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Can You Mix Cannabis and Caffeine? Dos And Dont's

Added 23 March 2022

cannabis and brownies

Cannabis, coffee, and some brownies...yum...what an ethereal combination!

Ever since we discovered cannabis, we have tried to mix it with everything to improve the experience. We all know someone who mixes cannabis into their spaghetti, don't we?

Smoking some weed just after devouring some ice cream, especially it's mango-flavored, sounds heavenly. Even chocolate tastes more delicious after a session of high-quality stuff.

But what about mixing cannabis with caffeine? Most people love good ol' coffee...unless you're into green tea or something similar. 

Have you ever wondered if mixing cannabis with caffeine improves the high? Or does coffee just crush the high and bring you back to earth?

In this article, we explore the potential benefits, side effects, and interactions, and some tips on mixing the two.

Do Cannabis and Caffeine Counteract Each Other?

cannabis leaf on coffee

Coffee is a stimulant that wakes you up, and cannabis being a depressant or a stimulant (depending on the strain), may either relax or stimulate you. So, many of you may think they would counteract each other. However, that's not the case.

While there isn't enough research on this subject to conclude, early studies indicate that consuming cannabis and caffeine together may produce different effects for you. 

However, these effects depend highly on your dosage, strain, and tolerance, so the effects are subjective. In addition, how your body reacts to cannabis and caffeine may be completely different than how someone else reacts to it. For example, you may enjoy mixing cannabis and coffee, but your friend might hate it.

In the following sections, we explore the various effects of consuming the two together.

What are the Effects of Mixing Caffeine and Cannabis?

coffee

Many people on online forums love to share their experiences of mixing cannabis with caffeine. They claim that combining the two gives them an energy boost, improves their alertness, and gives them a sense of satisfaction.

On the other hand, you would find just as many people who have experienced panic attacks while mixing cannabis with caffeine. 

Let's look at the science behind these claims. Here are the top effects of mixing the two — some are positive, others are negative.

Intense Euphoria

People who love mixing the two often do so because it makes them euphoric. And a 2017 study backs this claim.

Both cannabis and caffeine trigger powerful psychological responses in your body. First, when you consume cannabis, your mind releases a lot of dopamine — the hormone that makes you happy. 

Second, caffeine being a psychostimulant enhances the dopamine release response, producing even more dopamine in your brain.

Combined, you experience intense happiness.

Better High

On the other hand, a 2014 study suggests that a combination of caffeine and cannabis leads to a better high, but only to a certain extent.

During the study, squirrel monkeys were given control of how much THC they can consume. Then, they were given doses of MSX-3, a compound that has effects similar to caffeine.

The researchers found that when the squirrel monkeys got MSX-3 doses, they consumed less THC, but they consumed more THC when they were given high doses.

The conclusion? Caffeine in low quantities tends to enhance your cannabis high, so you don't have to use too much of it. However, if you intake too much caffeine, it may inhibit the cannabis' psychoactive effects, making it harder to get high.

On the contrary, this effect can be bad for some users. For example, if you consume too much caffeine, you may need to smoke more cannabis to get high. Over time, this can lead to substance use disorder. Or, it may not interest you anymore. 

Memory Impairment

One negative effect of mixing caffeine and cannabis is that it may cause memory impairment. 

2012 study on rats suggests that mixing caffeine with a low dose of THC impaired working memory in rats more than a mixture with higher THC levels.

While further research is required, knowing the potential side effects of mixing the two is good. Some may experience this, and others may not.

Other Risks

Apart from the studies mentioned above, not much data is available to pinpoint other risks associated with mixing caffeine and cannabis. There have been no reported cases of severe risks, either. So far, mixing is safe if you do it the right way.

However, the reactions to mixing cannabis with caffeine lead to very subjective responses for each user. 

You must first understand how your body reacts to both individually before you mix them.

What are the Dos and Don'ts of Mixing Cannabis and Caffeine?

cannabis with coffee

As mentioned earlier, mixing cannabis and caffeine is safe if you do it the right way. You may experience negative side effects like racing heartbeat, anxiety, or even panic if you don't. So, follow these tips on mixing cannabis and caffeine the right way.

Do This When Mixing Cannabis and Caffeine

Here are some things you should keep in mind if you experiment with mixing cannabis and caffeine.

Start Small

First and foremost, we recommend starting small with the dosage. Use small amounts of both caffeine and cannabis than you would typically consume individually. This will help you understand both effects on a more manageable scale, and then you can work your way up to what you like.

Mixing cannabis and coffee in the wrong proportions may cause your anxiety and panic to peak, leading to a fast heartbeat and inability to focus. And this high may last longer, as suggested by the squirrel monkey study above. Of course, you cannot compare squirrel monkeys or lab rats to humans, but it's best to be safer. So, avoid taking risks and take small doses of cannabis and caffeine when starting out.

Take It Slow

Depending on how you consume caffeine and cannabis, you need to give your body enough time to adjust to the combination before consuming more. For example, if smoking cannabis gives you a high in 15 minutes, we recommend waiting 30 minutes before consuming more.

This will give you enough time to get used to the high and increase the margin for error. So, even if you experience adverse effects, it won't be as bad as it would be with higher consumption. Rushing won't help.

Listen to Your Body

Similarly, always listen to your body when mixing caffeine and cannabis. If you experience any negative side effects after consuming both, we recommend resting for some time. If the symptoms are too much to handle, reach out to a healthcare provider for guidance.

You are most probably safe, but some cannabis strains induces anxiety, and caffeine increases the heart rate, which is a recipe for panic. In addition, if you're using low-quality cannabis, the effects can be worse. To avoid that, it's better to seek help.

Don't Do This When Mixing Cannabis with Caffeine

To have a pleasant and safe experience, avoid doing the following things when mixing cannabis with caffeine.

Don't Lose Track of Dosage

When smoking up and having fun, it's easy to lose track of dosage. This, combined with users smoking more cannabis to make up the caffeine negating the high, can lead to you consuming high THC levels that may not be safe if you're not used to it. 

Consuming too much cannabis (or even coffee) can lead to various health problems, such as high blood pressure, racing heartbeat, anxiety, panic, confusion, and nausea. 

Avoid Indica Strains

Indica strains tend to produce a body high that relaxes the muscles, so people dealing with anxiety or insomnia prefer it. On the other hand, Sativa strains are stimulating, delivering an energetic head high.

So, we recommend using Sativa strains instead of Indica ones as caffeine — which is a stimulant — may negate the calming effects of the latter.

Don't Drink Too Much Coffee

Again, going back to the squirrel monkey study, the more coffee you drink, the more cannabis you may have to consume to get high.

So, stick to a short pour of espresso and a little bit of cannabis to get the best experience. 

Should You Ingest or Inhale Cannabis?

cannabis plant

Lastly, you must know how to consume cannabis with caffeine. 

When you inhale or smoke cannabis, it enters the bloodstream quickly via the lungs. Here, the THC is converted into Delta-9-THC, which usually peaks after 15 minutes and is eliminated by 75 minutes.

On the other hand, when you ingest (or eat) cannabis, it gets metabolized by the liver, where THC is converted into 11-OH-THC, which is 3 to 7 times more potent than Delta-9-THC. And this compound takes six hours to peak, leading to a more intense high.

And caffeine is also metabolized by the liver. 

So, if you ingest cannabis and caffeine, they are more likely to interact with each other. This can lead to amplified or diminished reactions — you may either get too high or too jittery.

We recommend smoking cannabis, in the beginning, to get the hang of it and understand how your body reacts to it. Then, later, you can work your way up to cannabis edibles!

Summary: Mixing Cannabis and Caffeine: Do's and Don't

Experts and scientists still don't know the full extent of cannabis' interaction with caffeine. If consumed properly, cannabis and caffeine can be a terrific experience for you in most cases. 

Despite the studies and data, you should never forget that the effect of mixing cannabis and caffeine tends to have subjective responses for everyone. The effects vary from person to person. So, be patient and start with smaller doses to understand the effects well. And use caution when mixing the two.

Other than that, just enjoy the experience. 

 






Comments

NobodysBuds
NobodysBuds

A molecule can't be both a stimulant and a depressant. Smoking pot increases metabolic rate. THC is a stimulant, albeit a mild one. Whether it makes you feel sleepy is irrelevant. Buck up, light-weight... Plus, that's more likely you coming down from the stimulant effect.

This is almost akin to the misuse / misinterpretation of inroganic/organic, but not quite a parallel. Shows how a specific term can be hijacked or skewed, though... even if unintentionally so

Show all replies (3)
NobodysBuds
NobodysBuds

@CannaScience, feeling a sedative effect doesn't mean it is a "depressant." (unless we are talking about a non-technical term, yet still in dictionary.. then in a looser definition, sure... but the intended use here seems to infer more)

it has to do with what happens inside the body, not what we feel -- although what we feel often correlates strongly, it can differ.

there are other potentially active molecules in pot, relative to our bodies. similarly structured compounds often can act in similar ways, in addition to receptors in body based in no small part on physical shape of molecules. Can't assume this either, but there is some correlation at least. this should be part of research, instead of assuming things based on feelings and commonly held beliefs in the peanut gallery.

The statement above doesn't properly resolve the context, at best, and if dealing with more serious drugs could be dangrous. Mixing stronger stimulants and depressants is very dangerous. You don't want to assume such things just cause both make you feel drowsy.

CannaScience
CannaScience

@NobodysBuds, won't the effects vary from one strain to another?

NobodysBuds
NobodysBuds

@m0use, as long as you are in matching dark clothes and "Nike" sneakers, all is well....

nanoo-nanoo

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/heavens-gate-cult-members-found-dead

uncanny how those dates aligned.

Gas_Pharmer
Gas_Pharmer

came here to say the same thing