Can you predict cannabis use based on genetics and personality traits?

How genes and personality could help predict cannabis use

That title probably made you raise an eyebrow, but it's a question that intrigues more than one researcher: can you predict cannabis use based on genes and personality? At Cakespace, we wanted to look into this question to present you an account on research, but also address the role of CBD in that matter.

How to predict cannabis use: what researchers say

When genes get involved

This idea that it is possible to predict cannabis use was the subject of a 2018 study. The researchers noted that 21 to 35 genes are expressed differently in regular cannabis users. According to them, these genes would therefore be likely to determine cannabis use.

Among them, we find CADM2, often associated with a low perception of risk, a quest for novelty and experiences, certain forms of anxiety, and neuroticism, this tendency to experience negative emotions in a lasting way.

The study points out the relationship between this tendency to carelessness and the regular use of cannabis. It concludes however that the genetic determination would be in reality valid only up to 11%, arguing that the consumers of cannabis have diverse psychological and genetic profiles, and that it would thus be interesting to push the question on the side of sociology, to examine the social factors.

This study follows work by Polish researchers published in 2015, which focused on psychological factors and genetic characteristics of cannabis users. By studying the profiles of two groups, one of regular users, the other without user, these academics have highlighted a tendency to anxiety, openness and neuroticism higher in cannabis users, which raises many questions...


The question of schizophrenia

On the other hand, the idea to predict cannabis use from psychiatry could help disprove a long-held belief: that cannabis triggers or worsens schizophrenia. 

Indeed, the 2018 study shows that the causal link between regular cannabis use and schizophrenia is rather weak. However, it does highlight the fact that predispositions to schizophrenia could explain regular cannabis use. 

While positive correlations have been noted between phenotypes related to the use and dependence on substances such as alcohol and tobacco, and phenotypes associated with diseases such as hyperactivity and schizophrenia, this does not mean that cannabis fits into the same logic.

What about CBD?

What these studies seem to overlook is that there is not just one form of cannabis. Could consuming CBD products really be associated with the same risk taking? Could a similar link be made with psychiatry?

The antipsychotic effects of CBD

For the question of schizophrenia, the answer is even simpler than for the so-called "classic" cannabis: it is impossible that CBD triggers or aggravates it, because it has antipsychotic effects. 

Studies in the Netherlands have shown that Cannabidiol is even more effective in reducing psychotic episodes than the drugs currently prescribed, and with fewer side effects. Forensic psychologist Lilian Kloft, who reviewed studies in the Maastricht Student Journal of Psychology and Neuroscience, even points to "a high tolerance, a superior quality-price ratio, and a promising side-effect profile, suggesting an attractive alternative to current antipsychotic treatments".

The effects of CBD on anxiety and depression

Furthermore, the fact that cannabis use is associated with anxiety and negative emotions could mean that the plant is appeasing many ailments, not just seeking risks and new experiences.

This is all the more likely when we know that CBD soothes symptoms of anxiety and depression. Interacting with the endocannabinoid system, Cannabidiol regulates blood pressure and heart rate, allowing to calm palpitations and respiratory discomfort that often accompany anxiety episodes. It also acts on the mood by encouraging the production of serotonin, often called the happiness hormone, and which contributes greatly to improving the quality of life.

As for its anti-psychotic effects, CBD is emerging as a less expensive and more qualitative alternative to certain pharmaceutical treatments, which also present a risk of dependence. 

Rather than trying to predict cannabis use, at Cakespace, we believe in the fact that there is a CBD product that fits the desires and the needs of each one: do not hesitate to consult our sensations ranges to find the right product for you!

Cake it easy,