New data from the genetics testing company 23andMe suggests that there's a genetic link between schizophrenia and cannabis use.
Scientists studied 180,000 people who submitted their DNA to 23andMe. Their goal was to determine if there were genetic factors that would lead to someone choosing to use marijuana. They also were studying whether there was an actual link between schizophrenia and marijuana use as previous studies suggest.
The scientists discovered that there are 35 genes in 16 different sections across the genome that are associated with schizophrenia and marijuana use. These genes were also linked to other activities such as smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol.
Basically, this means that people with the schizophrenia gene are also more likely to have a gene that leads to them using marijuana. This contradicts previous studies that suggested that using marijuana put someone at a higher risk to develop schizophrenia. It now seems more likely that people with schizophrenia are using marijuana, or drinking or cigarettes, as a way to cope with their condition.
The scientists also found that there are also some genes that are also a factor in determining whether someone uses or does not use marijuana. They identified eight gene variations that accounted for 11 percent of cases determining whether or not someone uses. Essentially, if you use marijuana, there's 11 percent chance it's because you have one of these eight genes in your DNA.
So next time your parents are giving you grief over your cannabis use, just tell them it's actually their DNA that's at fault.