For many people, coffee is the first drink they reach for in the morning to help them get through the day.
The active ingredient in coffee, caffeine, is a stimulant that makes you feel energized and alert. However, for many people, coffee is a double-edged sword. While it may boost energy and mental alertness, it can increase nerves, jitteriness, and cause digestive issues.
On the other hand, cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychotropic cannabinoid naturally produced by the cannabis plant. It garnered a lot of attention for its wide range of health benefits including relaxation and increased mental focus.
Mixing CBD with coffee has become a popular health trend to counteract some of the negative effects of coffee, but what actually happens when you mix caffeine and CBD? We'll look at what the science says about how these two compounds interact in closer detail below.
The 4 Benefits Of Mixing CBD with Coffee
Caffeine is the naturally occurring alkaloid found in coffee beans, tea leaves, cacao, and over 50 other plant species— and it's by far the most consumed stimulant on earth, with over 5 billion people drinking a caffeinated beverage each day. Our obsession with productivity may be to blame for this global caffeine addiction.
Caffeine interacts with the central nervous system as a stimulant that makes us feel focused and awake, but it can also increase our heart rate, induce anxiety, and make us feel jittery.
The main reason people add CBD oil to their coffee is to offset the adverse effects of caffeine. We'll have a look at the interactions of mixing CBD and caffeine and the different ways you can combine the two to enhance the experience with coffee.
1. CBD Oil May Enhance Mental Alertness
Caffeine increases the feeling of wakefulness by competing with the neurotransmitter adenosine. Adenosine plays a key part in regulating sleep .
Neurotransmitters are sort of like keys that attach to receptors to unlock effects in the brain. Adenosine builds up throughout the day and binds to A1 receptors to promote muscle relaxation and sleepiness. Adenosine builds up throughout the day to make us fall asleep at night.
Caffeine makes us feel awake when we should start to feel tired by competing with adenosine by attaching to the A1 receptors, preventing adenosine from exerting its effects .
While CBD primarily supports the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that regulates the body's homeostasis, it also has unique adenosine interactions. CBD is observed to inhibit the A1 receptor's adenosine uptake by supporting a healthy inflammatory response in the brain .
Another cannabinoid that may offer more benefits to the feeling of mental alertness is CBG or cannabigerol.
2. CBD May Support A Healthy Stress Response
If coffee tends to make you feel uncomfortably overstimulated, taking CBD alongside it may reduce the negative side-effects.
When we drink coffee, the caffeine excites our central nervous system, telling our whole body to move faster, otherwise known as the fight-or-flight response.
This state of excitement triggers the stress response by stimulating adrenaline release, making your heart beat faster, and several other physiological changes that can cause jitteriness, irritability, and a general sense of unease .
One of the many reasons people turn to CBD oil is to help combat high-stress levels naturally. CBD can offset the overstimulation of the central nervous system from caffeine by increasing GABA activity levels. GABA is a neurotransmitter in the brain that counteracts the fight-or-flight response .
Higher levels of GABA in the brain produce a calming effect and help to support mood.
3. CBD May Improve Duration Of Caffeine
Almost every active compound that enters the body must go through an elimination process by the liver.
CBD may improve the duration of caffeine's effects by competing for the same breakdown enzymes in the liver. These enzymes break down compounds to their inactive metabolites before they're expelled from the body [6, 7].
Since there's a limit to how many compounds the liver can break down at once, taking CBD oil and caffeine at the same time may increase the longevity of their duration in the body.
4. CBD May Support Healthy Digestion
Drinking too much coffee can be hard on our stomachs. Coffee can increase stomach acidity, leading to an upset stomach, acid reflux, diarrhea, and general inflammation in the gut.
CBD and other cannabinoids can interact with endocannabinoid receptors in the intestines to support healthy digestion by increasing muscle relaxation and supporting a healthy inflammatory response .
Since caffeine is a natural diuretic (makes you pee frequently), make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day to reduce stomach discomfort and improve your hydration levels.
How To Take CBD With Coffee
There are many different forms of CBD you can take with your morning coffee. We'll discuss some of the more popular options and some of their advantages and disadvantages.
As you can tell, there are plenty of advantages to combining CBD with coffee. Because of this, some CBD brands are looking to innovate both the coffee and CBD industry by combining the two in a convenient beverage that will hopefully improve your morning routine.
The problem with CBD coffee is that often the coffee quality and CBD quality are often subpar. Fair-trade, premium quality coffee beans cost a lot more than your average cup of joe, and CBD is an expensive supplement.
To increase profit margins, brands have to cut corners somewhere, and it often leads to either a bad-tasting cup of coffee or a negligible amount of CBD. Additionally, many CBD-infused coffees don't indicate their CBD content, so it's difficult to tell how much CBD you're getting in each cup.
If you're a coffee lover who doesn't want to sacrifice your brew's quality, you may want to consider the other options below.
CBD Oil With Coffee
CBD oils are the most widely available form of CBD on the market. CBD Oil combines CBD extract with a CBD carrier oil (MCT coconut oil, hemp seed oil, olive oil) to improve its ease of use and bioavailability in the gut.
To take CBD oil with coffee, we recommend placing the drops beneath your tongue and holding it for 30–60 seconds before swallowing it.
Doing this increases the CBD's bioavailability by permeating through the mucous membrane with a high concentration of micro-capillaries beneath the tongue. Sublingual CBD enters the bloodstream faster this route than through the digestive process.
But the bitter taste of CBD oil is not for everyone, which is why we have more options for you.
CBD Capsules With Coffee
If you're averse to the natural, earthy flavor of CBD oils, then perhaps taking CBD capsules with your morning coffee is a better option for you and a more familiar form of taking your supplements.
The downside to this method is that the gut and liver processing may breakdown a larger chunk of the CBD before it enters your system. You may need to increase your CBD capsule dose compared to vaping or even taking CBD oil sublingually to reach the same level of effects.
Hemp Cigarettes With Coffee
Bulletproof Coffee With CBD Butter
Bulletproof coffee is popular in the keto-diet space to promote a metabolic state where the body burns ketones in the absence of carbs.
It's essentially a high-fat coffee drink that acts as a breakfast meal replacement where you take freshly brewed coffee and a fat — grass-fed butter, ghee, or MCT coconut oil — and blend.
It tastes like a creamy latte, making you feel full and alert for much longer than drinking black coffee on its own. You can easily make bulletproof CBD coffee by combining your fresh brewed coffee with homemade cannabutter made from whole grown hemp flower or adding drops of your favorite CBD oil alongside your chosen fat.
The fat content helps increase CBD absorption in the gut and provides you with a slow-drip of long-lasting energy throughout the day.
The Takeaway: Mixing CBD And Caffeine
As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to mixing CBD with your favorite caffeinated beverage. You're not short on options on how you can start adding CBD into your morning routine. No matter how you take your CBD with coffee, you always want to reference the company's independent lab test to ensure the product's safety.
You can expect to experiment with different doses, especially when you're new to CBD, to see what works best for you alongside your coffee.
Another interesting emergence in the cannabis-based health and wellness products is CBG for its advantages towards mental clarity and focus. You can find more articles on the effects and uses of CBD and CBG on our blog.
FAQs About Mixing CBD And Caffeine
Is Mixing CBD And Coffee Illegal?
CBD-infused food or drink is a bit of a legal gray area in most states. CBD has not been approved as a food additive by the FDA, so companies selling CBD-infused coffee are taking on a risk by operating in this space.
As far as mixing your own favorite CBD product with your favorite caffeinated beverage at home, hemp-derived CBD is federally legal — thanks to the US Farm Bill in 2018. However, some states still ban CBD use altogether, so we advise you to check with your local laws before purchasing CBD.
Will Mixing CBD And Coffee Make Me High?
It's highly unlikely that you'll get high from hemp-derived CBD with your coffee.
CBD is a non-psychotropic compound, which means it doesn't lead to any intoxicating effects in most people. Unlike its notorious counterpart, THC, CBD doesn't interact with the CB1 receptor to induce a rush of serotonin to alter our perceptions.
Even if your CBD extract is full spectrum with up to (0.3% THC), the THC content is not nearly high enough to exert intoxicating effects.
Is Mixing CBD And Caffeine Safe?
As far as we know, mixing CBD and caffeine is safe. We can always use more research in this space investigating the interactions of CBD and caffeine together.
In the meantime, we know that CBD is a well-tolerated compound that produces minimal, temporary side-effects even at high doses. You're more likely to experience discomfort drinking too much coffee than you are with CBD.
How Much CBD Should I Mix With My Coffee?
Dosing CBD is a personal affair as it affects everyone differently. There aren't any drop-by-drop instructions on the ideal doses for you. Factors that can affect your dosing include your metabolism, genetics, experience with CBD, and what you're taking it for.
You can only determine the ideal dose for your CBD products, but the best advice is to start low and increase slowly. CBD products should label the CBD content in MG or percentage and provide you with a list of instructions for use.
Monitor how you feel after each dose and make adjustments until you feel your desired level of effects.
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