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Cannabis receptor haplotype associated with fewer cannabis dependence symptoms in adolescents

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Cannabis is a major substance of abuse, and the gene encoding for the central cannabinoid receptor (CNR1) is a logical candidate gene for vulnerability (toward developing symptoms of cannabis dependence. We studied four single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the CNR1 gene for association with having one or more symptoms of cannabis dependence in 541 adolescent subjects who had all tried cannabis five or more times. Cases (327) were defined as those who had tried marijuana and developed one or more symptoms, and controls (214) as those who had tried marijuana but developed no dependence symptoms. Cannabis dependence symptoms were assessed in these youth when they were 17 or older with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview-Substance Abuse Module. Univariate (single-marker) association tests demonstrated that SNP rs806380, located in intron 2 of the CNR1 gene, was significantly associated with developing one or more cannabis dependence symptoms, with the G allele having a protective effect (F < 0.02). This was consistent with the results of the global haplotype test (F < 0.01). One of the common haplotypes examined (present in 21% of the subjects) was significantly associated with a lower rate of having one or more cannabis dependence symptoms. Our findings provide evidence suggesting that a common CNR1 haplotype is associated with developing fewer cannabis dependence symptoms among adolescents who have experimented with cannabis. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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Hopfer, C. J., Young, S. E., Purcell, S., Crowley, T. J., Stallings, M. C., Corley, R. P., … Ehringer, M. A. (2006). Cannabis receptor haplotype associated with fewer cannabis dependence symptoms in adolescents. American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 141(8), 895–901.

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