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Lifestyle, Research

Combining Caffeine and THC: Benefits, Downsides, and Effects

Ashley Priest

by Ashley Priest

May 7, 2024 08:00 am ET Estimated Read Time: 8 Minutes
Fact checked by Kymberly Drapcho Medically reviewed by Dr. Carlie Bell
Combining Caffeine and THC: Benefits, Downsides, and Effects

It’s likely you’ve heard the term “wake and bake,” as it is a very common phrase and practice among cannabis consumers and patients alike. Waking and baking is the act of consuming cannabis after waking up in the morning, most often in conjunction with a cup of coffee. Have you ever wondered about the effects of consuming coffee along with THC-rich cannabis? If so, you are in the right place—we are going to explore the potential benefits and downsides of combining cannabinoids and caffeine.

Caffeine vs. THC in the Mornings

It is undeniable that coffee and cannabis can both result in euphoria. This is because both of these substances increase the brain’s levels of dopamine, aka the happiness hormone. There are many differences between THC and caffeine, but both serve a great purpose when consumed with intention shortly after waking up. While they are both quite different, there are reasons why individuals would choose to embrace one over the other in the mornings as well as many reasons why they should and often are consumed together.


Caffeine, like coffee and energy drinks, is a go-to for many people on a daily basis, as it helps to boost your energy and improve your energy levels throughout the day. Caffeine is a stimulant that interferes with adenosine, a neurotransmitter. Adenosine levels typically surge throughout the day, inducing drowsiness. By obstructing adenosine receptors, caffeine boosts the function of alternative neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, heightening alertness, focus, and vigor. Additionally, caffeine elevates acetylcholine release, which is linked to memory and learning, while diminishing GABA release, which is known for its inhibitory and relaxing effects.

However, enjoying your first cup of java directly after waking up might not lead to the greatest benefits. It is suggested that since cortisol levels are the highest upon waking up, it may be best to wait at least one hour before indulging to get the most out of the effects of caffeine. This may also help you to avoid any unintentional tolerances to caffeine or interruption to your body’s natural biological rhythm. There are other natural sources of caffeine aside from coffee as well that can be explored, such as kola nuts, green tea, and guarana.

Potential benefits of caffeine in the morning:


THC, which is short for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, offers many potential therapeutic benefits—so what better time to consume it than in the morning? While some strains of cannabis may make you sleepy, others can do just the opposite and give you a zap of energy to start off your day. Interestingly enough, one study found that cannabis consumption was related to decreased symptoms in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Check out these articles for good wake-and-bake strains:

THC is often embraced for things such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, chronic pain, cancer-related pain, and nausea. When you live with conditions and symptoms such as these, consuming THC first thing can sometimes mean the difference between being able to face the day or having to surrender back to your bed—or the doctor’s office.

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Potential benefits of THC in the morning:

  • Fights fatigue
  • Decreased pain, anxiety, stress, nausea
  • Increased focus and productivity
  • Increased patience

Effects of Mixing Caffeine and THC

Mixing cannabis and caffeine may result in increased stimulating effects, depending on the amount of caffeine used to alter the effects of cannabis. Combining caffeine and edibles with a high THC content may not be the best choice, as edibles take some time to take effect. Nonetheless, there are some benefits to combining cannabis products and caffeine—and it’s not that hard to accomplish all of this in a single cup of coffee!

Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to infuse your coffee with cannabis? The answer is: absolutely! There are many ways to do this, including adding THC-infused creamer, THC-infused sugar, or a basic tincture to your cup. Do you like to add butter to your coffee? Swap it for cannabutter! Are you more of a latte person? Check out this recipe for a homemade cannabis-infused pumpkin spice latte (simply skip the syrup for an unsweetened latte!). If you’d rather skip the kitchen mess entirely, there are now some coffee products on the market that contain THC.

Of course, there are other ways of consuming THC or CBD along with caffeine that don’t involve infusing coffee. You can choose to smoke or vape cannabis and sip on a cup of green tea, or perhaps you may prefer to take a sublingual tincture followed by a guarana soda. Whatever way you prefer to consume them, there are some benefits as well as some potential risks in the combination of caffeine and weed.

Potential positive effects:

  • Increased dopamine: Cannabis and caffeine have both been shown to increase dopamine levels, which in turn leads to increased happiness.
  • Increased levels of alertness and productivity have been linked to both THC and caffeine.
  • THC and caffeine both help to fight fatigue, a fact that is backed by abundant research and anecdotal studies.

Potential negative side effects:

  • Increased heart rate or blood pressure: Cannabis and coffee are known to cause tachycardia, which is an increased heart rate. If you have any underlying heart problems or problems with heart arrhythmias, consuming either separately or alone can cause heart complications.
  • Memory loss: Caffeine from coffee may increase the short-term memory loss often associated with cannabis. It seems logical that the caffeine would counteract this cannabis effect since coffee can make you more alert, but caffeine and low doses of cannabis seem to impair cognitive function more than cannabis would on its own.

Cannabis cafes—places where customers consume coffee and cannabis—are opening up around the world in abundance and are being embraced by cannabis consumers. There are many reasons why people choose cannabis and caffeine, and as more research is performed, it seems that there are also significant benefits to consuming the two together. Check out the powers of caffeine and cannabis for yourself, and let us know what you think in the comments!

Note: The content on this page is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be professional medical advice. Do not attempt to self-diagnose or prescribe treatment based on the information provided. Always consult a physician before making any decision on the treatment of a medical condition.


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This article was originally published in April 2023 and most recently updated in May 2024. 

Post Your Comments

Tom Quigley says:

April 21, 2023 at 9:06 am

Great article we have been doing THC coffee since 2014 in california as Janes brew and in Florida at our retail stores Chill Cawfee !


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