CBD coffee is to make it yourself. This allows you to add a precisely controlled dose of a quality CBD oil to your favorite beverages at a low cost. It's a simple two-step process, with all of the work being on the front end in choosing a high-quality oil:

  • Select a high-quality CBD oil tincture or CBD isolate - For tinctures, the higher the concentration the better to reduce the oily-ness of your coffee. Also be sure you understand the differences in the spectrum. Start with our guide to hemp oil extracts for more info. We have a bunch of recommended brands right here, or a buyers guide to help you choose your own.
  • Add the desired dose to your coffee, mix and enjoy!

Because the effects of CBD vary at different dosages, it's important to experiment. At low dosages, CBD may offer paralell effects to caffiene. At higher doses, CBD may offer a contradictory sedative effect that would balance out caffiene's energy boosting effects.

Originally Published: November 30, 2018 | Last Updated: November 30, 2018

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