Coffee ‘affects the same system in the brain as cannabis’
On the face of it, coffee doesn’t have too much in common with cannabis – one jolts you awake, the other is known as ‘dope’ for a reason.
But the two substances actually affect the same neurotransmitters, according to a new study from Northwestern Medicine.
The neurotransmitters related to the endocannabinoid system (the same ones affected by smoking cannabis) decreased after drinking four to eight cups of coffee in a day.
That’s the opposite of what happens when people use cannabis.
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Cannabinoids are the chemicals that give the cannabis plant its medical and recreational properties.
The body also naturally produces endocannabinoids, which mimic cannabinoid activity.
Northwestern scientists applied advanced technology that enabled them to measure hundreds of metabolites in human blood samples from a coffee trial for the first time.
‘These are entirely new pathways by which coffee might affect health,’ said 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.’