Does Your Genes Influence Your Cannabis Response?
Have you ever wondered why some people seem to get high after smoking just a little weed, while others need to smoke a lot more to feel the same effects? But it’s not just cannabis. It’s hemp compounds, too. Millions swear by the benefits of CBD, while others complain it does nothing. It turns out that your genes may be partially responsible for this difference.
What Does The Science Show?
Recent studies have shown that our genes can influence how we respond to cannabis. In particular, they can affect how THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) interacts with our brains. THC is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. It’s what gets you high.
CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive compound. It’s said to have many therapeutic benefits, but it won’t get you high. Both compounds interact with neurotransmitters throughout the body, including the brain.
So, how do your genes affect our response to THC and CBD?
The answer lies in our endocannabinoid system (ECS). This is a complex system of receptors and chemicals found throughout the body. The ECS involves many processes, including:
- Female reproduction
Cannabinoids like THC and CBD bind to receptors in the ECS. This causes the different effects that we experience.
Some people have a higher density of receptors than others. This means that they’re more sensitive to cannabinoids. They may feel the effects of THC more strongly.
People with many cannabinoid receptors are in balance and may not need to supplement with cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Those with fewer receptors may need to use more products with phytocannabinoids to achieve the same balance.
Understanding the Endocannabinoid System and Receptors
To understand how genes influence your response to cannabis, you need to review the endocannabinoid system. This system comprises receptors, enzymes, and ligands. The primary purpose of the ECS is to maintain homeostasis in the body.
There are two main types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2.
- CB1 receptors are found throughout the brain and central nervous system. They’re involved in mood, memory, pain perception, and appetite.
- CB2 receptors are located in the immune system. They’re involved in inflammation and pain.
Cannabinoids like THC and CBD interact with cannabinoid receptors. This causes different effects, depending on which receptor is activated.
For example, THC binds to CB1 receptors. This interaction affects mood, memory, and perception. CBD, on the other hand, binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors.
The enzymes in the ECS break down cannabinoids after they’ve been used. This process is called degradation. There are two main enzymes involved in cannabinoid degradation: FAAH and MAGL.
FAAH breaks down anandamide. This is a cannabinoid that’s produced naturally in the body. MAGL breaks down 2-AG. This is another cannabinoid that’s produced naturally in the body.
Anandamide and 2-AG are ligands. The ECS is a complex system, and experts are still learning how it works. However, they know it’s involved in many processes in the body. They bind to cannabinoid receptors and activate them.
Final Thoughts: Human Genetics Play a Role in How You Respond to Cannabis
Cannabis genetics and human genetics play a role in how you respond to cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Scientists know much, but there’s still more to learn to give a clear picture.