Could a MTHFR Gene Mutation Connect Cannabis and Depression?
Why do some people experience a negative reaction with THC?
Finding the proper dose and appropriate chemovar for a given condition (and patient) are perplexing problems for physicians. Accordingly, there seem to be inexplicable differences between them, and people’s reactions to them, that make standardization a daunting task. In one of the first explanations for these phenomena, research out of the journal Translational Psychiatry (2013), looked at the relationship between gene mutations and the cannabis experience.  Lok, A., Bockting, C. L. H., Koeter, M. W. J., Snieder, H., Assies, J., Mocking, R. J. T., … Schene, A. H. (2013). Interaction between the MTHFR C677T polymorphism and traumatic childhood events … Continue reading Genes definitely impact the medicinal experience of cannabis experience. This could include the frustrating fact that edibles just don’t work or that THC induces anxiety. Could this study explain the potential connection between MTHFR gene mutation, cannabis use in adolescence, and depression?
What is the MTHFR Mutation?
Basically, humans have a complex genome made up of twenty-three chromosomes. Further, over the years, geneticists have determined these contain approximately 20,000 to 25,000 unique protein-coding genes. These are the basic building blocks of human-life and are responsible for the similarities and differences between people.
Genetic mutations are permanent changes within basic DNA sequencing. According to the National Library of Medicine, “Mutations range in size; they can affect anywhere from a single DNA building block (base pair) to a large segment of a chromosome.”
These may be hereditary, but it may also occur as a result of environmental factors.
The methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (or MTHFR) gene mutation affects how a person processes amino acids. Amino acids form the basis of proteins, which are essential elements of human life, including neurotransmitters and hormones. Specifically, the MTHFR gene mutation impacts the MTHFR enzyme’s capacity to process vitamin B9.
The MTHFR gene mutation is not fatal, but it may, however, cause several medical conditions. These include homocystinuria, alopecia areata, spina bifida, congenital disabilities, and several other genetic disorders. Now, research suggests MTHFR mutation increases the risk of depression in people who have experienced childhood trauma. Since early childhood trauma and adolescent cannabis use is often a predictor for depression later in life, how does the MTHFR gene mutation play into it?
MTHFR Gene Mutation and Depression
Is the MTHFR gene mutation responsible for depression?
In the 2013 study published in Translational Psychiatry, researchers explored the combination of childhood trauma, the MTHFR gene mutation, and cannabis use on depression. The research group worked with 124 participants who were each assessed for depression and early childhood trauma as well as for cannabis consumption.
They also performed genetic testing to find three separate MTHFR gene mutation variants. Sixty participants had the CC variant, 49 the CT variant, and 15 a TT variant. During the 5.5-year study, the researchers performed follow-up evaluations for mental health.
How Does the Gene Mutation React with Cannabis?
The results? The authors discovered a statistically significant relationship between the MTHFR gene mutation (specifically TT variant) and recurrent major depressive disorder, especially among those who had experienced childhood trauma. The results help establish how people with past trauma, and a specific MTHFR gene mutation, are at higher risk of depression. Basically, the authors propose their findings, “could help to improve treatment strategies to prevent depression and recurrences.”
But, what is the role of cannabis in this mix? The connection between a tiny genetic mutation and cannabis is a complicated one. This is largely because it’s not direct, and it’s not yet proven. But, genetic research seems to indicate genes influence personal experience with the plant. And there is a substantial body of work connecting adolescent cannabis use with a higher risk of depression later in life.
However, despite this, the researchers did not find a connection between cannabis and the MTHFR gene mutation.
As they stated in their 2013 paper, chiefly, “cannabis use did not interact with the MTHFR genotype in the replication sample,” and, “Therefore, it is unlikely that cannabis use affected the interaction between childhood maltreatment and the MTHFR genotype.” The lack of relationship between cannabis use and MTHFR gene mutation eliminated cannabis from their discussion and conclusions.  Lok, A., Bockting, C. L. H., Koeter, M. W. J., Snieder, H., Assies, J., Mocking, R. J. T., … Schene, A. H. (2013). Interaction between the MTHFR C677T polymorphism and traumatic childhood events … Continue reading
Are New Patients Playing with Fire?
Moreover, the lack of relationship between the MTHFR gene mutation, depression, and cannabis use hasn’t eliminated the search for a genetic connection. It might be another one we haven’t yet discovered.
In 2016, Translational Psychiatry published a new article on the subject: “AKT1 genotype moderates the acute psychotomimetic effects of naturalistically smoked cannabis in young cannabis smokers.”In this new take on how genetic variation can impact the effects of cannabis, the authors evidence a new gene: AKT1. Further, mutations of, “the AKT1 gene predicted acute psychotic response to cannabis along with dependence on the drug and baseline schizotypal symptoms.”  Morgan, C. J. A., Freeman, T. P., Powell, J., & Curran, H. V. (2016). AKT1 genotype moderates the acute psychotomimetic effects of naturalistically smoked cannabis in young cannabis smokers. … Continue reading
Cannabis Use Factors in Your Genes?
Basically, the MTHFR gene mutation may not be to blame for the negative side effects of cannabis use. However, other genes may be. Accordingly, as in other areas of medicine, the future may see genetic testing predict the therapeutic value of cannabis medicine on a patient-by-patient basis. It may also help craft better strain profiles. These could be profiles developed to limit the risk of plant-based medicine, should patients have specific gene mutations.
Moreover, are new patients at risk of depression or acute psychotic experiences if they turn to cannabis? Researchers have already demonstrated that a small percentage of people do not react well with cannabis use. Further, in combination with underlying mental health concerns, childhood trauma, and genetics, medical cannabis use may be problematic.  de Graaf, R., Radovanovic, M., van Laar, M., Fairman, B., Degenhardt, L., Aguilar-Gaxiola, S., Bruffaerts, R., de Girolamo, G., Fayyad, J., Gureje, O., Haro, J. M., Huang, Y., Kostychenko, S., … Continue reading
Until more research explores the relationship between these various parts, there is no way to predict an adverse reaction accurately. So, what about new patients with a history of psychosis or major depression? Patients like this should always work with a qualified physician as they begin treatment with the plant.
Finally, as with any medicine, it’s essential to know the risks (weighed with the benefits) before getting started.
CBD OIL IS MORE THAN JUST A FAD- IT’S A GAME CHANGER FOR THOSE WITH MTHFR
Medicinal marijuana and CBD gets a bad rap as a “drug”. But really it is one of the most healing plants on the planet.
The legalization of marijuana and CBD has changed so many people’s lives and has helped heal them from the outside out.
About three months ago I was having horrible cramps so my sister-in-law recommended I check out Nuvita CBD oil . Within 10 minutes of taking a half dose of the 3000mg Full Spectrum CBD my cramps were completely gone AND so was the pain in my wrist from carpal tunnel. I was shocked. So I quickly ordered myself a bottle & it has become a part of my everyday routine.
Because it worked so well for me, I started researching everything CBD & ended up stumbling on CBD & MTHFR. CBD oil is amazing for those with MTHFR & MTHFR ailments which I’ll further explain below. It just further solidified my belief in high quality CBD oil.
WHAT IS CBD OIL
CBD Oil is a cannabidiol discovered in 1940. It is one of 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants and accounts for up to 40% of the plant’s extract.
The cannabis plant is made up of two main players: CBD and THC. “CBD is the non-psychoactive portion of the plant, so what that means is you won’t have any effects like euphoria,” says Junella Chin, DO, an osteopathic physician and a medical cannabis expert for cannabisMD . “You won’t feel sedated or altered in any way.”
MEDICINAL BENEFITS OF CBD OIL
Hemp has been used for medicinal purposes dating back to 2700BC & was seen as God’s gift to mankind in ancient days. That wasn’t because it got people ‘high’ but because of it’s incredible healing properties.
The endogenous is created naturally by your body, as well as cannabinoids that can be found in your brain, tissues, immune cells, organs, and glands. Treating your body with CBD oil is beneficial since similar receptors are already an integral part of your body.
CBD is often used to treat anxiety, pain management, stress, as well as show incredible results in treating cancer, diabetes, obesity, and so much more. For one example, CBD is known for its positive effects on anxiety and depression based on its interaction with the serotonin receptor. In particular, CBD targets a specific serotonin receptor; the serotonin 1A receptor (called the 5-HT1A). Activation of 5-HT1A facilitates anti-anxiety effects and reduces the flight reflex when faced with fear.
It is also known as the miracle oil for treating children with epilepsy. There are some amazing videos showing how quickly CBD oil works for children with seizures. Here is a really great article on CBD oil treating epilepsy that made me bawl. If you are on the fence, I suggest you watch it but get the tissues ready.
CBD OIL & MTHFR
That doesn’t even scratch the surface on the medicinal purposes of CBD oil. Seriously I have watched so many life changing videos that have made me just bawl. So it’s not surprising that CBD oil is the holy grail for those with MTHFR.
When you basket the potential conditions associated with the MTHFR mutation, there appears to be 3 main categories: inflammation related (inflammation, chronic pain, nerve pain etc.), oxidative stress related (heart attack, stroke, migraines etc.) and neurotransmitter related (depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar etc).The body’s endocannabinoid system houses its cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body and are implicated/activated in a multitude of bodily processes from pain perception to immune system to nervous system and many more Our body’s endocannabinoid system is set up to interact with both internally produced cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) as well as positively interact with externally introduced cannabinoids, such as CBD Oil.
One of the biggest issues MTHFR causes is oxidative stress. Oxidative stress damages the body’s cells, proteins and DNA and contributes to aging and several neurodegenerative diseases as well as cancer and diabetes. Oxidative stress can also lead to chronic inflammation.
CBD has been shown in several studies to exert an antioxidant effect. One study showed among other things how CBD weakened oxidative stress and inflammation in the animal subjects with diabetic cardiomyopathy. The study concluded that there is strong support that CBD may have great therapeutic potential in the treatment of diabetic complications and cardiovascular disorders by lessening the effects of oxidative stress, inflammation and cell death.
Another study discussed the interrelationship between inflammation and oxidative stress (which really go hand in hand) and concluded that CBD acted both as an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant and suggested CBD’s excellent anti-inflammatory properties had a direct impact on oxidative stress. The study further suggested CBD was an emergent therapeutic strategy for lessening the impact of inflammation on oxidative stress.
Researchers are also looking at a receptor located in the brain to learn about the ways that CBD could help people with neurodegenerative disorders, which are diseases that cause the brain and nerves to deteriorate over time. This receptor is known as CB1.
Researchers are studying the use of CBD oil for treating:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson’s disease
These are common diseases caused by the MTHFR gene.
CBD oil may also reduce the inflammation that can make neurodegenerative symptoms worse.
Combing through the research, we can see that many of the typically associated “MTHFR-ailments” have proven responsive to CBD. If you are struggling with symptoms, it may be worth a try to see if CBD helps you, I know it helped me!
WHY I RECOMMEND NUVITA CBD OIL OVER OTHER BRANDS
I truly believe that NUVITA is hands down the cleanest, most transparent brand of CBD . When you have MTHFR you want to limit your heavy metal exposure at all costs. And although various tinctures & supplements can be amazing, they’re typically exposed to heavy metals during the growing, manufacturing, and packaging process.
It’s counterproductive if you are working hard to detox but then continually expose yourself to high amounts of heavy metals. A lot of CBD companies I have researched do not use organic CBD oil OR have their certificate of analysis on their website. And this is where NUVITA stands out.
Not only do they use organically grown, non-gmo hemp for their tinctures, they put their certificate of analysis front and center on EVERY SINGLE PRODUCT.
You can literally see for yourself the exact makeup of the CBD , the pesticide/heavy metal results, AND bacteria results for every single product.
They are SO transparent because NUVITA has nothing to hide! This brand is literally a dream come true for those with MTHFR. Heck- for everyone because who wants to take an oil full of bacteria, chloroform, and aluminum. Not me.
Please note this is NOT an ad. I have signed up for their rewards program just because I share so much and am using my own money to purchase their products. By using my link you get 10% off and I get a discount on my next purchase. This post is not gifted, not an ad, and not sponsored. Like always, do your own research.
FAVORITE PRODUCTS FROM NUVITA & HOW TO USE CBD OIL
So I personally use the 3000MG Full Spectrum CBD . I like that each drop is a higher dose so a little goes a long ways! I fill a dropper full in the morning which is one dose, and then use it throughout the day.
There are a few different oils to choose from so I reached out to NUVITA to help me better understand their products. Here is how they described their products:
Full Spectrum CBD Oil is the most natural form of CBD you can find. It uses all the natural cannabinoids to work together to form the “entourage effect”. The entourage effect means that cannabinoids will work better together than when they are isolated from each other. The synergy can enhance the effects of CBD oil. There are trace amounts of THC but not enough to get you high or show up on a drug test. The THC is essential for a pure cannabinoid profile that works well with our endocannabinoid system.
Broad Spectrum CBD Oil is created by taking the Full Spectrum extract and further processing them to remove the trace amounts of CBD oil. Although it contains the full health benefits of Full Spectrum, users have stated that it doesn’t work as well as Full Spectrum. This may be due to the fact that THC is removed from the oil and no longer creates a pure cannabinoid profile.
CBN (cana banal) Oil is mildly psychoactive cannabinoid found in aged cannabis. CBN has the potential to be a potent antibacterial and nuro protectant. It also is known to stimulate appetite due to the fact that it is the oxidized byproduct of THC. It has potent anti-inflammatory properties that stimulate bone cell growth.
CBG Oil is considered the ‘Rolls-Royce’ of cannabinoids. It is known as the “stem cell” of cannabinoids and studies show promising results for reducing irritable bowel syndrome, enhancing brain function, superior neural protectant, reducing eczema and psoriasis as well as a powerful acne spot treatment.
I hope this was helpful to you guys and cleared up any misconceptions about CBD oil! Feel free to DM me with any questions you have.