Combining coffee and CBD will reduce the efficacy of medicine, but anecdotal evidence finds the concoction more satisfying.
Last year, a survey from the National Coffee Association found that 64% of American adults consume a daily cup of coffee. Only in 2012 did daily consumption figures reach that high. At the same time, Americans have never been more interested in cannabidiol (CBD). Over the past three years, CBD is among the most searched terms in Google, besting Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé with an estimated 6.4 million unique search visitors per month.
But the question is, do two of American’s most popular lifestyle trends go together? Is CBD and coffee a case of peanut butter and chocolate or more like fish and cheese?
Studies have shown that CBD contains anti-anxiety, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Add the caffeine boost you receive from coffee and it seems like the perfect way to start your day. However, combining CBD with your coffee fundamentally changes how it affects your body. That’s why experts recommend not doing so if you’re using the extract for medicinal purposes.
“Those who want to use CBD for serious medical conditions, such as seizure disorders or inflammation from autoimmune disorders, should not take CBD in this manner, as accurate CBD dosing is extremely important for efficacy in these types of illnesses,” Bonni Goldstein, a California-based physician specializing in cannabinoid therapy, told Healthline.
“For a healthy person who wants to take CBD as a nutritional bonus or supplement, [dosing] issues are not as important.”
A 2018 study backed up what Goldstein is saying. According to researchers analyzing cannabis tea, temperature changes CBD content in both hot and cold liquids. If you require precise dosing of medicine, it’s best not to dump your CBD oil into a hot cup of joe.
Those approaching the issue from a wellness perspective don’t have such concerns. Anecdotal evidence of the therapeutic effects combining CBD and coffee to boost your day-to-day proceedings is mixed. Some say that CBD-infused coffee diminishes the buzzing rush caffeine delivers while lowering anxiety symptoms. But others find the pairing disorienting. Since CBD is also used to achieve a good night’s sleep, the cannabinoid’s drowsy properties fight with coffee’s caffeine to leave you groggy and unsatisfied.
Most importantly, you should understand the CBD affects each individual differently. What works for you might not work for someone else. But we know for certain that dumping CBD oil into your coffee dramatically decreases its bioavailability, or the amount of a substance enters your body’s circulation to produce the desired effects. CBD oil taken sublingually, or underneath your tongue, maintains a bioavailability between 20-30%, but received orally, like in a drink, drops the bioavailability down to 6%. This is another reason medical experts don’t recommend patients combining the two.
If you’re committed to starting your day with CBD-infused coffee, but don’t want to sacrifice efficacy, we have a recommendation. A 2016 study reported that combining cannabinoids to a fatty acid allows CBD to bypass your metabolism—which is responsible for diminishing the plant’s impact—and increases bioavailability. This explains why many report the most therapeutic effects is found by adding organic butter or coconut oil to make a Bulletproof-like CBD coffee concoction. It’s a little more work, but your body will thank you for it later.