Whether you’re a morning coffee drinker or rely on your favorite coffee shop for an afternoon pick-me-up, most of us aren’t strangers to the benefits of caffeine. Studies have shown that coffee consumption can increase longevity, decrease your risk of disease (including Type 2 diabetes, liver disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s), and can even reduce your risk of certain cancers.
However, coffee also has its downsides for many people. Even if you’re staying under the FDA’s recommendation of 400 milligrams, or 4-5 cups of coffee, per day, it can cause issues for some. Many people would consider the biggest downside of coffee to be the dreaded jitters.
What causes the jitters?
The way caffeine impacts the body is different for everyone, so whether or not you get the jittery feeling associated with drinking too much coffee is dependent on a lot of things, including your age, weight, tolerance level, genetics, and more. Some people might feel the negative effects of coffee after as little as one cup (or less, if you’re particularly sensitive to caffeine), while others might need several cups to feel jittery.
However, most of us are familiar with the jitters and how drinking too much caffeine feels – you might get a headache, feel nervous or irritable, have difficulty focusing, find yourself taking frequent trips to the bathroom, feel your heartbeat pick up, experience muscle tremors, and more. All in all? It doesn’t feel great.
How can you combat the effects of too much caffeine?
Obviously, one of the best ways to stop the jitters is to reduce your caffeine intake, but that’s not always feasible – especially if you’re relying on that extra cup of joe to keep you awake up after staying up too late. If a nap isn’t an option, or if you’re someone who tends to get the jitters even from the smallest amount of coffee, it might be time to experiment with adding a little cannabidiol, or CBD, to your coffee routine.
One of the active ingredients in cannabis, CBD is non-psychoactive, so it doesn’t cause the same “high” feeling typically associated with cannabis. Instead, research shows that CBD offers many promising health benefits – including relieving pain, stress, anxiety, and more – so it’s easy to understand why more and more Americans are incorporating CBD products into their daily routine.
And as for coffee? CBD might be the secret ingredient to helping you enjoy your favorite cup without getting hit with the jitters.
“CBD by itself still needs to be studied extensively in randomized controlled trials to figure out how much CBD should be used and when, by what kind of person, for which desired effect,” explains Dr. Jeff Chen, founder of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative and CEO and CoFounder of Radicle Science. “So the combinations of CBD with other substances have not been studied at all. But there is preliminary evidence of CBD’s anti-anxiety effects and thus pairing it with something like caffeine to reduce jitters could theoretically work.”
Translation? While CBD’s use is still being studied – especially in combination with other substances – researchers do believe CBD might help with some of the downsides of drinking caffeine.
How to use CBD with coffee
When it comes to mixing CBD with coffee, there are a lot of different options you can choose from. For best results, try taking CBD oil sublingually – AKA placing a few drops under your tongue and holding it for 30 to 60 seconds – because some studies show that CBD placed under the tongue is absorbed better than CBD that is consumed orally. However, if you don’t particularly like the taste of CBD oil, you may still get some of the benefits by mixing it directly into your coffee.
“Full-spectrum CBD will be effective at a lower dose than an isolate due to the entourage effect,” explains Dr. Felecia Dawson, a physician and cannabis advocate. “Individuals using CBD as a tonic may be fine with lower doses under 50 mg. Those treating medical conditions may need several hundred milligrams per dose.”
You may not notice any effects right away, and that’s okay! It can take up to 1-2 weeks for CBD to take effect, which is why Dr. Dawson recommends starting low and slow. If you’re ready to start adding CBD to your daily routine, you’ll want to start with a low dose every single day and increase your dose every 2-3 days.
If you’re not sure if you should try CBD with your coffee, start by talking to your doctor. Once you’re ready to give it a go, don’t just use any CBD brand you can find – look for a reputable brand you can trust. Remember, the FDA warns that some CBD products are being marketed with unproven medical claims, and studies have shown that around one-fourth of CBD products tested didn’t contain the amount of CBD listed on the label. Start by choosing a company with a great reputation that offers transparency around their production process and testing standards, and go from there.