Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Genetic Influence on Synthetic Cannabinoids Side Effects

Genetic factors could influence users who experience incapacitating side effects of synthetic cannabinoids, the International Business Times reports.

Synthetic cannabinoids are more potent than the chemicals found in marijuana plants, and their side effects may include agitation, hallucinations, tachycardia, syncope, and seizures, IBT adds. It notes that synthetic cannabinoid abuse is an increasing public health concern in both the US and UK.

While the chemical makeup of synthetic cannabinoids is ever shifting, by studying an early generation of Spice, researchers from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences have identified two enzymes — cytochrome P450s and UDP glucuronosyltransferases — that are involved in metabolizing them, IBT says. Variations within these enzymes then could affect how well someone metabolizes synthetic cannabinoids and the side effects they experience.

"Our overall goal is to understand the molecular and behavioral pharmacology and metabolism of these compounds as a means to identify effective therapeutic strategies against their acute and chronic toxic effects in people," Anna Radominska-Pandya said at the Experimental Biology 2017 meeting, according to IBT.