Cosmic Bean Dispensary Sells Coffee with a CBD Twist
A glance into the Dinkytown store and the medical and legal uncertainty around its namesake
By Ian Knoll
Be it Starbucks or Caribou, Dunn Brothers or Wise Owl, HardTimes or Bordertown, UMN students are no strangers to coffee. Yet ask one if they’d prefer a shot of creamer or a drop of CBD in their joe, and most will probably look at you in confusion. Cosmic Bean Dispensary aims to change that.
For the unaware, CBD (or Cannabidiol) is a chemical extract of cannabis devoid of the effects of the more well-known THC. Anecdotes tout it as a treatment for chronic pain, inflammation, anxiety, insomnia, and more; although research is sparse, preclinical evidence may support these first three claims—albeit in doses far higher than common commercial products (anywhere from 250 to 600 milligrams a day). Though generally considered legal to use, it’s important to note that CBD has not yet been FDA tested or approved for any products (an epilepsy drug being the sole exception), and the FDA are still considering what proper use, safety, and regulation of the compound should look like.
Despite these issues, Cosmic Bean Dispensary has proven a viable business for the Dinkytown community. Customers can purchase coffee in styles ranging from mochas to french press before electing to add ten, twenty-five, or fifty-milligrams of in-house produced CBD for an additional cost. The intent seems to be for the CBD to counteract the jitters of coffee and to make the store a place where “you can truly leave stress, anxiety, and restlessness at the door.” I’ll admit my CBD infused cold brew tasted and felt like bog-standard coffee, but the atmosphere was inviting and by no means felt illicit or suspicious. If CBD coffee isn’t your thing, the menu also includes teas, kombucha, and smoothies along with a variety of baked goods. Regardless of your stance on coffee or CBD, one thing is clear: both are here to stay.