I sometimes wonder if people will ever stop asking me, "Does CBD actually work?" My guess is probably not, seeing how, like all cannabis compounds, CBD's efficacy is dependent on a) an individual's genetic makeup and predisposition, and b) whether or not the product they've tried actually contains the amount of CBD advertised. In an industry rife with cheap CBD imitators and perpetual cash-grab attempts, encountering a CBD product that works, and really works, feels like a personal victory.
For me, taking Willie's Remedy CBD Coffee and Tea for a spin felt like one of those personal victory moments. The canna-beverage market is still in a relative state of infancy. It seems like only in the last year or so that a few choice beverage brands have become synonymous with potency and reliability.
CBD can be tricky because if you're taking it, you want to be able to feel a definite effect without necessarily feeling stoned or even sleepy. My past experience with cannabis-infused coffee and tea is somewhat limited, but if I've ever had frustration with either, it's that the difference wasn't quite noticeable enough for my liking. So let's dive into these hot drinks and see how they deliver.
The CBD sister-brand of Willie Nelson's Willie's Reserve cannabis, Willie's Remedy specializes in full-spectrum hemp-infused coffee, tea, tincture, and topical balm. For this review, I'll be looking at Willie's Remedy Medium Roast Coarse Ground Coffee, Peppermint Tea Pyramid Bags, and Chamomile Tea Pyramid Bags.
Willie's Remedy coffee comes in vibrant, brown paper bags with a label that emulates that old-fashioned, "General Store" coffee vibe, with a clear display of CBD content in milligrams (250 milligrams, to be precise) and the signature Willie phrase "Count Your Blessings Daily." Willie's tea bags come in round tins of 16 bags with 200 milligrams CBD per package — making for an approximate total of 12.5 milligrams per bag — also prominently displayed on the front label.
Celebrity-backed CBD companies are a dime a dozen at this point, and depending on which ones you've tried, your patience may vary already. Maybe I'm just letting my personal taste influence my first impression a little too much here, but I find the presentation of Willie's Remedy not only to be aesthetically appealing but denotes a quality and authenticity that I'd expect from something that bears the Redheaded Stranger's name.
And I'm no coffee expert, but the quality and strength of the smell when I opened my coffee bag far surpassed the aroma of the typical stuff I pick up from Trader Joe's.
Medium Roast Coarse Ground Coffee
According to Willie's Remedy, its coffee is "carefully selected and roasted, then infused with organically grown, full-spectrum hemp oil from independent US farmers." As reported by The Spoon, hemp oil is applied directly to the beans immediately after roasting, which is intended to get a proper distribution of hemp throughout the beans and result in a richer flavor and effect in the final product.
Even in coarse ground form, my Medium Roast Willie's coffee had a vibrant, multidimensional flavor that I noticed immediately. As I mentioned earlier, I'm no coffee expert, but for anyone whose relationship to coffee is primarily utilitarian but not enough to shy away from higher quality, I can't imagine a cup of Willie's Remedy being a let-down. I had hoped that I'd taste the hemp extract so I'd know for sure it was there, but ultimately the effects did a fine job of letting me know without affecting the taste of the coffee.
Happy to report that this cup 'o joe absolutely delivers on its promised "harmony of focus from the caffeine plus calm from the hemp." At first, I thought it might've been just a placebo effect, but then I checked with a buddy of mine who happened to have had a cup over at my place as well. We both found that we'd been sufficiently energized and moderately soothed without feeling virtually any of the typical coffee jitters.
For my first cup of Willie's CBD coffee, I held off for a little longer than I usually do after waking up, mostly to make sure I didn't just chug it down by reflex and miss out on a fuller sense of how it made me feel. Most mornings I don't eat much breakfast, and when I do, it's usually to avoid making myself sick with coffee on an empty stomach. Against my better judgment, I forewent breakfast with my first cup of Willie's Remedy but found my stomach felt just fine, even after a second cup.
I also felt my creative juices flowing pretty immediately, and on a sharper level than usual. I had energy, for sure, but I also had focus and creative drive, and I could feel a tangible difference in the way my thoughts coalesced. I don't know what you call an experience like that if not holistic.
Peppermint & Chamomile Teas
Willie's Remedy CBD tea is comparable in effect, as well as contrasting in flavor and overall experience, to Willie's coffee. If there's a place in your morning or daytime routine for tea, both the peppermint and chamomile teas offer an enriching sensory experience that can add vibrant dimensions to your day.
Willie's peppermint tea is both soothing and invigorating in all the ways you'd hope. For some people, especially in America, tea will always be a hard sell, but this peppermint tea contains a rich, sweet flavor that's appropriately earthy without just tasting earthy. There's an immediate jolt to it that's great for a morning or afternoon pick-me-up.
The chamomile tea is silky-smooth and will please anyone who likes to cozy up and sink into tranquility with a hot cup of chamomile with honey.
I'll spare you the details of the night before I tried Willie's peppermint tea, but I will say with total confidence that it's great for helping with a hangover, especially if you're not a coffee person. And as I already mentioned, its holistic, pick-me-up quality makes it enormously effective in setting a welcome mood for the day, potentially boosting productivity without sending you into an uncomfortable, caffeinated frenzy.
The same can be said for Willie's chamomile tea, only with less immediate invigoration that comes with the peppermint. Though still enlivening in terms of focus and creativity, the chamomile put me on an even-keeled register that helped me stay calm and collected throughout the day.
As a connoisseur who's sampled plenty of CBD products — some good, some bad, and many that are just ok — I was blown away by the overwhelming sense of cool, collected calm with a moderate boost of energy that both these teas provided. Assuming the CBD is distributed evenly, there were about 12.5 milligrams of CBD per tea bag — not a heavy amount but not necessarily a lightweight 5-milligram deal either. They set a tone, mood, and flavor to my mornings that couldn't have been more conducive for completing daily tasks as well as stopping to enjoy the vibes of my surroundings.
For lifelong stoners, the impulse to turn every cannabis product into a hyper-capitalist productivity booster in the age of legalization and mainstream acceptance can be a bit of a downer. However, in the case of Willie's Remedy coffee and tea, there's a legitimate opportunity to potentially curb anxiety, stress, and caffeine jitters while infusing the experience with just enough tranquility to effectively help one find peace through times when "getting shit done" is a necessity.
If you're a coffee person, but you need something to balance out the jitters, Willie's Remedy is more than worth a shot. If you're looking for holistic ways to incorporate CBD (that actually works) into your daily routine, Willie's Remedy tea is an excellent place to start.
Featured image by Willie's Remedy/Weedmaps