Why CBD-Infused Coffee Is An Amazing Nootropic
CBD coffee has become increasingly popular since hemp’s legalization in the US
The calming qualities of CBD make it a perfect counterbalance to coffees energy boost
Many people claim that CBD takes the edge off caffeine’s jitteriness, providing a “cleaner” lift
What Is CBD-Infused 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 the synergy of these two ingredients and there may be some nootropic benefits from combining them.
In addition to 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?
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 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:
- Pain relief
- Heart health
Benefits of phytocannabinoids, in general, 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.
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
Your reaction to coffee, whether negative or positive, is highly individual and is mostly influenced by your body’s caffeine metabolism.
Caffeine metabolism is dictated by a genetic SNP 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
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.
Similar to adding L-theanine to coffee5Crystal F Haskell , David O Kennedy, Anthea L Milne, Keith A Wesnes, 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 individual 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 a number of 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 places in the US it should be legal for you to purchase CBD products.
CBD-Infused Coffee’s Mental Health Benefits
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 a number of mental issues.
A recent survey of almost 2000 self-reported medical cannabis users highlights the different conditions alleviated by regular use which includes 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 were mostly reporting on 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 a number of side effects including:
- ocular irritation
- lack of energy
- memory impairment
- 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, which could be 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
It also 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
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 speaking16Mateus 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
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
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 may give it the ability to treat arthritis.20D.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 the treatment of addiction.
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
. 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.
The first way is to measure the appropriate amount of CBD oil and stir it into your morning coffee.
However, keep in mind that on its own, CBD oil will not bind with coffee, which is mostly water, and will simply 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 does have a particular vegetal taste, which may not be appealing to you.
You can also purchase CBD infused coffee beans and brew them like you normally would.
Where To Buy CBD Infused Coffee
CBD infused coffee drinks are starting to go 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 yet, it can be difficult to know how effective any of these commercial products might be.
There are many brands offering low quality “CBD” that do not contain the amount of the active compounds (or any) that they advertise it having.
To avoid getting ripped off and buying a bunk product, it’s important 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 negative reactions. In fact, many people say that the 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 doesn’t seem to be reports of this side effect in any clinical studies.
About the author:
Erik Levi is a co-founder of HolisticNootropics.com and a certified holistic nutritional therapy practitioner.
As an NTP Erik takes a nutrition first approach to health. He has worked with many different people to help them use nutrition to optimize their quality of life.
Erik believes that mental health is a physiological process and cognitive enhancement is not something that can be achieved by just taking some pills with good Amazon reviews.
Instead, true cognitive enhancement comes with the right balance of nutrients, movement, and gratitude. Erik continues to stay up to date with the most current nootropic and holistic health research and promises to deliver the best solutions possible.
You can check out his personal health blog/podcast/YouTube Channel all under the name Holistic A-Hole.