Need a quick pick-me-up? One that’s not fuelled by caffeine and sugar? It could be time to try CBD energy drinks.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the main compounds present in the cannabis sativa plant. It’s a safe, non-addictive substance with a huge range of therapeutic benefits. While scientific research is limited, CBD is shown to be effective in managing a range of health conditions and symptoms. It can help to alleviate pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, muscle spasms, and more.
In addition to CBD, the hemp plant also contains terpenes, flavonoids, amino acids, and over 100 minor cannabinoids. These compounds combine to create the ‘entourage effect,’ which means they work synergistically to boost the healing properties of one another.
CBD works by interacting with your endocannabinoid system, otherwise known as the ECS. Your ECS plays an important role in regulating many of the processes that keep your body functioning every day: blood pressure, mood, energy production, immune function, glucose metabolism, appetite, pain management, and more
CBD comprises more than a hundred phytocannabinoids, which are similar to the cannabinoids your body produces. By mimicking your own cannabinoids, CBD encourages your body to provide relief from pain, inflammation, anxiety, stress, insomnia, and even chronic illnesses.
Energy drinks are designed to do exactly what they say on the label: give you a quick boost of energy. Many brands also promise to enhance mental alertness and physical performance. Not surprisingly, energy drinks are the most popular dietary supplement consumed by teens and young adults.
Energy drinks are generally available in two forms: standard-sized bottles (around 16oz) and small containers called ‘energy shots’ (around 2½ oz).
Most of the ‘energy’ in these drinks comes from two primary ingredients: sugar and caffeine. A typical energy drink can contain up to 80 milligrams of caffeine (about the same amount as a cup of coffee). They also may contain ingredients such as guarana (another source of caffeine), taurine, ginseng, B vitamins, carnitine, and flavors.
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What they are
There’s now a huge range of CBD products available in almost every form imaginable: oils, drops, gummies, capsules, brownies, candles, and more. Now, CBD energy drinks are also hitting the shelves—and they could be a healthier alternative to caffeinated drinks.
CBD energy drinks, also known as hemp energy drinks, contain a dose of cannabidiol extract, along with other ingredients. The CBD content of the drink will depend on the particular brand, and there’s a wide range to choose from. Some of the most popular brands currently available contain anything from 8mg to 50mg CBD per serving.
Like standard energy drinks, the CBD drink mix usually includes a large dose of caffeine. There may be a host of other energy-boosting compounds, such as taurine, green coffee beans, ginseng, guarana, vitamins, herbal extracts… the list goes on.
What they do
The way CBD affects you has a lot to do with the way you consume it. While CBD oil can be absorbed fairly quickly when placed under the tongue, ingesting CBD in the form of a drink will take longer to produce an effect. This is because the CBD must first pass through your digestive system and your liver, where it will then enter the bloodstream. You’ll still get the health and wellness benefits of the CBD, but it may take a few hours before these benefits are noticeable.
The other important factor to consider is the combination of CBD and caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant, and CBD is a relaxant, so it may seem that a drink containing both would be counterintuitive; however, the effect appears to be somewhat beneficial. A study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine showed that caffeine and CBD can activate some of the same pathways in the brain. The neurotransmitters involved in the endocannabinoid system—which are the same ones that CBD interacts with—were found to decrease after people drank four to eight cups of coffee in a day. This is actually the opposite effect of what happens when you use cannabis.
Other anecdotal reports suggest that combining CBD with caffeine increases alertness while reducing the ‘caffeine jitters’ that can come with drinking too much coffee. This could mean you can enjoy a CBD energy drink and improve your focus without suffering the ‘wired’ effects of an espresso.
When to use them
As with most CBD products, scientific research into the long-term benefits of CBD energy drinks is still pending; however, there are plenty of circumstances in which a CBD energy drink might be helpful.
Those who don’t like the taste of CBD oil might prefer a CBD drink instead. The combination of flavors in these drinks are designed to mask the strong taste of CBD, and most people say they can’t taste it at all.
Caffeine-sensitive people may benefit from the way CBD helps to ‘mellow’ the caffeine content of an energy drink. This can mean you can enjoy a CBD energy drink later in the day without fear of the ‘caffeine jitters’ or being unable to sleep at night.
CBD energy drinks are also a great way to get a discreet hit of CBD—and energy—anytime you need a quick boost. This is particularly important for those times when you don’t feel comfortable vaping, using drops, or eating a brownie!
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About the Author
Katie is a freelance writer and qualified naturopath from New Zealand. She has completed degrees in criminology, journalism, and natural medicine and has spent several years in marketing and communications.
Katie travelled the world as a “digital nomad” for several years before returning to her home in NZ, where she continues to write for a number of online publications. She specialises in health and wellness content and has a keen focus on CBD research.