Coffee has to be one of the biggest addictions faced by the human race. Indeed, according to the British Coffee Association, we drink approximately 95 million cups of coffee per day here in the UK
It is thought that 80% of UK households own a jar of instant coffee for in-home consumption, and don’t even get us started on worldwide coffee consumption. Coffee is a comfort blanket to so many; the warm hug your body needs to see you through a frosty Monday morning, the fuel for many long afternoons hunched over your laptop.
We here at Goodbody feel that, for all of its greatness, ultimately, coffee is no match for our favourite cannabis derivative, CBD, and we’re here to convince you why that is. CBD has endless potential wellness benefits and an excellent reputation among wellness enthusiasts (more on that shortly). We invite you to read all the reasons why CBD trounces coffee in every respect.
What is CBD?
In keeping with the theme of 7, let’s remind ourselves of 7 key facts about CBD:
- CBD is short for cannabidiol, a derivative of Cannabis Sativa.
- Cannabis Sativa can be separated into two varieties: hemp and marijuana.
- Hemp is the choice for CBD products, rather than marijuana.
- CBD is non-intoxicating, so it does not get you high, no matter how much you take.
- In the UK, CBD is legal, so long as CBD products do not have a THC content of more than 0.2%. Other countries have this threshold at different levels.
- Hemp-derived cannabidiol has been recognised as a potential therapeutic tool for wellbeing purposes.
- CBD is a “cannabinoid”, or a chemical compound that comes from cannabis. It is not the only cannabinoid in cannabis; there are over 100 others, an example being the euphoria-inducing, mind-altering compound THC.
How can you take CBD?
Nowadays, thanks to the explosion of the CBD market over the last decade, there are dozens of ways to take CBD. Some of the most popular forms include:
- Capsules or softgels;
- Edibles, such as gummies;
- Tinctures or sublingual drops;
- Topicals and bath bombs;
- Vape oils or e-liquids
The endocannabinoid system: a reminder
Within ourselves, there is a biological system known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS consists of receptors, enzymes and endocannabinoids, which are the body’s own cannabinoids. It performs a number of physiological functions. For example, the ECS controls our mood, appetite, metabolism, immunity, pain perception and sleep cycle, among other vital bodily functions and processes. The system’s primary goal is to maintain internal harmony and balance, which, if you were concentrating in science lessons, you’ll know is called homeostasis.
The ECS’s cannabinoid receptors come in two types: CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are found throughout the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). In contrast CB2 receptors gather throughout the immune system (including within the white blood cells, antibodies, lymphatic system, spleen, thymus, and the bone marrow).
When we take CBD, it is thought that it may modify the way our endocannabinoids bind to our receptors, subsequently influencing the functions carried out by the ECS.
Coffee can be dark, and we don’t just mean in colour
- It should be noted, before we explore the dark sides of coffee consumption, that there is evidence of coffee’s ability to boost our health in many ways. For instance, it is thought to help you burn fat and drastically improve physical performance; it is thought to potentially decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes, reduce your risk of certain types of cancer, strokes, and other chronic health conditions. However, some of these health benefits do come at a price, as you will see below.
- Consuming caffeine in excess can lead to a number of physical and psychological symptoms, such as jitteriness, anxiety, heart palpitations and even exacerbated panic attacks (Winston et al., 2018).
- Due to the caffeine, of which there is around 95 mg in the average cup of coffee, this globally-adored beverage can hugely disrupt sleep patterns vital for wellness and peace of mind (Snel & Lorist, 2011).
- Though there is discordance between studies, it is widely thought that caffeine may act as an appetite-suppressant, potentially reducing feelings of hunger and your desire to eat for a brief period. This could result in unnecessary weight loss, or could mean your eating habits become irregular or insufficient for maintaining a healthy, balanced diet.
- Caffeine can also have diuretic effects (triggering an urge to urinate) and increase your blood pressure, though these effects usually wear off with regular use. However, a slight increase in blood pressure (1–2 mm/Hg) may persist (Maughan & Griffin, 2003; Zhang et al., 2011).
- Caffeine is an addictive substance. When people consume caffeine regularly, they develop a tolerance to it, meaning it either stops working as it once did, or a larger dose is needed to elicit the same effects (Evans & Griffiths, 1992). When people cease their caffeine intake, they get withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, exhaustion, brain fog and irritability. This can last for a few days. Caffeine abstinence has even been cited as a trigger for migraines (Juliano & Griffiths, 2004; Evans & Griffiths, 1999; Nowaczewska et al., 2020).
- Coffee beans contain kahweol and cafestol, two ingredients that are speculated to potentially raise LDL cholesterol levels.
- Coffee is a natural laxative, which is unfortunate for those who suffer from bowel issues. In fact, one study found that 29% of participants needed to run for the bathroom within twenty minutes of drinking a coffee (Brown & Read, 1990). Coffee contains a variety of components that may stimulate bowel movement, including caffeine, chlorogenic acids and N-alkanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamides.
- Some studies suggest that caffeinated beverages may contribute towards gastroesophageal reflux disease in some people. This seems to be especially true of coffee (Nwokediuko, 2009; Cohen & Booth Jr, 1975).
The main event: 7 reasons to replace coffee with CBD
1. CBD has a number of properties that may make it a worthy substitute for your daily cup of coffee.CBD has just as many potential health-promoting benefits, if not more Caffeine and CBD share much of the same wellness-boosting potential. Coffee is purported to contain antioxidant properties, which is also true of cannabidiol (Atalay et al., 2020). This means it holds the potential to fight the free radicals that cause oxidative stress throughout your body. More examples of its therapeutic promise include the following:
- CBD is thought to have anti-inflammatory potential; research often postulates that CBD may work with our CB2 (immunoregulatory) receptors throughout the ECS to modulate the occurrence of inflammation, and could therefore potentially supplement mainstream treatment of certain inflammatory disorders (Nagarkatti et al., 2009).
- Due to its purported antioxidant properties, CBD is said to be a potential neuroprotector, helping to defend you against neurodegenerative illnesses by potentially affecting the oxidative damage that could contribute toward such illnesses (Fernández-Ruiz et al., 2013).
- Research shows CBD may possibly act as a proficient anticonvulsant, potentially influencing signalling pathways in the brain to reduce symptoms of seizures in some epilepsy patients (Silvestro et al., 2019).
- According to a host of research, CBD boasts the potential to relieve symptoms of nausea; in other words, it is a possible antiemetic (Parker et al., 2011). As a result, anecdotal reports tell us that it has the potential to come in handy to many cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, as a way of managing the accompanying symptoms of sickness.
- Cannabidiol has also shown promise as a potential antidepressant-like supplement, due to its purported interaction with mood-balancing neurochemicals in the brain, such as serotonin (5-HT). CBD is reported to have a potentially significant impact on certain serotonin receptors (De Gregorio et al., 2019; De Mello Schier et al., 2014; Calapai et al., 2019). By the same token, CBD reportedly works with our serotonin receptor to help us address symptoms of pain. In the eyes of many scientists, then, CBD is considered a potential analgesic (pain-reliever) (Capano 2019; Johal et al., 2020).
2. CBD potentially promotes wakefulness and alertness, minus the jitters
3. CBD is versatileCBD may be appreciated in a variety of ways. You can cook it, bake it, add it to smoothies, soups, juices, vape it, use it topically on your skin, soak it up in the bath, absorb it beneath the tongue – the options are infinite. Now, ask yourself if those same things can be done with coffee! CBD is also versatile insofar as it goes perfectly with a number of different flavours; hence why we at Goodbody have combined CBD with Orange and Lemon for our citrusy Vitamin D drops, as well as peppermint essential oil for our zingy, minty drops!
4. CBD may be anti-anxiety, caffeine causes anxietyAs we touched on earlier, caffeine has been found to cause anxiety (Richards & Smith, 2015), even triggering heart palpitations and panic attacks in some instances. Conversely, CBD has the potential to help you fight anxiety. Research repeatedly reports that cannabidiol may contain anxiolytic (anxiety-relieving) properties (Blessing et al., 2015), which could help one manage the symptoms associated with various anxiety disorders (namely PTSD, Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder). Trials have shown that CBD may also help control symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder, reflected in one study which noted the calming effects of CBD administration in participants before they performed a public speaking exercise (Linares et al., 2018).
5. CBD may supplement sleep, coffee inhibits sleepStudies focusing on CBD have shown that the cannabinoid may have the potential to bring about better, richer sleep at night – even in patients suffering from sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnoea (Shannon et al., 2019; Babson et al., 2019). This may be due to its supposed regulation of our stress hormone, cortisol, meaning it can possibly improve sleep by tackling the potential root cause of the issue, which is often stress and anxiety. Meanwhile, caffeine is widely suggested to affect and inhibit sleep. Indeed, according to one study, which saw healthy participants with standard sleeping patterns taking caffeine six hours before bedtime, their sleep quality was significantly worse than usual (Drake et al., 2013). This likely has to do with the long half-life of caffeine (the time it takes to be broken down in half within your body), which we will come to shortly.
6. CBD is non-addictive; coffee, not so muchThough you may become tolerant to certain doses of CBD, cannabidiol is certified by a number of world health agencies as a non-addictive substance, so you will not become dependent on CBD like you might with coffee (Grinspoon, 2018). As such, you will not feel any withdrawal symptoms if you cease taking CBD – the same cannot be said of coffee. As we mentioned earlier, abstaining from coffee when you are a regular coffee drinker will likely result in symptoms such as headaches, exhaustion, brain fog, irritability and migraines.
7. CBD lasts longer in your systemAccording to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, caffeine’s half-life is up to 5 hours. That means it takes 5 hours for the caffeine to be reduced to half the original amount consumed within your body. So, if you have consumed a Grande size coffee at Starbucks, which contains around 330 milligrams of caffeine, you will still have 165mg of caffeine in your system after 5 hours. What’s more, the effects of caffeine reach their peak levels within 30 to 60 minutes of consumption. On the other hand, CBD typically stays in your system for 2 to 5 days, and its potential effects can last hours on end, according to research and anecdotal reports. However, this depends on factors such as your body, how much you take, and the method of consumption that you choose (Bruni et al., 2018). Generally speaking, you may begin to feel the effects of CBD under 15 minutes after vaping or sublingually ingesting it. Edibles could take longer, however, as they have to be digested. It may take an hour or more before a CBD edible’s effects kick in. Once they do finally set in, the possible effects of edibles are thought to last as long as 8 hours.
CBD and Coffee: Can I mix them?
CBD and coffee can certainly be combined. In fact, there is some suggestion that they actually enhance each other’s potential effects.
According to anecdotal reports, mixing the two substances could mean
- Both may remain in your system for longer, as the increase of substances in your system effectively means there is greater “traffic” to your liver, so it will be slower to metabolise the caffeine and CBD.
- They may increase the duration of effects for one another.
- CBD could potentially offset some of the adverse effects of caffeine, like symptoms of anxiety and jitteriness.
This means that, for a caffeine-sensitive individual, mixing CBD and coffee could be the perfect solution.
There is a lack of clinical research into the mixture of coffee with cannabidiol, so take the above points as speculation!
Can you overdose on coffee?
Caffeine overdose is rare, but can happen when it is taken in extremely high doses. It is most likely to occur when a caffeinated dietary supplement or caffeine tablets are taken, rather than from simply drinking coffee. For instance, one teaspoon of powdered caffeine is said to be equivalent to 28 cups of coffee. Pure and highly concentrated caffeine products can thereby have serious health consequences. The likelihood of overdose increases when these products are taken in combination with highly-caffeinated energy drinks or coffee.
In the highly unlikely event of death from a caffeine overdose, the cause is typically ventricular fibrillation, whereby the lower chambers of the heart vibrate, rather than contracting regularly. Ventricular fibrillation changes the normal heartbeat, and ultimately causes cardiac arrest.
In cases of caffeine overdose, the symptoms may include a very fast or irregular heartbeat, jitteriness, nausea or vomiting, confusion, anxiety and/or panic attacks. However, it must be stressed that overdose is extremely rare, as you would have to consume a large amount of caffeine for this to happen.
Can you overdose on CBD?
No, you cannot exactly overdose on CBD, at least, not to the point of death. That being said, you can experience unpleasant side effects, which can happen if you are taking too much CBD for your individual biological makeup. Depending on their condition, people take a whole range of CBD doses; the CBD market offers doses of up to 5000mg of CBD in one bottle.
Health agencies around the world generally agree that even in substantial doses, CBD, in the worst-case scenario, will cause extreme lethargy, upset stomach, nausea and diarrhoea as well as other unpleasant side effects we will outline shortly. In other words, no dose is believed to be lethal. It is thought that the “toxic” dose of CBD may fall somewhere around the 20,000 mg mark when taken all at once. However, this would be pretty difficult to achieve as you would have to consume a significant number of CBD tinctures all at once before this could feasibly happen.
For safe-keeping, it is generally recommended that a healthy adult starts with low doses of CBD (somewhere between 5-20 mg per day) and sticks to a maximum daily dose of 70mg.
Tips for coffee-drinkers
If you’re hellbent on maintaining your caffeine regime, there are some measures you can take to ensure you can still enjoy your coffee consumption:
- You should avoid exceeding 300-400mg of caffeine per day. Essentially, it is suggested that you drink no more than three to four cups of coffee daily.
- Parents should limit the amount of caffeine that their children are allowed to consume.
- Those living with with high blood pressure or other heart problems should avoid high caffeine intake.
- It is best if you avoid consuming caffeine in the late afternoon and evening.
Tips for CBD users
First-time CBD buyers, or those switching to a new brand, would do well to check off some of the following recommendations before making a CBD purchase:
- If you are not purchasing a Goodbody CBD product, ensure you obtain a certificate of analysis (COA) before you buy from an unfamiliar CBD outlet. This informs you that the CBD batch has been through lab-testing and is fit for consumption. Reputable CBD outlets should provide a COA without fuss. If you are purchasing a Goodbody product, be aware that we have our COAs readily available for your peace of mind.
- Talk to your doctor if you take medication(s), as CBD may potentially interact with medicines in your system.
- Familiarise yourself with your country’s laws on CBD, and check if the CBD you’re about to order complies with those laws – especially if you are importing it from a foreign source.
- Store your CBD in a dry, cool place, away from direct sunlight. Excess heat will degrade the quality of your product. Do not surpass expiration dates.
Does CBD ever cause adverse reactions?It is generally agreed among studies that CBD has a good side effect profile. That is to say, the adverse effects caused by this cannabinoid are few and far between. However, that doesn’t mean they never happen. Some of the adverse reactions that have taken place in the past include the following:
- Changes in weight
- Changes in appetite
CBD has created a veritable wave of wellbeing with its vast number of credentials when it comes to potentially affecting our wellbeing. It is able to do many of the same things that coffee does, but seemingly in a healthier way. With CBD, there is no sudden rush of ‘jitteriness’ as there is with caffeine. Instead, CBD may possibly provide a slow release of goodness for a longer stretch of time.
With coffee being the world’s leading hot beverage, swallowed by billions globally every day and serving as a fundamental aspect of many country’s cultures, it is going to take us a long time to convince everybody why they should switch up their caffeine-kick for CBD.
If you think you might want to try it, we recommend swapping coffee for CBD for one week as a trial run. The first few days abstaining from coffee may prove difficult due to withdrawal, but we urge you to be as strong as your coffee is! Given time, the CBD may hopefully help tame those coffee-cravings.
Good luck and enjoy!
Goodbody is the UK’s first prestige CBD wellness centre brand. Goodbody Wellness and Goodbody Botanicals are based in the UK and specialise in premium CBD and wellness products. Goodbody is the only CBD company that owns the manufacturing process from seed to shelf to have full traceability of the products at each stage to offer consistent quality products, every time you purchase. At Goodbody, we also strive to provide the highest quality CBD products, which we demonstrate by our stringent quality control and rigorous testing by PhytoVista Labs, an independently managed laboratory working with ISO standards. We can proudly say that our products are made and lab-certified in the UK.