A new study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine identifies and takes a closer look at the way coffee consumption affects the body. According to this study, drinking coffee causes a drop in certain substances in the body’s endocannabinoid system – the same substances that smoking marijuana increases.
Researchers at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago focused on a previous study conducted in Finland in which participants abstained from drinking coffee for one month, then drank four cups per day for the second month and eight cups per day for the final month. The Northwestern researchers tested blood samples from the previous study participants for 733 substances.
They discovered that coffee affected levels of 115 substances in the body – 34 that are unnamed with unknown roles, and 82 that play a role in 33 biological processes. Some of the effects of coffee were already known and the study results were expected. Other results – including coffee’s effects on endocannabinoids – were previously unknown and unexpected.