Health & Wellness

CBD-Infused Coffee: What You Need to Know

By Melena Gurganus

As the demand for hemp has grown within recent years, we’ve seen increased interest in CBD products, including everything from beauty creams to dog treats. Hemp extracts are becoming quite popular, and CBD-infused coffee is just another example of the never-ending possibilities of this cannabis compound. CBD coffee may be the next wellness trend following in the footsteps of avocado toast and smoothie bowls, but is there any merit to the potential health advantages of such a product? We’re well aware of the touted benefits for traditional CBD oil, but is CBD coffee really worth the hype?

The logic behind CBD coffee

CBD is an anti-inflammatory that studies suggest might help in reducing symptoms related to anxiety. For some, CBD coffee seems like a great way to start the day, as it provides the rush of caffeine but with a possible stress reliever thanks to CBD. It’s also thought that the negative effects of caffeine, like shaking or irritability, can be combated by CBD’s neuroprotective properties. At least that’s what proponents of CBD coffee are saying, but we aren’t ready to jump on the bandwagon just yet.

Caffeine provides a boost of energy, while CBD is commonly used as a way to calm the mind and relax. Coffee drinkers seem to enjoy these two substance when they’re combined together—but does caffeine alter the effect of CBD on the body?

Although there is some uncertainty about the possible medicinal effects of CBD coffee, it’s apparently a popular drink at coffee shops that sell the special brew. The owner of Caffeine Underground in NYC, Ian Ford, told News 4 New York, “One-third of our business comes from CBD-infused drinks alone.” Ford’s establishment was the first in New York to sell CBD coffee, and he’s seen remarkable interest since incorporating CBD into the menu.

The benefits

While CBD coffee may just seem like a popular fad, it does have the potential to bring about health advantages, and promote awareness within the cannabis community.

  • Even if you don’t feel particularly relaxed after drinking CBD coffee, your endocannabinoid system will be positively impacted by the cannabinoids, especially when used long-term. Your endocannabinoid system helps regulate many bodily functions, like mood, memory, sleep, and appetite, and using CBD may promote balance of these processes.
  • Coffee is assumed to offer more health benefits rather than harmful effects because it’s an antioxidant, and CBD falls into this category as well. When used individually, CBD and coffee help reduce free radicals in the body that can lead to disease and cell damage, and combining the two together might make one antioxidant-rich beverage.
  • Trends like CBD coffee garner attention for the cannabis industry, and help break down stigmas commonly associated with plant extracts like CBD. It’s important to properly inform consumers and increase awareness of the potential of cannabis, so more studies can be performed to truly test the plant’s medicinal value.

[ Learn more about the benefits of CBD ]

The drawbacks

With all of this added attention, CBD-infused coffee is gaining recognition and leading more coffee shops to add the hemp derivative to their own beverages. Even Willie Nelson is getting in on the action, as he now has his own line of CBD-infused coffee beans.

While CBD coffee may be well-liked, there are some possible negative side effects that you should consider before giving into the hype.

  • CBD is not heat friendly—Temperature plays an important role in the efficacy of CBD, since this cannabis compound can start to break down when it comes into contact with high heat. When drinking CBD-infused coffee, you may not get the same concentration of cannabinoids that can be found in regular CBD oil.
  • Dosing is important—Many people are unaware that CBD acts as a stimulant in lower doses, and has more sedative properties in high amounts. This means that small portions of CBD paired with coffee could be overstimulating for some people, while heavy doses might cause drowsiness despite the caffeine. Ask your barista how the CBD coffee is prepared and how potent it is beforehand, especially if you’re trying anything containing CBD for the first time.
  • Don’t expect CBD to counteract your caffeine intake—While the suggested beneficial properties of CBD seem like they might ease the negative side effects of coffee consumption, caffeine remains a stimulant. You should still avoid excessive amounts of caffeine, even when drinking CBD coffee.
  • Don’t drink CBD coffees back to back—CBD works best when it’s administered periodically, often two to three times throughout the day. If you drink multiple cups of coffee in the morning, it’s best to only have one CBD-infused coffee at a time, as separating the doses by a few hours is preferred.

Like most other CBD products, CBD coffee has yet to be evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and this drink is not intended to treat or prevent any disease or illness. If you are considering using CBD for symptom relief, we recommend trying other methods first, like CBD oil or capsules, and discuss with your doctor before taking any new supplements. CBD coffee is no doubt an intriguing concoction that may work well for some, but it’s probably left best to those that don’t have serious medical conditions that are exacerbated by caffeine, like high blood pressure, anxiety, or insomnia.

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