Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Backdoor Pharmacist Doesn’t Drink Coffee

Caffeine is a strong stimulant of the xanthine class. Naturally occurring, it’s the world’s most commonly consumed upper. Religions even exempt caffeine from restrictions on intoxicants because no one would worship a god that didn’t let you have a tea or a Coke.

Caffeine is an addictive psychostimulant drug. It’s not known exactly how many hundreds of millions of people worldwide are hooked on caffeine. It is known that 90% of Americans consume caffeine or caffeinated beverages daily. Frequent usage causes tolerance to develop. The user now has to up his dose which will exacerbate side effects like hypertension, anxiety and significant sleep disturbance. 

It is distributed in a wide variety of forms, much like cannabis or cocaine, but is almost exclusively dosed orally. It is not difficult to find caffeine. High and low-end places at every end of the price spectrum can provide you with a Mountain Dew or a civet poop double espresso shot. It’s cheapest to get in the “No-Doz” or caffeine pill formulation.

More common and familiar formulations are delivered via its natural occurrence in plants where caffeine acts as a pesticide, killing predatory insects. It’s found in coffee beans, the leaves of the tea bush or yerba maté plant, and the kola nut of “cola” fame. Shortly after consumption, a sense of wakefulness comes over you. 

For many of you, this is the relief from your morning exhaustion, which is actually caffeine withdrawal. The headache, mental fog and general grogginess will fade away. Now you feel “normal” and ready to take on your day, at least until you burn through that first cup or can. But we don’t think of caffeine in terms of milligrams or mg/L. We think of it in cups, glasses and gallons, so how do you compare?
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