I Mixed CBD with My Coffee and Here's What I Learned
by Danielle Cheesman (@daniellesaid)
We know that using CBD daily is the best way to reap its benefits.
And since a cup of coffee is a common, everyday essential, we put our Copy & Editorial Manager, Danielle, to the test to see how combining the two could work wonders on her wakefulness.
I’m a late coffee connoisseur. I somehow managed to pull every all-nighter in college without it, and didn’t become acquainted with the brew until I, like many other transplants, briefly became a barista upon moving to Los Angeles. Now I can pack and pull an espresso shot with the best of 'em (though my latte art is still admittedly subpar), and have indeed become particular when it comes to getting my kick of caffeine.
But as someone who has received mixed results from coffee—i.e. there are days when it appears to not improve my energy at all—I was interested in seeing if CBD would work with or against my espresso intake.
When CBD is ingested, it is passed through the digestive system, metabolized by the liver, and then sent to the bloodstream. Naturally, this means that a lower concentration of CBD ends up being delivered to you and the effects take a little longer to kick in.
Still, much like taking vitamins, seamlessly integrating CBD into my already-established "everyday" is the most surefire way I can ensure that I take it routinely, so I’m interested in sticking to this morning method for consistency’s sake. And I ventured around Los Angeles to try three different CBD lattes to help get me started.
(Keep in mind that everyone’s endocannabinoid system reacts to CBD differently, so this is my personal experience as we wait for more research to reveal the relationship between CBD and caffeine.)
I opt for the aptly-titled Mary Jane latte at Coffee Dose: a combo of espresso, oat milk, homemade rose syrup, and 20mg of nano-enhanced CBD (which means that its particles have been reduced in size, allowing for it to be more efficiently and effectively absorbed into the body). It’s delicious, but I am unfortunately hungover from a friend’s birthday the night before, and I also have to immediately get in what could be described as the longest, most nausea-inducing Lyft ride of my life: up through the winding, zig-zagging hills of Griffith Park to meet a friend for a picnic. Looking at my phone makes me feel worse, but 31 minutes without looking at my phone is also impossible because I’m, frustratingly, a millennial. So I end up feeling too sick to even identify the effects of the CBD—which I’m even more upset about because a generous 20mg is nothing to scoff at! (Nor is $8.) Sorry, guys!
I’m fully recovered now (yay!) and I order a Coffee Milk at Alfred’s Tea Room: it’s cold brew coffee blended with raw sugar and milk, and I request the $4 add-on for 10mg of CBD. In 90 minutes, I’ll be at a free photography class at Apple where I not only have to go on a photo walk with other attendees looking to capture light and shadow (which I knew about), but will also then have my photos displayed in the highly-patronized store on its floor-to-ceiling screen (which I did not know about). As someone who suffers from both social and performance anxiety—like, I’ve cried at the sight of an unexpected invitation before and my voice can sometimes quiver if I have to speak to a crowd—I can say that I felt surprisingly comfortable not just speaking to the instructor and other students, but in both the work I produced and in it being shown in HD to complete strangers. I felt confident and free of nerves, which is not the natural norm for me. Success!
I have a to-do list that’s 10 items long, full of boring things like budgeting, sending cold emails (yikes!), and making phone calls to industries that are known for having automated, temper-testing "operators." I also didn’t get to make any coffee with my breakfast so, around noon, to ensure I stay on track and avoid the midday slump, I head to Javista, order an iced latte, and add 15mg of CBD for an extra $5(!). Once back at my computer, I manage to not flinch at the robot on the phone that tells me my wait time is 11-16 minutes, nor at the real customer service representative who tells me that her computer is down and she likely won’t be able to answer any of my questions today. I add appointments to my calendar, fill out forms, and check 7 things off my list in two-and-a-half hours without—and this is probably the most telling sign—getting distracted by social media, snacking, or my very cute dog. I feel focused and like I want to charge through my required adulting, rather than avoid it (which is usually the case).
In my experience, the combination of CBD and coffee made me feel alert enough to achieve life’s daily duties without interruption, but also allowed me to react more calmly when those same duties proved to be challenging (as they often do). However—and this probably doesn’t need to be said but...—ordering lattes everyday (with or without the CBD) can get very expensive, so I’d advise saving money altogether by making both your caffeine kick at home and adding CBD to it all on your own, i.e. get yourself a tincture, stat! (And we recommend using Hemple's Sigma 300 in food and beverages because it's the most bioavailable!)