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Chromosome Damage

Cannabis and DNA: Can Medical Marijuana Treat Chromosome Damage?

During your grade school years, you have discussed in your Biology class about chromosome and how important it is to human population. By definition, chromosomes are threadlike structures found in the nuclei of organisms. It is made of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and protein. It is very small that it cannot be seen by the naked eye; not even under the microscope.

What are the functions of chromosomes?

There are 23 pairs of chromosomes in each cell of humans. The pair of chromosomes determines the gender of an organism. The female sex chromosome is composed of double X (XX) sequence while the make sex chromosome is composed of XY sequence. The main function of chromosomes is to carry the genetic information of an organism.

Functions of chromosomes are as follows:

  1. Cell Division
  2. Genes and DNA Packaging
  3. Houses Regulatory Elements

When do chromosome damage occurs?

In the broadest form, chromosomes are responsible for the passing of genetic information from the parent cell to the daughter cell during cell division. Unfortunately, not all cell division happens successfully and accurately. There are instances when an error occurs during DNA replication which leads to gene mutation.

A gene mutation is a permanent change in the sequence of DNA that makes up the genes. And what happens when there is gene mutation? This incident could result to different medical conditions and genetic disorders such as Down Syndrome, Turner syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, and others.

What causes chromosome damage?

Can drugs alter you DNA? The obvious answer to this is YES. There are two factors that can cause chromosome damage. These are:

#1 Genetic Factor

Genetic factor includes meiosis or when an error occurs during sex cell division and mitosis or when an error occurs during the division of other cells.

#2 Environmental Factor

This factor is also called teratogens wherein the mother is exposed to substances during pregnancy which makes the fetus of the baby in her womb in risk of birth defects. These substances include:

  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Chemicals
  • Radiation
  • Certain viruses and bacteria
  • Certain medications

So, if you are pregnant and are planning to take a medication, think a million times first. The drugs that cause chromosome damage are mostly clastogens and those used in chemotherapy. Make sure to talk with your OB-GYNE first before ingesting any medications.

How to treat chromosome damage?

Unfortunately, there is no way to reverse damage in chromosomes. However, with the advent of technology, many studies were conducted in the hope of finding potential treatment for chromosome damage including the use of Cannabidiol or CBD oil.

CBD oil is an extract from Cannabis plant called hemp plant. Many have raised their brows with research involving Cannabis or medical marijuana. However, with many states getting open minded with Cannabis and legalizing its use for medical purposes; many experts are getting more interested to study further its medicinal purposes. Hopefully, in the near future, more scientific studies will be focused on reversing chromosome damage and ways to treat it.