Schizophrenia genes linked to cannabis propensity

Researchers from King’s College London and the University of Queensland investigated genes related to the development of schizophrenia and cannabis use in 2082 individuals, drawn from the Australian Twin Registry, of whom almost half identified as ever using cannabis to varying degrees.

They found that people genetically predisposed to schizophrenia were more likely to use the drug than people without schizophrenia-risk genes. Twin pairs where both reported using cannabis had the greatest burden of schizophrenia risk alleles, and the lowest burden was found in pairs where neither twin reported use. 

Furthermore, those with a predisposition were more likely to use cannabis in larger quantities.

While the association between cannabis use and schizophrenia is well established, questions remain over the causal role of cannabis use in increasing the risk of developing schizophrenia and psychosis.

The authors of the study