Hemp coffee has no THC in it, but after drinking half a can of Native Jack Nitro Cafe Americano, I feel buzzed. But not in a way that feels like the effect of other caffeinated drinks. Despite my hunch that hemp coffee would taste like drinking java infused with bong water, it’s a surprisingly smooth, creamy coffee drink with a touch of sugar (6g). If Native Jack owner Jason Walsh is right, adding hempseed oil to coffee might be the start of a new trend. Is this the next Bulletproof Coffee?
Ever since Bulletproof Coffee grew in popularity, many people have become comfortable adding grass-fed butter and MCT oil to their morning cup o’ joe, saying it helps them focus in addition to the usual energy boost. With cannabis becoming legalized in more states, it seems like the right time for perfectly legal (and 100 percent non-hallucinogenic) hemp products to have their moment in the sun.
People who cook with hempseed oil might know that it’s rich in omega-6s and omega-3s. “Omegas have benefits for both heart and brain health,” says Walsh. But if you don’t have time to cook omega-rich foods, it can be difficult to incorporate them into your diet. Coffee is a perfect delivery system for the oil, essentially erasing the earthy bitterness of the oil and delivering potential health benefits. And it’s not just Native Jack’s 12-ounce can of hempseed-powered java that’s been released to market. There’s also Hippie Butter Hemp Seed Coffee, which incorporates organic roasted seeds, and Colorado Hemp Coffee that uses Colorado-grown hemp.
At $4.99 in Colorado (though it’s more expensive online), a can of Native Jack is only a little pricier than nitro coffee cans from brands like Portland’s beloved Stumptown Roasters. But with the way behemoth coffee companies are picking up trends from the craft world, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before the trend mainstreams. Your next Grande Cold Brew could come with a helping of hemp.