Coffee and cannabis, something that pairs amazingly but without the proper dose can be even risky for a few people. Want to how more about these very common substances and some curiosities about it? Come with us!
Cannabis and coffee have more in common than you might think. Both have substances that have already been demonized by biased research, however, it can even be good for us – especially if we know how to dose and consume safely. Today, both plants have therapeutic uses: cannabis is already tested and researched around the world as a possible treatment for the most diverse conditions, while caffeine is found even in medicine to fight the cold or headaches.
Want to know more about the similarities of this plants? We will tell you here, in this post!
The bad reputation of coffee
To write this text, in addition to our research, we spoke to the wonderful Mônica Pupo, director and journalist of the Maryjuana website and also passionate about coffee – and she brought us some incredible information and curiosities. One of them even explains the bad reputation that our daily coffee received. After all, who has never heard that drinking coffee is bad? Nowadays, we know that caffeine is only bad for those who have stomach irritations, insomnia, osteoporosis or sensitivity to the compound. But the story started in a way that we know well in the cannabis field.
According to her, the construction of this myth began when the patent for decaffeinated coffee was created, and arguments were needed to increase its sale. Then, of course, there was research funded by the patent’s creators themselves, attributing a lot of “bad sides” to regular coffee with made-up facts, mainly about caffeine.
Today, we know that caffeine can be a great ally in preventing some types of cancer and even brain degeneration, which causes Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. There is some research on how coffee can act on heart health (since, like wine, it is rich in polyphenols), but its results are still inconclusive. It’s something to keep an eye on!
How much caffeine is too much caffeine?
Studies carried out by Mayo Clinic have revealed the ideal doses of caffeine for adults without sensitivity to the substance: it is safe to consume up to 400 mg of caffeine per day. This is the amount present in about five small cups of coffee.
But the amount of caffeine present in each cup can vary depending on the type of coffee chosen and the method of preparation. 100% Arabica coffee, for example, tends to have less caffeine from blends mixed with the robust bean – a more abundant, less noble variety, used to make volume and cheapen production).
And although most people think that espresso is “stronger”, it is one of the methods of preparation with less concentration of caffeine, since it is made in seconds. A drink made in the French press or aeropress, on the other hand, will have more caffeine, since it is an infusion with coffee – as it stays longer in contact with water, the result is a richer extraction in caffeine and in diterpenes.
Did you know that, like cannabis, coffee also has its (di)terpenes? The grain has two aromatic compounds of its own: cafestol and kahweol. These substances are indicated with antitumor and antioxidants, but they also have their negative side: in large quantities, they can be responsible for the increase of cholesterol.
However, not all coffee is rich in these diterpenes – depending on how you prepare it, you can find more or less of them in your cup. Strained and filtered coffees, more common here in Brazil, do not have a significant amount of these substances – but they preserve all the other benefits of the drink that we love so much.
And what happens if we mix the two?
Have you tried to mix cannabis and coffee? We already, and we know it can be delicious (after all, nothing better than a smoke and a few sips to give us energy to get through the day, right?). But, personal experiences aside, science says that:
Coffee + cannabis impairs short-term memory. Although the studies have been carried out on rats, experts say that recent memory can be further affected when THC acts in conjunction with caffeine. So, although coffee is known for its ability to make us more alert, we must be careful with the combo.
Both can increase your heart rate. We already know that one of the effects, both of coffee and cannabis, is an increase in our heartbeats. When combined, they may not offer many risks for a healthy heart – but you need to keep an eye out, especially if you already have a history of hypertension, arrhythmia or coronary heart disease!
Both make us more euphoric! Studies in rats have shown that both coffee and cannabis help the brain to release dopamine, the neurotransmitter of pleasure, happiness and euphoria. We kind of already knew this, right?!
A little coffee can prolong the high. A research with monkeys showed that when administered to animals that had previously been exposed to cannabis, caffeine made the plant’s effect last longer, and be stronger with lesser amounts. But with too much caffeine, the effect proved to be the opposite!
Both substances can increase anxiety. Here on the blog, we already brought a little about the relationship between high doses of THC and clinical anxiety in predisposed users – and the same goes for coffee. The high amounts of caffeine have been linked to anxiety attacks by studies, and you need to be careful in the dosage!
So, what to do?
There are a few tips for how far this combination is safe for you:
Use and observe: one of the most obvious (but most recommended) tips is to start with small doses of both substances to understand how well they, combined, are safe for your body and make you feel good. After all, both are psychoactive, and what we least want is a bad feeling with a cup of coffee and a tasty joint on the side!
Prefer quality substances: those who already know us know that we will always encourage the choice of better substances than the brick weed (even more so if they are the result of self-cultivation), and the same applies to the coffee you drink. The more industrialized, the greater the number of processes to which the grains were subjected. Big brands are still known for making “low quality” blends, mixing branches, insects and even soil to what will end up in your cup. Quality is the key – so you need less quantity to get it good.
Harm reduction also applies to coffee consumption: there are some steps you can take if you want to reduce the negative effects of caffeine on your body. The main ones are: if you hydrate between doses, do not consume the drink on an empty stomach and keep it in quantity.
Did you like to know all this? You will enjoy it even more knowing that Mônica, who gave amazing help to our post, also has a brand of coffees that we love: MARY 4:20. They are produced with great care, special selections and blends designed exactly to make incredible coffees.
Did you already know this information? Tell us here in the comments!