Celebrities

Willie Nelson makes CBD coffee, but should we drink it?

CBD is on its way to being legal in all 50 states, but enforcement and regulations vary widely by region.

How do you take your morning coffee? With cream, sugar – or CBD?

Yep, you heard that right. CBD, or cannabidiol, is popping up everywhere. It could even be the next trendy ingredient to make an appearance in your coffee cup. Take that, matcha.

“It’s two of my favorites, together in the perfect combination. Like coffee, cannabis is a plant that works for me.” -Willie Nelson

Pending legality, CBD is a $1 billion industry that could reach $16 billion within the next six years. In the meantime, it’s making its way into our everyday lives as an increasingly common ingredient in medicines, CBD oils, CBD lotions and CBD body scrubs, and even food. Studies show it could also be useful for combating addiction to drugs like opioids and heroin.

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It should come as no surprise that cafés nationwide are hopping on the trend and adding CBD lattes to their menus. Even Willie Nelson has launched his own CBD-infused java blend.

“It’s two of my favorites, together in the perfect combination,” Nelson said in a press release. “Like coffee, cannabis is a plant that works for me.”

As a coffee and cannabis lover who consumes both for vastly different reasons, this doesn’t make much sense to me.

Sorry, Willie.

I’m not totally against the idea of a wake-and-bake, but I know if I really want to get something done that morning, putting cannabis in my morning stimulant isn’t usually part of the equation.

It’s true that CBD doesn’t have the psychoactive effects that THC does, yet the reason people recommend it is for its relaxing properties, like helping you sleep and alleviating anxiety.

Even if I were choosing to consume CBD coffee for these well-meaning reasons, I would still be plagued with the effects of caffeine. Unless I opted for decaf – which isn’t in the realm of possibility, because I love myself.

So, why take two great substances with conflicting purposes and put them together for an overall less effective result? Seems pretty counter-intuitive.

As High Times put it, “CBD coffee is the culmination of two great things Frankenstein’d together to make one mediocre product, like Julian Lennon or those shoes that look like socks.”

Courtesy of Willie’s Reserve

Enough said.

However, others claim it’s a way to get a good caffeine buzz without unwanted jittery results.

“CBD oil can make you a little drowsy, so drinking it with your coffee kind of balances it out. You feel a nice, natural peacefulness while still feeling alert,” Dan Guy, owner of Espresso Bay coffee shop and roastery in Traverse City, Michigan, told Cooking Light. They debuted a CBD latte earlier this year.

“Since we started, a quarter to a third of our customers [have upgraded to] CBD drinks. I knew it would be popular, but didn’t expect it to take off so fast,” he said.

At his coffeeshop, add-ons of CBD will run from 5, 10, or 15 milligrams for $2, $3, or $4, respectively. Drinks are typically upwards of $6.

Uh, yikes?

If you’re going to try out CBD coffee, why not make it yourself?

Heading to a dispensary for CBD oil and adding a few drops to your coffee cup at home seems to be the more fiscally responsible decision. Plus, if you do your homework, you can guarantee  1) how much you’re getting, and 2) that it’s coming from a reliable source.

More than anything, I’m skeptical that businesses selling CBD drinks are more concerned about taking advantage of a trend – of capital over curative qualities.

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I digress. Bonni Goldstein, a California-based physician specializing in cannabinoid therapy, is dubious about CBD coffee for different reasons. Proper dosage and the temperature of the coffee being served are among them.

“Those who want to use CBD for serious medical conditions, such as seizure disorders, or inflammation from autoimmune disorders, should not take CBD in this manner, as accurate CBD dosing is extremely important for efficacy in these types of illnesses,” she told Healthline.

But for a healthy person who wants to take CBD as a nutritional bonus or supplement – or to see what the hype is all about – dosing issues are obviously not as important.

A recent study evaluating CBD stability in cannabis tea found that temperature affects CBD content. Goldstein said this means “the milligram amount of CBD someone might require for their condition will not be consistent when delivered in a heated drink.”

Still, if you’re looking to try it out for fun, and you can afford it, maybe it’s for you. CBD’s effects vary from person to person, and it might even help you. But I think I’ll stick to drinking coffee and consuming cannabis separately.

Have comments on this article or questions about CBD? Ask GreenState or send inquiries and tips to amanda.bartlett@sfchronicle.com