For an Americano without any anxiety, Londoners are adding CBD, says Samuel Fishwick
If your desk mate is looking less rattly post-morning mochaccino it’s because cannabidiol coffees are piping hot right now.
Certainly CBD, the voguish cannabis derivative finding it’s way into everything from bath bombs to dog treats, is becoming as crucial to the London caffeine run as oat milk and an extra shot.
CBD treats ailments as diverse as inflammation, pain, acne, anxiety, insomnia, depression, post-traumatic stress and even cancer.
Coffee, though, is a brave new frontier with more and more cosmopolitan coffee shops offering CBD drops to take the anxious edge off our morning latte.
“It’s the perfect drink for gym-goers and professionals alike looking to improve focus and energy inside, and outside, the gym or office,” says Josh Kay, co-founder of High Tide, which distributes CBD-infused cold brew coffee cans in the UK. Obviously, he’s keen to debunk the notion that it’s a stoner supplement.
“We use three ingredients — namely hand-roasted Columbian coffee beans, filtered water and CBD, the non-psychoactive derivative of the cannabis plant guaranteed to contain no THC,” says Kay. “This means it can be used by athletes and does not cause a high — which is great news given that CBD has been found to help inflammation and speed-up muscle recovery time.” Think of it as a clean, healthy, sugar-free, energy drink, he says, one that uses CBD to counteract the negative side effects of caffeine.
“By combining coffee and CBD we discovered that we could eliminate the jitters often caused by coffee,” he adds. “This is because we have a receptor in our brain called the adenosine receptor that picks up both caffeine and CBD. The addition of CBD can, in a lot of cases, remove caffeine jitters entirely.”
Naturally, there are sceptics. While CBD has become wildly popular, only a fraction of users understand its properties.
“It’s really just engineered to help you relax and restore balance,” says Stuart Forsyth, CEO of Minor Figures, an east London-based coffee company which sells CBD tincture with coffee at £20 per 10ml bottle. “Our CBD is full-spectrum, which means you maintain all ingredients found in the hemp flower. The product is completely safe to use, as recently verified by the World Health Organisation, and it has no psychoactive properties. It acts as the yin to coffee’s yang.”
Eastenders’ favourite flat-white spot Deeney’s in Leyton keeps CBD drops by the counter for anyone looking to take the edge of their caffiene-induced anxiety and at branches of Planet Organic the latest brew combines espresso, butter, coconut oil and CBD. In Notting Hill, Farm Girl serves a Happy Hot Chocolate, which includes CBD oil too.
In Fitzrovia, Mortimer House is really doubling down — creating a whole wellbeing “Potions” menu to accompany coffees with CBD oil and tea infusions such as The Balance, which contains ashwagandha, liquorice, turmeric, ginger, black pepper and cayenne. “It’s all part of offering guests a holistic sense of balance and wellbeing,” says Francesco del Prete, its food and beverage manager. And… relax.