How Genetics Can Determine the Best CBD Form Factors to Use


When people consider the various CBD form factors — such as edibles, tinctures, topicals, and vape pens — they typically use their personal preferences to choose their ideal approach. More often than not, people prefer a form of CBD based on what’s most convenient, discreet, comfortable, or readily available.

CBD Cannabidiol

But CBD users need to start thinking about their genes and genetic predispositions, not just personal preferences, when making that decision. Someone’s genes and genetic predispositions can actually play a significant role in how effective a CBD product is and whether it alleviates the problem the person is trying to mitigate. 

Why CBD users should analyze their genes

When people are choosing the best CBD form factor for their health, the first thing they should look at is their genes. Specific genetic variations can inform the type of form factor people should use if they want their CBD products to interact well with their bodies. 

For example, take the CYP2C9 and CYP2C19 genes, which encode enzymes that are responsible for breaking down THC and CBD, respectively. Variants of these genes can decrease the enzyme’s effectiveness, making it increasingly difficult for a person with the gene variants to break down CBD and THC. Why is this information important? Easy — if someone has a specific variant on the CYP2C9 or CYP2C19 gene, then the person won’t resonate well with edibles. 

That form factor requires a cycle through first-pass metabolism in the liver, which is where the ineffective enzyme resides. If that enzyme cannot effectively break down the THC that’s in a full-spectrum CBD edible, then the user will have a higher amount of THC in their system than what’s necessary or advisable. 

Additionally, CBD is fat-soluble. If someone ingests CBD oil and the person has genes that lead to slow metabolism, that CBD could theoretically accumulate in the liver and create interactions with other substances that the person is using. This is especially true if those other substances are fat-soluble medications, which could increase the possibility of adverse effects or even lead to fatty liver cirrhosis. 

Why genetic predispositions should matter to CBD users

Understanding one’s genetics variations is not the only way that someone can determine the best form factor for their health. Genetic predispositions are also very telling. 

CBD users can determine which form factor will deliver the best results for their health by learning the conditions they’re predisposed to developing. Multiple examples support this point. In fact, for every form factor, there’s a genetic predisposition that CBD consumers can link it to.   

1. Inhalation-based CBD

Inhalation-based forms of CBD have the most rapid effect on users. If a consumer has a symptom or symptoms that require quick relief, inhalation-based CBD is the best option. For example, say a person is genetically predisposed to developing anxiety or cannabis-induced working memory impairment. CBD can alleviate the symptoms of both of these conditions. Inhalation-based form factors, specifically, are more beneficial because they offer rapid relief in the moments that people need it. 

2. CBD Edibles

For CBD users looking for more long-term relief, edibles are encouraged. If a user is genetically predisposed to conditions like celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or restless sleep, they need something that lasts for extended periods of time. Edibles, owing to their long-lasting effects, are most appropriate for CBD users who are at risk of developing conditions that require relief throughout the day.  

3. CBD Topicals

Maybe someone has a genetic predisposition for arthritis, pain, or pain sensitivity. In this scenario, topicals are the most appropriate form factor. Why is this the case? The answer is simple. The effects of inhalation form factors don’t last for long periods of time, and they don’t target specific areas of the body. The same can be said for CBD edibles. While their effects last for several hours, they don’t target a particular area of the body. 

CBD users who have genetic predispositions for conditions that lead to external pain or tension need topicals, a solution that targets specific parts of the body that need relief. CBD topicals also have an added benefit of producing results that last for hours, which can help anyone who wants to move around comfortably throughout the day. 

4. No CBD at all

There are some instances where CBD use is not appropriate or helpful at all, regardless of its form factor. One example is if a person has a genetic predisposition for glaucoma. 

In this case, CBD is not a great solution because it increases intraocular pressure, which is the last thing anyone with a predisposition for glaucoma wants to do. The increased pressure damages the optic nerve, which can lead to blindness. In a study that analyzed rats, researchers found that CBD caused an 18% increase of intraocular pressure, and the tension remained elevated for about four hours.  

Handling genetic predispositions to multiple conditions

If a CBD user has a genetic predisposition to one condition, choosing the right form factor is straightforward. But what happens if someone finds out they’re genetically predisposed to developing multiple ailments? What’s the best form factor in that case?

When someone is at risk of acquiring multiple conditions, the best thing to do is to create a pie chart that shows the breakdown of what the individual should focus on in terms of form factor. The pie chart should essentially aggregate all of the different conditions that the person is genetically predisposed to and the risk factor for experiencing those conditions. 

If someone has a severely increased risk of arthritis, for example, the person should mainly use CBD topicals. However, if the individual is also genetically predisposed to anxiety, but has a medium risk level, then an inhalation form factor can be used, but shouldn’t be as highly regarded as the CBD topicals because the person’s primary predisposition is arthritis. 

Once CBD users know their genetic predispositions, they can complete this exercise across various conditions, and then put more weight on which form factor would be best. Based on this exercise, a person might decide to use topicals 50% of the time, vapes 30% of the time, and sublinguals the rest of the time. 

However, it’s important to remember that if users are utilizing different CBD form factors throughout the day, they need to figure out a safe dosage to avoid consuming too much CBD. There are various dosage calculators online that can help people figure out a safe CBD dosage. 

All a person has to do is find a good CBD dosage calculator, select the form factors they’ve chosen to move forward with, then input their weight, gender, genetic predispositions, and any other necessary information. Afterward, the dosage calculator should provide an adequate low dose, a medium dose, and a high dose of CBD based on the factors the individual chose. 

Genetics play a role in the effectiveness of CBD

Genes and genetic predispositions play a crucial role in determining how capable a person’s body is at breaking down certain cannabinoids and which CBD form factors will work best.  The CBD industry is still growing, so it’ll take time for people to start using their genetics to inform their health decisions. But as personalized medicine becomes more prevalent, consumers will not only have a better experience with their CBD product, but they’ll also enjoy optimal results.


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