Caffeine is America’s favorite drug. But it doesn’t come without side effects. Coffee and tea lovers have tried for years to enjoy more caffeine without the jitters, insomnia, moodiness, and anxiety, and they might have found a way in CBD.
CBD has been found to alleviate symptoms similar to the side effects of caffeine, so it’s no surprise that coffee shops and beverage makers soon started adding CBD to their products. Many also claim that CBD enhances the effects of caffeine and helps them focus better.
But just because CBD may alleviate the jitters and help you focus doesn’t mean it can negate or enhance caffeine’s effects. These two substances cause a number of chemical reactions in the body, many of which are still unknown. And we know even less about how they interact with one another.
Some even claim that hot caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea may degrade CBD and stop it from doing anything at all.
We decided to dig into the science to find out what happens when you mix CBD and caffeine.
Below, we’ll explain the risks and benefits and let you know if it’s worth it or a waste to add a tincture to your morning cup.
Table of Contents
- How Do CBD and Caffeine Interact in the Body?
- The Benefits of Mixing CBD and Caffeine
- The Risks of Mixing CBD and Caffeine
- Is it Safe to Mix Caffeine and CBD?
- Is Mixing CBD and Caffeine Worth It?
How Do CBD and Caffeine Interact in the Body?
Consuming CBD oil and caffeine together causes a number of chemical reactions in the body, and we are only beginning to understand how they interact. However, some studies have given us a glimpse.
Caffeine’s most popular quality is its ability to boost focus and alertness. It does this by blocking drowsiness-causing adenosine from binding to adenosine receptors. CBD also has an effect on adenosine, but the opposite one. CBD improves the function of adenosine receptors and may result in feelings of relaxation or fatigue.
When mixing the two substances together, it’s unclear how adenosine is affected, but it’s possible that caffeine counters the relaxing effects of CBD.
Both caffeine and CBD also have an effect on GABA. GABA is a neurotransmitter that can ease anxiety and jitters. Caffeine may make GABA synapses more sensitive to cannabinoids, allowing CBD to reduce the negative effects of caffeine, such as nervousness and jitters.
CBD may increase the duration of caffeine’s effects. This is because the liver processes caffeine with an enzyme that CBD blocks. This will cause you to feel the effects of caffeine for longer—possibly all day. Though it may draw out caffeine’s effects, it may also make them less intense. The research isn’t conclusive, and the result likely depends on the consumer.
The Benefits of Mixing CBD and Caffeine
- It may boost focus and alertness: Caffeine’s adenosine blocking abilities combined with CBD’s serotonin modulating effects may improve alertness and motivation.
- It may reduce anxiety and jitters: Caffeine may help CBD modulate GABA, resulting in fewer jitters and an overall sense of calm.
- It may enhance the effect of caffeine: CBD inhibits caffeine from being processed by the liver, prolonging its effects. This gives you more “bang for your buck” for each cup of coffee or tea.
- CBD may reduce caffeine-induced impulsive behavior in those with ADHD: One study found that CBD may counter the impulsivity caused by caffeine in those with ADHD.
The Risks of Mixing CBD and Caffeine
- It may cause you to lose sleep: If you don’t commonly use CBD or caffeine, the increased duration of caffeine’s effects may cause sleeplessness.
- It may cancel the desired effect: It’s possible that CBD may dampen caffeine’s stimulating effects. Caffeine may also counter the ability of CBD to relieve anxiety, insomnia, and digestive issues.
- Hot drinks may degrade your CBD: Research shows that temperatures above 71˚F may cause CBD to degrade. Coffee and tea are served at about 160-180˚F.
Is it Safe to Mix Caffeine and CBD?
Yes, mixing CBD and caffeine is considered safe. While more research is necessary to understand how these compounds interact, CBD and caffeine are thought to be safe in moderation.
Research suggests that CBD has no serious side effects or risk of dependency, even at high doses.
Caffeine has a number of negative side effects and causes dependency, but CBD has not been found to exacerbate these issues.
Years of anecdotal evidence also suggests mixing CBD and caffeine is safe. Thousands of people add CBD to caffeinated drinks every day. And many brands produce CBD coffee, CBD tea, and CBD sodas that contain both substances. There is no evidence that mixing these together causes any serious negative effects.
Is Mixing CBD and Caffeine Worth It?
There isn’t enough research to definitively know the effects of mixing the two. Whether they are worth taking together depends on the user, the dosage, and the type of CBD and caffeine you’re mixing.
Adding a low dose of CBD to hot coffee may not be worth it. The heat and acid in coffee may degrade the CBD and overpower its effects.
However, taking a higher dose of CBD with an iced espresso may boost focus and prolong the effect of the caffeine.
If you have ADHD, research seems to suggest that there are real benefits to mixing them.
Your body is also a factor in how CBD and caffeine will affect you. Everyone’s body reacts slightly differently to CBD. The same is true of caffeine, depending on your level of dependency or tolerance.
The easiest way to understand if mixing CBD and caffeine is worth it is to try it out yourself. However, you should always consult a doctor before taking a new supplement, especially if you’re on any medication.
We also recommend trying a CBD-infused product like CBD coffee or CBD tea. We have done in-depth research and testing to find the best of both products, which you can find here:
If you prefer your own beverages, we recommend adding a dose of CBD oil. You can find our picks for the top brands here.