Coffee and cannabis go together better than peanut butter and jelly. Recent research has found that caffeine and cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotropic compound in the cannabis plant, may have some synergistic effects.
The study was conducted in zebrafish and found that long-term caffeine consumption protects against memory loss associated with extremely high doses of CBD (the benefits of isolated CBD seem to diminish the further you exceed your therapeutic dose range).
While humans and zebrafish are two entirely different creatures, this perhaps suggests that caffeine might be a useful additive to consider in CBD therapies due their synergistic effect. And vice versa, you may benefit by splashing a little CBD into your daily caffeine dose.
Although research in humans is needed, the authors do mention that zebrafish have responses to CBD that are similar to other animal models.
So, what else can we say about this relationship between CBD and coffee?
1. CBD eases anxiety
Tired of having the jitters? CBD may be helpful for balancing out the sometimes overly stimulating effects of caffeine.
It is fairly well documented in preclinical literature that CBD is a potent anxiolytic.
Caffeine, on the other hand, can trigger anxiety attacks. Caffeine is a stressor that can trigger the release of the hormone adrenaline in the body. Adrenaline is what triggers the fight or flight response, promoting stress and anxiety.
CBD, however, may counteract some of these effects. CBD-infused coffee is stimulating without the edge.
CBD and caffeine both interact with adenosine in the body. Adenosine is a calming neurotransmitter that helps the body determine when it’s time to stay awake and when you need more sleep.
However, CBD and caffeine have opposite effects on this time clock chemical. Caffeine blocks the body from being able to feel the sedative effects of adenosine. With CBD, however, early research suggests that CBD may improve the body’s response to adenosine. It seemingly does this by increasing the amount of calming adenosine available for the body to use.
This is why a little CBD can ease caffeine-induced nervousness.
The anti-anxiety effects of CBD are quite powerful. In humans, British researchers have found that CBD is antipsychotic. In a phase 2 study of 88 patients with schizophrenia found that CBD successfully improved cognition and symptoms of the condition. In this case, CBD was used as an adjunctive therapy in treatment-resistant patients.
2. CBD is energizing and boosts mood
Early research has shown that low-dose CBD seems to have an energizing effect. This means that you can feel stimulated and awake with less overall caffeine. No need to order a second espresso or upsize your latte.
CBD also inspires an overall sense of positive well-being. Animal research suggests that the cannabinoid can boost mood, which can make waking up a little easier. 2016 rodent study found that CBD treatment caused a rapid increase in serotonin, a feel-good neurotransmitter that is often regulated with antidepressants.
Cranky in the morning? A cup of joe can help. Coffee also has some mood-lifting properties. A 2011 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that women who drank 3 cups of caffeinated coffee each day were 15 percent less likely to develop depression.
Combining the two? Seems like a great way to start the day. Not to mention, CBD is an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, which can be helpful for those with morning time tension in the muscles and joints.
3. CBD and caffeine are both potent antioxidants
Both coffee and CBD are superfoods. Several compounds in coffee, including caffeine, are powerful antioxidants. Coffee is considered the biggest source of antioxidants in the Western Diet. Antioxidants protect cells and DNA from damage, which supports healing and offers protection against aging.
CBD is also a powerful antioxidant. In fact, the U.S. Government owns a patent (US6630507 B1) on “Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants.” Cannabinoids like CBD are expected to be particularly helpful for recovery from major brain events like trauma or stroke.