For hundreds of years the plant has been cultivated in some of the most beautiful and remote backcountries of Asia, Africa, and the Americas. It is a morning ritual and a daily companion for countless people around the world and is a trusted pick-me-up that’s great to share with friends. We are talking, of course, about coffee.
Coffee and cannabis go great together because they are both packed with flavor and contain their own natural stimulants. There isn’t a tremendous body of research on how cannabis and caffeine interact, but there is evidence to indicate that caffeine could temper the memory loss effects of cannabis – or just make it worse. Also, a 2018 study performed on rodents found indication that increased coffee consumption can lead to decreased activity of the endocannabinoid system.
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The potential interaction between caffeine and cannabis has not been performed in depth on human test subjects, so we can only assert so much from the body of evidence accrued so far with animal subjects.
In the meantime, if you find that weed and coffee go great together, who are we to stop you?
Why edibles are so popular
When you eat edibles, it creates a high that can be very different from the high you get from smoking weed. The edibles high can be a full body experience, or in some cases an out of body one. The onset can take over an hour, and then it can come through in waves, leading to a long night or afternoon (or morning) of laughs and tingling body sensations.
Edibles are also very convenient in ways that smoking simply isn’t. Taking edibles can be done even in the most non-weed friendly environments without anyone being the wiser, and they don’t require inhaling any harmful smoke into your lungs.
Edibles like a THC gummy or a weed brownie can also be easily transported and consumed without the use of lighters or paraphernalia, and don’t emit a noxious smell like a used pipe or bong.
Also, a pan of brownies, a big bowl of cannabis-infused pasta, or a pot of weed coffee, edibles can be a lot of fun to share with friends.
Tips and common mistakes
But that doesn’t mean that edibles are completely without their drawbacks. The delayed onset means that many people get impatient waiting for the high to start, and end up taking another dose and having the not-so-pleasant experience of being way higher than they wanted to be.
Another common mistake – at least with beginners – is to forget to decarboxylate your weed before making edibles.
The importance of decarboxylation
If you just toss some weed into your mouth, it’s not going to get you high. Cannabis needs to be heated up in order to convert the cannabinoid THCA into THC – the cannabinoid that gets you high. Unless you’re smoking your weed, you’re going to need to decarboxylate your weed ahead of time.
The process is very simple and hard to get wrong. Grind up the cannabis that you plan to use, and bake it in the oven for about 30-45 minutes at around 220-245°F (105-120°C).
Remove it from the oven and enjoy that toasty cannabis smell as it wafts through your house. That’s really all there is to it.
How strong is your cannabis infusion?
How to make cannaoil/butter
Making an infused fat doesn’t require great skill in the kitchen or any understanding of the science of infusions. In both cases, it involves cooking the fat and the cannabis together at low heat until the fat has absorbed enough of the cannabinoids.
For cannabis butter, all you need is around 7-14 grams of decarboxylated cannabis (depending on how strong you want it to be), 2 sticks (one cup) of butter, a cheesecloth and a storage container.
For cannabis oil, it’s quite similar. Get together 7-14 grams of decarboxylated cannabis, one cup of olive oil, coconut oil, or MCT oil, a cheesecloth and a storage container.
If you’re making butter, the most straightforward way is probably the saucepan method. Just simmer 1 cup of water and 1 cup of butter until the butter melts. As it simmers, add in the cannabis and stir well. Let it simmer at low heat for about 2-3 hours, making sure to stir occasionally. The heat should not get above around 160-180°F (70-80°C).
The saucepan method also works for making cannabis-infused oil. Just add the oil and cannabis to a saucepan heated up to around 130-150°F (55-65°C) and let it simmer for 1-3 hours.
For both cannabis oil and butter, after the mix has cooled, pour it into a storage container making sure to give it a few good squeezes to get all the good stuff out.
How much weed to add and accurate dosing guidance
And now for that eternal question - how much weed is too much? How much is just enough? How much is a waste of time? There is no scientific answer to these questions, which really just deals with how high you want to be.
Also, dosing with cannabis - including homemade edibles - can be quite tricky, especially if it's a new edible that you haven’t tried out yet. The potency can depend on a wide variety of factors including the strength and quantity of the cannabis used, as well as your own tolerance.
Ultimately, the best bet when trying out a new edible is to start low with a mild dose, and then see how you feel. Worst case, you can take more the next time.
How to make weed coffee
Cannabis coffee recipes typically fall into two categories - adding a cannabis infusion to brewed coffee, or infusing the coffee beans themselves. Here’s how to do both.
Method 1: Infuse a pot of coffee (recipe courtesy of Honest Marijuana)
- Grind up the weed as fine as you can
- Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a pan and add in 2 tablespoons of butter or coconut oil
- Reduce to a simmer and sprinkle in the cannabis and let it simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the herb from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Remove from heat and pour through a strainer into a container.
- Take the infused water and use the water to brew your coffee like you normally would.
Method 2: Add a cannabis fat to your coffee
This method is quite easy. Simply brew up a cup of coffee and add a half a teaspoon of cannabis-infused coconut oil or cannabis butter and stir well. The fat will separate some from water as the coffee cools, but you can always stir it again, and before long you’ll drink it all anyway.
Method 3: Add a cannabis-infused sweetener to your coffee
Method 4: Add some cannabis milk to your coffee
In a very similar vein, if you have already prepared a batch of cannabis milk, then simply add a little bit to your coffee and you’re good to go.
Method 5: Add some cannabis tincture to your coffee
Cannabis tinctures are quite easy to make, and they can be used in all types of edibles. Also, unlike a cannabis-infused fat, it should stir into your coffee seamlessly, without separating.
Or, just buy some weed coffee
If you’re not in the mood to try out your cannabis coffee alchemist skills, you can always look for a store bought marijuana coffee option, if you live in a legal cannabis state.
Not everybody loves the taste of coffee pods, but if there’s weed in them? That’s a different story. Companies like Brewbudz make single-serving coffee pods that come with a healthy dose of THC in each pod.
Cannabis infused coffee beans are also a rather popular option, including for those who only want CBD-infused coffee, or just really want to support Willie Nelson. Some companies, like Therapy Tonics, now feature coffee drinks infused with THC and CBD, to be served hot or cold.
And if it’s not obvious, cannabis instant coffee is also now a thing. For instance, the “cannabis-infused instant coffee sticks” offered by Stillwater Brands, which contain 10mg THC per cup.