Hey, I’m a simple guy; I like my ice cream cold, my t-shirts tight, and my coffee alarmingly strong. With the relaxation of marijuana laws in some U.S. states, it seems an array of industries have started cashing in on the great green prize by offering CBD-infused products—which is legal almost everywhere. Moisturizer, sugar, lube, and—of course—coffee. Not to be dramatic, but CBD coffee is a ridiculous trend that’s turning grown adults into giant throbbing knobs. Here’s why.
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a phyto-cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. However, it does not cause the same psychoactive effects as other naturally occurring cannabinoids (such as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC). CBD induces feelings of sleepiness and tranquility, making it suitable for insomnia and other sleep disorders; CBD can be used to alleviate symptoms of epilepsy, diabetes, and anxiety disorders, as well. Legality is an issue for some; all 50 states have laws governing the sale, possession, and use of CBD, and they vary significantly (see the table below for a full analysis).
Once the oil has been applied, massage it gently but firmly into your skin. The body won’t absorb much of the cannabinoid in small doses, so be sure to apply liberally. Once you’re done, make sure you wash your hands so you do not inadvertently spread potentially irritable substances to sensitive areas. Some oils contain substances that may cause discomfort and irritation to the wrong parts of the body, such as the eyes.
Let’s start by looking at THC. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the compound found in cannabis with psychotropic properties. Medical marijuana companies breed their plants to have the highest concentrations of this compound. It is associated with the feeling of being high that marijuana smokers experience. Effects include feelings of euphoria, pain relief and sometimes increased anxiety and paranoia.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD oil has recently become a wellness-world darling, popping up in everything from mascara to bath bombs. But the science hasn’t caught up to the supply. A 2017 University of Pennsylvania study found “a lack of regulation and oversight” on cannabidiol extracts, and that 70 percent of CBD products sold online were mislabeled. So like many other products we consume or put on our skin daily (makeup, lotions, supplements, vitamins) none of it is regulated. If you live in a state where marijuana is not recreationally legal, your CBD will most likely be derived from hemp. And that’s okay, says Leivent. “Hemp-based CBD still works on the same issues like anxiety and anti-inflammatory conditions, there are just fewer amounts of the other chemicals that could enhance the effect of the CBD."
After seasonal harvests of specific cultivars, these high-CBD hemp crops are put through a specialized solvent-free extraction process to yield a hemp oil that is naturally high in cannabidiol. This pure hemp extract is then tested for safety, quality, and cannabinoid content before being exported to our processing facilities in the United States. Importing any cannabis or hemp product into the United States is a complicated and serious task, so we leave nothing to chance before our high-CBD hemp oil makes its journey across the Atlantic Ocean.
Unlike with THC, CBD’s effects aren’t limited to that single receptor. These effects are not precisely known, though CBD certainly has some impact on CB1’s sister receptor (CB2) as well as a receptor called 5-HT1A. When the 5-HT1A receptor comes into contact with a material that agonizes it, the effects can include reduced anxiety and increased calmness.
Though a CBD latte might not do much for you — at least not beyond what caffeine and the placebo effect combined can do, which isn’t nothing — it’s also probably harmless in most cases, says Carson, and may even have positive benefits we aren’t yet aware of. “I suspect there’s probably some antioxidant benefit to CBD like there is with coffee,” says Carson. “There’s tons of good things in coffee that we still don’t fully understand, and I think the marijuana plant is much the same way.”