• Massive study found that cannabis addiction could be linked to genetics
  • The study also found a link between that same gene and schizophrenia
  • A look at the best performing cannabis stocks on the ASX


After analysing more than one million people’s genomes, researchers have found that people’s genetics could be linked to cannabis addiction.

According to the Yale University study, this pattern holds across racial groups, and that people with cannabis-use disorder often find it difficult to quit the drug, instead needing higher and higher doses to feel an effect.

Dr Daniel Levey, a neurologist at Yale, told Nature the findings show that use of cannabis “could have substantial public health risks if the usage increases.”

“Drug taking and addiction can be influenced both by people’s genes and by their environment, which makes them extremely difficult to study,” says Levey.

The same study also found that the stretches of DNA that cause cannabis addiction are the same ones associated with schizophrenia.

According to Marta Di Forti, a psychiatrist-scientist at King’s College London, cannabis use “is the most preventable risk factor” for schizophrenia.

King also added that the type of genetic data examined in the study could be used in future studies to identify people with the risk of developing psychiatric disorders.


AMA opposes recreational cannabis

Meanwhile back home, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) has provided a submission to the Senate opposing any moves to legalise recreational cannabis, saying it could normalise the use of marijuana and have risky health effects.

“Legalising cannabis for recreational purposes sends the wrong signal to the public, and especially to young Australians, that cannabis use is not harmful,” said AMA President, Professor Steve Robson.

Robson pointed out that there has been an increase in acute cannabis poisoning post-legalisation in the US, Canada, and Thailand.

“We also know there are already many Australians suffering detrimental health outcomes caused by recreational cannabis use.

“We see poor mental health outcomes from cannabis use including anxiety, panic attacks, paranoia, memory loss and an increased incidence of schizophrenia.

“Cannabis use can lead to physical ill-health conditions such as bronchitis or cancer, cardiovascular system damage, and impaired reaction time and brain function,” Robson said.


To ASX Weed Stocks …

Here’s how the ASX weed stocks have performed, sorted by winners over the past few weeks.

Code Company Price 1-week return 1-mth return 6-mth return 1-year return Market cap
BP8 Bph Global 0.0020 100.00 100.00 -50.00 -84.81 $2,423,345
EXL Elixinol Wellness 0.0140 16.67 86.67 -17.65 -58.82 $8,838,814
IDT IDT Australia 0.0850 3.66 46.55 6.25 -9.57 $29,875,755
BOT Botanix Pharma 0.1600 6.67 33.33 90.48 153.97 $229,967,758
WOA Wide Open Agricultur 0.1625 -7.14 25.00 -50.00 -45.83 $29,692,262
EMD Emyria 0.0740 2.78 19.35 -37.87 -59.70 $27,130,575
ZLD Zelira Therapeutics 1.0700 11.46 17.58 17.58 8.08 $11,914,513
ROO Roots Sustainable 0.0070 55.56 16.67 0.00 -70.83 $1,124,217
ALA Arovella Therapeutic 0.0860 -18.10 13.16 43.33 258.33 $78,976,331
NTI Neurotech Intl 0.0560 1.82 1.82 12.00 -39.78 $49,409,331
ECS ECS Botanics Holding 0.0230 4.55 0.00 21.05 21.05 $25,454,805
RGI Roto-Gro Intl 0.2200 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 $4,333,920
AGH Althea 0.0400 -9.09 0.00 -16.67 -40.30 $15,841,758
AC8 Auscann 0.0400 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 $17,621,884
EVE EVE Health 0.0010 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 $5,274,483
CGB Cann Global 0.0210 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 $5,614,845
WNX Wellnex Life 0.0400 0.00 0.00 0.00 -28.38 $19,513,181
LV1 Live Verdure 0.3650 -3.95 -1.35 151.72 114.71 $42,634,691
HGV Hygrovest 0.0530 1.92 -3.64 -8.62 -24.29 $11,146,462
CAN Cann 0.1125 2.27 -4.26 -37.00 -51.74 $46,860,449
RNO Rhinomed 0.0300 0.00 -6.25 -62.50 -75.00 $8,571,591
AVE Avecho Biotech 0.0035 -30.00 -12.50 -30.00 -56.25 $10,793,168
DTZ Dotz Nano 0.1400 -6.67 -15.15 -40.43 -46.15 $71,477,217
EPN Medlab Clinical 0.0220 -21.43 -18.52 4.76 -18.52 $6,007,080
EOF Ecofibre 0.1300 -7.14 -18.75 -33.33 -69.77 $49,166,940
LGP Little Green Pharma 0.1250 0.00 -19.35 -30.56 -26.47 $37,511,655
VIT Vitura Health 0.3050 -1.61 -19.74 -10.29 -52.34 $178,520,874
WFL Wellfully 0.0030 -25.00 -25.00 -62.50 -85.00 $1,478,832
IHL Incannex Healthcare 0.0410 -24.07 -31.67 -70.71 -83.92 $65,067,485
IRX Inhalerx 0.0260 -36.59 -38.10 -42.22 -58.73 $5,693,009
BOD BOD Science 0.0250 -10.71 -50.00 -52.83 -76.19 $4,256,124
ME1 Melodiol Glb Health 0.0025 0.00 -58.33 -82.14 -87.50 $12,575,830
MXC MGC Pharma 0.6650 -24.43 -66.75 -90.50 -95.25 $25,509,954
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Emyria (ASX:EMD)

MDMA specialist Emyria has been rising since securing an ethics endorsement for MDMA from its Authorised Prescriber (AP) application.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) ethics committee has endorsed Emyria in support of its AP applications for the lead psychiatrists of its future MDMA-assisted therapy program.

The approval is the first stage of a two-step evaluation, where final approval is still required from Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), which is still in progress.

If secured, the approval may allow Emyria to become one of the first Australian companies to offer broader options for PTSD patients who have exhausted standard care options.

Additionally, Emyria announced that Dr Alistair Vickery has retired from the board, and will shift his expertise to concentrate on clinical service expansion, particularly as Emyria advances its MDMA-assisted therapy programs.

Dr Stewart Washer will move to non-executive chairman from executive chairman, and Dr Karen Smith will move to non-executive director.


Zelira (ASX:ZLD)

During the quarter, Zelira received the first close of the US$3.25 million investment made by the Forman Family Foundation and Malik Majeed as co-partners into the HOPE SPV.

The receipt of these funds will enable the company to commence the FDA trial process with its CRO iNGENU for the HOPE Autism Spectrum Disorder program.

“We are currently focused on the completion of the Target Product Profile (TPP) which is a key initial step in the FDA clinical trial process,” said Zelira’s CEO, Dr Oludare Odumosu.


Arovella Therapeutics (ASX:ALA)

Arovella’s CEO and MD, Dr Michael Baker, presented at the Monsoon Twilight Investor Briefing in Melbourne on November 21.

Baker presented key pre-clinical data for Arovella’s iNKT cell therapy platform, and described how Arovella’s technology provides important advantages over existing T-cell therapies.

Dr Baker also said the company’s platform has the potential to be applied to both blood cancers and solid tumours.


Neurotech (ASX:NTI)

Apart from receiving $3.17m in tax rebate for its R&D activities, Neurotech also held a Q&A session on its Phase I/II PANDAS/PANS Clinical Trial results.

Earlier, Neurotech announced that the results showed “clinically significant and meaningful improvements in clinical function, with excellent safety and tolerability over 12 weeks of daily oral treatment ”.

The trial studied 64 children diagnosed with Paediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS), and Paediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS).

The study has essentially re-validated the effectiveness of the company’s biopharmaceutical therapy, NTI164, in treating complex neuro-inflammatory disorders.

NTI164 is a a biopharmaceutical drug that is derived from low THC medicinal cannabis.


BPH Global (ASX:BP8)

The stem cell focused company rose after making changes to its board.

At the company’s AGM held on November 21, Huang Qing was not reelected as a director of the company.

In addition, Mathew Leonard has been appointed as managing director.