Bushwick coffee shop Caffeine Underground made waves a few weeks ago when it came to light that they were serving CBD-infused coffee drinks. Now, it looks like others are getting on board with cannabidiol: Greenpoint’s Antidote Apothecary and Tea Bar has started selling CBD-infused coffee beans, with drinks coming soon. With a trend clearly in the works, I was intrigued enough to head to Caffeine Underground to try a CBD-infused latte for myself.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the more common compounds found in cannabis. Caffeine Underground sources their infused brew from Flower Power Coffee Company, a champion of cannabidiol’s supposed health benefits. The roaster’s website stresses that “CBD is legal, has no psychoactive effects, and will not make you fail a drug test.” Unlike THC, the infamous psychoactive compound also found in cannabis, CBD is said to have more of a simple relaxing effect.
Ian Ford, owner of Caffeine Underground, prepared my order as if it were any other latte (CBD-infused drip, mochas, and cappuccinos are also available), except he included a healthy amount of the CBD-infused coffee with the regular blend. Once I got my drink, I sat down at one of the tables. It was just before noon on a weekday, and the coffee shop was mostly empty, except for a few people working on laptops.
I’m not a big coffee drinker, and don’t love the jittery feeling and subsequent crash I experience when drinking a normal latte. But after a few sips of my CBD-infused brew, things took a turn for the mellow. All of the stress I’d felt mounting throughout the day but had obstinately ignored was completely gone. Things seemed good. Great, even. And while I definitely felt the effects of the caffeine as well, it was much less intense than normal.
Let’s make something clear: CBD-infused coffee will not get you high. While both marijuana and hemp, the plant from which CBD is extracted, are part of the cannabis family, marijuana is a different plant with different effects. Still, I happily spent the rest of my lunch break sipping on my infused latte without a care in the world. I also got really hungry and scarfed down a bagel in a matter of seconds, but I think that was less an attack of the munchies and more due to the fact that I hadn’t eaten since 9 a.m.
The overall effect of the latte was both calming and energizing. The feeling of being awake and wired, but not stressed, continued even after I’d finished my latte and was on the train back to the city. Normally, crowded trains make me anxious at best and irritated at worst, but even an obnoxious manspreader couldn’t ruin my good mood. I walked back to work with a smile on my face. However, after about an hour, my good vibes were gone, and I was back to feeling just as stressed as before.
Hey, I didn’t say this stuff worked miracles.