We Asked Experts What Happens To Your Body When You Mix Weed & Coffee
It’s a laid-back Saturday afternoon, and you want something extra to go with your coffee and 14th rewatch of The West Wing. If you’re lucky enough to live in one of the dozen or so states (plus Washington, D.C.) that have legalized recreational cannabis, you may want to add a bit of a relaxing vibe to your morning buzz. But before you unearth that edible from the back of the cabinet, you might be wondering if it’s even safe to combine weed and coffee.
“THC and caffeine are two of the most widely used psychotropic chemicals in the world, and they also both have a very long history of use by humans,” says Rubin Torf, co-founder and president of Scientia Labs, a CBD producer, and Canapa, Scientia’s lifestyle brand. “Caffeine in the brain results in reduced drowsiness or fatigue and improves reaction time,” he tells Bustle. “THC results in a range of physiological changes and psychoactivity.”
Everyone’s body reacts differently to substances, of course, but in general, there are some norms to expect. “Caffeine use tends to energize most people,” says Dr. Gary Starr, MD, medical director of FOCUS, an international non-profit working toward developing cannabis quality management standards. “The effects of marijuana can vary, but many people use it to feel more relaxed.”
Some of those varying effects from pot include short-term memory loss, while caffeine is associated with the opposite (sharpening your brain in the moment). Even though those effects seem to combat each other, Torf tells Bustle that the chemicals don’t necessarily cancel each other out. Taken together, he says, “you’re still going to have short-term memory problems from THC, and still feel awake from caffeine.”
If having pot and coffee at the same time doesn’t bring you to a limbo space between hyper-alert and hyper-chill, then what does the combo do? The next time you want to spend an afternoon kicking back with a joint in one hand and a cup of joe in the other, there are four things you should know about how caffeine and weed do interact.
1. Caffeine May Increase Pot-Associated Memory Loss
It might seem logical to try and mix pot with caffeine to counteract THC effects like memory loss, since you know coffee can make you more alert. However, “a combination of caffeine and THC may adversely affect memory,” Dr. Starr tells Bustle. “Some research shows that caffeine and low doses of THC seemed to impair working memoryВ more than THC would on its own.”
Some of this research was published in 2011 in the British Journal of Pharmacology. The study found that combining coffee and weed can worsen memory problems. Though researchers focused on brain chemistry in rats, they speculated that the memory loss associated with pot might be especially dangerous when young people (whose brains are still forming) drink coffee and light up at the same time.
2. Low Levels Of Caffeine Might Prolong Your High
In a 2011 study conducted on monkeys and published in the journal Addiction Biology, scientists gave subjects a small amount (just 1 mg) of caffeine. Then, they gave them unlimited access to weed. Yes, in the name of scientific discovery, small monkeys were self-administering cannabis at will (via a lever, because they’re monkeys). When the critters were given the low amount of caffeine, though, they were less likely go for the weed.
This may well result from the fact that just a little bit of coffee can make a small amount of pot go a longer way. “Low levels of caffeine may enhance the high and result in the need to use less marijuana to achieve the same result,” Dr. Starr tells Bustle.
But don’t light up and chug multiple cups of coffee just yet. “High levels of caffeine, however, could have the opposite effect,” he says. In a 2018 study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, researchers at Northwestern Medicine when you drink a lot of coffee (we’re talking four to eight cups a day), the level of neurotransmitters in your endocannabinoid system decreases вЂ” AKA, more coffee makes your brain do the opposite of what it does when you’re high. However, study participants were only drinking coffee (as opposed to having caffeine and weed together), so everything that happens chemically to human brains when the two interact has yet to be studied in detail.
3. Weed and Coffee Both Give Us Euphoria
A 2017 study published in the journal Annals of Neuroscience found that both caffeine and cannabis increase levels of dopamine (the happiness hormone) in the brain. On their own, both pot and coffee give you this euphoric boost, but the study concluded that the effects magnify when you combine the drink and the plant. “Since both chemicals increase dopamine levels, but through different mechanisms, the combined effect is an increased sense of euphoria,” Torf tells Bustle.
4. Both Pot And Coffee Can Increase Your Heart Rate
Before you leap into the dopamine-induced euphoria that can you can get from a coffee pot, make sure you’ve talked to your doctor about your heart health. “Both marijuana and caffeineВ are known to cause tachycardia вЂ” or an increased heart rate.В In people with underlying heart disease or problems with heart arrhythmias, consuming marijuana and caffeine вЂ” together or separately вЂ” could potentially put them at risk for heart complications,” Dr. Starr tells Bustle.
As with anything cannabis-related, there needs to be more research about how weed and caffeine interact, so be cautious. “It’s important to create your own dosing plan which works for your unique body and lifestyle,” says Valerie Sakota, co-founder of cannabis startup Babari. “If you’re new to testing out THC and caffeine, we recommend taking it for a spin on a morning when you’ve got a productivity goal but no meetings or deadlines. Start with a small dose вЂ” a few puffs of a joint or pipe, or a 2.5 mg of a tincture or edible with your morning joe.” Then, take the next few hours to be extra mindful of how you feel.
Readers should note that laws governing cannabis, hemp and CBD are evolving, as is information about the efficacy and safety of those substances. As such, the information contained in this post should not be construed as legal or medical advice. Always consult your physician prior to trying any substance or supplement.
Panlilio, L.V. (2011) Combined effects of THC and caffeine on working memory in rats. British Journal of Pharmacology, https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01554.x.
JustinovГЎ, Z. (2012) Reinforcing and neurochemical effects of cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonists, but not cocaine, are altered by an adenosine A2A receptor antagonist. Addiction Biology, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3115444/.
Owolabi, J.O. (2017) Caffeine and cannabis effects on vital neurotransmitters and enzymes in the brain tissue of juvenile experimental rats. Annals of Neuroscience, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5448447/.
Cornelis, M.C. (2018) Metabolomic response to coffee consumption: application to a threeвЂђstage clinical trial. Journal of Internal Medicine, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/joim.12737.
Rubin Torf, co-founder and president of Scientia Labs and Canapa
Dr. Gary Starr, MD, medical director of FOCUS
This article was originally published on Feb. 18, 2016It’s a laid-back Saturday afternoon, and you want something extra to go with your coffee and 14th rewatch of The West Wing. If you’re lucky enough to live in one of the dozen or so states (plus Washington, D.C.) that have legalized recreationalвЂ¦
Can you put dabs in coffee
In 1922, William H. Ukers, founder of the Tea and Coffee Trade Journal, wrote the definitive work on everyone’s favorite morning ritual: All About Coffee: A History of Coffee from the Classic Tribute to the World’s Most Beloved Beverage. Ukers spent almost two decades traversing the globe, learning everything he could about coffee beans and their toasty caramel-noted brew.
Today, nearly a century later, roughly two billion cups of coffee are consumed each and every day. Coffee brings joy to our weary, sleep-laden minds and energy to our tired, heavy bodies. The drink is now synonymous with workplace productivity and human efficiency. but it could be better. It’s time to up the ante on wake and bake and get your morning cup of joe on our level. Here are five ways to make canna-coffee and put your own spin on the “green rush.”
Rejoice! Cannabis-infused sugar is here! Welcome to the wonderful world of weed. Companies like Relevant Innovations have carefully constructed ways to merge organically grown cannabis into fast-acting, highly metabolizable, controllable doses of sugar crystals. Relevant’s Green Sugar is CO2-extracted, solventless, and will soon be available in flexible strengths, using high CBD or THC strains. Other variations of canna-sugar products, like Ruby Cannabis Sugar and CannaCane, are sold in dispensaries across the country. You can also learn to make your own at home.
Whether you prefer dairy milk or vegan alternatives, milks of all types, from cow’s milk to almond and soy varieties, have enough fat content to promote an easily digestible infusion of dosable cannabinoids into each cup. A joint’s worth of cannabis per each quarter liter of milk is a lovely way to kick off your day. In a nearly identical process to making cannabutter, gently warming finely ground cannabis into the milk of your choice creates a potent, synergistically soothing coffee creamer. Cannamilk is an excellent DIY addition to your daily caffeine fix.
Both the Paleo and Real Foods movements advocate for adding all-natural, grass-fed butter to coffee for its healthy proteins and fats as well as its ability to keep you sated throughout the day. Butter is created from churned milk, the same source as milk and coffee creamer. Why not go for the green and use cannabis-infused butter? Try the popular and versatile MagicalButter machine, an easy-to-use immersion blender with a digital thermostat and heating unit, or follow this simple cannabutter recipe.
CBD and THC honey sticks and straws, ladies and gentlemen. Get to know them. These are the modern day swizzle stick. You can stir your coffee and simultaneously blast in some cannabis. Cannabis honey sticks are widely available in many medical and recreational states. Often made with organic local honey combined with CO2 extracted cannabis oil, honey sticks are the sweet swirl of delight your cup of joe craves. You can also add cannabis honey sticks to tea, yogurt, fruit cups, or just sip the sweet bee nectar straight from the straw.
Love mocha lattes? Why not add a square or two of the many chocolate edibles on the market to your coffee for an amazing cannabis-infused cacao treat? Chocolatiers from Peak Extracts, Leif Medicinals, Kiva, and Bhang make delicious, decadent medicated options for your morning buzz. An added benefit to traveling for work, or weed tourism, is that you can stop at a nearby dispensary, grab locally made infused chocolates, then visit a local coffee roaster and plunk a square of medible into their tastiest brew. At home, you can make a potent mocha-honey-butter latte using all of the above, or step things up a notch with this hot cacao and cannabis coffee infusion.Turn up your next cup of joe. ]]>