Get Buzzed: The Science Behind Cannabis & Coffee

 In Edibles, Lifestyle

Cannabis has been used by humanity for over 6,000 years, since the earliest dawn of civilization. Coffee was discovered in Ethiopia in the 15th century and spread throughout Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula by the century’s end, and within another hundred years it was drank widely across the Middle East. Though drinking coffee is comparatively new, caffeine is the most commonly used drug worldwide, and coffee is its main delivery method.

In the U.S., 83 percent of adults drink coffee regularly, whereas adult past-month cannabis use is only 16 percent (still enough to make it the most commonly used illegal drug). Despite coffee and cannabis being two of the most commonly-used drugs in the world, their combined effects are poorly understood, at least until recent research began to illuminate the many interactions between two of humanities favorite mind-altering substances.

While cannabis has countless interactions in the brain and the rest of the body, due to the omni-present endocannabinoid system, caffeine only has known action within the brain, blocking the receptor site for adenosine. A 2015 study funded by the National Institutes of Health found that consuming low doses of caffeine should lower THC cravings and higher doses of caffeine would increase cravings for THC. This appears to be because coffee triggers activity at the endocannabinoid CB1 receptor site, the same one that THC interacts with to cause psychoactivity and create feelings of euphoria. If you ever wondered why people seem to perk up and get happier when they drink coffee, this is why; the Starbucks version of wake and bake.