Researchers discovered that adolescent female mice who have a common gene variation are more susceptible to THC dependency than males.
The study, published in Science Advances this week, found that adolescent female mice that have a common gene variation are more susceptible to THC dependency than males. Researchers from the Weill Cornell Medical College undertook this study to explore whether genetic variations in the body’s endocannabinoid system could explain why some individuals struggle with cannabis dependency, while most do not.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is one of the body’s most important regulatory systems, maintaining a natural balance that helps regulate appetite, immune response, learning, and many other important functions. The ECS contains natural endocannabinoids, similar to those found in the cannabis plant, that interact with receptors found throughout the body.
One of the most important endocannabinoids is anandamide (AEA), which is regulated by an enzyme called fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). Researchers discovered that FAAH plays a role in addictive behaviors, and previous studies have shown that artificially changing FAAH levels in mice can make them more susceptible to becoming addicted to cocaine or other drugs.
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