Gene 420: An Innovative Way Of Combining DNA and Technology To Tell Your Story For Your Optimum Cannabis Strain
Gene 420 is an Israeli start-up that will enable users to consume cannabis in a safer, smarter way. It will provide individualized, science-based recommendations of cannabis strains through DNA testing and personalized questionnaires. Gene 420 was founded by Ophir Nevo, Yoav Orlev, Mark Fainstein and Uri Aizik in March 2018.
Gene420 got its initial impetus back in November 2017 during a biology class Nevo was attending at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. With the assignment to choose a DNA test to explore, he recalls that the harsh experiences with cannabis of many of his friends immediately leaped out. What if particular cannabis strains could be selected by individual users according to the specifics of their DNA? Those adverse responses could be avoided with DNA testing. Gene420 was born.
Nevo believes that a lack of knowledge regarding which cannabis strain is appropriate for each individual can lead to irreparable harm. “A friend of mine thought he was going to die after consuming what was clearly the wrong strain of cannabis and has never been the same,” he relates. “He now has to take medication to manage the anxiety that stemmed from those moments.” Had his friend been equipped with a way to test his DNA and tailor his use to a compatible strain, Nevo thought, his experience might have been very different.
Through the testing of DNA and offering cannabis strain recommendations, Gene420 steps into this crucial space. Gene 420 wants to change the way users consume cannabis. Using American-certified laboratories for gene testing, its algorithm will provide users with the ability to select the strain type and amount and adapt it to the particular purpose of their consumption. Understanding that abusing cannabis can be harmful, triggering mental health problems, like depression, anxiety, and psychosis, especially if the individual is predisposed to these conditions, Gene420 believes information is the key. “We’re not providing a medical product,” explains Nevo, “we are not telling people how to cure their cancer or their anxiety. We are helping people choose which strain will provide them with the optimum and safest recreational product.”
Today, he goes on, the information available on the cannabis market is insufficient. Consider cannabis use in the United States where marijuana has been legalized. Older people, for example, who lack the knowledge and experience of the product would benefit from a more complete understanding of how they might respond to it. Gene 420 sees its impact as minimizing risks by educating users on how to consume marijuana safely.
Gene 420 will send users a one-time DNA test directly to their door for return shipping; detailed results will be posted in a secure, personal space on the Gene420 website. The Gene420 user questionnaire will help determine which strain is appropriate for different purposes and in different situations: for when the user is going to sleep, going out or going to work, for example. Once the user has selected the desired effect for a particular circumstance, the Gene420 team can recommend a list of strains ideally suited to the moment. Crucially, users will also get information on where to legally buy those strains in the store closest to them.
Every user has consumption preferences and finding the right match for your use can be game-changing. “Hopefully, with Gene420,” says Nevo, “both first-time and everyday users will be equipped with the maximum personal information to consume cannabis responsibly and have the safest and most enjoyable experience.”