Posted on October 06 2020
Men and women all over the world are using cannabis and reaping one of its many health benefits. Historically, men use cannabis more often than women, but times are changing.
Now, experts agree that more women are using cannabis than ever before. With cannabis popularity expanding across the female population, it's more important than ever that we understand how cannabis affects women's health.
We do know that cannabis affects men and women differently, which is no surprise since men and women have very different hormone balances and health concerns.
Of course, there's still a lot for researchers to learn about cannabis and its impact on the human body, including its different impact on men and women.
Luckily, we do have some evidence that tells us how cannabis reacts with the female hormones, and how it may affect many conditions that are considered a concern for women. This evidence is remarkably important because it gives all women the power to prepare themselves to make the best decisions regarding their cannabis use.
Cannabis Has Stronger Effects for Women
Cannabis affects men and women similarly in many ways. For instance, both men and women experience the same cognitive effects of THC, the psychoactive material found in cannabis. Some experts suggest that cannabis produces stronger psychoactive effects for women, but others explain that the increased effects probably have more to do with weight and tolerance than with gender.
There may be a little truth to both sides of the story, but evidence suggests that women are more sensitive to almost every effect of cannabis. This is because of the way that the female sex hormone, estrogen, interacts with the endocannabinoids system. This increased reactions may be beneficial in some ways since women often experience greater pain relief from cannabis than men. However, it could pose some negative effects for female users as well.
For instance, some people experience negative side effects when they use cannabis, either because they overindulged or because they are sensitive to one or more cannabinoids. Some people experience anxiety or nausea after using cannabis, and these negative effects have been found to be stronger in women than in men. Women may also be more susceptible to substance abuse according to one study.
Evidence suggests that cannabis is absorbed differently by a woman’s body depending on her estrogen levels, which means a woman may be most sensitive to cannabis when she’s ovulating. Because sex hormones impact the way that cannabis interacts with the Endocannabinoid System, it also affects men and women’s sex drive differently. Where chronic cannabis use may be linked to lower sperm count or decreased libido (in some cases) for men, experts suggest that cannabis may act as a sort of aphrodisiac for women.
Using Cannabis for Menstrual Pain
One condition that is specific to women, menstrual pain, might be the target of many cannabis and CBD products targeted at women. Many women are using cannabis to get relief from many of the uncomfortable symptoms that arrive during their time of the month. Many researchers agree that cannabis is an effective option for pain relief, and the same can be said for using cannabis to get relief from menstrual pain as well.
Cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, mainly THC and CBD, are able to interact with the endocannabinoid system to bind with neuroreceptors in the brain. By binding at the receptor site, they may block signals of pain and inflammation, which are both symptoms related to the discomfort of menstruation.
Many people suggest that cannabis might also help combat the fluctuating emotions caused by hormone shifts each month. This could be due to cannabis’ anxiolytic effects. However, THC is often known to cause anxiety in women when estrogen levels are heightened, which may make CBD the best option for managing menstruation-related symptoms.
A CBD product designed for daily use (like the full collection at our partner brand Vida Optima) is a great option for integrating CBD into your wellness routine leading up to and during your menstrual cycle.
Cannabis Skin Care for Women
Cannabis has many properties that make it a potentially beneficial addition to any skincare routine. Many people utilize cannabis topicals, sometimes in the form of CBD topicals, to manage skin irritation and help control sebum production. Research highlights cannabidiol’s ability to activate sebum glands and help regulate sebum production, which means it could be beneficial for women with dry, oily, or combination skin.
Researchers have also looked into using CBD to treat psoriasis and found that it may control discomfort due to inflammation. It may work in a similar manner to relieve inflammation due to eczema, too. More research is needed to unlock the true potential of CBD topicals, but many people use it daily in their skincare routines.
Many brands offer a variety of high-quality CBD topicals, with formulas designed for virtually any need. For instance, CBD salves may include hemp oil, as well as a number of essential oils that help soothe sore muscles and joints. Other formulas may come in the form of hydrating face masks. Many people also use CBD-infused deodorant instead of traditional deodorants, which may contain harsh chemicals.
Cannabis for Other Conditions Frequently Affecting Women
There are many other conditions that affect women more frequently than men, making them a common women’s health concern. Women are two times more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety than men, and the same is true for depression. Certain types of cancer, like breast cancer, are more common in women. Women are also more likely to be diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Luckily, many of these conditions may also respond to cannabis as well.
Cannabis has been identified with anxiolytic properties and may be prescribed for treating certain anxiety disorders. Research shows that cannabis may kill cancer cells in an isolated circumstance, and further research may allow experts to utilize cannabis as a cancer therapy. For now, researchers agree on cannabis’ potential for managing the symptoms related to common cancer therapy, like chemotherapy. For instance, cannabis might help women with cancer manage nausea, appetite, and weight loss. Cannabis has also been studied for it’s potential to manage refractory symptoms related to Irritable Bowel Disease.
When Is Cannabis a Good Choice?
Because cannabis has such a wide range of potential uses, it may be the right choice for many people. If you think that cannabis may help you manage one or any of your symptoms, talk to your doctor.
Many of the conditions listed above, as well as many conditions causing inflammation or pain, may respond well to cannabis. However, keep in mind that cannabis affects all people differently, and you should only use cannabis as a medication with your doctor’s guidance.
For beginners, it’s often recommended that you incorporate cannabis slowly and know what to do if you take too much. Your doctor will be able to help you choose a great cannabis product and design a dosing routine that helps you get relief from your uncomfortable symptoms.