Use your DNA to discover your genetic predisposition to impulsive behavior and learn if you’re at risk of experiencing an adverse event with cannabis.
Does this sound like you?
For years, you’ve been looking for an effective way to manage your chronic pain. It’s an understatement to say your pain symptoms have disrupted your life. It’s even prevented you from getting outdoors, doing the things you love, and playing with your kids.
A colleague recommends you try THC-infused gummies, and you decide to give it a try. He sends you to his dispensary, gives you the name of the budtender he likes best, and tells you the exact product to buy. You pay for a bag of gummies and take one on the way to a work event hoping it’ll give you some relief.
When you get to the party, you make some pretty bad decisions. You embarrass one of your best work friends by telling the room a secret she told you months ago. When the keynote speaker takes the stage, you can’t stop whispering to your neighbor. Someone asks you to please be quiet and you get annoyed. They hear you swearing under your breath as they walk away.
People begin to give you sideways glances. One colleague pulls you aside and asks if you’re okay.
The day after the work event, you cringe remembering how impulsively you acted. You know you owe lots of people an apology.
You spend most of the day inside feeling regretful. You rule out cannabis therapy and assume all cannabis products will make you act impulsively. You’re left more discouraged than ever since you still don’t have a solution for your chronic pain.
In your process of experimenting with cannabis, though, you’ve overlooked an important component that determines your therapeutic experience. Your DNA.
Nearly 35% of the general population is genetically predisposed to making impulsive decisions and could be at risk for an adverse event with THC.* In other words, under certain conditions about one in every three people will make decisions without considering the consequences of their actions.
If you’ve made bad decisions as an adverse event with THC, it’s likely because your cannabis therapy is misaligned with your unique genetic profile.
Experiencing increased impulsivity with cannabis is manageable. Think of it like this: the cannabis formulations you’re currently using aren’t optimally compatible with your DNA. To mitigate adverse reactions, you’ll want to use cannabis formulations that don’t trigger your unique genetic predisposition to making impulsive decisions.
Below, you’ll learn more about impulsive behavior, how cannabis interacts with your genetics, and how you can manage THC adverse events with the right science-backed knowledge and wellness plan.
*Endocanna Health used specific allele frequencies and genotype heterozygosity to determine general population percentages for genetic predispositions.
What is impulsive behavior?
Impulsivity is the tendency to act prematurely without fully considering the consequences of your choices. If you make decisions quickly that you’re prone to question or regret later, you may be acting impulsively.
Impulsive behavior is influenced by a host of environmental, developmental, genetic, and epigenetic factors. For example, prescription medications, stimulant drugs, and past traumas can each influence impulsive behavior and can lead to quick or impaired decision making.
It’s important to keep in mind that impulsivity occurs along a spectrum. For example, you may blurt something out without thinking about the consequences, which can be considered a mild form of impulsivity. Or you may make more severe impulsive decisions like suddenly deciding to drive your car well past the speed limit.
Characteristics of impulsive behavior can include:
- Frequent interrupting,
- Being easily distracted,
- Aggression, or
- Engaging in risky or dangerous behavior.
- Impulsivity is the tendency to act prematurely without fully considering the consequences of your choices.
- Frequent interrupting, aggression, and engaging in risky behavior are characteristics of impulsivity.
- Prescription medications, stimulant drugs, past traumas, and genetic variants can each play a part in determining your decision making abilities and tendencies.
Impulsivity as an adverse side effect of THC.
Like all chemical compounds, including prescription medications and other substances, cannabis can lead to side effects.
Some cannabis side effects are therapeutic. They allow you to relax and provide relief from disorders, diseases, or discomfort.
Other cannabis side effects, however, cause distress to the body and result in adverse events. Approximately 31% of the general population has reported experiencing an adverse event with THC, which means adverse reactions are fairly common.†
Adverse events with THC can leave you confused, afraid, or wondering if cannabis therapy is right for you—especially if you experience bad decision making or impulsive behavior with cannabis.
If you’re considering using cannabis for any reason, you should know your risks of experiencing adverse events with THC. With the right knowledge, precautions, and cannabinoid and terpene formulations, you can achieve the optimal experience for your therapeutic needs and mitigate feelings of stress and anxiety with cannabis.
Knowing your risks starts with understanding your genetic predisposition to adverse events.
You should always consult your healthcare provider when making decisions regarding your wellness routine and cannabis therapy.
†Endocanna Health determined the potential predisposition of THC adverse events in the general population.
- Like prescription medications and other chemical compounds, cannabis can lead to side effects.
- If you’re genetically predisposed to impulsive behavior, you may be at risk of making poor decisions as a side effect of THC.
- The first step to mitigating stressful events with cannabis is understanding your genetic predispositions so you can determine if you’re at risk for adverse events.
Impulsivity, THC, and your endocannabinoid system.
Your endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a system of messengers found throughout your body. Along with a host of critical functions, your ECS is responsible for regulating important systems like your mood, appetite, and immune function.
When you use a cannabis varietal, strain, or product, the cannabinoid and terpene profiles interact with your endocannabinoid system. The external cannabinoids (exogenous cannabinoids) are added to your system’s internal cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), which can disrupt or augment your ECS messaging.
Psychoactive effects from cannabis, like impulsive behavior and bad decision making, are caused by cannabinoids binding to the cannabinoid receptors within your body.
Genetically speaking, some people are predisposed to impulsivity. For example, dopamine is a neurotransmitter involved in impulse behavior. Genetic variants in the DBH gene, a gene which is responsible for metabolizing dopamine, can predispose you to impulsive behavior making you at risk for acting quickly or making bad decisions. Since THC can activate neurons that release dopamine, it’s possible that THC can influence impulsivity.
- When cannabinoids enter your body, they disrupt the normal functioning of your endocannabinoid system. This can trigger negative side effects like poor decision making in populations who are genetically predisposed to impulsive behavior.
How to mitigate impulsive behaviors when you’re using cannabis.
If you’ve experienced adverse events with THC, or if the risk of experiencing adverse events with THC is preventing you from trying cannabis therapy, you should know that adverse side effects are completely manageable.
The key to mitigating impulsive behavior when you’re using cannabis is to decode your genetics, discover your unique endocompatibility, and use cannabis strains, varietal, and products with cannabinoid and terpene profiles that are aligned with your genotype.
With the right science-backed knowledge and wellness plan, you can find reliable products to optimize your cannabis therapy outcomes.
Endocanna Health is a biotechnology company committed to helping consumers find the right cannabinoid products to enhance their health and wellness. Using our breakthrough DNA test, Endo·dna, we empower you to take control of your health with access to over 55 different health reports that include suggestions for the best CBD and cannabis products that match your unique genetic code. Visit us here to find out more!