Public Health and Safety

Cannabis Use Disorders & DNA: A Genetic Link? 

A new genetic study, the largest of its kind to date, examined over 1 million individuals that suggests those with a Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD) and adverse health issues, may be associated to traits found in their DNA. Researchers examined CUD data from 1,054,365 people associated in the “Million Veteran Program”. They identified four ancestorial origin groups for their meta-analysis (i.e., European, African, Americas and East Asian). At the genetic level, all ancestorial groups, except the East Asian cohort, showed varying levels of inheritability of traits that could be associated to being at risk of developing a CUD couple with adverse health outcomes. The ancestorial group with the highest number of genetic placeholders was “European”. 

The researchers (Levey, D. note that a person with a CUD has an increased “genetic liability” risk for adverse mental and physical health outcomes. A genetic liability that an individual consumer would have no way of knowing that they are at risk. This was concerning to the authors given the continued increases in cannabis use and expanded legalization. 

Read time: 20+ Minutes (Technical / Scientific) 

Photo: MTH