Genetic and Environmental Factors Associated with Cannabis Involvement

Ryan Bogdan, Jonathan M.A. Winstone, Arpana Agrawal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Approximately 50–70 % of the variation in cannabis use and use disorders can be attributed to heritable factors. For cannabis use, the remaining variance can be parsed in to familial and person-specific environmental factors while for use disorders, only the latter contribute. While numerous candidate gene studies have identified the role of common variation influencing liability to cannabis involvement, replication has been elusive. To date, no genome-wide association study has been sufficiently powered to identify significant loci. Despite this, studies adopting polygenic techniques and integrating genetic variation with neural phenotypes and measures of environmental risk, such as childhood adversity, are providing promising new leads. It is likely that the small effect sizes associated with variants related to cannabis involvement will only be robustly identified in substantially larger samples. Results of such large-scale efforts will provide valuable single variant targets for translational research in neurogenetic, pharmacogenetic, and non-human animal models as well as polygenic risk indices that can be used to explore a host of other genetic hypotheses related to cannabis use and misuse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-213
Number of pages15
JournalCurrent Addiction Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Adversity
  • Cannabis
  • Endocannabinoid
  • Gene
  • Imaging genetics
  • Neurogenetics


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