Contributed by Stella Karena, a Her(B) Life community member.

My two favourite drugs are without a doubt cannabis and caffeine, although I do prefer to get my caffeine hit with coffee as I'm not a pop drinker or much of a tea drinker. My favourite drug dealer, Starbucks hasn't released a cannabis brew but who knows what could happen one day.

Over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed world-wide every day and more than 150 million Americans drink coffee on a daily basis, with 65 percent of coffee drinkers consuming their hot beverage in the morning. We, as a people, love our coffee and those of us who love the herb, really love the herb but does that mean that using a combination of the two would result in extra awesomeness? Are the effects the same or does mixing the two create a new chemical reaction?

Does Caffeine Increase Cannabis Addiction?

Scientists in 2014 wanted to look at how cannabis and caffeine affected us when taken together so they gave squirrel monkeys in a laboratory THC through a device that allowed them to get high by pulling a lever. After the animals realized that pulling the lever gave them a hit of THC, the scientists began mixing the THC with increasing doses MSX-3, which is a form of caffeine. What they found was that as the dosing of MSX-3 increased, the monkeys pulled the lever less than normal. Meaning that the addition of caffeine made the monkeys need less THC for the same effect.

After a month-long break period, the monkeys were reintroduced to either straight THC or THC mixed with MSX-3. It turns out that the monkeys who received the MSX-3 mixture pulled the lever for dosage more often, thereby showcasing addiction. The conclusion of this data is that caffeine in monkeys helped prolong with the effect of cannabis but once they were reintroduced to THC, the monkeys who were given both drugs found it harder to quit. Thus, the combination of caffeine and cannabis makes it more difficult to quit one or the other. So now that we know that we can move on to five wonderful ways to enjoy coffee and cannabis together. 

The Old Fashioned Way

Brew a cup, light a bowl. Easy peasy. While there isn't any evidence to support this, lots of people say that combining the two improves their high. Maybe it does for them, after all, the endocannabinoid system in each person and the way that cannabis affects each of us is different. Some good news: smoking weed while sipping coffee can allow you to smoke less while maintaining a high - that's what we learned from the squirrel monkeys. 

Sweeten Your Joe With Cannabis Sugar

You can infuse sugar with a cannabis tincture fairly easily and we've found a pretty cool YouTube video from the Veteran Grower showing you just how easy this is. If video isn't your thing here is a short and sweet blog post from The Weed Blog explaining the process.  

Pot Plus Coffee

Cannabis infused beverages are becoming more popular and more and more companies are stepping onto the scene with interesting offerings. There are several companies offering infused cannabis coffee and Pot O Coffee is one such company. However, as with any cannabis product availability very much depends on local law. If you are not in an area where you can order stuff like this, you can still DIY at home. Men's Journal has the folllowing recipe posted:

Cannabis-Infused Coffee

Ingredients

  • 1/4 oz ground marijuana buds
  • 8 tbsp ground coffee
  • sweetener to taste
  • cream or milk to taste
  • Makes 4 6-oz cups of coffee.

Directions

Combine marijuana with coffee and brew as normal
Add cream, milk, and/or sweeteners as desired
Works with conventional coffeemakers, Turkish coffee pots, French presses, pour-overs, and drip-style methods

Cannabis Bulletproof Coffee

Bulletproof coffee is when you add grass-fed organic butter or MCT oil to your coffee. The health benefits are said to be as varied as extra energy, weight loss, and drinking your coffee this way  provides healthy fats for cell growth too. So switch out that plain grass fed butter for cannabutter or start adding 1 tablespoon of infused coconut oil to your mug every day. 

By the way, The Her(B) Life has a Pinterest board dedicated to cool mugs - check it out here. 

Coffee Grounds in the Garden 

Utilize those spent coffee grounds and lessen the amount of food waste that leaves your kitchen by applying them to flower beds, vegetable plots or Cannabis plants.

Be sure to use spent grounds only because the caffeine content of freshly-ground coffee may cause unwanted complications in your garden or affect wildlife. Composting your coffee into all types of soil will create an increase in copper, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. The grounds are also great for tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, fruit trees, berry shrubs, etc. 


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