24% of the genetic material that predisposes to cannabis consumption is common to that of mental pathologies. Accordingly, those people suffering from schizophrenia have a higher risk of consuming THC, and vice-versa, says an international study that has analyzed samples of more than 184,000 patients. The research, which has been recently published in the scientific journal Nature Neuroscience has confirmed the relationship between cannabis consumption and schizophrenia, as well as other mental pathologies.
As explained by the principal investigator of the Psychiatry, Mental Health and Addictions group of the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), Marta Ribases, the study has revealed 16 new genetic regions that predispose to the consumption of cannabis throughout life.
Josep Antoni, head of the Psychiatry Department at the Vall d’Hebron Hospital, stated that the risk of consuming THC is “doubled or tripled” in patients with schizophrenia.
The new study established a relation between cannabis consumption and schizophrenia, as well as other mental pathologies
On the other hand, the research has also shown a genetic correlation between cannabis use and that of alcohol or tobacco and ADHD.
These findings will help scientists to know better the relation between cannabis consumption and such serious mental pathologies as schizophrenia and, therefore, to develop individualized treatments.
Ribases also added that the discovery will allow the creation of new prevention methods and assured that they would continue working on the identification of specific genes and new therapeutic targets.
The study has not been able to determine whether there is a greater or lesser risk of predisposition to consume THC depending on the gender. Ramos-Quiroga, the study’s co-author, has assured that currently “we do not have good treatments for cannabis addiction.” as well as neither the funds to develop “much more specific treatments, that are going to allow us to understand these conditions much better.”