Suppose we had to pick our uppers and downers. In that case, it’s pretty clear that cannabis and coffee would be our ideal vices—both born from the earth and elevated by centuries of mindful breeding, cultivation, and sustainable innovation. More often than not, dispensaries and roasters are found nearby, each doing their best to add a little artistry and comfort to our busy lives. You can always smell when either is brewing, too.
If you’ve started your day as we have, you have no doubt experienced how coffee perks you up while cannabis can help take the rough edges and anxiety away, resulting in a well-rounded experience that all but promises a great day ahead. It’s like cannabis and coffee were made for each other.
These two substances meet and interact in our endocannabinoid system. We’ll touch on that below. Science has much to discover about the subject, but there is enough anecdotal evidence to suggest not only that combining cannabis and coffee has therapeutic potential but that it might also be the best way to start your day!
The Endocannabinoid System- Cannabis and Coffee
Most of our bodily systems have a goal of “homeostasis,” or maintaining normal levels. These levels and chemicals may be related to stress, hunger, fatigue, mood, or reproductive cycles. These systems’ communication and stimulation are accomplished through neurotransmitters that send chemical signals between cells and receptors. While each bodily system has a unique language and set of organs, a few neural pathways connect them through unique chemical messages. One such bridging system is the endocannabinoid system where cannabis and coffee meet.
Our bodies will produce chemicals similar to THC and CBD, albeit much weaker and shorter-lived. These signals are typically released during long periods of exercise or endorphin rushes. When this release happens, the natural cannabinoids bind to specialized cannabinoid receptors that regulate the noted functions, likely among others we are yet to discover. Plant-derived cannabinoids amplify these biological effects, leading to increased appetite, mood improvement, clarity, and even more benefits.
By contrast, coffee depletes some of the transmitters we use to understand our bodies. Coffee seeks to block our tiredness by blocking different transmitters and artificially increasing stress. Over time, the neurotransmitters that are responsible for peace and clarity will decay (the endocannabinoids attempt to maintain balance), and homeostasis becomes no longer possible through naturally-produced cannabinoids.
By introducing plant-derived cannabinoids at the time of endocannabinoid receptor depletion, you can maintain balance better than through coffee alone. In other words, when you Combining cannabis and coffee, you experience the best of both worlds with the balance to match.
Anecdotal Evidence in Cannabis
Coffee and cannabis exemplify one of the strange relationships between cannabis users and science—one of mutual learning. We can draw a map of how the systems interact through theoretical knowledge of biological systems—coffee heightens stress, cannabis lowers it, coffee leads to fewer endocannabinoid receptors, cannabis leads to more, etc. However, when it comes to the clinical application of these connections, science is often miles behind the average cannabis user in terms of the user’s unique and practical understanding.
This begs the question: How much should empirical user evidence inspire and guide cannabis research? With so many health benefits already tied to cannabis and strengthening the endocannabinoid system, we are always surprised to see research lagging, even if users are familiar with and open about the benefits and advantages.
When cannabis users drive the use case and advantages of cannabis products, they are ahead of the science. By adding our voices and experience into the folds of scientific progress, we combine the best of both worlds.
Call it clarity and enthusiasm—just like cannabis and coffee together.
Combining cannabis and coffee is just the beginning. For more on how medical opportunities for psychedelics in therapy are increasing, check out our article on “The Growing Scientific Support for Psychedelic Therapy” here.