Cannabis Science

Happy DNA Day

Happy DNA Day!

β€œIt is in our genes to understand the universe if we can, to keep trying even if we cannot, and to be enchanted by the act of learning all the way.”  ~ Lewis Thomas

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the molecule that contains the genetic code of living organisms. The DNA code contains instructions needed to make the proteins and molecules essential for our growth, development and health.

All humans have the same genes, but some of the genes contain sequence differences which is make each person unique.

Humans share about 20% of the same genes with plants like cannabis; however, plants have metabolic differences from humans (i.e. they use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide gas to sugars). We do have similarities in our “housekeeping” genes – the ones that maintain cell function among other things.

Our genes can influence how we react to cannabis – explaining why cannabis has a different effect on individuals. 0.1% of our genetic code is unique to us. We share the 99.9% with all other humans.

The effects of cannabis are through mechanisms within the body, especially the CB1 and CB2 receptor sites. These sites are proteins and are built with instructions from DNA … any change (mutation) in these instructions can alter our own reaction to cannabis. Read more: How Your Genes Influence Your Response to Cannabis

Each strain of cannabis also has it’s own genetic sequences (DNA) creating the variety of uses and effects it can have therapeutically.

There is a lot of controversy (and rightfully so) on the patenting of cannabis DNA – too much to write here. Leafly has a 4-part series regarding the issue: Leafly investigation: Inside the billion-dollar race to patent cannabis

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