ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN CAFE CULTURE INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE
A trend is sweeping across the United States that has infiltrated small towns and big cities from coast to coast. People from all walks of life are dropping it under their tongue, rubbing it into their skin, vaping it, drinking it, and eating it, and are becoming healthier, happier people as a result.
This popular new botanical is hemp-derived CBD.
Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is extracted from hemp and has many powerful therapeutic properties – but doesn’t get you stoned. It’s the biggest and most exciting trend in natural products that most people have ever seen in their lives.
CBD is a cannabinoid, a type of natural chemical compound produced in the body of all mammals and found in the cannabis plant, that interacts with many different pathways and organs. It works to regulate our nervous and immune system and returns the body to a balanced state.
CBD is popping up everywhere… in gas stations, bookstores, and grocery stores in the form of edibles, tinctures, creams, and snacks. One of the most exciting places the CBD is emerging is, of course, in cafes and coffee shops in the form of infused drinks.
In many ways CBD and Coffee are a match made in heaven. After all, cannabis and coffee have been two of humanities most treasured plants for millennia, and have deep roots in ritual and culture.
CBD can reduce the negative side effects of caffeine.
Though CBD and caffeine are considered to have opposing effects, they actually turn out to complement one another beautifully. Any coffee enthusiast knows that sometimes drinking too much caffeine can induce jittery, anxious, edgy feelings. Now we can use CBD to smooth out that edge without detracting from the benefits.
How does this work?
The caffeine in coffee binds to your brains adenosine receptors, preventing the brains naturally-produced adenosine from properly binding to its receptors, which would normally induce drowsiness, slow down your nerve cell activity, and prepare you for sleep. With caffeine blocking those receptors the opposite occurs – your neuron activity speeds up and as a result, adrenaline is released.
Adrenaline is responsible for the ‘fight or flight’ response in your body, causing the negative side effects of too much coffee. Luckily, one of CBD’s many abilities is to directly activate some of your serotonin receptors, which means you can get anti-anxiety effects alongside the energy boost of caffeine. It truly is the best of both worlds.
There are two approaches to CBD coffee on the market.
The first method is to infuse the coffee beans with CBD oil. It’s a natural first step for the industry to take because all CBD extract starts off as an oil. Unfortunately, to the detriment of the unsuspecting consumer, CBD oil doesn’t absorb properly in the stomach, doesn’t mix well into coffee, and has a pretty strong flavour. Also, certain brewing processes can strip the CBD oil right out of the beans.
There is another way. The second approach to CBD coffee emerged as a solution to those problems and is what we at UnCanny Wellness specialize in with our Barista Blend product. We convert CBD oil to a water-soluble powder, making it easier to work with and far more bioavailable in the stomach. This unique formulation is versatile, simple, and can easily go into any drink you already love to make.
It makes far more sense to use a water-soluble powder. Think about it… you have your preferences for the source of your beans, roasting style, equipment etc, all in pursuit of the perfect cup. You probably don’t want to buy coffee from a CBD company, and don’t want oil to be ineffective and ruin the experience. Instead, you can brew coffee the way you like (or any other drink for that matter) and simply infuse it with a small amount of CBD powder that readily dissolves into the liquid.
Where do we go from here?
While CBD is legal on a federal level in the US, there are still plenty of hurdles to overcome. Yes, it has a lot of hype around it, but the fact remains that it is actually changing people’s lives for the better every day.
From a wider view we can see that hemp CBD and cannabis as a whole is just now emerging from many decades of unfair prohibition, and it’s only going to continue going mainstream. CBD is already here, being sold in coffee shops across the US, providing cafes with a boost in profits and happier, healthier customers and staff.
In fact it might even be part of a far larger trend. Adding things like CBD, MCT oil, or adaptogenic mushrooms to coffee are all a part of some trend to go beyond what’s possible with coffee alone, creating unique experiences that are able to benefit us in unique ways.
If the 3rd wave of coffee consisted of getting as intimate with the bean as possible, maybe the 4th wave goes beyond the bean. However, I’m not the one to claim that the 4th wave of coffee is here – you can be the judge of that.
By Alex Corren | CEO & Founder UnCanny Wellness