There’s no denying that coffee and cannabis are both popular. What’s perhaps less clear is how coffee and cannabis consumption overlap. With the rise of infused coffee products, it’s safe to say pairing coffee with cannabis is pretty common. Personally, I’ve consumed coffee and cannabis almost daily for nearly a decade. Initially, I found the pairing unsettling. The taste of my pipe ruined the taste of my coffee, and I became unbearably jittery when I smoked weed with my morning java.

Before jumping into how to pair cannabis and coffee, it’s best to know the science.
In 2014, a study by the Journal of Neuroscience was done to determine the effects of cannabis and coffee taken together.

A chemical romance

In 2014, a study by the Journal of Neuroscience was done to determine the effects of cannabis and coffee taken together.

In the study, squirrel monkeys were given caffeine and could get themselves high by pulling a lever. The lever triggered an intravenous release of THC, the chemical that causes cannabis’ psychoactive effect. Caffeine blocks the neurotransmitter receptor for the chemical adenosine. Adenosine receptors are on both sides of our synapses, which are the connections between neurons. The study found small amounts of caffeine blocked the presynaptic adenosine receptors, which caused the monkeys to stop administering THC. However, a lot of caffeine blocked the postsynaptic adenosine receptors. Causing the monkeys to increase their use of THC.

Is it safe?

Thus, the amount of coffee one consumes could contribute to the amount of cannabis you will want to take. Another cause of warning in mixing coffee and cannabis is that caffeine may influence the effects of cannabis. Dr. Ferre told Live Science that both caffeine and cannabis increase dopamine in our brains, so when taken together, caffeine can magnify the effect of dopamine from the cannabis. These studies, while not done on humans, should still serve as signs to take coffee and cannabis together with caution, as the pairing could increase our desire for cannabis and its effects.

Coffee and Cannabis pairings

Pairing coffee and cannabis together can be tricky, however, because the flavors are not as complimentary as, for example, coffee and chocolate.

First, ask your barista what the tasting notes of your coffee are. Then talk to your budtender about what he has behind the counter that most closely matches those tasting notes. Don’t be afraid to experiment a little, as this is pretty uncharted territory. If you want to get really fancy, keep a tasting journal, something that is de rigueur among Scotch and wine aficionados and even those with a finer appreciation for cannabis.
At the end of the day, the pairing of cannabis with coffee is subjective. It’s all about what you like best and what you’re into. But paying attention to the little things can help you to get more of what you want and less of what you don’t.

Early Morning Energy Burst – Light Roast & Sativa

Light roasted coffee is light-brown in color, and its known for bearing intense tastes of citrus fruits and toasted grains with a natural rawness that is indicative of the coffee bean’s true profile. The short roasting time doesn’t allow the oils to permeate the surface of the bean. Resulting in a light aromatic blend that’s full of complex flavor. To properly pick a flower with complimentary characteristics to this complex light roast coffee, we suggest pungent, skunky and even musky strains. They cut the acidity of the coffee with a bold heaviness.

Light roast also holds the highest amount of caffeine. Packing enough punch to start off your early morning with an energy burst that will keep your eyelids open. If you’re looking to maintain this heightened state of awareness, there is no better upbeat match to light roast coffee than a 100 percent pure sativa strain. This is because sativas are known for their euphoric, uplifting and cerebral effects. Followed by a hot shower, you’re ready to tackle your day.

Late Morning Motivation – Medium Roast & Sativa-Dominant

Medium roasted coffee is medium-brown in color, and its rich flavor doesn’t have the burnt roast characteristic you sometimes run into with heavier blends. Although slightly acidic, medium roast is free from the grainy, earthy tones that are common with light roast. It is also easy to recognize the notes of the coffee bean in a well executed medium roast coffee. Known as the breakfast or American cup of coffee, most strains could pair with this balanced coffee blend, as you are almost working with a blank slate for taste.

You also get the best of both worlds with caffeine in a medium roast, as it is mellower than the light roast while still maintaining a jolt you might not get out of a dark roast. Medium roast is able to motivate you without giving you the jitters. To match this zen-like coffee induced state of mind, a sativa-dominant hybrid is exactly what the doctor ordered. This type of strain delivers mindful motivation of a sativa with a softening undertone created by the mellowing body effects of the indica. This pairing will have you focusing in on important tasks with a grin from ear to ear.

Afternoon Pick Me Up – Medium-Dark Roast & Indica-Dominant

Medium-dark roast coffee has a rich, dark color, and its known for a strong, overpowering roasted flavor with a bittersweet aftertaste. The notes you would taste in the medium drip are not present, and often the richness forces coffee drinkers to add cream and sugar to make the drink easier on the palate.

We suggest you resist from adding any sweeteners, and instead choose the perfect treat of cannabis flower to balance this heavy hitter. The low acidity of this dark brew means that all your fruity, citrus strains are definitely fair game in comparison to this bitter beast. You also will find great vibes between medium roast and nugs with piney, minty or sweet vanilla and chocolate notes. An indica-dominant will be sure to help you start winding down from a long day, while providing the cerebral effects that will keep the party moving forward—as if you’re cruising through dinner on autopilot.

Night Cap – Dark Roast & Indica

Dark roasted coffee beans are black and shiny in appearance, due to their oily surface. You would describe this roast as having an overpowering characteristic that’s bitter, smoky and even burnt. If you’re looking for a final sip of something strong and unique, then this is a great place to start. These overwhelming tastes can only be matched with a heavy, petrol flower that coats your mouth and lingers throughout the night. Skunky, earthy and dank buds come to mind, since you have to bring the big guns when competing with this thick roast. With the lowest amount of caffeine, it is perfectly matched with a fine indica at the end of a long day.

We love a pure indica to cap off the night, because its couch-lock effects ensure that not only are you going to loosen up, but your body will almost disappear from under you because of the pure relaxation you are going to feel. These effects are exactly what we need to feel tucked in at night to where we can quickly fall into a deep, uninterrupted sleep.

Maybe pairing the two together isn’t for you… or smoking flower just isn’t your thing. Is there a way to get your coffee and cannabis fix in one shot? You bet! Infused coffee is brand new on the cannabis market in Canada and we are going to run through some of the best options!

 

Cannabis Infused Coffee

GANJA GRINDZ

Priding themselves on using locally roasted, fair trade coffee beans, it will come as no surprise that this particular brand of cannabis coffee caught the eye of the judges at the High Times Cannabis Cup. Placing 1st in the Edibles category is a powerful accolade and a sure sign of a quality product. With tea bags, coffee filters, blended bottled coffee, and brew cups, they have all your cannabis-infused needs covered. Combine that with a large variety of flavours and waking up has never felt so good.

CANYON CULTIVATION

Less is more with Canyon Cultivation, an ethos they have taken at every stage. Be it their subtle product design or the low cannabinoid dose of their coffee drinks, this brand puts forth a strong statement in cannabis-infused edibles. This perspective may put users off, but if that gentle pick-me-up is what you require, then Canyon’s cold brew is the perfect product for you. Still held in high regard by High Times Cannabis Cup judges, Canyon Cultivation also includes a variety of teas very similar to the other brands listed. All around, a strong, well-presented product.

HOUSE OF JANE

Last, but by no means least. Taking the cannabinoid cake, House of Jane offers the highest THC dosage at a staggering 200mg. There is no doubt that this brand takes the cannabis-infused coffee process seriously. Their smallest dose starts at 20mg, so you can be sure to find a dose that suits you, along with a wide variety of coffees and teas to match all tastes. House of Jane is also able to offer a number of CBD strains (something we don’t see from every manufacturer) while keeping products fat-free, sugar-free, and gluten-free.

 

MAKING YOUR OWN CANNABIS COFFEE

1. Take your decarbed bud, and mix it with an oil or a fat. You can mix it in with milk, or with olive oil if you like your coffee black. It’s definitely better to mix it in with milk for sure because I’m not going to lie, drinking cannabis mixed with olive oil in a coffee is fairly disgusting and is best to do in one go.
2. Brew yourself a coffee, in your preferred method
3. Put your cannabis oil inside the coffee
4. Mix it in
5. If you’re using milk, or something like a cappuccino from a coffee machine, you can simply add the decarbed weed straight into the coffee at the end, and then mix it in.

Coffee and THC go together very well, but remember that the effects of cannabis coffee take about an hour to kick in. Therefore, if you want to fully experience the mix between cannabis and coffee, you have to drink another coffee a few hours later.