Question Details
MDR1 Gene And Cannabis Products
by DrHeather - June 26, 2022
Hello, a client asked me about any studies on MDR1 gene mutations and cannabis metabolism. I have since gone down a rabbit hole on PubMed and Google Scholar, but a lot of the articles are paid only.

So I'm asking here, does anyone have information on this?
many thanks
by naturevet
June 27, 2022
Hi Heather,

I was able to find one paper noting a transient increase in MDR gene activity in cells upon exposure to Cannabis, suggesting the enzyme may have a role in metabolizing Cannabis. That might suggest a mutation in MDR1 might raise Cannabis levels in the system above what might be expected for a dose, but the paper did not go that far.

I noted on VIN that a dog manifested possible Cannabis toxicity symptoms while being suspected of also having the MDR1 mutation. The dog also had Ivermectin. All the specialists focused on Ivermectin as a possible problem despite the symptoms of apparent Cannabis toxicity. None mentioned Cannabis as a likely cause of problems in the dog, despite the mention of MDR1 mutations.

There is otherwise a dearth of information on VIN on this topic, which probably says something. Given all the above, I'd suggest there is not a contraindication there, but you might want to try the low end of the dose range for any Cannabinoids used, and that if you did so, you'd probably be safe

by naturevet
June 27, 2022
From Rob Silver's research on this:

Cannabis compounds should be administered cautiously, as any pharmaceutical or supplement, in this patient population. Starting doses may need to be lower than the low end of recommended dose range and monitoring and adjustment based upon patient response is expected. Research into this mutation and cannabis is in the nascent stages. Testing and data accumulation on the precise way in which these compounds modulate and interact in this patient population is vital in understanding and establishing efficacious treatment protocols and perhaps mitigating this mutation in future generations.

A different article recommended using doses at the low end of the range if you use Cannabinoids in this population

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