Caffeine and green. Speeding and weeding. Wake and bake and brew.

Also known as the hippie speedball, the Colorado speedball or the Seattle Speedball, coffee + cannabis is a duo as beloved as chicken + waffles, mac + cheese and Call of Duty + being late to work.

While the the old-fashioned speedball (heroin and coke) is nothing anyone should mess with, since it'll kill you faster than you can say Philip Seymour Hoffman, the hippie speedball is an upper + downer combination better suited for today's "let's take it easy, man," kind of culture.

Modern lovers of pot + coffee pot know the benefits: the Blue Dream will settle you in for a deep-dive marathon of The Wire, while the cappuccino will keep you awake through boring-ass season 2. The latte will keep you engaged in your expense report while the Chemdawg will keep you aware that money doesn't matter from the cosmic perspective.

Already, there are as many ways to do the hippie speedball as there are reasons to. Melt keef — pure trichomes — into butter and pour that into a Starbucks cup. You can have an iced latte and a joint. Or mix an espresso and vape pens.

But now that weed is semi-legal from Seattle to Maine, the hippie speedball is becoming like a real pharmaceutical: you can't just get lifted anymore, you have to do it right.

People measure it in milligrams: "54 milligrams of caffeine, 10 mg of cannabinoids." They might as well wear lab coats and safety glasses and measure out their coffee not with spoons but with beakers and heat the whole thing over a Bunsen burner.

Sensing an opportunity, the cannabis industry has jumped on the hippie speedball.

So while you may have thought the hippie speedball was already perfected. You'd be wrong.

Here's the latest innovations in weed/coffee technology:

photos - Irie - pipemug

A hippie speedball normally requires two pieces of equipment: the pipe and the mug. But what if you could simplify by combining the two into the single well-named contraption called the Pipemug? You totally would. On the Pipemug, the handle doubles as a mouthpiece; the base is hollowed out for a carb; the bowl sticks out like a little hummingbird perch. Our tester liked it. "I could see myself sitting on my porch, liking having everything in one piece," she said. Other than a tiny bit of smoke in her eye while she sipped, it ruled.

photo - pot-o-coffee - k cups

The Keurig machine is the lazy way to a perfect cup. The Keurig speedball adds THC and CBD for an amazing morning pick-me-up-but-not-too-high. Pot-O-Coffee, House of Jane and Ganja Grindz all deliver on the promise of genuine grounds with hassle-free brewing — plus buds. If you don't like all the trash that Keurig cups create, Brewbudz claims its THC-infused Keurig cups are compostable, so you can save the whales.

Instant coffee is to regular coffee what freeze dried ice cream is to Ben and Jerry's. But, sometimes — like when you're camping or living on the Space Station — it's all you've got.

Thankfully, a few companies make instant hippie speedballs. House of Jane makes instant cappuccino with THC. One problem: it's got a lot — 80 mg per cup. That's coma level.

Better is Clockwork Coffee from Stillwater Brands, with just 10 mg THC per cup, a more manageable dosage.

"It's nice to have that accurate dosage, especially if you have to go to work or something," said one Rooster drinker of Clockwork Coffee. "And I kind of enjoyed the instant coffee." Another drinker didn't like the taste. "It tastes like potting soil," another reviewer said. "And not in like a cool organic way." (Snob.)

photo - 1906 coffee beans

Don't like to drink at all? Boulder-based maker of fast-acting edibles 1906 and California's Kiva Confections both now make chocolate-covered edible coffee beans infused with THC and CBD — the ultimate shortcut to a buzzy lift. Just shove a handful in your mouth like you pop in Skittles, and within 15 or 20 minutes, the company says, you're on eagle's wings toward the land of the lifted. "You might never ingest coffee the same way again," one reviewer said.

photo - somatik cold brew

Another on-the-go option is the bottled speedball. Pre-mixed cold java and cannabinoids can slip in your backpack for transport to school, work or movies, and can be dosed even more clandestinely than a vape pen. Ganja Grinds, Somatik and Therapy Tonics and Provisions are three companies doing all the work for you, mixing Arabica, sugar and happy molecules into ready-to-drink coffee mixes.  

What's this weed and cannabis combo doing to our lives and brains? Science is undecided. One study says pot and coffee make very happy rats — their brains fired up. Caffeinated stoned rats are even more forgetful than rats that are merely stoned. Monkeys on a little bit of coffee wanted less THC; on a lot of coffee, they wanted more THC.

A lot of people don't need science to tell them the hippie speedball is a great kind of upper and downer combination. Way better than, say, listening to Tool while getting foot massage, being yelled at by your mom while reading an email about a raise. 

For energetic relaxation, it's a very wide hippie speedball world. No more taking furtive tokes out the back of your Vanagon. You speedball in style. With all these options, the world is (presumably) becoming a focused, chilled-out place.

Your move, robots. 

[originally published November 30, 2017]