Why CBD Coffee Is An Amazing Nootropic

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Key Information

CBD Coffee’s Rising Trend

The legalization of hemp in the US has led to a surge in CBD coffee’s popularity.

Counterbalances Caffeine Jitters

CBD is claimed to mitigate caffeine’s jitteriness, providing a cleaner energy boost.

Synergistic Cognitive Enhancement

Combining CBD and coffee may offer nootropic benefits, enhancing mental alertness and focus.

Legal and Accessible

In most US places, purchasing CBD products, including CBD coffee, is legal.

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CBD + coffee = CBD coffee

What Is CBD Coffee?

CBD coffee is a new type of drink that blends the stimulatory effects of coffee with the relaxation of cannabidiol (CBD). It is becoming more and more popular since the legalization of CBD in the US.

Many people enjoy these two ingredients’ synergy, and there may be some nootropic benefits from combining them.

Besides adding its own health benefits, the CBD infusion can reportedly take the edge off some of the negative side-effects of caffeine, making this a winning combo for many people.

What Is CBD?

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You won’t cop a buzz from CBD.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa).

This means it will NOT get you high, and the mental effects you experience should be very subtle (if even noticeable at all).

CBD is one of 120 phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant along with the psychoactive cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids: cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), and cannabidivarin (CBDV).1Vicente Martínez, Amaia Iriondo De-Hond, Francesca Borrelli, Raffaele Capasso,* María Dolores del Castillo, and Raquel Abalo. Cannabidiol and Other Non-Psychoactive Cannabinoids for Prevention and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Disorders: Useful Nutraceuticals? Int J Mol Sci. 2020

The main psychoactive compound in cannabis, THC, should not be present in most CBD products. If it is, it will be in very small amounts.

For this reason, it is important to do your own research into the purity and strength of whatever product you purchase.

So if it doesn’t give you a buzz, what does it do?

Since legalization, researchers are finding that CBD may have some holistic health benefits for:

  • Anxiety
  • Mood
  • Pain relief
  • Neuroprotection
  • Heart health
  • Epilepsy

The benefits of phytocannabinoids include appetite-stimulant, antiemetic, anti-spasticity, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antitumoral properties.

What Is CBD Coffee Good For

The combination of CBD and coffee can be a powerful nootropic tool for your mind.

Caffeine intake alone comes with many cognitive benefits, including improved mental alertness and improved focus.2Astrid Nehlig. Is Caffeine a Cognitive Enhancer? J Alzheimers Dis. 2010

However, there are plenty of side effects to coffee, including mood disorders, anxiety, and dependence.3Jessica E Smith, Andrew D Lawrence, Ana Diukova, Richard G Wise, Peter J Rogers. Storm in a Coffee Cup: Caffeine Modifies Brain Activation to Social Signals of Threat Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2012

Whether negative or positive, your reaction to coffee is highly individual and is mostly influenced by your body’s caffeine metabolism.

A genetic SNP dictates caffeine metabolism in the CYP12a gene.4Natasa Djordjevic , Roza Ghotbi, Slobodan Jankovic, Eleni Aklillu. Induction of CYP1A2 by Heavy Coffee Consumption Is Associated With the CYP1A2 -163C>A Polymorphism Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2010

Whether you have a fast or slow caffeine metabolism can predict whether coffee is right for you.

Will CBD Coffee Make You Anxious?

Enter CBD’s stabilizing influence.

This is similar to adding L-theanine to coffee5Crystal F Haskell , David O Kennedy, Anthea L Milne, Keith A Wesnes, and Andrew B Scholey. The Effects of L-theanine, Caffeine and Their Combination on Cognition and Mood Biol Psychol. 2008

, CBD can help take the edge off by calming the negative effects of caffeine.

CBD’s ability to modulate the endocannabinoid system can stabilize your mind by lowering instances of anxiety and depression.6S Ruehle,* A Aparisi Rey,* F Remmers,* and B Lutz. The endocannabinoid system in anxiety, fear memory and habituation J Psychopharmacol. 2012

CBD and coffee, in combination, work synergistically to bring out the best in each substance for an incredible nootropic experience.

CBD and The Endocannabinoid System

The main job of phytocannabinoids, including CBD, is to modulate the endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system is a cell-signaling system comprising endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids), cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), and proteins involved in endocannabinoid synthesis and inactivation.7Vincenzo Di Marzo. New Approaches and Challenges to Targeting the Endocannabinoid System Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2018

CB1 receptors are found throughout the central and enteric nervous systems along with the gut and brain.8Nephi Stella . Cannabinoid and Cannabinoid-Like Receptors in Microglia, Astrocytes, and Astrocytomas, Glia. 2010

CB2 receptors are more localized to immune cells and central nervous system with some trace presence in the GI tract, cardiovascular system, adipose tissue, liver, bone, and the reproductive system.9Amey Dhopeshwarkar, Ken Mackie. CB2 Cannabinoid Receptors as a Therapeutic Target-What Does the Future Hold? Mol Pharmacol. 2014

Having both CB1 and CB2 receptors in the GI tract is part of what makes CBD coffee such a great CBD delivery system.

It’s important to note that while CBD doesn’t act directly on these receptors like THC, there is evidence of indirect modulation of these receptors by CBD use that mimick direct activation.

This is good since direct activation can elicit psychoactive side effects, as seen with THC-dominant cannabis use.10Fabrício A Moreira, Maximilian Grieb, Beat Lutz. Central Side-Effects of Therapies Based on CB1 Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists and Antagonists: Focus on Anxiety and Depression Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009

However, different phytocannabinoids, including CBD, have demonstrated some therapeutic benefits for improving gut health and certain gut-related health issues like abdominal pain, IBD, nausea, diarrhea, and anorexia.11Vicente Martínez, Amaia Iriondo De-Hond, Francesca Borrelli, Raffaele Capasso,* María Dolores del Castillo, and Raquel Abalo. Cannabidiol and Other Non-Psychoactive Cannabinoids for Prevention and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Disorders: Useful Nutraceuticals? Int J Mol Sci. 2020

These gut benefits help make cannabis even more brain-friendly by optimizing the gut/brain axis.

Is CBD Legal?

In the United States, CBD is federally legal to purchase as long as it is derived from a hemp plant (but not a marijuana plant) and contains less than 0.3% THC.

It is also currently legal to buy and sell on the state level in most places. As of writing this, the only states where it is illegal are Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

So, if you live in most US places, it should be legal for you to purchase CBD products.

CBD Coffee’s Mental Health Benefits

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CBD interacts with the bodies natural endocannabinoid system

As cannabis research becomes less restrictive and more generally accepted, researchers are regularly discovering new and exciting mental health benefits.

Regular users of cannabis have known these benefits even without the clinical evidence.

However, as we learn more about the influence of the endocannabinoid system on mental health, we can apply the benefits of cannabis to treat some mental issues.

A recent survey of almost 2000 self-reported medical cannabis users highlights the different conditions alleviated by regular use, including anxiety, depression, and sleep problems.12Med J Aust. 2018. Medicinal Cannabis in Australia, 2016: The Cannabis as Medicine Survey (CAMS-16) Med J Aust. 2018

It’s important to keep in mind that these subjects mostly reported using THC-dominant strains that deliver psychoactive benefits and get you high.

But all that glimmers is not necessarily gold.

Many of these users also reported some side effects, including:

  • drowsiness
  • ocular irritation
  • lack of energy
  • memory impairment
  • palpitations
  • paranoia
  • confusion
  • increased appetite (I mean, how else is Dorito’s supposed to stay in business)

The fact that CBD delivers many similar mental health benefits to THC without the psychoactive high and side effects highlights why CBD, and especially CBD-coffee, can be such a potent tool for mental health.

CBD Coffee and Depression

Multiple animal trials have found a strong correlation between CBD and positive mood.

CBD seems to have a positive effect on the serotonin system. Serotonin is one of the major neurotransmitters in regulating emotion, responsible for its antidepressant effect.13Alexandre R de Mello Schier, Natalia P de Oliveira Ribeiro, Danielle S Coutinho, Sergio Machado, Oscar Arias-Carrión, Jose A Crippa, Antonio W Zuardi, Antonio E Nardi, Adriana C Silva. Antidepressant-like and Anxiolytic-Like Effects of Cannabidiol: A Chemical Compound of Cannabis Sativa CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2014

It may also increase Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) and synapse growth, which are also heavily implicated in depression.14Amanda J Sales, Manoela V Fogaça, Ariandra G Sartim, Vitor S Pereira, Gregers Wegener, Francisco S Guimarães, Sâmia R L Joca . Cannabidiol Induces Rapid and Sustained Antidepressant-Like Effects Through Increased BDNF Signaling and Synaptogenesis in the Prefrontal Cortex Mol Neurobiol. 2019R

CBD Coffee and Anxiety

There is also evidence that CBD can lower different types of anxiety.

In fact, clinical studies have demonstrated anxiolytic effects of CBD in high-anxiety situations.

Examples of this include anxiety produced by high-dose THC,15A W Zuardi, I Shirakawa, E Finkelfarb, I G Karniol. Action of Cannabidiol on the Anxiety and Other Effects Produced by Delta 9-THC in Normal Subjects Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1982

and public speaking.16Mateus M Bergamaschi, Regina Helena Costa Queiroz, Marcos Hortes Nisihara Chagas, Danielle Chaves Gomes de Oliveira, Bruno Spinosa De Martinis, Flávio Kapczinski, João Quevedo, Rafael Roesler, Nadja Schröder, Antonio E Nardi, Rocio Martín-Santos, Jaime Eduardo Cecílio Hallak, Antonio Waldo Zuardi, José Alexandre S Crippa. Cannabidiol Reduces the Anxiety Induced by Simulated Public Speaking in Treatment-Naïve Social Phobia Patients Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011

Animal studies show that this plant extract can decrease signs of anxiety in rats.

In one double-blind study on humans, CBD lowered brain activity in regions of the brain that are implicated in Social Anxiety Disorder.17José Alexandre S Crippa 1, Guilherme Nogueira Derenusson, Thiago Borduqui Ferrari, Lauro Wichert-Ana, Fábio L S Duran, Rocio Martin-Santos, Marcus Vinícius Simões, Sagnik Bhattacharyya, Paolo Fusar-Poli, Zerrin Atakan, Alaor Santos Filho, Maria Cecília Freitas-Ferrari, Philip K McGuire, Antonio Waldo Zuardi, Geraldo F Busatto, Jaime Eduardo Cecílio Hallak. Neural Basis of Anxiolytic Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder: A Preliminary Report J Psychopharmacol. 2011

Departments of Neurosciences and Behavior, Division of Psychiatry, University of São Paulo, Brazil.

It may also help in treating PTSD.18Lucas Elms, BS, Scott Shannon, MD, FAACAP, Shannon Hughes, PhD, and Nicole Lewis, ND. Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Series J Altern Complement Med. 2019

CBD For Pain Relief

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CBD has become a popular alternative to traditional pharmaceutical painkillers

The endocannabinoid system is also closely linked to how we perceive pain. This may make CBD a safe alternative to traditional painkillers.

One metareview of clinical research found that CBD was useful in reducing chronic pain.19 Therapeutic Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids, The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research.

Another study indicated that its anti-inflammatory properties might give it the ability to treat arthritis.20 D.C. Hammell,,a L.P. Zhang,,a F. Ma,2 S.M. Abshire, S.L. McIlwrath, A.L. Stinchcomb, and K.N. Westlund. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis Eur J Pain. 2016

CBD For Drug Addiction

Relapse into drug use after a period of withdrawal is one of the greatest challenges in addiction treatment.

Among all the classes of abused drugs, there are currently few effective pharmacotherapies.21Marc N. Potenza, Mehmet Sofuoglu, Kathleen M. Carroll, and Bruce J. Rounsaville. Neuroscience of behavioral and pharmacological treatments for addictions, Neuron. 2012.

Enter the power of CBD.

CBD shows a lot of promise in clinical trials to attenuate the use of and withdrawal-effects from addictive substances such as cigarettes and opiates.22Celia J A Morgan , Ravi K Das, Alyssa Joye, H Valerie Curran, Sunjeev K Kamboj. Cannabidiol Reduces Cigarette Consumption in Tobacco Smokers: Preliminary Findings Addict Behav. 2013 23Yasmin L Hurd , Michelle Yoon , Alex F Manini , Stephanie Hernandez, Ruben Olmedo, Maria Ostman, Didier Jutras-Aswad Early Phase in the Development of Cannabidiol as a Treatment for Addiction: Opioid Relapse Takes Initial Center Stage Neurotherapeutics. 2015

It even shows an ability to mitigate the effects of weaning off THC-dominant cannabis.

How To Make CBD Coffee

Making CBD coffee at home can be extremely simple and cost-effective. There are a couple of methods of doing this.

First, measure the appropriate amount of CBD oil and stir it into your morning coffee.

However, consider that CBD oil will not bind with coffee on its own, mostly water, and will sit on top of it.

You may not mind this, but if you do, the way around it is to mix in some milk, which will bind with the CBD, and disperse it throughout your cup.

You may also want to add a sweetener, like honey because CBD oil has a particular vegetal taste, which may not appeal to you.

You can also purchase CBD coffee beans and brew them like you usually would.

Where To Buy CBD Coffee

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Don’t waste your money on bunk CBD products, do your research!

CBD coffee drinks are going mainstream, and many cafes and convenience stores are starting to offer CBD blends and concoctions over the counter.

However, because the market is not well-regulated, it can be challenging to know how effective these commercial products might be.

Many brands are offering low-quality “CBD” that do not contain the amount of the active compounds (or any) that they advertise it is having.

To avoid getting ripped off and buying a bunk product, it’s essential to do your research.

We recommend some trusted vendors below. Ordering CBD coffee online through one of these companies is a surefire way to ensure you are getting quality stuff and at a reasonable price.

Does Caffeine Interfere with CBD?

Caffeine and CBD do not have any known adverse reactions. Many people say that CBD takes the edge off of the anxiety that coffee is known for.

Is CBD Safe?

The World Health Organization claims that CBD is “relatively safe,” with no abuse risk or public health risks.

Anecdotally, there do not seem to be many side effects caused by consuming CBD. Most consumers do not seem to have any issues with this compound.

Of course, everyone’s experience is highly individual, but there don’t seem to be reports of this side effect in any clinical studies.


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Stay ahead with our newsletter: cutting-edge biohacking tips and the latest in nootropics, all in one place.
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Erik Abramowitz is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), Naturopathic Doctoral student, health coach, and father. He is the primary content creator for HolisticNootropics.com and the host of the Holistic Nootropics Podcast.

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