Learn how your genetics can determine your psychomotor predispositions and help you mitigate adverse reactions with cannabis.

Bet you can relate to this:

You’re considering a cannabis product to help you manage symptoms of ADHD. You’ve been searching for therapy to help you slow down and focus for years. You haven’t found a product that works without giving you debilitating side effects. More than anything, you want to be able to pay attention at work so you can work more efficiently and land a big promotion. 

You tell your officemate about your ADHD and she swears that her vape pen helps her manage symptoms just like yours. You decide to give it a try and head to your local dispensary to pick up a vape.  

You use the vape in the evening and try to pour yourself a glass of water but miss the cup entirely. You go to open the fridge but grab the freezer handle by mistake. When you try to slice a lemon, you can’t hold it steady, and you realize you’re experiencing an adverse event with cannabis. 

When you tell your officemate about your experience, she laughs and calls you an amateur. She offers to teach you the right way to use your vape pen and comes over before work one day to share her vape with you. 

After a few pulls, you drop the vape on the floor and can’t pick it up. You call out of work and lay in bed until your psychomotor control returns later in the day. 

When you feel like yourself again, you rule out cannabis therapy and assume all cannabis will make you feel like a klutz and lose control of your motor skills. You’re left feeling discouraged and stressed about finding an effective way to manage your ADHD. 

In your process of trial and error, though, you’ve overlooked an important component that determines your therapeutic experience with cannabis. Your DNA. 

Approximately 42% of the general population is genetically predisposed to psychomotor control impairment and may experience clumsiness or difficulty with coordination as a result of THC.[1*] In other words, under certain conditions, four in ten people are at risk of experiencing poor coordination or may have trouble executing tasks that require the use of fine motor skills.

If you’ve experienced these symptoms as an adverse event with THC, it’s likely because your cannabis therapy is misaligned with your unique genetic profile. 

Experiencing adverse events 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 experiencing impairment in psychomotor functioning. 

Below, you’ll learn more about psychomotor function, how cannabis interacts with your genetics, and how you can manage THC adverse events with the right science-backed knowledge and wellness plan. 

THC adverse events quiz

What is psychomotor function? 

Cognitive processes govern everyday physical movements like walking, talking, and chewing. The term psychomotor function refers to the connections between your mental processes and muscle functions. 

Psychomotor functions involve the combination of precise motor responses, attention, and cognitive problem-solving abilities. When your psychomotor functioning is impaired, there is a disconnect between your cognitive processes and your physical actions.[2] 

Impairments in psychomotor control can lead to symptoms like:

  • Moving slowly,
  • Speaking slowly,
  • Difficulty gesturing, 
  • Experiencing spontaneous actions, 
  • Persistent hand-wringing,
  • Agitation, and/or
  • Restlessness. 

Impairment in psychomotor function can be caused by genetic disorders, neurological disorders, chronic illnesses, and hormonal imbalances. Psychomotor impairment can also occur as a result of medication or substance use.

Key takeaway:

  • Psychomotor function refers to the connections between the mental processes and muscle functions used to complete everyday tasks like walking, talking, and chewing.

  • Impairment in psychomotor abilities may lead to difficulty moving, speaking, gesturing, or persistent fidgeting.

  • Although most often associated with neurological and medical conditions, psychomotor impairment can also occur as the result of medication or substance use.

Psychomotor impairment 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.[3†] 

Adverse events with THC can leave you confused, afraid, or wondering if cannabis therapy is right for you—especially if you experience difficulty completing regular tasks on 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 psychomotor impairment as an adverse event with THC. 

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. 

Key takeaway:

  • Like prescription medications and other chemical compounds, cannabis can lead to side effects.
  • If you’re genetically predisposed to impairment in psychomotor functioning, you may be at risk of experiencing loss of coordination or difficulty executing regular tasks like walking, talking, or writing as a side effect of THC.
  • The first step to mitigating these events with cannabis is understanding your genetic predispositions so you can determine if you’re at risk for adverse events.
People playing football

Psychomotor control, THC, and your endocannabinoid system. 

Your endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a system of messengers found throughout your body. Like most of your biological systems, your ECS is as unique as your thumbprint. It’s functioning is determined by genetic, epigenetic, developmental, and environmental factors.  

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 particular 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 impairment in psychomotor functioning, are caused by cannabinoids binding to the cannabinoid receptors within your body. Depending on the cannabinoid and terpene ratios of your cannabis product and your own unique genetic coding, the resulting effects are either therapeutic or lead to an adverse reaction.[4]

If you’re predisposed to psychomotor impairment based on your genotype, you may be at risk for experiencing difficulty falling or staying asleep as an adverse event with THC. 

Key takeaway:

  • When cannabinoids enter your body, they disrupt the normal functioning of your endocannabinoid system.
  • This can lead to impaired coordination in populations who are genetically predisposed to experiencing impairment in psychomotor functioning.

33. How to mitigate impairment in psychomotor functioning 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 impairment in psychomotor functioning 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.

To learn more, take this 10 question quiz and discover if you may be genetically predisposed to adverse events with THC. 

 

_______________

References

1. *Endocanna Health used specific allele frequencies and genotype heterozygosity to determine general population percentages for genetic predispositions. 

3. †Endocanna Health determined the potential predisposition of THC adverse events in the general population.

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!