CBD: real deal chill factor or overly hyped? I tested it in coffee to find out. 

By Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
February 04, 2020
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I didn’t think CBD worked until, well, it did. I think. I’d once taken a small CBD gummy the week before my wedding and ended up lying flat on my back on my Brooklyn rooftop, watching planes slowly zoom overhead, feeling just...weird. Was this what relaxation felt like? Or was this a total placebo effect situation, with me just totally zoning out before the biggest week of my life?

As a general statement, I am an anxious, not-at-all-chill, never-relaxed person. This personality type works for me. It’s how, within minutes of being commissioned this article by my editor, I agreed to try CBD in my coffee, got my hands on some unflavored CBD oil, and experimented with my own mental state.

CBD, short for cannabidiol, has become nearly synonymous with wellness in the past year. Derived from hemp, CBD is the compound thought to make users feel relaxed. THC, on the other hand, is the chemical compound in cannabis that makes users feel high. The science is still lacking on what exactly a dose of CBD can do for you, but some believe it can be used to treat anxiety, though the research on that is inconclusive. Still, it’s pretty clear that CBD isn’t harmful, whether or not it’s actually helpful, so it seems worth trying if you want to shell out the cash and hope for the best.

RELATEDThe 5 Key Questions to Consider When Shopping for CBD Products

Tasting CBD coffee

Due to the aforementioned anxiety, I’ve tried to cut back on my coffee intake. This means one cup in the morning and another (OK, two more) in the afternoon. Though CBD is thought to help some go to sleep at night, the idea of starting my morning with a caffeine boost and some zen CBD relaxation was appealing, so I added a dose (33 milligrams) of Kush Queen’s Bare Daily Wellness Supplement Full Spectrum CBD to my morning brew. 

The first thing I noticed was that the CBD oil did not mix in well with my coffee—it floated on top in large drops and when I tried stirring it in, they just broke up into smaller droplets. I sipped the coffee regularly, aware that some sips were significantly oilier than others. Because the CBD was unflavored, it didn’t really affect the taste of the coffee in any way. In retrospect, it would probably have been delicious drizzled on some slices of avocado (next time!).

The effects of CBD coffee

Knowing that I’d be documenting my CBD experience, I was hyper aware of any changes that may occur with my chemically enhanced coffee routine. Only, none came. (At least, noticeably.) My morning continued as usual: reading Travel & Leisure magazine, checking and responding to emails, and commuting via the New York City ferry to Manhattan’s financial district, where I had lunch at Manhatta and cleaned my plate.

Cannabis is known for inducing cravings or sparking one’s appetite. But that’s due to the THC, not the CBD, so I can’t say what made me so delightfully hungry to gobble down an entire steak and deconstructed cheesecake. I was noticeably sleepy after lunch, but again, that’s probably due to the filling meal, rainy weather, and the fact I was jetlagged from a return flight from Paris just days before.

Theoretically, the effects of ingested CBD should kick in about 45 minutes to two hours after the substance is consumed, and there’s not quite enough info to know how long the effects last. People feel the effects differently too, or not at all. By the time I left lunch, battled the rain, and hopped on the subway, the CBD should have kicked in (if not worn off). But I wasn’t totally aware of any major changes it incurred in my mood or behavior that day.

Following Kush Queen’s advice, I added my second dose of CBD to my cup of coffee at my coworking space, which made me feel both illicit and cool—despite the fact that I was wearing socks with pumpkins on them and everyone else around me was conducting business in chic heels and cool boots. This, perhaps, may be the strongest effect of CBD: the cool factor. It’s trendy. It’s also kind of expensive (the 1-ounce bottle of CBD cost $35.99, and a bottle this size has roughly 30 droppers full, making each dose over a dollar per serving), so I consider it a luxury product. 

RELATED: Why is CBD so Expensive? Plus, How to Be Sure You’re Buying from a Safe Supplier

CBD conclusions

Because I now have this 1-ounce bottle of CBD, and about 14 more days worth of dosages, I’ve continued trying to see if I notice a difference in my days due to my CBD-infused coffee. After all, some evidence suggests that the effects of CBD may be cumulative, rather than immediate, especially in relation to conditions like inflammation. But the truth is, I still haven’t noticed much difference in anything relating to my mind or body due to my CBD consumption. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not working. This also may be why my therapist suggests meditating.

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