Coffee and weed has long been a popular combo in the cannabis community. Formerly known as the “hippie speedball,” many swear by its ability to chill you out and keep you productive at the same time. But what’s actually going on when you mix coffee and weed?
Coffee and Weed Affects the Endocannabinoid System
A new study recently found a connection between the body’s natural endocannabinoid system (ECS) and coffee. The ECS is a system of neurons and receptors in our bodies that plays a role in regulating many bodily functions, including pain, appetite, mood, sleep, and immune function. Our bodies produce natural versions of phytocannabinoids, like THC and CBD, called endocannabinoids. Anandamide is one endocannabinoid thought to be the body’s version of THC. We also have endocannabinoid receptors, known as CB-1 and CB-2, all over the body, including in the brain, immune cells, GI tract, and even on the skin.
This recent study measured and compared metabolites in subjects’ blood relative to how much coffee they drink, from zero to eight cups per day. The researchers found a reduced amount of endocannabinoids in the blood when participants were drinking the most coffee, eight cups a day. In comparison, consuming cannabis products, raises the level of endocannabinoids in a person’s system.
Some cannabis researchers, like Dr. Ethan Russo, believe certain problems, from fibromyalgia and migraines to depression, are caused by a “clinical endocannabinoid deficiency.” Researchers in the 2017 study were surprised by their findings and recommended further investigation into the relationship between coffee and weed.
“These are entirely new pathways by which coffee might affect health,” wrote lead author of the study, Marilyn Cornelis, assistant professor at Northwestern University.
Is it Safe to Mix Coffee and Weed?
Mixing coffee and weed, or more generally, caffeine and cannabis, is a hot topic. While many people swear by their daily wake and bake, others insist that coffee and weed is a dangerous combo. Let’s look at the facts.
For starters, both coffee and weed are known to cause an increased heart rate. In some people, this effect is barely noticeable. However, for those with a heart condition or anxiety, this could lead to an uncomfortable and even paranoid morning.
If this has happened to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t consume coffee and weed. It might just mean you have yet to find the coffee and weed routine that works for you. To get started, try to find a coffee on the low end of the caffeine spectrum. For example, dark roasts are known to have less caffeine than light roasts. When looking for that right cannabis, look for a hybrid or even an indica with some CBD in it. Also keep your THC levels on the lower side like something with a CBD:THC ratio of 1:1, 2:1 or 3:1. CBD helps to counteract THC’s effects, producing a mellower high.
The good news is that even if you decide that coffee and weed isn’t for you, it is relatively safe. A good rule of thumb if you’re using coffee and weed for productivity is less is more. You will probably have a more successful morning with only one or two cups of coffee and ½ to one joint.
Does Mixing Coffee and Weed Make you Higher?
Some people do say that mixing coffee and weed makes them higher. While that might be more of an effect from their first joint of the day, there is some evidence to suggest THC and caffeine are supporting each other, chemically.
A 2014 study of squirrel monkeys that were addicted to THC had an interesting finding regarding coffee and weed. The researchers found that caffeine improved the effects of the THC, indicating you may need less weed to achieve an ideal high when you’re also caffeinated. This likely contributes to why people think they’re getting high from mixing coffee and weed. It also proves more research is needed on the endocannabinoid system, coffee and weed.
How to Successfully Mix Coffee and Weed
Both coffee and weed come in a wide variety of complex flavor profiles. Coffee is affected by everything from the terroir to how the beans and buds were dried, roasted or cured. Strains, of course, are also becoming increasingly refined. Let us help you find that dream coffee and weed combination.
How to Pair Coffee and Weed Flavors
To pair coffee and weed flavors, you first want to think about what kind of coffee you like and what weed will compliment it. For instance, light roasts are sweeter, more acidic, and have the most caffeine, so you may want a sour, skunky, or earthy indica or hybrid to pair with it, depending on your desired effect.
Another tactic is thinking about what kind of food you like to pair with coffee and finding a strain with a comparable flavor. For instance, if your bold, medium roast coffee would go well with something sugary, try a sweet tasting sativa or hybrid like Strawberry Cough or Blue Dream.
How to Pair Coffee and Weed Effects
You want to pair coffee and weed effects that work together to create your desired mood. For example, if you’re really tired and need an intense pick me up, try combining a high caffeine coffee, like a light roast or an espresso, with a super uplifting sativa strain. Some good uplifting Sativas are:
- Bubba Kush (Indica)
- Northern Lights (Indica)
- Harlequin (high-CBD sativa, 3:1 CBD:THC)
- Cannatonic (high-CBD hybrid, 2:1 CBD:THC)
Looking to power through the rest of the workday? Go for an energizing hybrid with a half-caf light or medium roast coffee, or treat yourself to an espresso drink. Energizing hybrid strains:
Pro Tip: Add some mangos to your morning routine to boost the effects of the cannabis even more.
Do you mix coffee and weed in the morning? Tell us your favorite wake and bake pairing in a comment.