The Science of CBD and Caffeine

The Science of CBD and Caffeine

Combining CBD and caffeine is proving useful for those who experience adverse effects when drinking coffee or other forms of caffeine.

Much like caffeine, CBD is one of the most common substances people enjoy nowadays thanks to the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. That being said, combining CBD with coffee is still a relatively new topic, leaving many people wondering how CBD coffee may affect them throughout the day.

Some of the most commonly asked questions regarding CBD and caffeine include:


  • How do CBD and caffeine interact with each other?
  • What happens if you mix CBD with coffee?
  • Are CBD and caffeine safe to take together?
  • Can I take my CBD capsule with caffeine?


Fret not, we’ve got the answers you need – so let’s get into it.

The Interaction Between CBD and Caffeine

Taking CBD and caffeine together probably seems counterintuitive, since one is proven to wake you up and keep you alert while the other is often intended to promote a sense of calm and relaxation. However, there may be some benefits to mixing CBD with coffee or other sources of caffeine, such as tea, espresso, or even chocolate.

First, before we get into anything else, it’s important to understand how caffeine works. Caffeine disrupts adenosine functions in your brain. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that serves to calm your nervous system and promote drowsiness and sleep. This means that by inhibiting adenosine from working, caffeine leaves you feeling more awake and energetic.

When caffeine binds to adenosine receptors, it often dilates your blood vessels, allowing your blood to flow more freely. However, in those who over-consume caffeine, the effect may be reversed.

As far as why CBD and caffeine go so well together, the research is currently in its infancy. Many people who use CBD feel that it helps ameliorate the “jittery” feeling that coffee can give them without reducing their energy.

If you’re nervous about negating the caffeine effects by using CBD with coffee, we recommend starting off with a small serving until you know how mixing CBD and coffee affects you.

If coffee and espresso aren’t quite your style, CBD oil also pairs just as nicely with a fresh cup of tea in the morning. The flavors and aromas may even mesh better, depending on your preferred tea and CBD flavors.

How CBD and Caffeine Interact with the Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system, or ECS, is responsible for a large number of bodily functions such as your equilibrium, stability, immune system, mood, and so much more. The ECS is also responsible for controlling the constriction and dilation of your blood vessels. CBD interacts with your ECS by binding with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in your mind and body.


A diagram of the endocannabinoid system in the body


So what does caffeine have to do with the endocannabinoid system? After all, caffeine doesn’t appear to activate the CB1 and CB2 receptors. But it might affect your ECS in other ways.

Some sources say that drinking four to eight cups of coffee a day actually decreases the neurotransmitters associated with your ECS. But what does that mean? Basically, CBD and caffeine have opposite effects on your endocannabinoid system. Where CBD works with your ECS receptors throughout your mind and body, caffeine serves to shut them down.

Based on this evidence, you may think that when combined, CBD and caffeine would counteract each other. However, that is largely dependent upon the quantities consumed. While it’s true that CBD can help lull you to sleep when combined with other ingredients, some people feel that smaller amounts help them stay focused.

So are CBD and caffeine safe to mix together?

What Happens If You Mix CBD with Coffee or Tea?

Possible CBD coffee side effects: there aren’t any, really.

Although research into how CBD and caffeine interact with each other is still relatively new, there don’t appear to be any adverse effects thus far. Taking CBD with coffee, or tea, by combining them is no different than drinking coffee and going about your normal CBD regimen throughout the day. Physically combining them does nothing different.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s explore the reality of combining CBD with coffee and what it’s like to start your morning with a drink that energizes and centers you.

Why Choosing the Right CBD with Coffee Is Important

When it comes to coffee drinkers, you have your connoisseurs, novices, and everything in between. If you’re a night owl or mornings really aren’t for you, you might want to reach for a blonde or light roast rather than a dark roast. As it turns out, lightly roasted coffee beans actually have more caffeine in them than darkly roasted beans because the longer they’re roasted, the less caffeine they have.

But really when it comes down to it, it’s all personal preference. And that’s not even getting into plain, flavored, or exotic roasts.

CBD tinctures, on the other hand, should be examined for quality and freshness before you decide to combine CBD with coffee. You should also take into consideration the flavor of your coffee and CBD and how they’ll work together. If you’re new to flavor mixing, you might want to stick with unflavored CBD just to be on the safe side.

While you can use a CBD softgel or CBD gummy alongside your coffee, CBD tinctures are by far the easier and more customizable, option when it comes to combining CBD with coffee. You can raise or lower the serving size as needed while reducing the number of steps you have to take during your morning routine.

Plus, at cbdMD, we have a large number of CBD concentrations to choose from so you get exactly what you need. All you have to do is squeeze the CBD dropper over your morning coffee, mix, and enjoy!

But What About the Tea Drinkers?

Believe it or not, coffee isn’t for everyone.

That being said, most adults find they need a morning pick me up to get them out of bed and on their way to work. Oftentimes, those who don’t want the strength or bitter flavor of coffee turn toward tea as their means of caffeine.

If you’ve found that CBD coffee affects you too strongly, CBD tea may be the way to go. Or maybe you reserve coffee for those really tough mornings when you know you have an 8 AM meeting with the whole team. Whatever the case, we have a few suggestions for how you can best combine CBD and tea.

First things first, make sure you steep your tea for the right amount of time before removing the tea bag. You heard that right – remove the tea bag. Leaving it in longer than necessary will only result in a bitter taste, especially when it comes to black tea. Then all you have to do is add in a few drops of CBD oil, just like you would with coffee. Again, it’s important to try to pair the flavor of CBD oil with your preferred tea.

CBD Oil vs Water Soluble CBD

Another consideration when making CBD coffee or tea is whether you want to use traditional CBD oil or a water soluble formula. The CBD oil may separate from the hot tea or coffee, which is perfectly okay, but if you want your CBD oil to blend into better, try adding some milk or cream. (If you want to get fancy with it, check out our recipes for CBD latte and CBD pumpkin spice latte.) The fat contained in the milk or cream will mix with the CBD oil, allowing it to blend into your tea more seamlessly.

Water soluble CBD is less common, but it’s also an option if you don’t want anything fatty in your favorite caffeinated beverage. Because CBD is not naturally water soluble, this involves some fancy nanotechnology that alters the CBD at a molecular level, encasing tiny bits of it in water soluble shells. This might actually help your body absorb it faster and more thoroughly, but if you believe that closer to nature is better, you might prefer the oil.


Are CBD and Caffeine Safe to Take Together?

By all the available evidence, yes. Although the science of how CBD and caffeine work together is still in its infancy, many users say that they enjoy drinking coffee or other forms of caffeine more when it has CBD on board.

While physically combining CBD with coffee may be a new trend, drinking coffee throughout the day and supplementing your wellness routine with CBD is nothing new. Which means the two have long since met within your system.

Can You Put CBD Tincture in Coffee?

Absolutely. Your response to it will be personal so you’ll have to try it for yourself to see how it makes you feel, but it’s very unlikely to cause any problems.


A mug with cbd pumpkin spice latte in it with a bottle of cbdMD cbd oil natural 3000mg next to it


You can put any kind of CBD tincture in coffee, but you might prefer to use CBD oil if you put cream in it and a water soluble tincture if you don’t. Check out our recipes for a CBD latte or CBD pumpkin spice latte, or if you’re feeling especially decadent add some chocolate mint full spectrum CBD tincture. (Keep in mind that the last one has a tiny bit of THC in it, though.)

Can You Drink Coffee with CBD Gummies?

Maybe you’re not into all this blending of CBD with your favorite drinks. You like them just the way they are! But you also love your CBD gummies.

You’re not alone. CBD gummies are one of the most popular ways to take CBD, because they’re delicious and because you can just munch on them like candy instead of squirting a tincture or swallowing a capsule. So can you have some CBD gummies with coffee instead?

Consuming CBD gummies has pretty much the same impact on your body as ingesting CBD any other way, so there’s no issue with combining it with caffeine. The one thing that makes gummies different from CBD oil tinctures or capsules is that they have some sugar in them. Some might worry that this will give them a “sugar rush.”

I’ve got good news for you, though: our CBD gummies have only 2 grams of sugar apiece. That’s a tiny amount. By way of comparison, a cup of whole milk has 13 grams! So you don’t have anything to worry about so long as you stick to the recommended serving size, which is only a few gummies per day. (Also, the “sugar rush” is probably a myth, but that’s another subject.)

Can I Take My CBD Capsule with Caffeine?

Of course! Taking a capsule of CBD with caffeine is no different than mixing a tincture into your coffee or enjoying your morning cup of tea and then taking a CBD gummy later in the workday. And like we mentioned above, although the research is just beginning, there are no commonly reported adverse effects to mixing CBD and caffeine.

For more information on CBD and the many questions surrounding combining CBD and caffeine and other topics related to CBD, stop by our frequently updated blog. Interested in staying up to date on the latest news and special offers? Make sure to connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter – and don’t forget to share your favorite CBD coffee or CBD tea recipes!