CBD-Infused Tea and Coffee: Revelation… or Total Gimmick?
CBD is just one of a long line of natural medical remedies taken for thousands of years for a variety of different ailments.
Used both as a textile and as a medicine, cannabis has a long history of being used in as many ways as possible. For example, not only were the stems used for rope and the buds for Marijuana, but people would actually take the leaves and make a drinkable concoction out of it. Basically, cannabis tea!
While lovely tasting, cannabis leaves don’t exactly contain the highest quantity of CBD or THC. However, the idea of cannabis tea is still interesting – could you put CBD into tea or coffee and actually make a delicious beverage that makes it easy to consume CBD?
As it turns out, yes you can!
What is CBD — And What Does it Do?
CBD is one of the principle cannabinoids within the Cannabis sativa plant, alongside its more commonly known cousin THC. Cannabinoids interact with a health system within the human body known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS runs through the entire body, affecting different areas and functions due to its placement of different receptors. These receptors, the CB1 and CB2 receptors, are located in different parts of the body; for example, the CB1 receptor is primarily located within the brain and central nervous system, whereas the CB2 receptors are more liberally spread throughout the whole body.
When either receptor is triggered by cannabinoids, whether these are natural cannabinoids created by our bodies or ones we ingest, they react uniquely and affect the body in different ways.
When the CB1 receptor is engaged, it encourages the release of serotonin and melatonin, as well as helping to diminish the sensation of pain. The CB2 receptor, however, is linked to the inflammation response and the regulation of healthy cell regeneration.
By consuming CBD, we encourage these receptors to naturally trigger healthy responses in our body, allowing us to heal or physically deal with whatever condition we are currently suffering from.
Different conditions require different doses of CBD, but in general, CBD seems to have a marked effect on our bodies that allows us to cope with a myriad of different conditions – it might even be able to help with illnesses like anorexia or depression.
Due to these potential healing properties, it makes sense that there is so much cannabis threaded throughout our history as a species; we have been using it for generations without really knowing why.
Additionally, people have been making tea infusions from the cannabis leaves for a long time as well. Is there a way we could combine one of our most enjoyable addictions (coffee and tea) with CBD? And for that matter, why do we drink coffee or tea at all?
What Coffee or Tea Does to You
Coffee was first discovered thousands of years ago in the “coffee belt” – the belt of Capricorn where the climate is humid and warm enough to grow coffee. Legend has it that ancient goat herders discovered their goats running around like maniacs, over-energized and essentially high from eating red berries. Over time, mankind discovered they could remove the berries, roast the seeds, and make a delicious beverage quite easily.
Some people claim that the reason modern society exists is thanks to coffee’s stimulant properties, as well as its general wonderfulness. Tea, though made of the same composite important chemical – caffeine – is made from the steeped leaves of the tea tree.
Though a far less interesting history, tea making is a rich tradition passed down through hundreds of generations, all dedicated to finding the best tasting, most convenient ways of consuming caffeine. The actual reason we enjoy coffee and tea is simple; they contain caffeine, and caffeine is addictive.
However, caffeine addiction isn’t like an addiction to alcohol or other serious drugs, because it can actually be very helpful for the human body. Numerous studies, such as this study for the Journal of Integrative Medicine Research, have found that coffee can significantly improve your health, thanks to the effects caffeine has on your body.
For starters, caffeine encourages your body’s natural rhythm, speeding up centers of your brain responsible for attention, focus, and detail, as well as encouraging your digestive system to work properly. There’s a reason coffee has a reputation for, well, “speeding things along down there.”
Caffeine has also been linked to a healthier heart, such as improved vascular strength and resistance to cholesterol. On top of all these health benefits, we get pleasure from drinking coffee and tea because they’re enjoyable, they taste nice, and they form a physical habit. We begin to get used to consuming caffeine, so our bodies start demanding it.
These days, we drink coffee and tea from all over the world, enjoying beverages made from all kinds of different beans and leaves. Considering the cheapness of these beverages, combined with their powerful taste properties, some people in the nascent CBD industry have recommended that we start infusing our tea and coffee with CBD.
So, why should we try and combine our caffeine and our cannabis?
What is the Reason to Combine Caffeine & Cannabis?
CBD infusion is a rather new element of the CBD industry; previously, you simply needed to smoke a high CBD strain of cannabis, or you needed to use CBD oil that forced you to deal with the profoundly distinct flavor of CBD.
These days there are a lot of other options, such as CBD capsules, CBD liposomes, and even CBD edibles, all focused around convenience and ease of use. However, even more importantly, they’re focused on avoiding the unpleasant flavor of CBD. Despite its useful properties, people always want to avoid having to bear the distinct taste.
Coffee and tea have entered usage as a CBD delivery system, primarily due to the frequency with which we drink them. The British Coffee Association found that Britons drink 95 million cups of coffee per day. If you consider how many people who drink coffee every single day could also benefit from CBD, you might understand why researchers have been looking into using coffee as a convenient vehicle to get CBD into your system.
However, is CBD infused tea or coffee useful for anything other than just as a convenient vehicle for CBD delivery? Are there any other benefits?
Well, one study, conducted by J.O. Owolabi (et al.) for the Annals of Neurosciences, tested the combination of cannabis and caffeine on rats.
By dosing them with both drugs on a regimented schedule, researchers were able to demonstrate the effect these substances had on their brains when compared with normal activity. By the end of the experiment, the rats had generally higher levels of both glutamate and dopamine, substances integral to the feeling of wellbeing and happiness.
Additionally, the researchers concluded that the effects of the caffeine were heightened when consumed with cannabis, thanks to the increased levels of G-6-PDH.
This study shows that, by mixing the two substances, you can achieve a beneficial effect greater than the sum of the effects of the two substances alone. This means that, while coffee and tea are primarily used as a useful way to just get CBD into your body without noticing it, they can actually work really together as well.
There are many symbiotic relationships between substances in nature, many of which we don’t specifically realize: We put hops in beer to help prevent it from going bad too quickly, but it turns out that hops are actually crazy delicious, as well as being useful as an antioxidant and just generally helping to make your body healthier.
In the very same way, it would appear that cannabis and caffeine work extremely well together. By consuming CBD at the same time as caffeine, you are allowing your body to access both drugs at an increased rate, as well as generally increasing their efficacy within your body.
So, are CBD Tea (and/or CBD Coffee) Safe?
When considering mixing two substances, or even when taking any kind of new substance, it’s important to make sure that it is safe. So, are there any dangers of mixing caffeine and cannabis? Can CBD and caffeine together do any damage?
Thankfully, there have been a huge number of studies into the negative effects of caffeine, mostly due to how many people drink the stuff on a daily basis.
Some studies, such as this study for Current Neuropharmacology, highlight the risk of overindulgence of caffeine and the effect it can have on other substances.
According to the study, when you drink caffeine your body goes into a hyperactive state that lets it process things at an increased rate. This usually isn’t significant enough to be dangerous, but if you are also ingesting a large quantity of other drugs that can cause complications – such as if you take blood pressure medication for a medical condition – then you might metabolize the substance faster than the drug makers intended, leading to a potential risk factor.
Interestingly enough, CBD can also have this effect, as it acts as an inhibitor to one of the principal enzymes that metabolize drugs in the liver, CYP450. However, the rate of CBD metabolization isn’t a factor in its toxicity, primarily because CBD isn’t toxic.
Unlike many substances, taking too much CBD does not lead to overdose or any serious health effects, merely perhaps an oversaturation of the ECS resulting in an increased amount of the desired intent; in other words, you might find you lose more of your pain sensation, or feel a bit drowsier that you were hoping for if it’s nighttime.
Final Thoughts on Caffeine, CBD Tea, and CBD Coffee
Thanks to CBD’s lack of effective toxicity, as well as the fact that the combination of CBD and caffeine causes an increase in both substances’ effectiveness, CBD and caffeine appear to be a match made in heaven.
If you’re looking for a convenient way to consume CBD without having to deal with the taste or without having to take a drug throughout the day, CBD infused coffee or tea seems the way to go.