CBD and Caffeine: Can You Mix Them Together?

Caffeine is the most widely-consumed drug in the world. People primarily use it to help them stay alert and active throughout the day.

CBD is also becoming incredibly popular as a supplement for helping to manage anxiety, stress, and insomnia.

Mixing the two together can create a whole new experience. CBD can help to offset some of the jitters and anxiety associated with caffeine use, and caffeine can help to prevent CBD from making you feel tired or sedated.

Is it safe to mix CBD with caffeine? Why or why not? What kind of results can you expect from mixing these two substances together?

We’re going to answer these questions for you in this article.

Can You Mix Caffeine and CBD Oil?

In terms of simplicity, this answer can be answered quickly with a resounding, ‘yes.’

However, more importantly, you should be asking whether or not it’s safe to mix CBD and caffeine. Fortunately for you, the answer to this question is still (mostly) yes.

CBD is a fairly mild supplement that affects the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), a far-reaching system that affects most of your bodily functions. This is one of the reasons that CBD has such a wide range of different benefits. It influences one of the farthest-reaching systems in your body.

Caffeine, on the other hand, is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. Its effects are mostly caused by pumping up the nervous system so that you have more energy. Unfortunately, with this, many people often experience an increase in anxiety. Sometimes this anxiety is coupled with the jitters, an uncomfortable sensation of hyperstimulation.

One of the reasons people mix CBD and caffeine is because of their opposing effects. CBD produces relaxation and calmness, whereas caffeine produces stimulation and, sometimes, anxiety.

While these might sound like opposing effects — and they are — the two substances could actually complement each other. However, this begets the question does caffeine counteract CBD oil?

Does Caffeine Counteract CBD Oil?

CBD Oil and Coffee in a Cup

The simplest answer to this would be, “not really.”

However, things aren’t as cut-and-dry as that. Each of these substances affects the body in a very complicated way. If you really want to understand their interactions then you’ll need to know a bit more about them.

Both of these substances affect the ECS. However, they tend to have opposite effects. While CBD is known to help balance out and mitigate issues in the ECS, caffeine activates some of the receptors in the system instead.

This means that in a certain biological sense, there is some friction between these two substances. However, because of the vast number of different receptor sites in the ECS, the answer still isn’t that simple.

One thing that you’ll have to consider is that the dosage and potency of these substances vary quite a bit.

Caffeine has an opposite effect on the ECS, but it also affects a number of other systems. Its primary ‘goal’ in the body is not to target the endocannabinoid system. Where it does, it actually tends to reduce levels of endocannabinoids in the body.

You’ll also have to take into account how much of each substance you’re taking. Some people find that low-dose CBD produces a little bit of stimulation. You may need to take more to become relaxed or sedated, although this is not always the case.

Caffeine, on the other hand, is always stimulating. Even at lower doses, you’ll be able to feel stimulation even though it might not be as obvious.

CBD only to counteract caffeine when you’re taking high enough doses to feel jittery and anxious. And for most people, this is the point. These are unpleasant and uncomfortable side effects for most, and CBD helps to mitigate them.

What Do CBD and Caffeine Do to You?

These two substances have different effects when used on their own compared to when they’re taken together. Here’s a quick summary of what they can do.

How Does CBD Work?

Human Endocannabinoid System

When you take CBD, it works indirectly in the endocannabinoid system. This is different from THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), a cannabinoid that most of us are familiar with due to its role in marijuana. THC is the main cannabinoid responsible for the feelings of intoxication.

THC binds directly to the CB (cannabinoid) receptors in the ECS. When a substance binds to a receptor, it essentially ‘activates’ it, causing a number of different effects depending on which type of receptor is being activated and where it’s located.

CBD works in a more indirect fashion, causing the expression and release of various hormones and compounds without binding directly to the receptors. It can have just as wide a range of benefits as THC, but it doesn’t cause intoxication.

Some of the effects caused by CBD include:

  • Increased physical and mental relaxation
  • Reduction of stress and anxiety
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Reduced insomnia and increased quality of sleep
  • Regulation of pain
  • Improved sense of well-being
  • Improvements in cognitive function
  • Improved appetite

How Does Caffeine Work?

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. Once it reaches the brain, it begins to produce stimulation throughout the body. Caffeine prevents the brain from producing adenosine, a compound that produces feelings of relaxation and tiredness. It also activates our adrenergic (adrenaline) receptors to produce stimulation.

The most common effects of caffeine include:

  • Alertness, increased awakeness, and less fatigue
  • Increased feedings of anxiety
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Heightened blood pressure

Why You Should Take CBD With Your Morning Coffee?

Caffeine and CBD make for an interesting, effective, and powerful duo. The combination actually allows for people to enjoy the benefits of caffeine without having to struggle with as many of the adverse effects.

One of the most common, unwanted side effects of caffeine is anxiety. Caffeine can cause both the mental symptoms of anxiety (rapid thoughts, shifting attention, mental discomfort) and physical symptoms, such as increased heart rate and blood pressure.

CBD can help regulate all of these symptoms. It’s most commonly used as a calming agent and can be useful for helping people overcoming anxiety of all sorts. Its ability to relax the muscles can also counter some of the physical tension induced by caffeine.

One of the most popular reasons why people combine CBD with their coffee is because it helps to reduce the unwanted jitters. However, it’s important to note that if you’re getting jitters, your body is telling you that you’re consuming too much caffeine. You should probably cut back.

Not everyone is able to simply dial back their caffeine usage – especially if they’re working a mentally or physically demanding job. CBD can also help with this. Because CBD is known to improve cognitive function and enhance focus, it can actually help to improve your concentration at work.

Can CBD Help With Caffeine Withdrawal?

Cup of Coffee with Tape

It’s important to note that regular caffeine or coffee consumption can lead to (mild) dependence and withdrawal. If you’re going to suddenly decrease your caffeine dosage you might experience withdrawal symptoms — such as headaches, difficulty concentrating, and fatigue.

Naturally, anyone who is thinking about decreasing their caffeine intake would be concerned about withdrawal.

Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms

Caffeine withdrawal affects people differently. There are a number of symptoms that can occur and they vary in intensity depending on how long you’ve been using caffeine, how much you’ve been taking, and how much you’re decreasing your dose.

The symptoms tend to come on within 12-24 hours after your last cup of Joe (or whatever your preferred source of caffeine is). They can last for anywhere from 2-9 days, again depending on how long you were using caffeine.

Withdrawal from caffeine can include the following symptoms:

1. Headaches

Headaches are among the most common symptoms of caffeine withdrawal. This is a countereffect to the constriction that caffeine causes in our blood vessels. Drinking caffeine increase blood pressure, which reduces blood flow to the brain.

When you stop drinking caffeine, your blood vessels react by loosening up. This causes a sudden increase in blood flow, which can also cause headaches. This is interesting because in some cases caffeine actually helps to treat certain types of headaches caused by elevated blood flow.

2. Fatigue

As a stimulant, caffeine is most often used to help combat fatigue. When you stop using caffeine, not only will you have to deal with any underlying fatigue that you were fighting, but you will also have to deal with additional fatigue as a withdrawal symptom.

CBD can be useful for helping to improve energy levels. CBD helps to regulate the endocannabinoid system. After being influenced by caffeine for so long, your ECS is likely to experience some imbalances. Correcting these can improve energy levels.

3. Anxiety

One of the withdrawal symptoms of caffeine is one of the same side effects that you can get from drinking it on its own: anxiety. This can happen when you stop using any substance that you have become mentally or physically dependent on.

CBD produces a marked reduction in anxiety and this is one of its most popular uses. There’s no reason that it wouldn’t work for caffeine withdrawal.

4. Difficulty Concentrating

Many people use caffeine as a focus aid. This works because caffeine causes the body to produce more adrenaline. This causes an increase in focus and motivation.

However, when you stop taking caffeine, your body tends to produce a little bit less adrenaline. This is a countermeasure to help restore your brain to a natural production level after being over-stimulated for months or years. During this time you may have trouble concentrating.

CBD has a number of cognitive benefits and can help improve focus in those using it. This can offset some of the concentration difficulties you may face.

5. Depression

Some people find that caffeine works as a mood-boosting stimulant. When you stop using caffeine you may find that you experience mood instability or depression.

One of the best benefits of CBD is its ability to help regulate and improve mood. This might improve some of the post-caffeine blues.

6. Irritability

Most people are familiar with a phrase akin to, “don’t talk to me until I’ve had my morning coffee.” The reason this phrase is so popular is that huge numbers of people are actually going through coffee withdrawal in the morning!

7. Tremors

Tremors are an uncommon side effect of caffeine, albeit a very serious one. Caffeine strongly affects the nervous system. When you stop using it suddenly, you may notice shaking or tremors. These generally only occur in the extremities, especially in the hands.

Tremors tend to occur only in those with serious caffeine addictions. However, CBD is able to reduce tremors, especially those associated with anxiety.

Conclusion: CBD & Caffeine Are a Powerful Duo

Caffeine and CBD are two seemingly opposite substances. However, they work together quite nicely. CBD helps to reduce some of the unwanted side effects of caffeine while producing a number of effects on its own. CBD may also help to reduce the challenges of caffeine withdrawal.

One of the best ways to see how this combo works for you is to toss a dose of CBD in with your morning coffee.

Remember, though, that CBD is best absorbed under the tongue. If you’re taking it orally you’ll probably want to use slightly more than you would sublingually.

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