If you’re anything like us, you know the immense joy of starting off the day with a caffeinated wake-and-bake; the conjoining of a hot cup of joe and fire-packed bowl is perfect. Apparently, it may not just be a personal preference. In fact, a number of studies have actually shown that at times, coffee can enhance your high. There are even a few of ways of infusing your coffee with cannabis, allowing you to enjoy you two favorite substances in a single sip.

Needless to say, not many substances go together better than coffee and cannabis. That is why, on National Coffee Day, MERRY JANE is taking a look at the strongly brewed relationship between caffeine and THC, how they positively interact with one another, and why they will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.  

Strangely enough, according to a study conducted by the Integrative Neurobiology Section of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, small doses of coffee have very little effect on the cannabis high, while high doses of caffeine actually make your high much stronger. The 2014 research study showed that high doses of caffeine allows you to smoke less while still achieving the same effect, but also makes it harder to quit one or the other if you consume both. On the contrary, very small doses of caffeine (less than half a cup of drip coffee) could theoretically help you stop smoking pot due to its effect on the dose-response curve.

The reason for this unprecedented effect, according to researchers, is because caffeine blocks the neurotransmitter receptor for the chemical adenosine, which is involved in controlling both sides of the synapse. By experimenting on squirrel monkeys who were taught to self-administer THC, the researchers discovered that small doses of caffeine blocked the presynaptic adenosine receptors, causing the monkeys to consume less THC. On the other hand, high doses of caffeine blocked the post-synaptic adenosine receptors, causing the monkeys to increase their self-administration of THC.  

Outside of the research laboratory, coffee and cannabis have already developed a symbiotic relationship. For instance, Amsterdam has created a whole tourism industry based off of their cannabis-infused coffee shops, while others have written cannabis cook books detailing the finest recipes to get your hybrid-high on. Some advocates, such as Brooklyn-based experimental chef Michael Cirino, see the high-end couture of coffee as an inspiration for what the cannabis industry can someday become.

So, if you ever wondered whether it was a good idea to smoke up while sipping on a fresh cup of joe, today is the perfect day to go ahead and find out. Not only do caffeine and cannabis have a close-knit relationship, they can also greatly complement and enhance each other as well. 

From all of us at MERRY JANE, have a happy National Coffee Day!