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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
In an interview with Marie Claire , medical director at Canna-Centers, Dr. Bonni Goldstein explained, “It’s unclear at this point the exact interaction between CBD and caffeine. 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.”
Arguably the most famous cannabinoids that can be introduced externally — THC and CBD — are found in the cannabis plant. But another substance that interacts with the endocannabinoid system is even more common: the caffeine in your cup of joe .
1. Pace yourself
Before we get into the specifics of what CBD and caffeine do to you, you first must understand how the endocannabinoid system works.
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.
Some studies have shown that CBD’s potency can be diminished under extreme heat, so if you plan on adding your CBD oil directly to your coffee, consider choosing an iced drink or give your hot coffee or tea a few minutes to cool down.
CBD: real deal chill factor or overly hyped? I tested it in coffee to find out.
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!).
Tasting CBD coffee
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?
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.
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.