Wake And Bake: What Happens When You Mix Pot With Coffee?
Don’t talk to me unless I’ve had my morning coffee.
Yep, I’m one of those caffeine fanatics whose brains just don’t start working until I’ve had a good cup or two of Joe in the morning. It literally helps me drink my sleep away and helps me think more clearly. But when I’m enjoying that nice bright caffeinated hit, I also love punctuating it with some pot. Given the right strain, this habit has helped me become more productive but more than that – it also feels GREAT.
I know I’m not the only one who enjoys this, but what’s the reason why coffee and pot are so good together?
Caffeine Gives Marijuana A Better Hit
Caffeine is a stimulant, psychoactive drug in a class of its own. The reason why you feel so good when you mix it with pot is because of some kind of alchemy that occurs in the brain when the two chemicals are combined. To have a better understanding of how this works, a study was done involving squirrel monkeys. The animals, which have had a reputation for getting high in the lab, were provided a lever that enabled them to get high intravenously with THC from a device.
When the scientists taught the monkeys how to get high using the lever, they were given doses of water-soluble caffeine known as MSX-3. 1mg/kg of the stuff is equivalent to around half a cup of coffee, an amount that prompted the squirrel monkeys to pull the lever less. However when they were administered 3mg/kg, which was equivalent to around 2 cups of coffee for the average person, the monkeys pulled the lever much less.
During the second part of the experiment, the scientists made the squirrel monkeys rest by keeping them off drugs. They then gave the monkeys a shot of either THC + MSX-3 or THC then enabled the monkeys to pull the lever whenever they felt like it. Since they were reintroduced to THC, the monkeys were pulling but those who had more MSX-3 in their system were observed to be pulling more than the others.
According to the study’s scientists, caffeine or any other A2A antagonist drugs “potentiated the effect of threshold doses” of THC and anandamide which in turn has a reinforcing effect. What this means for you is that when you consume caffeine, you can smoke less pot and still get the high that you are looking for. But if you are trying to quit, the presence of caffeine can make it difficult if you are consuming both at the same time however consuming smaller amounts of caffeine (less than half a cup) can make it easier for you to quit pot because of a process called the dose-response curve.
THC works in the body by attaching to the cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body, all of which make up our endocannabinoid system. This system plays an important role in regulating many important functions in the body. When you take painkillers like Advil and Tylenol, you stop feeling pain because the drug accumulates anandamide, a kind of neurotransmitter in the brain which also targets cannabinoid receptors. In the same way, when you exercise, the body releases more anandamides which has the same reacts in the body the same way squirrel monkeys responded to THC. When you take coffee, you’ll derive pleasure from anandamides although it’s less which is why going on short walks can be just as enjoyable as a run.
Caffeine and THC are not just safe to consume together in fact they even complement each other.
“Apparently, high doses of coffee make us feel so good because it is able to tap into virtually every reward system our brain has evolved. Hidden within that hot black silken elixir is a chemical that has taken over your brain by mimicking the actions of marijuana,” states Dr. Gary Wenk of the Ohio State University Medical Center.
Debunking The Myths
Many people even those who smoke pot are afraid that combining the 2 means that you’ll actually get less of a hit from the cannabis because the coffee might kill the high. This topic hasn’t been widely explored by the scientific and medical community yet, and still remains to be fairly complex although it’s safe to assume that this has a lot to do with a person’s tolerance with coffee. If you drink coffee on a daily basis, you might not feel the effects of smoking pot right away and vice versa. So far there has been no evidence that states that caffeine inhibits the effect of marijuana when used together.
But people who are already used to combining pot and coffee will tell you that your brew won’t be a buzzkill. Caffeine simply adds layers of its effects to the pot you’ve consumed. So if you drink some coffee after a toke you’ll just end up feeling more energetic and alert.
What is your experience with mixing coffee and cannabis? Share with us in the comments below!
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