MAY 28, 2018 3:30 PM PDT

There's a surprising link between coffee and cannabis

New research shows coffee can affect our metabolism in dozens of ways—including our metabolism of steroids and the neurotransmitters typically linked to cannabis—beyond the caffeine boost we expect in the morning.

After drinking four to eight cups of coffee in a day, people’s neurotransmitters related to the endocannabinoid system—the same ones that cannabis affects—decreased. That’s the opposite of what occurs after someone uses cannabis.

Neurotransmitters are the chemicals that deliver messages between nerve cells and cannabinoids are the chemicals that give the cannabis plant its medical and recreational properties. Our body also naturally produces endocannabinoids, which mimic cannabinoid activity.

Further, certain metabolites related to the androsteroid system increased after drinking four to eight cups of coffee in a day, which suggests coffee might facilitate the excretion or elimination of steroids. Because the steroid pathway is a focus for certain diseases including cancers, coffee may have an effect on these diseases as well, researchers say.

“These are entirely new pathways by which coffee might affect health,” says lead author Marilyn Cornelis, assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Now we want to delve deeper and study how these changes affect the body.”

Little is known about how coffee directly impacts health. In the new study, which appears in the Journal of Internal Medicine, scientists applied advanced technology that allowed them to measure hundreds of metabolites in human blood samples from a coffee trial for the first time.

For the study, 47 people in Finland didn’t drink coffee for one month, then consumed four cups a day for the second month, and then eight cups a day for the third month. Researchers used advanced profiling techniques to examine more than 800 metabolites in the blood collected after each stage of the study.

Blood metabolites of the endocannabinoid system decreased with coffee consumption, particularly with eight cups per day.

The endocannabinoid metabolic pathway is an important regulator of our stress response, Cornelis says, and some endocannabinoids decrease in the presence of chronic stress.

“The increased coffee consumption over the two-month span of the trial may have created enough stress to trigger a decrease in metabolites in this system,” Cornelis says. “It could be our bodies’ adaptation to try to get stress levels back to equilibrium.”

This article was originally published on Futurity.org

 

About the Author
  • Futurity features the latest discoveries by scientists at top research universities in the US, UK, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The nonprofit site, which launched in 2009, is supported solely by its university partners (listed below) in an effort to share research news directly with the public.
You May Also Like
MAY 01, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Early Use of Cannabis Linked to Heart Disease
MAY 01, 2021
Early Use of Cannabis Linked to Heart Disease
While the dangers of cigarette smoking to cardiovascular health are widely known, those for cannabis have been less rese ...
MAY 08, 2021
Coronavirus
Surveys Suggest Cannabis Users Looking for Some Pandemic Happiness
MAY 08, 2021
Surveys Suggest Cannabis Users Looking for Some Pandemic Happiness
Two recent, separately published surveys combine to create an interesting overview of how cannabis use changed duri ...
JUN 12, 2021
Health & Medicine
Teenagers With Sleep Issues More Likely to Use Cannabis
JUN 12, 2021
Teenagers With Sleep Issues More Likely to Use Cannabis
Teenagers are renowned for going to bed late and sleeping in. But if disrupted sleep gets out of hand for young people, ...
JUL 05, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Prenatal Cannabis Exposure Lessens Effects of Antidepressants
JUL 05, 2021
Prenatal Cannabis Exposure Lessens Effects of Antidepressants
Researchers at Indiana University have found that mice exposed to cannabinoids while in the womb are less responsive to ...
JUL 05, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Long Term CBD Use Linked to Less Pain, Anxiety and Depression
JUL 05, 2021
Long Term CBD Use Linked to Less Pain, Anxiety and Depression
Researchers from Canada have found that long-term use of cannabidiol (CBD) is linked to improved symptoms of pain, anxie ...
JUL 31, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Can CBD Treat Psoriasis?
JUL 31, 2021
Can CBD Treat Psoriasis?
With cannabidiol (CBD) becoming increasingly available, many are wondering about its utility in treating various conditi ...
Loading Comments...