Several companies are already selling cannabis-infused coffee, but researchers say that combining two psychoactive substances could lead to some problems.
Dr. Scott Krakower, the assistant unit chief of psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in New Hyde Park, New York, said that the effects of using caffeine and marijuana in combination have not been studied that much.
Previous researches have implied that the two substances might mix neuro-chemically, according to Dr. Krakower. That means that caffeine and marijuana may have different effects when used together, and not the effects that each compound has when used on its own.
A person’s working memory can become worse when consuming a combination of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) – the chemical found in marijuana that is responsible for most of the drug’s psychological effects – and caffeine, Dr. Krakower explained. Even though caffeine has cognitive-enhancing properties, when the two chemicals are taken together, they appear to work against people’s health, according to the study.
Taking a depressant (marijuana) and a stimulant (caffeine) at the same time may also not be such a great idea. The user will probably feel both tired and wired due to the unusual combination. It is also a mistake to think that one can get high and then use caffeine to sober up, Dr. Krakower noted. Researchers are concerned about the potentially harmful cognitive effects of caffeine and marijuana combined.
According to Dr. Krakower, more research is needed to figure out the exact effects that the substance mix might have in humans.
Edible marijuana products are becoming more popular in the United States – as of June, 23 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana use in some form ( recreational marijuana use is fully legal in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia). Those products might make users consume more THC than they usually do, because when the drug is ingested, the effects of the drug kick in slower than when it is smoked. That raises some concerns among experts.
Moreover, some labels that list the THC levels of a product are inaccurate. In a 2015 study, researchers found that only thirteen out of seventy-five edible marijuana products had accurate labels on the THC levels. The study was published in the journal JAMA.
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