Find the right strain for your DNA

Chemist hands holding DNA test tubes, DNA helix model background

Everyone reacts to cannabis in different ways. But even more interesting, everyone can have more or less strong sensations depending on the strain.

The plant and the consumer are like two pieces of a puzzle: you have to find the right match. Strain Genie says to look for the cannabis that suits you. Their slogan is simple: "Cannabis is complex. You too. "But what is it really?

The way to choose one's cannabis has long been a reflection of a restaurant menu written in an unknown language.

You end up choosing a dish without knowing if it was spicy or not, if it contained products that you digest well, if it was free of allergens to which you would be sensitive, etc.

Too often, one strain could be suitable for one person, being totally unsuitable for another. In short, it was a real Russian roulette game.

Of course, some aspects of your lifestyle, such as the amount of exercise you do, your sleep patterns and your diet, all play a role in how you will react to a cannabis product on any given day. However, the most critical factor is the composition of your endocannabinoid system: the chemicals and neurons in your brain and body that respond to cannabinoids.

The DNA contains specific instructions on how your endocannabinoid system is "wired" compared to other people.

A quick introduction to DNA

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is a long molecule that contains instructions for building each part of an organism. DNA is composed of four compounds that pair: (A) Adenine, (T) Thymine, (C) Cytosine and (G) Guanine. 99,5% of the base pair combinations that make up humans are identical from one person to another. The difference of 0,5% is what makes you unique. Variants are the genetic differences that make up this 0,5%.

Many readers may be familiar with the term "gene", which is simply a section of the DNA that carries the code of manufacture and organization of specific molecules that may serve as building blocks for different parts and functions of a particular gene. organization. Variants in specific genes have been identified as the determinants of thousands of different traits, ranging from whether or not there are blue or green eyes to the presence or absence of muscular dystrophy. As new research is conducted on cannabis and the body, more and more genetic links that can predict your response to cannabis are beginning to emerge.

Cannabis and your DNA

With genes that contain instructions for creating enzymes and proteins that make up all the constituents of your brain and body, it's easy to see how this could affect your endocannabinoid system and, later, your experience with cannabis. . An extreme example is Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD) - a genetic disease where the wearer's body produces far fewer cannabinoids and endogenous receptors than a healthy person. CECD has a clear connection between DNA and cannabis use: if you have a CECD gene, you will need far more cannabis to achieve the same effects as a person without this gene. Other genetic links that predict your response to cannabis may be a little more insidious.

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Take the genes CYP2C9 and CYP2C19 for example ; they encode an enzyme that breaks down THC and CBD respectively. Variants of these genes can make the enzymes they create up to 30% less effective. This means that consumers with these variants would be less effective in breaking down THC and CBD. This decomposition process is a critical variable to consider when ingesting chemicals. In fact, some pharmaceuticals specifically target this system of decomposition by creating drugs that inhibit the breakdown of endogenous chemicals so they can remain effective longer and produce "more" of the intended result.

For example, SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, the main pharmaceutical antidepressant) delay the breakdown of serotonin (a mood-regulating positive neurotransmitter) in the synapse (the small space that allows neurotransmitters to be transmitted by neurons). neurons) so that serotonin (which is usually less present in depressed populations) can continue to act and give a "happier" person. Similarly, the slow degradation of THC will make the user feel "higher" longer. Unfortunately, this can also cause drowsiness among users of the variant up to three days after initial consumption.

Of course, an overview of the CYPC9 and CYP2C19 variants that a person owns can help guide dosage patterns and product categories to choose from (for example, choosing a vaporizer rather than an edible product if the degradation is undercutting). optimal, since most of the damage is due to the liver). This information on drug metabolism has fueled the burgeoning field of pharmacogenetics, where physicians take a personalized approach to pharmaceutical drugs based on the patient's DNA.

DNA analysis for personalized consumption

Given the efficacy of cannabis as a therapeutic option for a wide variety of disorders and diseases, and the reliability of DNA to determine the likelihood that an individual will develop a particular disease, it is self-evident that, taking into account predispositions users can optimize their choice of cannabis products. With tens of thousands of products and strains of cannabis available on the legal market, consumers are faced with the complexity of options with different ratios of cannabinoids and terpenes - the most critical variables for determining the different effects and benefits medical cannabis.

Such a range of products, combined with the understanding of its DNA, allows a personalized selection of products by connecting the points between the different search results. For example, a host of genes can predispose a person to develop Alzheimer's disease and dementia. On the other side of the equation, studies have shown that pinene (a terpene found in cannabis and other plants such as pine) has a neuroprotective effect that specifically enhances memory. Cannabis users with such predispositions would be advised to take preventive health measures by systematically choosing products with high pinene content. There are similar associations among users who tend to develop schizophrenia or who have psychotic episodes, while products with low THC content and high MCI content may have antipsychotic effects. Similar reasoning applies to people at high risk of cancer who are able to benefit from high THC anticancer products.

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As regulations begin to allow scientists access to cannabis for research purposes, other knowledge that can help determine the effectiveness of cannabis use at the individual level is certainly on the horizon. Other avenues could also provide insight into other aspects of cannabis use. For example, a new 2018 research has even unveiled 35 genes that make you 11% more likely to be a cannabis consumer and has revealed an interesting overlap in cannabis use with a gene (CADM2) that has always been associated with risk taking. Such information, combined with genes that predispose individuals to abuse, could be used to guide programmed tolerance breaks.

Whatever the application, additional research on DNA, cannabinoids and terpenes promises to refine the personalized cannabis approach that all consumers should consider taking.

Knowing how to find the right strain in one's DNA

The human body has millions of cells reacting to cannabis. The endocannabinoid system works in very different ways depending on the person.

Knowing how one's own system interacts with cannabis molecules is essential. We had already pointed out how it exists 3 kinds genetic profiles transforming THC differently.

This is to go one step further.

The goal is not to simply determine how his body metabolizes cannabis molecules. Strain Genie analyzes the DNA and selects the cannabis-based products that correspond perfectly to each genome.

Realize that everyone is different

Those with a particular type of gene (or "allele variant"), for example, do not respond well to edible cannabis ("edibles“).

"Individuals with this allele variant have demonstrated hepatic enzymatic metabolism that affects the ability of THC to decompose properly in food." precisely does one at Strain Genie.

Therefore, if you have this type of genes, it is recommended to avoid "edibles".

And if Strain Genie finds that you have an increased risk of developing diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, you will be associated with cannabis strains that improve memory.

It all starts with a DNA test

In order to determine the level of compatibility with this or that strain, a DNA test must be performed. Many companies, such as 23andme or offer this type of service.

Once the results are received, simply transfer them to Strain Genie for an analysis. However the exam is not free and costs 30 dollars.

Even more subtle, this service is actually associated with WhoahStork, which operates as an online marketplace and clinic partner throughout California, but also in Colorado, Nevada and Oregon. The goal is, after determining the genetic profile, to sell and deliver the cannabis directly at home.

Tags : DNAAlimentaryGenetic