Studies show up to 85% of adults consume coffee or caffeinated beverages daily. In 2019, the Canadian Cannabis Survey found roughly 20% of Canadians admitted to using cannabis regularly. That means there’s a good chance quite a few people are combining these two substances and possibly putting themselves at risk.
How Does Caffeine Affect The Brain?
Many people have started consuming caffeine during their teen years, if not earlier. Caffeine is a psychoactive compound that can impact your mood, emotions, and behavior. If you use too much of it or combine it with other substances, including THC from cannabis, you may experience heightened versions of those effects. Caffeine is a naturally occurring alkaloid found in coffee beans and tea leaves. It’s also added to many beverages, including sodas and foods such as chocolate.
Caffeine is a stimulant that has a direct impact on your central nervous system once consumed. It works by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain. When you block those receptors, people can experience excitability, nervousness, and hyperactivity.
It also helps the brain feel more alert and awake. Caffeine also directly impacts the neurotransmitter dopamine, also known as the brain’s reward zone or pleasure center. Researchers believe that’s the same part of the brain that THC affects when you ingest it in some way. But, a double boost of dopamine isn’t always a good thing.
Excessive caffeine use can cause irritability, anxiety, and sleep problems over time. That’s why, even if we easily forget that caffeine is a drug, we should limit how much we consume.
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