Article by Perrin Grauer, The Star Vancouver
A government prohibition against mixing cannabis and caffeine makes little sense, say some research scientists. There is only speculation that the combination might pose a risk.
The practice, so common in the legendary pot capital of Amsterdam that cannabis dispensaries are called “coffee shops,” appears unlikely to be coming to Canada anytime soon.
“It seems like the overriding philosophy for a lot of this is: ban anything that might be a concern,” said M-J Milloy, research scientist with the B.C. Centre on Substance Use. “Then it’s easier to un-ban … rather than trying to do it the other way around.”
Milloy said while both caffeine and cannabis have been known cause tachycardia (an abnormally fast heart-rate), he hadn’t heard of any adverse effects coming from combining the two.
Milloy speculated banning caffeine and cannabis could mean the government wishes to avoid commercial production of highly-caffeinated energy drinks laced with THC, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis.
The prohibition, outlined in the back pages of Bill C-45 (the so-called Cannabis Act), lists caffeine along with alcohol and nicotine as three substances that cannot be combined with cannabis in commercial products. A final vote on the bill is expected in June.
Health Canada declined to comment on why it wants to ban the combination of cannabis and caffeine in commercial products. Nor did it have any scientific data or research to provide.
Instead, it referred StarMetro to a report written by the task force on cannabis legalization and regulation.
The report’s stated mandate is to “maintain and improve the health of Canadians by minimizing the harms associated with cannabis use.” It recommended the ban on combining cannabis with caffeine, though it gives no reasons for that conclusion.