May Genes Influence Response to Cannabis?
How Genes May Influence Your Response to Cannabis
The way that cannabis makes us feel is complex and still not fully understood. Although research into the matter is ongoing, scientists have not been able to pinpoint a single cause for the different ways people respond to cannabis. However, they have identified several factors that may play a role, including genes.
Our genes influence everything from our height and eye color to our risk of developing certain diseases, so it makes sense that they would also affect how we react to cannabis.
Here’s how genes may influence your response to cannabis and why everyone’s experience is different.
The Endocannabinoid System
Our endocannabinoid system (ECS) is responsible for regulating many vital functions, including mood, appetite, pain, and memory. This system is made up of endocannabinoids, endocannabinoid receptors, and enzymes.
Endocannabinoids are produced by our bodies naturally, and they bind to endocannabinoid receptors, which are found throughout the body. There are two types of endocannabinoid receptors: CB₁ and CB₂. CB₁ receptors are mostly found in the brain and central nervous system, while CB₂ receptors are primarily located in the immune system. Cannabis contains cannabinoids that bind to both types of receptors. Enzymes are responsible for breaking down endocannabinoids.
The ECS is continually working to balance our bodies, and when cannabis is introduced, it can interact with this system. However, since no two people have the same ECS, the effects of cannabis will be different from person to person. In addition, various health conditions can affect how the ECS works and its response to cannabinoids.
Changes in Our Genetics
Although we are born with a certain set of genes, they are not static. Genes can be turned on or off in response to various stimuli, including diet, stress, and exposure to toxins. This process is known as epigenetics. So, even if you have the same genes as someone else, they may not be expressed in the same way. This can result in different reactions to cannabis, even between identical twins.
Additionally, genes can mutate, or change, over time. Therefore, many people may find that their response to cannabis changes throughout their lives as their genes mutate.
Factors That Influence Our Reaction to Cannabis
In addition to genes, there are several other factors that can influence our reaction to cannabis. These can include weight, age, metabolism, tolerance, method of ingestion, and more.
Factors like weight and age can change over time, which means that our reaction to cannabis may also vary. So, even if you’ve used cannabis before and had a certain response, it’s possible to have a different experience the next time you use it.
The Bottom Line
There is still much to learn about how genes influence our response to cannabis. However, research suggests that they may play a role in everyone’s experience. So, if you’re wondering why your friend is more affected by cannabis than you are, it could be because of their genes.
Keep in mind that everyone responds to cannabis differently, and your reaction may change over time.