Weed and coffee make for a magical combination — ask any wake-n-bake enthusiast. But it’s not actual 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 the 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 can reap the benefits of prolonged energy, creativity, and productive focus throughout your day.
Coffee and Weed: Understanding the Science
While there isn’t exactly an abundance of scientific studies about the relationship between coffee and cannabis (due to current legal restrictions and lack of federal guidance) to work from, there’s one commonly-cited study that’s particularly notable.
In the 2014 study, squirrel monkeys who were addicted to THC were given different doses of a 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 that these receptors have become available and the drowsiness returns.
Cannabis, by contrast, contains phytocannabinoids, which are chemically similar to the endocannabinoids naturally produced by 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 cannabis like appetite, intellectual thought, and memory.
When you smoke a bowl or joint of cannabis, THC binds to receptors in the same way as anandamide, 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 would yield 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 purposes, this mimics the chemical action of coffee) had higher marijuana intake, while the monkeys who had lower doses of the adenosine-blocking drugs had lower marijuana intake.
This data is a little tough to comprehend at first, and also difficult to accurately apply to potential effects in humans. That said, 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 very nearly the same way, albeit through different chemical pathways, but the important thing is to not overdo it.
5 Tips to Reduce Coffee & Weed Anxiety
Beyond the science, we are, to put it simply, fans of combining coffee and cannabis. The respective stimulant and depressant effects 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 in general, 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 espressos 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 more accurately.
Plan Your Morning
Morning rituals help us get into the right mindset for the day—when we plan our morning, we’re already prepared to pounce on the possibility and to carpe the absolute hell out of that diem. Incorporating a smoke (or vape) and an espresso into your 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—never mind the consumption of the finished product—lays down a runway of tranquility and creativity from which you can take off when you smoke. 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
Bonus: Experiment with Higher CBD Content
If you’re buying your cannabis from a dispensary, you’ll notice that they typically list both the THC and CBD contents for each strain. Heavy-hitting, THC-dominant strains are often in the 20-25% range but may contain a negligible trace of CBD. Alternatively, CBD-dominant strains may have 10+% CBD and little to no THC at all.
If you aren’t living in a state with a legal cannabis program, you can still reap the benefits of organic hemp flower. Legal to ship in all 50 states, the hemp flower strains from Canna Comforts look, smell, taste, and smoke just like the top-shelf cannabis strains that inspired them. We especially enjoy the strain Lifter (augmented with some Elektra Kief for extra symptom relief), but Canna Comforts‘ diverse array of strains ensures an ideal cannabinoid profile for every purpose.
The effects of smoking or vaporizing a high-quality CBD isolate can be felt immediately as well—your body begins to relax and soften very quickly. We describe this sensation as a “wave of relief”.
To this day, we start our morning with meditation, a quick set of pull-ups and push-ups, a joint, and a short pour espresso. It works wonders for us, and we hope it does for you, too. When we travel, our 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.
Can you Make Weed Coffee?
Yes! You can add either CBD or THC to coffee in various ways to enjoy both substances at the same time.