Marijuana and Caffeine: What Happens When You Combine Them?

Some people smoke daily. Some people have a cup of coffee every morning. Some people do both. Caffeine and THC are two of the most commonly consumed substances in the United States. It’s no surprise that, with how both are used regularly by many people, we may start to wonder how using both will affect us if used at the same time. Keep reading to learn more about how caffeine and weed affect your body.

Do Weed and Caffeine Cancel Each Other Out?

Caffeine and THC may seem like two very different experiences. We use caffeine to wake ourselves up, feel more alert, and focus. Cannabis can be used for these things too, but it’s commonly used as a way to wind down, relax, and even get a better night’s sleep.

Thinking about how caffeine, a stimulant, and THC, (typically) a depressant, affect us, it may seem that they would dampen the effects of one another. If some cannabis makes you sleepy and you’re trying to get an energy boost, you may grab a cup of coffee to help “dilute” the sleepiness of being high. There is no evidence that caffeine or weed has the ability to counteract each other, and having both can actually improve their effects. And, while there is still limited research on this subject, we know that the effects of both can be affected by how much you are consuming and when.

What Happens When You Mix Weed and Caffeine?

Just like with any other cannabis experience, everyone is different. Some people may really enjoy this combination, while others may find that they aren’t a fan. 

In some doses in some people, using caffeine and THC together may actually produce a “better” experience than if used alone. A study a few years ago looked into how monkeys would self-administer THC after being given different doses of MSX-3 (a substance with similar effects as caffeine). When the monkeys gave themselves low doses of MSX-3, they also gave themselves less THC. When they went for more MSX-3, they increased their intake of THC as well.

Sorry for getting all scienc-y on you there, let’s break that down.

What this means is the monkeys had a better experience with low doses of caffeine when using the THC. Of course, this study was performed on monkeys, not humans, so this topic still requires more research. This study also doesn’t explain exactly what happens in our bodies to create this effect, so more research is needed to figure out exactly why and how this happens.

So, getting into what actually happens when you combine the two, different people report different experiences.

Caffeine and Weed: Potential Benefits

We know that both caffeine and THC increase dopamine levels in our brains through different processes. Together, the two could produce an increased sense of happiness. Dopamine is a happy chemical that also helps us feel rewarded, so combining the two could have a pleasant effect.

Smaller amounts of caffeine combined with weed can improve the effects of cannabis. Think about the monkeys again. They used less THC when they had less caffeine in their system. At first glance, this may make you think that more caffeine + more weed = better high. But, this isn’t the case. The monkeys used less THC when exposed to less caffeine, which means the lower dose of the caffeine would have had better effects on the THC experience the monkeys had.

Some people vouch for this too, claiming that a small combination of both can have a calming effect that improves creativity and a sense of well-being.

Potential Drawbacks

Caffeine also helps us feel a bit more energized and focused, while some people experience some mild issues with memory when using THC. You may think caffeine would help with that memory impairment, but it actually has the opposite effect. A study on rats in 2012 found that when given increased amounts of caffeine while using THC, the rats actually experienced more memory impairment than if they had taken THC alone. So, don’t smoke and have a cup of coffee before an important study session.

There’s also the issue of anxiety and paranoia. Both caffeine and weed increase dopamine levels in our brains and our heart rate. Too much dopamine can trigger anxiety. And, for people who experience a high heart rate or anxious feelings when they smoke, this combination may not be ideal.

If you find that cannabis tends to make you anxious or nervous if you use too much or smoke the wrong strain, we suggest avoiding caffeine.

How to Use Caffeine and Weed Together

If you want to intentionally pair the two or find yourself coincidentally having both in a similar timeframe, here are a few things you can do to make sure you have a good experience:

  • Be mindful of what you’re using: Many people use these substances on autopilot. Like we said, a morning joint or cup of coffee can become part of someone’s daily routine. Take a second to pull yourself out of that routine and think about when and if you will consume something after that joint or cup of coffee. Don’t accidentally overdo it.
  • Go slow: Don’t start with three cups of coffee before you go to have an edible or smoke. Start small with both doses and give yourself time to feel the effects. You can always go back for more later if you think you’d like it.
  • Remember what you’re doing: Both caffeine and THC are so casual, it can be easy to forget that they alter your state of mind. Treat them as such.

Closing thoughts

Overall, there is still much more research to be done about the effects of caffeine and weed together. Until we know more, it is important to be careful when combining any substances.

With that being said, we know weed and caffeine are consumed very casually, so it can be easy to accidentally consume both and not really realize it. If you find that cannabis or caffeine makes you anxious, you might be better off avoiding the combination altogether. Overall, be mindful of what you consume and go slow when using the two together.

And, if you have any questions about this or just cannabis in general, you can always visit a Dreamz Dispensary near you or reach out on our contact page. Our experienced team is always here to help you with your questions and find the best product for you!