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In mice aged 12–18 months, chronic administration of low-dose Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) improves performance in behavioral learning and memory tasks, whereas a similar administration in younger mice (aged 2 months) impairs performance.
The study reports a genome-wide significant locus for cannabis use disorder, replicating in an independent cohort, and implicates CHRNA2, which encodes an acetylcholine receptor subunit, in the disorder by analyses of genetically regulated gene expression.
Therapeutic application of cannabis remains controversial despite evidence of pain-relieving functions, particularly for rheumatic diseases. However, whether cannabis can also be used as an immunomodulatory therapeutic agent needs to be counterbalanced by risk assessment for adverse effects.
Over the past decade, marijuana has been legalized for medicinal purposes or recreational use in many countries, and the potency of marijuana and synthetic cannabinoids has substantially increased. In this Review, Pacher and colleagues summarize the role of the endocannabinoid system in cardiovascular health and disease, and critically discuss the beneficial and detrimental cardiovascular effects of marijuana and synthetic cannabinoid use.
A GWAS of lifetime cannabis use reveals new risk loci, shows that cannabis use has genetic overlap with smoking and alcohol use, and indicates that the likelihood of initiating cannabis use is causally influenced by schizophrenia.