MTHFR & Its Reaction with Cannabis
What Is MTHFR and MTHFR Mutation?
Vitamins are essential for human health. However, the form of vitamins present in our foods is not the form used by the body. This is true, especially for vitamin B9. Vitamin B9 is also known as folate and folic acid.
Our body systems do not make use of folic acid and folate. Before they can be used, they must be converted into a form known as methylfolate. The methylfolate can then pass through into the cells for utilization. The body also produces an enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, abbreviated MTHFR. This enzyme is used to produce the metabolically active form of the vitamins. It is worthy to mention that no less than 40 percent of the general population is defective, or should I say, have a mutation in the DNA that codes for the RNA responsible for the coding of amino acid sequences that form the enzyme.
Please note that the enzymes are not as severe as you may think. Actually, the enzymes function, but not at optimum capacity. In most cases, the MTHFR mutations involve no more than two amino acids in a 1300-sequenced amino acids. However, this defective enzyme can still perform at least 10 percent of the functions required of it by the body.
However, this suboptimum function fails to prevent two problems. First, folate contained in food and folic acid in supplements fail to get absorbed into the cells where they are required. Also, they interfere with the small amount of methylfolate produced by the MTHFR. Because of this, replacement of the cells occurs very slowly. This doesn’t bode well for a developing embryo. Also, the body fails to regulate the synthesis of homocysteine, an inflammatory substance.
Cannabis Users May Experience Problems from MTHFR
A high concentration of homocysteine in the body triggers some defects in the cardiovascular system. Homocysteine has inflammatory properties. It does not allow the blood vessels to respond to vasodilatory substances and ease blood flow. To worsen issues, it also plays a role in the formation of blood clots. The blood vessels thus remain constricted, thus boosting the formation of clots.
The problem is also aggravated by the use of vaped or smoked cannabis. Case studies have highlighted instances of healthy, young people who developed clots in the lungs after:
- Prolonged intake of cannabis
- High levels of homocysteine
These effects are not caused by only smoking cannabis. These effects result from a combination of smoking cannabis and having a mutated MTHFR that triggers the elevation of homocysteine levels (and a high level of homocysteine is not only about the levels of folic acid either).
For those who do not have an MTHFR mutation, smoking cannabis will cause similar effects to tobacco smoking, implying that your cardiovascular health may be at risk. Smoking cannabis does not significantly increase your risk of heart attack, pulmonary embolism or stroke. It only increases the risk by 10 percent. However, if you have an MTHFR mutation, then your risk of having those diseases is very high, even if you are not yet 40. It is a common problem, so common that at least 15-37 percent of all visits to the ER for cardiovascular emergencies involve cannabis use.
What to Do If You Are a User of Cannabis and You Have a MTHFR Mutation
If you are a regular user of cannabis, then you should go for MTHFR testing. If the results say that you are a carrier of the mutated MTHFR gene, then you should be taking methylfolate. This has protective effects, shielding you from metabolic errors that trigger the buildup of homocysteine in your body system that can ultimately destroy your cardiovascular system.
Even if you are not a user of cannabis but a carrier of MTHFR mutation, then you will derive immense benefits from methylfolate. Methylfolate is nontoxic, and it could save your life.