Two trends sweeping across America are genetic testing and medicinal marijuana, and now a California biotech company is bringing them together.
Pathway OME, a leading genetic testing company based in San Diego, is poised to launch Cannabis DNA Insight, the nation's first-ever test designed to identify precisely how individuals can best use cannabis therapies.
"We isolate DNA through a saliva sample and look at a battery of genes associated with metabolizing the two main active ingredients in cannabis, THC and CDB," says company co-founder Dr. Michael Nova, who also is Pathway’s chief innovation officer.
"From that and a look at genes that determine risk factors for certain conditions – such as sleep disorders, pain, and anxiety – we can tell you which cannabis strains, tinctures, and edibles will be best to treat your specific problem."
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main psychoactive compound found in marijuana that produces a "high" while CBD (cannabidiol) doesn't.
Both are therapeutic for pain, inflammation, nausea, migraines, anxiety, and some other problems, but they also have their differences. For example, only THC will increase appetite while only CBD is good for seizures.
Different strains of cannabis have different proportions of THC, CBD, and the many other less active compounds, and everybody reacts differently to them.
Those variables have turned medicinal marijuana use into a guessing game to see which products will work best.
Nova and his team at San Diego-based Pathway OME believe the Cannabis DNA Insight test – slated to cost about $100 — can provide the data needed to take the guesswork out of the emerging therapies.
"It's a great tool for physicians who prescribe the products, and dispensaries are really hot for it because it can help their customers decide what's best for them to buy," Nova tells questsin. "In effect, we're personalizing the therapeutic cannabis experience."
For more information about Cannabis DNA Insight, go to omecannabis.com.