The combination of coffee and cannabis seems to be the perfect choice for a morning start, because the effects of marijuana are complemented by the energy of coffee.
However, this combination must be approached with the utmost caution, because science is still figuring out how the two substances in our brains chemically combine and what effect it can have on users' bodies.
A study of the combination of coffee and cannabis
Before embarking on the description of the pairing of cannabis and coffee, it is best to get acquainted with the scientific work behind the discovery of the combination.
In 2014, a study was conducted by the Journal of Neuroscience to determine the effects of cannabis and coffee when used together.
In the study, cauliflowers (small monkeys) were given caffeine and could be "tested" when pulled by a lever because it caused the intravenous release of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a chemical that causes the psychoactive effect of cannabis.
Caffeine blocks the neurotransmitter receptor for adenosine, which makes people more alert. Adenosine receptors are on both sides of our synapses, which are connections between neurons.
The study found that small amounts of caffeine blocked presynaptic adenosine receptors, causing monkeys to stop dosing THC, but larger amounts of caffeine blocked postsynaptic adenosine receptors, resulting in monkeys increasing THC use again.
A reason to warn against mixing coffee and cannabis is the fact that caffeine can affect the effects of cannabis.
In 2012, the same scientist who performed the experiment with monkeys, Dr. Sergi Ferre, looked at the effects of caffeine and cannabis on rats.
He found that the combination of both substances worsened the memory-limiting effects of cannabis in rats.
Dr. Ferre said both caffeine and cannabis increase the amount of dopamine in the brains, so when caffeine is taken with cannabis, it can increase the effect of dopamine from cannabis.
"Caffeine significantly enhances the effects of psychostimulants, including THC and cocaine," said Dr. Iron. "The effects of any substance that releases dopamine, including THC, are therefore enhanced by caffeine."
These studies, although not performed on humans, should serve as a justification for using coffee and cannabis together very carefully. Their pairing could increase the desire for cannabis and its effects.
A more recent 2018 study for the Journal of Internal Medicine, conducted by researchers at Northwestern University of Chicago, looked at the relationship between coffee and cannabis.
The results of the study showed that caffeine affects the same areas that are responsible for the effects of cannabis - a network of neurotransmitters called the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The three-month study involved 47 people living in Finland. In the first month, the participants did not drink coffee at all, in the second they had four cups a day and in the third they drank eight a day.
The researchers then checked the levels of metabolites (chemicals produced during metabolism) in the participants' blood.
They found that coffee modified 115 different metabolites in the blood, and one set of chemicals in these metabolites were endocannabinoids, which are molecules that bind to receptors in the nervous system. The human body makes its own cannabinoids, but it also responds to foreign ones, such as those from cannabis.
Coffee has never been shown to affect the metabolic process, which includes endocannabinoids. This finding has led scientists to conclude that coffee and cannabis can affect the same systems in our body, but these effects have not yet been precisely determined.
How to enjoy cannabis and coffee together
If anything can be deduced from these experiments, it is the fact that coffee and cannabis have a confidential connection in the chemistry of the human body that should be respected. This leads to the conclusion that experimenting with coffee and cannabis sharing should start slowly and lightly.
While science has yet to address this topic, the tastes of these two substances can be quite pleasant together and worth experimenting with.
The best way to enjoy them together is during the first morning activity.
Although there are many activities that can be done after mixing coffee and cannabis, this combination has proven to be most suitable for creative activities.
The rise of cannabis cafes
With the legalization of cannabis in many countries, the potential of a new thriving coffee shop scene, similar to those in Amsterdam, has become apparent.
In Canada, for example, it is not currently allowed to sell food or drink along with cannabis, but that may change next year as the government considers how to regulate food and drink combined with cannabis.
However, in Canada, everything is ready for the possible early rise in popularity of cannabis cafes.
One of the brands that sells coffee and cannabis here is Tokyo Smoke. They currently have five cafes in Toronto, one in Calgary and four dispensaries in Manitoba.
"When we set out to build a community, fight to eradicate stigma, and build a base where people could learn about cannabis culture and cannabis, the first thing that came to mind was a coffee shop." said Josh Lyon, vice president of marketing for Tokyo Smoke. "Cafes are a pleasant way for us to present cannabis culture and cannabis in a way that people are happy with."
Hemp coffee products
There are already companies in foreign markets with legal cannabis that offer coffee containing THC. Its amount varies from product to product, so those interested can try coffee containing from 10 to 200 milligrams of THC per cup.
Some companies then offer coffee containing only CBD, which is not psychoactive.
The combination of cannabis and coffee is a relatively new territory that offers the mainstream many commercial opportunities.
Caffeine affects the same areas that are responsible for the effects of cannabis