Cannabis use linked to gene mutation

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Cannabis indica. Credit: Wikipedia

Scientists from The University of Western Australia have identified how using cannabis can alter a person's DNA structure, causing mutations which can expose them to serious illnesses, and be passed on to their children and several future generations.

Although the association between use and severe illnesses such as cancer has previously been documented, how this occurs and the implications for was not previously understood.

Associate Professor Stuart Reece and Professor Gary Hulse from UWA's School of Psychiatry and Clinical Sciences completed an extensive analysis of literary and research material to understand the likely causes and uncovered alarming information.

"Through our research we found that cancers and illnesses were likely caused by cell mutations resulting from cannabis properties having a chemical interaction with a person's DNA," Associate Professor Reece said.

"With cannabis use increasing globally in recent years, this has a concerning impact for the population."

Although a person may appear to be healthy and lead a normal life, the unseen damage to their DNA could also be passed on to their children and cause illnesses for several generations to come.

"Even if a mother has never used cannabis in her life, the mutations passed on by a father's sperm can cause serious and fatal illnesses in their children," he said.

"The parents may not realise that they are carrying these mutations, which can lie dormant and may only affect generations down the track, which is the most alarming aspect."

Associate Professor Reece said that when the chemicals in cannabis changed a person's DNA structure it could lead to slow cell growth and have serious implications for the foetal development of babies that may cause limbs or vital organs not to develop properly or cause cancers.

"The worst cancers are reported in the first few years of life in children exposed in utero to cannabis effects," he said.

Associate Professor Stuart Reece said that the finding was of major importance with cannabis use increasing in many nations around the world, and many countries legalising its use.

"Some people may say that previous data collected doesn't show there are serious effects from using cannabis, but many authorities acknowledge that there is now a much larger consumption of cannabis use compared to previous years," he said.

The study carries implications for researchers, medical health professionals and governments in regulating drug use and protecting those who are most vulnerable.

The research has been published in the journal Mutation Research – Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis.


Explore further

Thousands demand legalisation of cannabis in S.Africa

More information: Albert Stuart Reece et al. Chromothripsis and epigenomics complete causality criteria for cannabis- and addiction-connected carcinogenicity, congenital toxicity and heritable genotoxicity, Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis (2016). DOI: 10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2016.05.002
Citation: Cannabis use linked to gene mutation (2016, May 24) retrieved 21 July 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-05-cannabis-linked-gene-mutation.html
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May 24, 2016
people you need to STOP spreading this kind of garbage around. I`ve smoked for more than 40 years and have 5 HEALTHY kids and 4 HEALTHY grandchildren. never been ill from smoking and I know of 0 people that have become ill from smoking or vaping or eating marijuana in food or candy. stop the government and big pharmacy from continuing to keep marijuana a schedule 1 class drug; legalize it and keep the fed out.

May 24, 2016
No someone evidently did a study on the "Drug Alcohol" or Booze. Wet brain (Wernicke's encephalopathy and WKS is most commonly seen in people who are alcoholic, and only 20% of cases are identified before death. This failure in diagnosis of WE and thus treatment of the disease leads to death in approximately 20% of cases, while 75% are left with permanent brain damage associated with WKS.[2] Of those affected, 25% require long-term institutionalization in order to receive effective care) and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome that's what one needs to teach to the young folk.

May 24, 2016
There have been numerous scare propaganda pieces coming from Australia lately with little or no evidence based on any real studies. Many of these studies use individual synthesized chemicals instead of actual cannabis. When no link or footnotes to actual studies are presented in an article like this you can rest assured it is politically motivated and without complete information presented.

May 24, 2016
OMG!!!! Really?!?!? I have read a lot of bad fiction for entertainment purposes and then move on.... but this b-u-lls-h-i-t takes the cake. Not only is it an insult to intelligent people I HAD to register to voice my disgust with your propaganda. Cannabis Concentrate not only COMPLETELY rid my body of chronic Arthritis, I was able to stop taking a medication for it that was destroying my liver. You call yourself scientists?!?!? Doctors!?!?! Who's money are you wasting?!?! What does it take to get crap like this to the surface of the internet? GRANTED the world is Saturated with stupid, ignorant imbeciles...but who ever your are making these claims belong in that group. You spew crap and they suck it up. while we stand in awe trying our best to understand your ignorance. AND the ignorance of anyone who believes a shred of any of your "science"...

May 24, 2016
Tsk. Such lies. - The most tangible "association" between cannabis and cancer is that the mild herb has been found to have ANTI-cancer effects.

The leading researcher of marijuana and lung cancer in the U.S. is UCLA's Dr. Donald Tashkin. He conducted investigations over 30 years, initially believing there must be a causal relationship. But he finally concluded that smoking marijuana does NOT cause cancer or ANY other serious disease.

Tashkin said: "We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use. What we found instead was no association at all, and even some suggestion of a protective effect."

May 24, 2016
What none senses is this? For decades the prohibition and hysterical fear campaigns with pseudo scientific claims has been put out as facts when we now see that marijuana has many benefits someone suddenly comes up with it's going to damage your DNA?

You know what marijuana use really does to people? It's an inoculation against b*ll $hit.

Now suddenly you have enough research to "suggest" that this "may" and as another poster pointed out, if you're using the toxic synthetic cr@p you cooked up in your labs, you're only reporting that the marijuana knock offs you're inventing are dangerous, NOW that I will believe.

May 24, 2016
Marijuana has been widely consumed in the U.S. since at least the sixties, with large pockets of use going back to the 1920s. - If any gene damage were done, it would have shown up significantly by now.

Note these "researchers" are pyschiatrists, NOT genetic specialists. - Psychiatry is not a science, but an art, and its quacks make mountains of money from the unfortunate victims of the war on marijuana consumers who are forced into their "programs" by the courts for being "caught" by police. - These evil people will do and say anything to keep their blood money rolling in. - They are parasites ranting lies to protect the fraudulent prohibition.

May 24, 2016
Haaaaaaaaa.....Gene mutations from cannabis that CAUSE cancer LMFAO!!!!!! Propaganda campaign hard at work I see. SO let me get this straight, it isn't the Microwave towers in our faces everyday, or satellite communications on every building around, or VHF signals all over the place from WiFI an two-way radios. Never could the main cause of cancer be the very people that are claimimg that cannabis is the cause of cancer huh. I guess all the stories and lab test and studies regarding PTSD, TBI, Epilepsy, MS, and so many more were all bullsh** tests right. I sick of the world we live in because of all of the lies that people spread, they are stuck in the 50's & need to grow up & open their eyes. I'm sure the people doing these test and studies are the same people that believed the bullsh** like "REFER MADDNESS". I remember these same doctors and government officials were the same ones behind the "REFER MADNESS" movement which claimed I would also become a rapist, a murderer, if I smoked

May 24, 2016
I mean cmon guys this study was done by Australia..... LMFAO.... The same place that started its country by being an island prison. I think Ill keep taking my chances and smoking, and australia can go back to doing what you have always done for the rest of the world......NOTHING!!!! I am a combat veteran who uses cannabis daily for TBI and PTSD. I guess my alternative is to believe the bs propaganda about cannabis and go back to pills which are guaranteed to KILL and CAUSE CANCER... Where's your fckn study for all the pharmaceuticals That are legally causing cancer and killing people. SPIN, SPIN, SPIN, that bullsh** wheel. I guess this is what TRUE PROPAGANDA looks like huh. Wheres your study and statistics for how many people MEDICINE has KILLED!!! and how many more have bigger problems than they ever had after they started using the LEGAL!!! drugs. Drug companies are mad because we would rather smoke cannabis and live than eat "Magic Jack and the Beanstalk pills. Population Control!!

May 24, 2016
If I had to guess I would be willing to bet that this study was paid for by either, the pharmaceuticals industry, the alcohol industry or the tobacco industry. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if it were all 3.

May 24, 2016
Statistical studies like this prove nothing and are of no scientific value. These guys are not even biologists or medical researchers and have no credentials that would lead you to believe that they know what they are doing. If pot altered DNA, there would be real scientific studies to back that up and there are not. I have never heard of any substance that is ingested that can permanently alter your DNA in such way that it is passed on to your children. If such substances existed, I am sure there would be labels on food warning you that eating xyz is know to cause altered DNA.

May 24, 2016
If you read this very carefully it's actually a very sophisticated piece of fraud. The so-called doctor make statements like "cannabis can" "likely causes". Saying something can do something or that something is likely to cause something is not indisputable scientific proof of anything, it's no different than saying "marijuana has a high POTENTIAL for abuse". Lots of things have potential but that does not necessarily prove anything. Professor Reece supposedly came to these conclusions after conducting "an extensive analysis of literary and research material to understand the likely causes and uncovered alarming information." again, uncovering alarming information is not indisputable scientific proof of anything and this is a very sophisticated lie that this so-called scientists has written. This is not based on any incontrovertible indisputable medical or scientific evidence

May 24, 2016
If this isn't reffer madness then I don't know what is.

May 24, 2016
The only natural compounds that can patented are those that can be created synthetically. Since the compounds found I cannabis can't be created in a laboratory, those in control of the Cancer industry do everything in their power to suppress the natural compounds that kill cancer stem cells and provide us a holistic way to cure cancer. Lets bear in mind that between the pharmaceutical companies, the health care system and the FDA, the cancer industry is 4 trillion dollar per year business and they'll do everything in their power to protect those profits that are made at the expense of our lives and the lives of our loved ones.

May 24, 2016
In another unrelated story, scientists are finding that there is a 100% chance that someday every human will die from some terrible disease, affliction or accident...

May 24, 2016
drug war BS join NORML

May 24, 2016
If I had to guess I would be willing to bet that this study was paid for by either, the pharmaceuticals industry, the alcohol industry or the tobacco industry. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if it were all 3.


The pharmaceutical industry is starting to realize marijuana's medical value and the tobacco companies can make money off legal marijuana. The alcohol industry pulling this crap-now that is believable.

May 24, 2016
Reefer Madness 2016. Aussie govt is full of shi

May 24, 2016
Dr. these docs are actually (Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences) who wouldn't benefit from Cannabis usage they wouldn't be needed anymore they would have to change their professions! Cannabis is that much of a threat!

May 24, 2016
I have seen this in daily life. Pot smokers everywhere voting for Sanders and Clinton. Definite mutation that removes accountability from actions, and egocentric behavior.

May 24, 2016
I registered just so I could say...
What a load of B.S!
can we say PROPAGANDA .
Mutant DNA LoL Did Bill Nye the science gut run the study :O
If this had ANY truth there would have been mutants running around years ago.
They must think everyone's retarded.

May 24, 2016
The FDA is a joke.

May 24, 2016
Total crap article, NOT based in science but rather in the corporate greed of big pharma. Phuck them and phuck this author. Hey UWA go suck a bag of cocks will ya!!

May 24, 2016
Please tell me that you issued his article as an April Fools joke! How many pounds of cannabis per day do you need to consume for ones DNA to be altered? Was it cannabis used in their studies that so called altered DNA or was it an insecticide or in the soil? What poisons did they use on their cannabis. What kind of fertilizes did they use to raise their cannabis. Was the manure fertilizer from a farm that uses growth hormones?

Most people with half a brain knows that insecticides and and fertilizes have chemicals in them that alter DNA, so this article and government sponsored study is full errors, assumption, and ignorance.

May 24, 2016
This article is some of the worst lying on this subject. You are trying to tell me an anti-cancer agent causes cancer.
Wait, did you use Monsanto's roundup on the plants then tested? That would skew the results into the propaganda side of this.

May 24, 2016
Let's see now, we went from 'can' to 'when' in 2 sentences! Using their sheepskin diplomas as being the authority for their dissertation, thus insuring the 'validity' for their speculation for generations in the future, but ignoring the chemical, medical, and clinical analysis's from hundreds of scientists, doctors, researchers, hospitals world wide, we can readily become aware that they have some agenda very probably prompted by some other entity to try and show that the God given herbs , specifically Marijuana, is the evil Devil Weed that is a terrible thing we have been told it was since the ''30's! NOT!

May 24, 2016
does Prof X know about this?

May 24, 2016
Really, guys? It's big pharma and big tobacco. They're liars. Australia was founded by criminals. I smoke weed once an hour and my kids don't have any genetic impacts (because I personally examined their mitochondrial DNA with a ..oh, no I didn't), pot is an anti-cancer agent, pot makes you smarter, psychiatry isn't a science, alcohol is worse, and of course "reffer madness." Turns out, "Does Prof X know about this" was the most lucid, enlightening, and non-cut-and-pasted comment thus far. Blaze on, my brothers!

May 24, 2016
LOL at people who say "This is bogus! I have kids and they are healthy." That's the same as saying "Evolution is bogus! I haven't seen any animals change." Stupid drug addict morons.

May 24, 2016
You all won't believe a verifiable study but probably believe the global warming hoax. I have studied this years ago and it's clear it causes gene mutations, without a doubt. To you I never had a problem people. There was a guy that got shot like 4 times in the chest and 3 times in the face and he is fine now. Doesn't mean getting shot in the face is good to do. The study clearly states you pass the mutation on to your kids and then to their kids. If it becomes dominant they have problems, and that's one of the crappiest things i think you could do to someone. Ever wonder why pot users are more likely to have kids with ADD? I doubt you even noticed, but this study explains why.

May 24, 2016
If this was true we would all be mutants. Articles like this aren't even a threat anymore. No need for a counter argument, just laugh at the stupid clown.

May 24, 2016
I can imagine it is the prison corporations, big pharma and alcohol that are pushing back the hardest. Tobacco can profit big time from legal weed so they could be an ally in this war on the government alphabet soup that is fighting for their jobs that involve weed being kept illegal.

May 24, 2016
In college I had to do a speech on the effects of pot. To my surprise I discovered that ALL legitimate studies on the effects of marijuana on the human body seemed to prove that pot does NOT cause cancer. These were all major studies by well respected research labs and universities. Some cases did show that a few people in the study DID develop cancer but those people ALSO smoked cigarettes! Among the people that ONLY smoked pot, not one person developed cancer. Also, it is true that pot has anti-cancer properties. This is scientific FACT! Did you know that for many thousands of years the Indians here in the United States smoked pot in their peace pipes? Who knows how many lives were spared because of that. I also don't see ANY genetic mutations in their people. Ectogamit, I'm calling bullshit! If you studied this then why didn't you offer any proof from the study? Also, THIS study ISN'T verifiable. That is the reason everyone is saying it is bogus.

May 24, 2016
Great drama for Big Pharma.. Why not just start playing Reefer Madness on a 30 minute loop? They said the same thing about LSD and scared a generation to death that their kids were going to be genetically damaged. It was a lie then and it is a Big Pharma lie now. I thought the name of this website had to do with science?

May 24, 2016
It is interesting that all these "scientific reports" originate in the birth place of Rupert Murdock... an Australian born who happen to own FOX NEWS!!!!!!!!... Hummmm!!!!!!!!

May 24, 2016
I am not even going to bother with reading this garbage after the first sentence. Let's look at why.
1. Can Alter a person's DNA structure.
So do foods and lifestyle changes. How many things can alter DNA structure that we consume on a steady basis? Altering the structure does not mean Bad. Isn't every evolutionary change from an alter to the genes?
2. Causing Mutations.
ooohh what a scary sounding word "Mutations"
3. Which can.
i.e. it might or it is not impossible that it won't. This says nothing about its actual likelihood and hence you have shown nothing. You might as well have used the words Abra Cadabra. This type of language is only meant to lend some plausibility to what you are about to say next so let's look at that now.
4. expose them to serious illnesses.
Just more fear mongering as you have not offered any serious illness
5. and be passed on to their children.
Surprise More fear mongering.

May 24, 2016
Well let's see, consuming these bad drugs can cause genetic mutations in our children and in our grandchildren. Guess that explains why the Bush twins were such fools and did all that stupid shit, all the booze and coke that their daddy did while away to college and off playing fighter pilot must be the cause of that. Then you look at the Clinton's child and she turned out smarter than her mom and dad and they smoked weed in college. We will see how much of the dumb shit gene is passed on from parent to child and down the line. We already can see that Bush SR must have done some serious torpedo juice drinking in the Navy look at the total lack of brain cells exhibited by his sons he had to buy their way thru school so they could at least get a political job of sorts, they don't have really work too hard and they will get an instant retirement plan when they leave office and they will never have to work at all. Just don't be too greedy like too many of them are.

May 25, 2016
22 years ago I was teaching in a dually diagnosed substance abuse treatment program. I was a treatment and rehabilitation specialist. I really learned quite a lot about 'substances' their use and misuse. This is the first time that I am stepping out to say something about so many of these articles I read online. For starters I want to point out that even two decades ago the NUMBER ONE substance issue of that day was alcohol and prescription drug abuse! Marijuana abuse was not even an issue in the program. I also want to add that I learned that 'sugar' is a drug! I believe the main cause of so many degenerative diseases both ment'al and physical are the result of the 'industrialized' food manufacturing from corporations that have all but completely pushed the 'small farmer' out of business for stock market commodities control of the market...andon top of that we are socialized to accept alcohol as a social recreational substance of choice...(I will continue in next submitted commen

May 25, 2016
(continued) here is the pattern..it is very sinister-make us sick from all the oversugared food sources that are marketed to us. Also did you know that even Doritos 'nacho cheese' is loaded with high fructose cornsyrup AND YEAST EXTRACT? This breeds fungal overload in our systems. We get sick with things like cancer, diabetes, arthritis, eye problems,skin and nail fungal problems etc. We go to doctors that are owned by Big Pharma and cannot afford all these supposed 'good' tech advances and prescripts. We take the prescripts with all of their 'side effects' .Food corps make money pushing off bad foods on us and then (cont)

May 25, 2016
(cont) Big Pharma makes money off of the drugs they sell and pressure doctors who are only trained in Big Pharma to push their pharmacueticals on us...Corporate America is making us sick and then bleeding us dry this way. As far as marijuana is concerned I agree with many of the posts I have read here about its usefulness physically and mentally. If it were legal so many would be able to produce their own and it has the 'money makers' scared of people regaining more control of their physical mental and financial health. So many people have opened up about their marijuana experiences since states have legalized it. I say that it is definitely a better choice than alcohol both recreationally and medicinally. alcohol has no medicinal benefits except as a crude antiseptic and recreationally it is associated with so many accidents and violent crimes...and mixing it with pharmacueticals has 'created' so many 'mental illnesses which is what I was working with in 'dually diagnosed' rehab!

May 25, 2016
Pretty accurate research .Wonder if Canobie disable the nero system for let say period of the 5-10 minute (tripping moment as they call) .To order of reconnect the nero cells back again in a wrong or new connections ,can release new hormones or a new command from brain to the system to act like antibody or even misdirect the immune system to totally different order ,such as call diseases as friendly subject in to the system ,connecting with proteins in DNA ,RNA and chromosomes.According this study it can possibly result new spices if structure change to form that even not look like human after two or three generation .

May 26, 2016
The Illuminati and the New World Order love to present what they are getting ready to do and they think it is a great joke that we cannot understand what they are showing us until it is too late. It is obvious that they will treat the Marijuana plants with something to cause birth defects or cause genetic changes as they are experimenting with DNA of animals and humans are preparing to generate monstrosities to be added to our future contaminated genetic pool, so that future generations will see these monstrosities and wonder where they came from just as we have wondered about some of the mystical creatures that were recorded in our ancient histories.

May 29, 2016
I read the abstract.

Utterly absurd non-science.

"not even wrong"

May 30, 2016
I've done a cursory Google search and these researchers seem to have serious credibility problems, especially Reece. Trying to post the links apparently triggers the spam filter. If you're interested, I guess you'll have to do your own search. Try "reece skeptical musings denial evidence". Hulse seems to be part of the naltrexone implants are good for you camp.

May 30, 2016
For the "study" to have any meaning it must be quantifiable and contrasted against other mutagens in the environment including the 600,000+ untested man made chemicals, natural and man made radiation, etc. This article is a bad example of the "science" used by Deniers and other non-scientists.

Jun 04, 2016
Really ? okay really ???

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