The Addiction Labs of America is in the initial stages of developing a pharmacogenetics test for cannabis and its products like cannabidiol (CBD). A quarter of American adults are estimated to be taking some form of CBD, and new research by the American Journal of Psychiatry is touting the possible benefits of cannabis for opioid use disorder.
Dr. Mark Calarco, the CEO of the Addiction Labs of America, said that it is critical for them to know how people based on their different genetic makeup metabolize or process cannabis or CBD. He claims that at the moment, there is a lot of guesswork plus trial and error. The CEO went on to say that although several persons benefit both recreationally and medically from cannabis products, it is clear that a subset of the population can get addicted to the herb and experience psychiatric symptoms like schizophrenia-like behavior or paranoia.
If you want to understand how the Addiction Labs conducts pharmacological testing, you can watch the YouTube video on the process by AAC.
The Addiction Labs specialize in pharmacogenetics and are already offering over 150 prescribed medications, especially in the mental health field. This information assists doctors in prescribing personalized medicine for people with co-occurring mental health conditions and substance use disorder, ultimately improving the outcomes of patients. Through cannabis testing, this could be the first time the Addiction Labs of America has investigated the pharmacogenetics of a drug that was formerly illicit.
Joe Olechowski, the genetics research and development supervisor of Addiction Labs, claims that even with prescribed medications, they have found out that 20% of patients who they test, depending on a genetic report, need to be on a different drug altogether, or have their dosage either adjusted. This makes a reason why the kind of testing is necessary. Joe claims that there is on one size that fits all when it comes to drugs, and in most states, cannabis is already on several people’s medication list. The Addiction Labs are hence in need of knowing how people have been reacting to cannabis before they commence prescribing it.
As the popularity of the Cannabis markets and CBD products progressively grow, Dr. Calarco also cautions that it is unlikely that CBD will be the remedy for opioid use disorder. He claims that more research is required to see the real impact.