Genetic Study Connects Schizophrenia And Cannabis Use


Evidence has been suggesting a connection between cannabis use and schizophrenia. It’s not clear whether the drug leads to the illness or vice versa.

The latest study relied on genetic data gathered from 23andMe volunteers and it aims to shed light on the subject.

The study found that people who are genetically exposed to a risk of developing schizophrenia are also more likely to start smoking pot.

This finding suggests that the disorder itself may lead to cannabis use in some people.

The study was published in Nature Neuroscience and it continues previous efforts to analyze genetic variations that make people more likely to start using pot. The project is called the International Cannabis Consortium.

The study analyzed anonymized genetic data coming from previous or ongoing studies, such as the UK Biobank, as well as from people who have allowed their DNA to be used for research.

The study analyzed data coming from 180,000 which means that it’s the largest study of this kind.

Association between schizophrenia and cannabis use

The most common variation in a person’s genetic code from someone else’s is called a single-nucleotide polymorphism, or SNP.

An SNP is a minute change in the building blocks that make up DNA (and RNA), known as nucleotides.

The study was able to find that 8 of these SNPs are associated with lifetime cannabis use.

“That is not a big surprise, because previous studies have often shown that cannabis use and schizophrenia are associated with each other,” lead author Jacqueline Vink, a researcher at Radboud University in the Netherlands, said in a statement.

“However, we also studied whether this association is causal.”

The final results of the study highlighted evidence that being genetically vulnerable to developing schizophrenia makes people more likely to smoke weed.

This is possibly a way to cope with their condition, according to the study’s authors. A more in-depth analysis is required to understand exactly how these two are linked together.


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