Your Oversensitivity to Cannabis Could Be of Genetic Origin
Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, or CHS, is a condition characterized by a strong sensitivity to THC and other cannabinoids. CHS’s symptoms occur while consuming cannabis, and they include nausea, vomiting, cramps, and abdominal pain while consuming cannabis.
The cause of CHS is associated with the consumption of high-potency cannabis products regularly and for long periods.
While still not completely understood, dr. Ethan Russo, a pioneer in cannabis research, believes CHS isn’t a functional gastrointestinal disorder but a “manifestation of gene and environmental interaction in a rare genetic disease. “
Since CHS is hard to be diagnosed, it’s often misdiagnosed as a cannabis use disorder (CUD).
Unfortunately, there is not much research done on CHS alone; however, due to the work of geneticists and cannabis researchers, we can see how genetics might impact its development.
To get the answers, dr. Russo, in partnership with the cannabis genetics testing company, Endocanna Health, created a survey where he looked at the genetics of 28 patients diagnosed with CHS.
They found that five gene mutations could be linked to CHS: COMT gene, TRPV1 gene, CYP2C9 gene, DRD2 gene, and ABCA1 gene.
The COMT gene creates an enzyme that helps break down stimulatory neurotransmitters such as dopamine. The malfunction in these genes can lead to excess dopamine. 56% of patients in Russo’s survey had mutations in this gene.
TRPV1 gene is involved in TRPV1 receptors development. They are activated by various physical and chemical stimuli. When activated, they can lead to pain and burning sensations. 71% of patients had mutations of this gene.
CYP2C9 gene creates CYP2C9 enzyme that breaks down fatty acids and steroid hormones. In addition to that, they are involved in metabolizing THC and prescription drugs and THC. 46% of the patients had mutations in this gene.
The DRD2 gene creates the dopamine receptor D2, which is the target of numerous antipsychotic drugs. 60% of patients had mutations of this gene.
The ABCA1 gene creates proteins that act as carriers for other molecules. They are essential to primary cell function. 68% of patients had this gene mutation.
The results of dr. Russo’s survey suggests that gene mutations might be the root of CHS. I.e., gene mutation and excessive use of cannabis could result in cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome.
According to dr. Russo, these preliminary findings could be of a great asset in understanding CHS and directing future treatments.