New Study Looks Into How Coffee And Cannabis Affect The Brain
A new study has found that both coffee and cannabis affect the same regions of the brain. The study, published this week in the Journal of Internal Medicine, was conducted by a group of researchers from Northwestern University in Chicago, IL.
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The 3-month long study looked at 47 people living in Finland. Their coffee consumption was prescribed, then closely monitored. In the first month, the participants were tasked with drinking no coffee at all; in the second, they drank four cups of coffee per day; and in the third, eight cups.
Studies on the effect of coffee on our bodies seem to emerge every few days, with some noting the negative effects the beverage can have on our bodies whilst others attribute a myriad of health benefits to our daily brew.
This study, however, is interesting, as it connects coffee and cannabis and their respective effects on the endocannabinoid system.
The study found that coffee and cannabis have opposite effects on the endocannabinoid system. Endocannabinoid neurotransmitters decreased when the participants began drinking eight cups of coffee per day. In contrast, it is well known that these levels increase with cannabis use.
But, what does this mean, exactly? Well, the findings of this new study may open up new paths of research for the effect of coffee on our health. The cup of Joe is one of the most widely consumed drinks in the world and, yet, there is still so much we don't know about its effect on our bodies.
Lead author, Marilyn Cornelis noted, "Now, we want to delve deeper and study how these changes affect the body."
Coffee's influence on the endocannabinoid system may explain some things we already know about the drink. For example, the endocannabinoid system is believed to influence eating behavior. Ever wonder why that serious case of the munchies comes on after your smoke a fat one? Enter, the endocannabinoid system. Cannabis increases neurotransmitter activity, which could be the cause of increased appetite. Coffee, on the other hand, decreases this activity, which is why coffee has so often been considered a potential weight loss aid.
These new findings will no doubt pave the way for new research into how coffee and cannabis affect the endocannabinoid system and what this means for our bodies.
It remains to be seen whether caffeine is responsible for the observed effects in this most recent study, or one of the many other compounds contained within coffee.