People’s reaction to cannabis is often very different from what you might be expecting. And just because one strain makes you feel one way, does not mean that it will make another person feel the same. Why is this?
Perhaps you have even experienced this yourself?
I can remember smoking some Amnesia Haze with a friend and, whilst I was lifted onto a higher plane and energised, she immediately went to sleep. It turns out there is a scientific explanation for such behaviour.
John Lemo of Lobo Genetics in Toronto has discovered that there is genetic information within us which dictates how we each process different chemical, for example, THC.
“Looking into the science, we came to the conclusion that there is actually a genetic basis for someone’s reaction to THC,” he says.
His company is able to take swabs of your DNA and test it for three different genetic reactions to the cannabinoid THC. Certain genes can reveal how you metabolise THC, whether you may be prone to memory loss, the chances you face of increased paranoia, and your long term risk of developing schizophrenia.
Lem says that people understanding how their bodies react to cannabis can be a hugely positive thing as it can help them choose their dose and product appropriately. This is especially useful for taking edibles.
Lem advises, “If you metabolize THC slower, you might want to stick to a smaller dose.”
Lobo Genetics test for thee different genes:
This gene can affect the amount of time that somebody’s body takes to break down the THC, meaning some people will stay higher than other with the some dose of cannabis depending on this gene.
This is the gene that if variations in it are present, there may be a small risk of developing psychosis
This gene is involved in the breakdown of dopamine and variations in this gene could mean that cannabis is more likely to affect your memory
Other factors at play
So there you have it. A simple swab test can predict how you are likely to react to cannabis – incredibly useful information for somebody going into the cannabis world for the first time.
These genetic factors alone to do not control our reactions to cannabis entirely, however. There are other factors at play, such as previous exposure to other drugs, environment, dose, etc. These factors may possibly be more important than genetics.
Thes tests are available online for 59 Canadian Dollars (around £34) but the service is currently only available to Canadian residents.
Cover photo: Lois Reed