Learn how your DNA can alert you to your genetic predispositions and help you mitigate adverse reactions with cannabis.
Does this sound familiar?
You’re considering a cannabis product to help with your anxiety. You’ve struggled to find ways to deal with your anxiety for years. Nothing seems to work consistently. More than anything, you want to be able to be around your friends in public places without having to worry about where the nearest exit is in case you have a sudden panic attack.
A trusted friend calls a particular cannabis strain a “miracle” and swears it helped them manage their anxiety and relax at night. You decide to give it a try. At your local dispensary, you buy the same strain your friend recommended. You smoke the cannabis on your back porch and hope it helps relieve the tightness in your chest so you can unwind.
Almost immediately, you feel irritated. Little things, like your partner calling twice in a row or your remote control not working, make you mad. You try to do a puzzle to calm down, but when you can’t find the piece you’re looking for you throw the puzzle box at the dining room wall. It takes you nearly 24 hours to feel better.
You assume your anger with cannabis was just a fluke or a coincidence. Desperate for some relief from your persistent anxiety, you smoke more of the strain after work the next day. You get angry when the delivery man forgets a part of your dinner order. You end up calling the manager and yelling at him.
In the morning, you rule out cannabis therapy and assume all cannabis will make you aggressive and angry. You’re left feeling discouraged and your anxiety is bad for weeks.
In your process of trial and error, though, you’ve overlooked an important component that determines your therapeutic experience with cannabis. Your DNA.
Nearly 70% of the general population is genetically predisposed to experiencing aggressive behavior and could be at risk for an adverse event with THC..[1*] In other words, under certain conditions, approximately seven in ten people may act in a way that poses risk to themselves or another person.
If you’ve experienced these symptoms as an adverse event with THC, it’s likely because your cannabis formulations aren’t aligned with your unique genetic profile.
Experiencing aggressive behavior 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 stress reactivity and anxiety.
Below, you’ll learn more about aggression, how cannabis interacts with your genetics, and how you can manage THC adverse events with the right science-backed knowledge and wellness plan.
What is aggression and aggressive behavior?
In psychology, aggression refers to behaviors that can result in both physical and psychological harm to yourself, others, or objects in your environment.
Usually, aggressive behavior poses risk to another person either physically or mentally. Common forms of aggressive include:
- Intimidating or verbally berating another,
- Emotionally manipulating or abusing another,
- Physically harming yourself, another, or an object, or
- Threatening to do harm to yourself, another or an object.
Both physical and psychological aggression can be very damaging. Whether the purpose of aggressive behavior is for competition, to assert dominance, to express anger or hostility, or a reaction to fear, it has the ability to harm.
Aggressive behavior can occur due to a number of influential factors, including biological, environment, and medical factors. For example, men are more likely to engage in physical aggression than women, though women do tend toward non-physical forms of aggression such as social rejection.
Mental health disorders that often see outbursts of aggressive behavior include Alzheimer’s disease, Autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Aggression with these disorders can vary in degree and frequency depending on other influencing factors
How you were raised can also influence your aggressive tendencies. Famously, in the early 1960s scientists conducted what became known as the Bobo Doll Experiment. The study found that preschoolers who observed an adult participant acting aggressively toward a clown bobo doll mimicked the aggressive behavior toward the doll later. Preschoolers who observed an adult participant act calmly and non-aggressively toward the clown bobo mirrored this behavior later when they were alone with the doll.
- Aggression is behavior that can result in both physical and psychological harm or damage.
- Common forms of aggression include verbal, mental, emotional, and physical harm.
- Threats to engage in these behaviors are also considered aggressive.
- Aggression is naturally influenced by genetic, environmental, and physical factors.
Aggressive behavior 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.[4†]
Adverse events with THC can leave you confused, afraid, or wondering if cannabis therapy is right for you—especially if you experience aggressive behavior as an adverse event 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 aggression 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.
- Like prescription medications and other chemical compounds, cannabis can lead to side effects.
- If you’re genetically predisposed to aggression, you may be at risk of experiencing anger, rage, or unpredictable aggressive behavior 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.
Aggression, 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 aggressive behavior, 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.
If you’re predisposed to aggression based on your genotype, you may be at risk for experiencing anger, rage, or unpredictable aggressive behavior as an adverse event with THC.
- When cannabinoids enter your body, they disrupt the normal functioning of your endocannabinoid system. This can lead to anger, rage, or unpredictable aggressive behavior in people who are genetically predisposed to aggression.
How to mitigate aggressive behavior 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 aggressive 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.
To learn more, take this 10 question quiz and discover if you may be genetically predisposed to adverse events with THC.
1. *Endocanna Health used specific allele frequencies and genotype heterozygosity to determine general population percentages for genetic predispositions.
4. †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!