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Genetics Study Links Cannabis & SNPs

Genetics Study Links Cannabis & SNPs

Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 10/20/2016 in Medical Marijuana

Genetics have always been of major interest in terms of scientific discoveries and breakthroughs pertaining to improving health.  On April 14, 2003, the Human Genome Project was completed.  This was a major undertaking that was likened to “having all the pages of a manual needed to make the human body”.   The Human Genome Project site even has a listing where you can see genome monthly medical advances.  For instance, the subject of the advance from July 2016 involved gene therapy and the treatment of hearing loss.  The technology behind mapping out genes and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs – variations in single pairs of DNA sequences) has truly grown by leaps and bounds.  DNA stands for Deoxyribonucleic acid, and it carries genetic information.  It is now possible to easily collect DNA in the privacy of your own home through a service such as 23andme so you can see what SNPs you might have on your 23 chromosome pairs.  23andme offers carrier status reports, ancestry and traits reports, and haplotype groups for instance.  To get the most from SNP data obtained from a testing service that extracts the genes from DNA, a third party service tool will often be needed.  Medical marijuana related information has now been linked or associated with certain SNPs through scientific study.

For instance, reference SNP# (rs2494732) according to SNPedia, is tied to cannabis-related psychosis.  Now it is important to note, the study mentioned ‘psychosis or paranoia were infrequent regardless of genotype’.  The (C:C) genotype of this SNP carries the higher risk for mind altering symptoms while under the influence followed by the (C:T) genotype.  The (T:T) genotype carries the lower odds of psychosis.  Another SNP of interest has been found to be associated with somewhat similar properties.  Rs324420 is a SNP in the FAAH gene (Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase).  FAAH contributes to pain experience, sleep, and mobility in animal studies .  Anandamide is an endogenous cannabinoid.  An endogenous cannabinoid is a cannabinoid that already occurs in the human body.  FAAH metabolizes Anandamide to Arachidonic acid and Oleic acid.  Anandamide fits into CB1 (cannabindoid receptor type 1) receptors in the human body and has an overall calming effect.  As levels of Anandamide increase, sleep is easier to induce.  A rs324420 (A:A) genotype person generally has more slow wave sleep and a lower risk of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Rs324420 also has (A:C) and (C:C) genotypes.  The (A:A) and (A:C) have a higher rate of Anorexia.  Type (A:A) also was observed to be less dependent on cannabis than those with one or more “C”s in terms of substance dependence issues.

It is interesting how easy it is for geneticists and genetic companies to decode human DNA in today’s world.  Many companies now offer services to allow genetic testing to be conducted to find out if people are carriers for certain conditions or to determine what certain genetic dispositions may be.  Once the data has been created from the genetic material as recorded by the lab, finding the proper tools to work with it in the way in which the user intends can be a whole other journey.  A few of the third party sites available to help decipher genetic genome data include:,, Nutrahacker, and Genetic Genie.  Each of these sites allows special reporting, some at no cost, and some per paid report based on information the user wishes to receive pertaining to his or her genomic data.  Gene sequencing has a bright future ahead.

There are also genetic studies on individual components of cannabis as those components pertain to human health.  For instance many studies exist regarding the use of CBD oil for instance in trials for seizure disorders.  Undoubtedly as the world of genetics is explored, it seems likely that more uses for marijuana as medicine could be discovered.  The current list of medical uses for medical cannabis is quite extensive and includes many conditions for which other genetic factors may also play a role.  The future is now, and it is an exciting time to watch the field of medicine blossom and grow exponentially.  A medical and genetic revolution is truly upon us.

If you are a diagnosed patient living in a legal medical marijuana state, visit to speak to a marijuana doctor about becoming a medical marijuana patient.

* “rs” = reference SNP cluster

* “SNP” = single nucleotide polymorphism

* “DNA” = deoxyribonucleic acid

* “FAAH” = Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase

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