Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Possible Link of Epigenetic Changes to Cannabis Use


Cannabis is known to be linked to health problems, but in a recent study could give more insight to the epigenetics. In humans methylation of the DNA occurs, where methyl groups are attached to the DNA. This results in a change in gene expression without changing the genetic makeup. The use of cannabis has been known to contribute to the aging process by methylation. A study was conducted to determine if there was a linkage between specific epigenetic factors with the use of cannabis. The 1000 participants of the study notified their use over time and provided blood samples. The blood samples were taken after 15 years of using cannabis and after 20 years. The study observed the blood samples that were five years apart and see the DNA methylation levels. The study doesn't prove that cannabis is the direct cause of health issues but it could associate cannabis as a contributor to cell proliferation, infection and psychiatric disorders. Although the research has brought more insight into the long-term effects of cannabis use.

Researching the epigenetics of cannabis could help prevent severe health issues. This study could be continued and be used to observe the methylation of the DNA. If there are consistent patterns where the methyl group is attached, then that information can be used to help mitigate the health problems. The study could also be used to see if there are certain groups that are more at risk for the epigenetic changes due to cannabis. 


Science Alert


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