Cannabis and Caffeine: 5 Tips for Enjoying Weed and Coffee Together
Weed and coffee make for a magical combination. But it’s not actually magic that makes these two sweet substances complement one another so perfectly—it’s science. Aside from the delightful bitterness of coffee and the pungent flavor of smoke melding together on a sensory level, there are deeper chemical reactions that help explain why I've found a variety of benefits from starting the morning with an espresso and a joint. The point is, if you're willing to take the time to find the right dosage and consumption style and combine them - you'll reap the benefits of prolonged energy, creativity and productive focus throughout your day.
Understanding the Science:
While there isn’t exactly a stack of scientific studies about the relationship between coffee and cannabis (due to current legal restrictions) to work from, there’s one commonly cited study that’s worth noting. In the 2014 study, squirrel monkeys who were addicted to THC were given different doses of drug that mimicked the receptor-blocking properties of caffeine, and then allowed to intake THC as desired (We note that cannabis is not scientifically addictive).
First of all, caffeine doesn’t give you energy—rather, it impedes receptors in your brain from receiving adenosine (the chemical compound responsible for drowsiness). The reason you "crash" after a cup of coffee and want another is because these receptors has become available and the drowsiness returns. Cannabis, on the other hand, contains cannabinoids, which are naturally produced in the brain (you may have heard of the endocannabinoid system, which humans and all mammals possess). THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) resembles anandamide, also known as “the bliss molecule,” which naturally occurs in the brain and is connected to many emotions and processes that we connect with weed like appetite, intellectual thought, and memory. When you smoke cannabis, THC binds to receptors normally reserved for the bliss molecule, which is why users are often euphoric and able to amplify their creative thoughts and imagination. It stands to reason, then, that combining the alertness of coffee with the creative euphoria of cannabis yields a prolonged, non-drowsy state of awareness, happiness, and inspiration.
OK, back to the monkeys. The monkeys who had high doses of adenosine-blocking drugs (for our argument, this mimics coffee) had higher marijuana intake, while the monkeys who had lower doses of the adenosine-blocking drugs had lower marijuana intake. This data is tough to comprehend and also difficult to accurately transpose into how it will affect humans, but one thing we’ve taken from it is that while high doses of coffee can lead us to desire high doses of weed, a sustained and happy high is possible if you have a small dose of caffeine to complement a small dose of THC. Basically, the volume of consumption for one will approximately correlate to dosage volume of the other.
Dr. Gary Wenk, a professor of Psychology & Neuroscience & Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics at the Ohio State University Medical Centre sums it up as follows, “Apparently, high doses of coffee makes us feel so good because it can tap into virtually every reward system our brain has evolved.” Cannabis acts every nearly the same way, but the important thing is to not overdo it.
5 Tips to Reduce Coffee and Weed Anxiety:
Beyond the science, I am, simply put, a fan of combining coffee and cannabis. The respective stimulant and depressant work together seamlessly, and it’s worth mentioning that coffee also helps to make your stash last longer (if you need to conserve your stash, check out this article on how to blaze on a budget). Here are 5 Tips to Enjoy Weed and Coffee together without anxiety:
Go for a Hybrid
While marijuana is a depressant, the variations between indica and sativa are vast. If you’re starting your day with a cup of coffee and a side of marijuana, we recommend going with a hybrid—this will supply you with energy and enhanced creativity from the sativa, and a calming counterbalance to the powerful caffeine from the indica.
Try an Espresso
You don’t always need a full cup of coffee—remember those monkeys! While a little bit can do the trick, over-medicating with coffee and cannabis can be more harmful than helpful. A short pour espresso and a little bit of weed is the perfect recipe for an uplifting high and a creative mindset. Many people think espresso's are vastly stronger than regular coffee, but remember that it's only in relation to the volume of water. Think of it this way, you can have 5 cups or 5 sips. The espresso is more potent in each sip, so you can feel stronger increases with each sip and therefore effectively manage the dosage.
Plan your Morning
Morning rituals help us get into the right mindset—when we plan our morning, we’re already prepared to pounce on possibility and to carpe that diem. Incorporating a smoke (or vape) and an espresso into that morning ritual will allow you to synthesize your goals for the day and identity a productive activity that capitalizes on your enhanced mental state. Especially if you’re your own boss or you work closely with a good friend who also happens to be your smoking buddy, we can’t say enough about the productive potential of the cannabis and coffee in your morning meeting. Don't forget to take that meeting with some activity! A walk and talk in the morning can do wonders for the rest of your day.
Embrace the Preparation Process
This tip complements the previous one—starting your morning by rolling a joint, packing your pipe, or loading your pen is an almost-meditative way to kickstart the day. The act of preparation—let alone consumption of it—supplies a runway of tranquility and creativity from which you can takeoff. The same way you sip an espresso, a morning smoke should be one that you enjoy slowly, purposefully, and without rushing. If you are smoking on someone else’s clock, a one hitter is the quick and easy answer. And to truly minimize smell, go for a portable vape before work.
Experiment with Different Approaches
Your coffee and cannabis session is a perfect moment for you to find a morning routine that works for you. You’re at peak alertness and creativity, your potential output is infinite, and the sky's the limit. You might find that vaping sativa is actually the best for the morning hours of your day. Others might find that a bong rip of indica is exactly what they need to maintain patience toward their clients or colleagues. The point is, don't give up if the first try doesn't land well with you. Sip, inhale, and center yourself with a moderate but effective combination—then prepare to unleash your full potential on the world.
To this day, I start my morning with meditation, a quick set of pull-ups and push-ups, a joint, and a short pour espresso. It works wonders for me, and I hope it does for you, too. When I travel, my solution has become the Safety Case.
As you can see, it's a highly versatile all in one smoking system created to enjoy that sunrise smoke anywhere. Regardless of how you start your morning, thanks for reading.