Caffeine is a drug that people all over the world consume every day. It is found in coffee, soft drinks, tea, chocolate, and even some over-the-counter drugs. It is the world’s most popular psychoactive substance, with close to 1.5 billion cups of coffee consumed each day throughout the world. Every year, the global consumption of caffeine has been estimated at about 120 million kilograms, or 264 million pounds.
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and metabolism, resulting in increased feelings of energy, physical and psychological stimulation, increased focus and coordination, and general wakefulness. All of this comes with a number of side-effects that become more prevalent after repeated dosing, which include but are not limited to: restlessness, dehydration, decreased coordination, anxiety, and a lower quality of sleep.
So what about in combination with marijuana?
Caffeine is a white crystalline xanthine alkaloid that belongs exclusively to the stimulant drug group. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is an aromatic terpenoid, a naturally occurring organic chemical that is primarily based in the hallucinogen drug group, but with inherent properties that are associated with both stimulants and depressants. They are both psychoactive drugs that have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and act on the central nervous system, but the two generally affect different parts of the human brain.
It is a common misconception among cannabis users that when caffeine is combined with marijuana, the effects of THC will decrease – in effect, that caffeine “kills” your high. This is simply a myth, but the entire thing is a bit more complex than that. A lot of it depends on the specific individual, as someone who consumes caffeine on a daily basis will not feel its effects as much as someone who hardly touches the stuff. The same applies for marijuana – the lower one’s tolerance to THC, the stronger it will be when used. Varying levels of tolerance can affect one’s own perception of drugs’ effects when used at the same time as other drugs.
There is no evidence available to suggest that caffeine inhibits the effects of THC when used in combination together. Research on the subject has revealed that opioid blockers like naloxone and naloxonazine can act as THC antagonists, as well as methyllycaconitine and nicotine. Tests undertaken by research scientists have proven that THC uptake is reduced when consuming nicotine, and vice versa, nicotine uptake is increased when ingesting THC.
People that drink coffee and smoke weed at the same time can tell you that caffeine does not “kill” highs. Instead, it simply adds its own effects on top of the effects of THC. Drinking a cup of Joe during a smoke session will only make you more alert, concentrated, and energetic. This can serve to add a different dimension to a typical smoke-up, possibly helping to reduce any social anxieties that can occur when under the influence of THC. Be warned, however – caffeine, like all drugs, come with its own nasty side effects!
Take a look at the video below as Gary Wenk, professor of Psychology at The Ohio State University, discusses what happens to our brains as we age and how marijuana and caffeine can stimulate brain functions in positive ways.
The Weed Street Journal