The Cannabidiol (CBD) hype train is moving full steam ahead at this point with no real signs of stopping. I tested adding CBD to my coffee every time I had a cup for 14 days straight and recorded my mood, energy and CBD+Coffee intake. This was a fun little experiment of putting CBD in Coffee since CBD has absolutely blown up over the last couple of years and projected at $3.4B USD in 2018, that’s billions. Is the hype worth it? Medical uses are all over the place and rampant, everyone is using it for anything and everything it seems. Why not coffee then? There are actual companies that infuse CBD in the coffee beans, there’s also CBD infused cold brew coffee that is crazy-expensive. Personally, my wallet can’t handle the prices for cold brew infused with CBD, over $50-$70 for a 6 pack is absolutely nuts. Everyone is cashing in on the CBD train, and lots of anecdotal data coming from people. The goal isn’t to debunk people’s claims about better health. As a matter of fact, I’m happy those folks found a natural way to beat their ailment, whether real or placebo. I also had some hesitations about doing this experiment mainly because, 1st: I lacked knowledge about CBD and 2nd: coffee keeps me alert, while CBD has a relaxing side effect. I didn’t know enough about how those two would interact, or would they just cancel each other out?
Adding CBD in Coffee: Studies About CBD & Legality (Links and Resources)
For this article, it’s important to make a clear distinction between CBD derived from Hemp and CBD from the Marijuana plants. In this section, we’ll go over some legal aspects of CBD and strong medical use cases & health benefits of CBD. It’s also important to note that there’s still a ton of medical studies being done on CBD. While some positive medical benefits might be anecdotal, others provide real medical evidence and controlled case studies by certified medical professionals. I’ve tried to make this section as accurate and sourced as possible, I’ve tried to brew down some of these Federal verbiages to something more drinkable (OK, I’ll see myself out). But I would still encourage you to read the actual documents outlined by The Federal Farm Bill if you have questions in regards to the legality of CBD and what that means for your in your state. I can’t speak for other countries, this post would be way too long if I tried to cover a global scale of CBD legalities of putting CBD in your morning coffee.
CBD is typically derived from the hemp plant which produces very low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC – the psychoactive chemical in marijuana), CBD which is non-psychoactive and with a good strain of Hemp plant can produce 15 -18% CBD. The difference in the Marijuana plant is the THC produced, which can be upwards of 15 – 30%. With that said, hemp is still cannabis, just bred for low THC and high concentrations of CBD. There are legal differences where CBD can be derived from; hemp-based CBD is legal as long as it’s within the Federal guidelines, while CBD derived from marijuana is legal in some states, but not others. Despite the fact marijuana and hemp are essentially the same plants and the Federal Gov makes it very clear that it considers hemp plant and defines it as Cannabis sativa L. The 7606 The Federal Farm Bill, also states that any plant that naturally produces less than 0.3% THC is legal, but you should still check your local laws in regards CBD and THC, this site not a legal resource and wouldn’t want you to get into any trouble. The 7606 Federal Farm Bill also states that any hemp plant containing more than 0.3% THC is considered illegal.
It bears emphasis that this rule does not alter Federal law with regard to the definition of hemp or marihuana. As stated above, the 2018 Farm Bill defines hemp as the plant species Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 THC of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. Likewise, the Federal (CSA) definition of marihuana continues to include those parts of the cannabis plant as specified in 21 U.S.C. 802(16) (and derivatives thereof) that contain more than 0.3 percent delta-9 THC on a dry weight basis. The foregoing provisions of Federal law remain in effect for purposes of Federal criminal prosecutions as well as Federal civil and administrative proceedings arising under the CSA. However, for purposes of this rule (i.e., for purposes of determining the obligations of licensed hemp growers under the applicable provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill), the term “acceptable hemp THC level” is used to account for the uncertainty in the test results.– 7606 of The Federal Farm Bill, p.38
There are currently 47 states that allow the use of marijuana-derived CBD. The rules and regulations are very specific and are only allowed for certain medical conditions. I couldn’t list all the rules here, it would be way too long. In short, look for CBD derived from hemp with less than 0.3% THC. States where recreational use of marijuana is legal, it would stand to reason that recreational use marijuana based CBD is also legal. The following states currently have legal status for CBD derived from marijuana:
Medical Studies & Use Cases
There’s no shortage of people online claiming CBD’s effects and how it’s changed their lives for the better. It’s important to remember there are still a lot of medical studies in regard to the effectiveness of CBD. There’s also a matter of FDA approval of CBD products, as of this writing there’s only one product approved the FDA that contains CBD, it’s called Epidiolex (link and source below). Aside from the amount THC allowed Federally in a hemp plant the regulation for quality and assurance is not standardized across the board. You really need to do a lot of research when it comes to the quality of CBD you are buying. Having said all that, there are some documented cases of CBD having amazing results for individuals, you can just go on YouTube and find videos where CBD has helped kids with seizures, it’s all available online. Before you buy a bottle (they are expensive) of CBD, please read up and make sure you are getting it from a reputable company. There’s no shortage of companies willing to sell snake oil (not to be confused with CBD oil) to those that are looking to part with their hard-earned cash. Here is a list of studies and illnesses that have had apparent success with CBD:
- Muscle Pain & Chronic Pain – A small study was conducted on 6 patients (I know a very small sample size) with great results.
- Epilepsy – FDA approves first-ever CBD oral solution to treat rare but server cases of epilepsy. Also, an article from Neurology.org that uses CBD to treat Lennox-Gastaut.
- Insomnia & Anxiety – Studied 72 adults diagnosed clinically with sleep and anxiety disorders and got very positive results across all patients studied.
This is not an exhaustive list by any means and the list goes on and on of CBD applications, in Chron’s disease, inflammation and many more. It’s worth noting that the jury is still out for most of these applications, but studies are extremely promising and maybe the only relief to those suffering from severe ailments.
Again, this is not a medical or legal blog, I am not a lawyer or a medical professional, but just like you, I seek accurate information in regards to health and what I put in my body. Sharing of this information is not an endorsement of any application, but rather to document where others have blazed the trail in the risk of their health so the rest can benefit from the findings.
CBD & Coffee
As I mentioned earlier, I had some real concerns about mixing coffee (a stimulant) and CBD has been known to have a mild sedative effect when ingested orally or topically. So I did some digging around before I started any kind of Coffee + CBD blend, just to make sure I’m not the only one and therefor not crazy enough to try it. Upon researching this, it turns out CBD is added to everything, even dog treats…I mean dog treats. There were a number of useful links, but one, in particular, was very helpful on Quora, which answered all my questions before starting this little experiment. The TL;DR – it’s fine to mix CBD with coffee. Coffee is a stimulant and CBD has a mind sedative effect and will not affect each other unless you do it in insane dosages.
How to make CBD Infused Coffee
So basically adding CBD to your coffee is about as easy as it sounds. Make your normal cup, for me, it’s the pour over method (How-To Pour Over Article) or buy it and drop CBD in your cup and drink as you normally would. I personally prefer to choose my roaster and add the CBD oil after brewing, but there are coffee beans already infused with CBD, all you have to do is grind and brew, such as this CBD infused coffee and Vera Roasting (not an affiliate). CBD concentrations are rather low though at 120 mg for a 12 oz (340 g) bag of coffee and the cost is $34.95, it’s pretty expensive coffee, that turns out to be $3.08 a cup if you’re using the pour over method! For the price and amount of CBD, you’re better off buying a bottle and infusing your brewed coffee after it’s done. I was also concerned about boiling off the CBD if my coffee was hot enough, but CBD has a really high boiling point and this was something I didn’t have to worry about. However, CBD does react to be exposed to acidic substances, as it turns out coffee has lower acidic value than soda, beer, and orange juice. After some quick research, it was off to the races. My CBD bottle came in the mail and the 14-day experiment begins. I was also worried about the taste, I opted for a flavorless version of ultra-high quality CBD and did not alter the taste of my morning coffees in any way.
Heck, they even have K-Cups that are hemp-infused, organic AND recyclable. If you’re looking into owning a Keurig, check out my post about the real cost of owning a Keurig K-Cup machine to break down what you’re actually paying for when brewing with a Keurig. Not my favorite option, but I like to be inclusive of all coffee drinkers.
Mood & Energy Journal
In full disclosure, I don’t have any medical conditions that I know of, no pain, anxiety, or depression. As far as I know, I’m a perfectly healthy male adult that loves coffee. An argument could be made that I might have a mild addiction to caffeine since drinking coffee is part of my daily routine. I have gone 2 – 3 days without drinking coffee, headaches and irritability definitely play a factor if / when I don’t get coffee to start my day, but normally goes away after the 3rd day of no coffee.
For 14 straight days, I record my mood, how much sleep I got the night before, the energy level after the first hour of waking up, the amount of CBD in coffee and finally the amount of coffee I had that day. This test is by no means scientific, and anecdotal at best. With that said, I still thought it was important to document as much as possible while regularly taking high-quality CBD if it made any difference at all to my overall well being & the potential for the placebo effect. I also kept a regular schedule of the two weeks to keep as many variables to my day(s) as consistent as possible. Consistency was actually harder to do than I expected, due to the holidays, drinking and eating behaviors changing drastically for that time of the year. But I stayed the course with my normal eating habits, daily work routine, exercise, and coffee intake. I didn’t limit the amount of coffee I drank for that day, I’m normally around 2-3 cups, some days 4+ cups if the day is a struggle. I also made a rule to only use one tincture of CBD per cup of coffee to make it easier to track my intake of CBD vs Coffee (caffeine). I took my CBD bottle everywhere, it just fits in my bag easily and if I went to a coffee shop that day to work, I put a drop in my coffee. Since I’m relatively healthy (no chronic pain), I didn’t have any real way to measure the effectiveness of the CBD except for my mood, energy levels and overall how I ‘feel’. My goal at the end of the CBD in Coffee Experiment was to have an overall better mood/outlook on life.
The Test Set-Up
- 1 tincture of Pure Good Vibes Unflavored CBD is equal to ~33 mg (if used daily, at serving size it’s basically a 30 day supply of CBD oil at one drop per day). These guys are not an affiliate link, I just simply chose to buy their product for this test. For this experiment, I ended up using up an entire bottle of 1,000 mg and about 150 mg of another.
- 16 oz cup of pour over coffee is equivalent to ~30 g of beans, I measure as close to 30 as possible, – /+ 2 grams on the food scale.
- Alarm set for 7 hours of sleep (I hover around 5-7 hours, I’ll wake up before the alarm usually)
The Results After 14 Days
|1||Creative||7.5||Normal||33.5 mg||31 g|
|2||Tense||5||Normal||67 mg||63 g|
|3||Fearful||5||Low||67 mg||65 g|
|4||Calm||7||Normal||134 mg||126 g|
|5||Creative||6||High||100.5 mg||91 g|
|6||Creative||8||Very High||67 mg||65 g|
|7||Humorous||6.5||Normal||100.5 mg||94 g|
|8||Focused||6||High||33.5 mg||33 g|
|9||Calm||6||Normal||67 mg||66 g|
|10||Focused||7||High||100.5 mg||95 g|
|11||Tense||5||High||100.5 mg||93 g|
|12||Reflective||6.5||Normal||134 mg||125 g|
|13||Focused||6||High||67 mg||61 g|
|14||Tense||5.5||Normal||100.5 mg||93 g|
After 14 days, I stopped the usage of CBD, but I still continued to drink coffee (obviously). There are a couple of notes I’d like to make about the 14 days on CBD. The first was my ability to focus was much improved after the 3rd or 4th day on CBD. Even with four cups of coffee which normally would make me into a scatterbrain depending on how much of it I drink in a period of time, I found myself hyper-focused but not scattered. Secondly, my overall outlook and mood were positive with a few stressful days in between, specifically Days 3, 11 and 14 were strange, but also I can pinpoint the cause of the stress for those days. I wouldn’t say the CBD calmed me down on Day 3, but I wonder what those days would have felt like not having CBD in the morning? Anyway, I loved documenting my own experience with CBD, I found myself talking about it to people, even random strangers. Learning more about also made me realize how much disinformation there is about CBD out there. From CBD being illegal and quack-medicine, despite its popularity, there’s still a lot of myths to dispel about it. As more authoritative avenues come out with studies that are positive and repeatable, the overall consensus of CBD will change over time I’m sure.
Conclusion & Final Thoughts
I think CBD in the morning coffee is worth a try, especially since hemp-based CBD has virtually no legality issues from a Federal point of view. Marijuana-based CBD is a little dicier unless you live in one of those states I listed above that has legal usage of marijuana-based consumption. If you like the taste of coffee and wonder if CBD will make a difference in your life, I would certainly 100% say give it a go. But also if you have health concerns, please ask a medical professional and see if this method is the right path for you. I think next time, I’ll conduct a 30-day experiment instead of 14. But since I wasn’t a regular CBD user, I figured it would make the biggest impact right away and my dosage levels were low-to-normal in most cases. What I should have also done was to keep recording my mood and energy levels after using CBD just to have a baseline. Again this wasn’t a scientific experiment by any stretch, but it would have been nice to gather data for future posts. I hope you enjoyed this article, let me know in the comments below your experience with CBD in your coffee!
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