Neurogenetic and Epigenetic Aspects of Cannabinoids

Catherine A. Dennen, Kenneth Blum, Abdalla Bowirrat, Jag Khalsa, Panayotis K. Thanos, David Baron, Rajendra D. Badgaiyan, Ashim Gupta, Eric R. Braverman, Mark S. Gold

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Cannabis is one of the most commonly used and abused illicit drugs in the world today. The United States (US) currently has the highest annual prevalence rate of cannabis consumption in the world, 17.9% in individuals aged 12 or older, and it is on the rise. With increasing cannabis use comes the potential for an increase in abuse, and according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), approximately 5.1% of Americans had Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD) in 2020. Research has shown that genetics and epigenetics play a significant role in cannabis use and CUD. In fact, approximately 50–70% of liability to CUD and 40–48% of cannabis use initiation have been found to be the result of genetic factors. Cannabis usage and CUD have also been linked to an increased risk of psychiatric disorders and Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS) subsets like schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, and substance use disorder. Comprehension of the genetic and epigenetic aspects of cannabinoids is necessary for future research, treatment plans, and the production of pure cannabinoid compounds, which will be essential for FDA approval. In conclusion, having a better understanding of the epigenetic and genetic underpinnings of cannabis use, CUD, and the endocannabinoid system as a whole will aid in the development of effective FDA-approved treatment therapies and the advancement of personalized medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number27
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD)
  • Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS)
  • cannabinoids
  • cannabis
  • epigenetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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