There are many ways marijuana affects men and women differently
ith all of the recent talk and studies regarding cannabis, it is not surprising that new information is coming to light about this miracle flower. We are discovering how CBD oil is great for seizures and pets, that marijuana is a key treatment for chemotherapy patients, that this plant can help manage PMS and even Crohn’s Disease… and so much more! In addition, marijuana is becoming more available to both men and women with legalization on the horizon and many mail-order marijuana services that make it easy to buy cannabis online.
One of the more interesting finds, however, is the fact that there are many ways weed affects men and women differently. This may seem surprising to some, but when you consider the difference in hormones and in how different genders process substances, it isn’t all that far-fetched.
Difference in Endocannabinoid Systems
irst, let’s start at the endocannabinoid system. This is a system of receptors throughout the brain and body that communicate with cannabinoids, both natural and those found in cannabis. However, this system is unique to each gender. In women, estrogen plays a big role in this system (along with everything else), meaning it can disrupt the effects of cannabis depending on estrogen levels.
A 2015 study from Northwestern University backs this up with their findings that the brains of men and women react differently to drugs that target this particular system. This is due to the fact that the gender hormones regulate this system differently.
The Link Between THC and Estrogen
s mentioned previously, estrogen can have an effect on the on endocannabinoid system and, as such, cannabis. A Washington State University study concluded that when estrogen has peaked, that is when women experience the highest effects from THC.
On the other hand if estrogen is low, such as when women are PMSing, cannabis actually targets the production of anandamide. This is a neurotransmitter that rises and falls with estrogen, causing the PMS related irritability and higher sensitivity to pain. Therefore, when women take THC during this time, it stimulate production of anandamide to reduce irritability and pain – along with the natural anti-inflammatory properties of the THC itself.
Women Develop Tolerance Quicker & Are More Likely to Experience Withdrawal
nother major difference between how men and women process marijuana is that women actually develop a tolerance much quicker than men. This was established in a 2014 Washington State University study on rats; even when a 30% lower dose was administered in the beginning, the females had a far higher tolerance than the males. This ability to build a rapid tolerance leads us to why women tend to have greater withdrawal symptoms from weed versus their male counterparts.
A small 2010 study found that women were more likely to experience irritability, lack of sleep and a lowered appetite when experiencing withdrawal than men.
Women Have Greater Pain Relief From Cannabis
espite women having a higher tolerance and potential for withdrawal, they actually experience 30% more pain relief from THC than men do. Once again, this is due to the link between THC and estrogen, which makes women more sensitive to THC in general. This makes marijuana an ideal chronic pain or migraine treatment for women. Especially when you consider that women are more likely to suffer from migraines and that 84% of women also have painful periods.
Women Struggle More With Mental Health
n a 2013 and 2014 study, it was found that chronic cannabis use was linked to mental health problems. In fact, the 2014 study found that normal (or even occasional) marijuana use in individuals between women ages 18 and 30 signaled poor mental health. This is linked to the many pressures that women face in society; women often use weed to medicate for the accompanying anxiety, stress, depression, insomnia, chronic fatigue, etc.
While marijuana can work to manage mood disorders and even reduce them, a Harvard study described regular use can exacerbate depression. Additionally, an Australian study revealed that women who “smoked marijuana at least weekly were seven times more likely to develop depression” compared to men or women who didn’t smoke.
Men Are More Likely To Experience “The Munchies”
ow for the men! Fortunately, men lack estrogen in the same amounts as women, and therefore do not have the same relationship with THC. However, there are still a few ways that weed can affect men differently. One of these ways is that men are more likely to experience “the munchies”. In fact, a Washington State University concluded that this increased appetite is one of the only side-effects of cannabis to increase in men specifically.
Men Are More Likely To Suffer Weed Psychosis
nother side-effect of cannabis for men is that men are more likely to suffer from weed psychosis than their female counterparts. In a 2015 study, it was found that males outnumber females 2:1 for psychotic symptoms. Psychosis is a rare phenomenon for cannabis users but it does seem to have a very real genetic link.
Different Effects on Libido
astly, weed has a different effect on libido for men versus women. When it comes to women, low doses of THC can increase libido but higher doses seem to have the opposite effect. This is once again due to that pesky hormone, estrogen, which contributes to the female sex drive. It is believed that THC can interfere with estrogen in high doses, thus making women uninterested in sex. If a heightened libido is one of your goals, it is best to stick to a lower THC strain around 14-15%.
On the other hand, THC in any dose will spike the male libido. According to a study on rodents, how long that spike lasts is where the dosage comes into play. Consumption of lower doses of THC can spike the male libido for up to an hour! More potent doses of THC, however, have a shorter life span of approximately 20 minutes.
ext time you light up with your female friend, don’t be surprised if she ends up being able to smoke more than you. Or if she only eats ¼ of that pizza, while you throw back the rest. These surprising ways weed affects men and women differently is a great insight to how this unique and amazing plant interacts differently with everyone. And hey – next time your girl is PMSing or feeling particularly sore, it might be a good time to light one up! Find the perfect PMS strain in our Fair Canna Care online cannabis dispensary, or simply browse our shop for more great options!