All of my days start with coffee, and most of my days add cannabis to that equation. (In stoner speak, this is often known as a "speedball," a name taken from the far nastier combination of cocaine and heroin. Yes, we should probably find a new name for this cannabis/caffeine coupling.)
A new study shows that the pairing of caffeine and cannabis may have an impact on how well the cannabis is taken in and processed by the body. I suggest you have a cup of coffee before delving into this, because it's about to get all science up in here.
The Journal of Internal Medicine reports that people who drink between four and eight cups of coffee (guilty, shut up, don't you judge me) have a decrease in metabolites, which are found in the endocannabinoid system. A story on Live Science about the Journal's findings reports the following:
"Endocannabinoids are molecules that bind to cannabinoid receptors, which are found all over the nervous system, as well as in immune and endocrine tissue. The body makes its own endocannabinoids, but it also responds to foreign cannabinoids, like the ones found in the leaves of plants of the Cannabis genus. Coffee suppresses the endocannabinoid chemicals that smoking marijuana boosts..."
The takeaway is that coffee may create an opposite effect as cannabis does upon our endocannabinoid system. Marilyn Cornelis, an assistant professor of preventative medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, who led the new research, concludes:
"'What we're seeing here is that the systems that are impacted by coffee and cannabis overlap.' That could mean that drinking coffee with marijuana in your system could create interacting effects, she said, though the nature of those interactions isn't yet clear. Typically, she said, the same endocannabinoids that declined with coffee also decrease when the body is under stress. It's possible that the amount of coffee that participants were drinking (four to eight cups a day) caused stress, which led to a drop of endocannabinoid levels as some kind of protective measure."
I'm curious to see more research on this, but I'm not changing my canna concoction anytime soon.