Women and Cannabis: Does Marijuana Affect Women Differently?

Up until recently, the cannabis world was an industry dominated by men. Today, there are many inspiring women in the cannabis business, with women gathering up in organizations to challenge the stigma and support women’s marijuana use.

In today’s article, we will discuss the complex relationship between women and cannabis, and whether marijuana affects women differently than men.

Gender-Based Differences in Marijuana Consumption

According to research, in recent years cannabis consumption is rising among women both in Canada, and across the world. However, males still report a higher rate of cannabis use than females.

Women report a smaller rate of cannabis use, and are more likely to choose edibles.

When it comes to the method of consumption, males are more likely to indulge in smoking or vaping. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to opt out for edibles, or topicals. The aforementioned research suggests that the discretion of consumption could be one of the factors that contribute to this fact.

Does Cannabis Affect Women Differently?

When considering the effects of marijuana, it’s important to mention that different strains have different effects. While Indicas are associated with relaxation, Sativas are considered more uplifting.

Apart from that, the effects can differ depending on their terpene profile. Terpene profile gives the plant its specific taste and smell, but it can also enhance or decrease the effects of cannabinoids, CBD and THC, in the cannabis plant.

The effects of cannabis largely depend on the type of strain, THC & CBD content, and terpene profile.

Before we dive into the intriguing relationship between gender and cannabis, first we need to emphasise that sex differences regarding any phenomenon can be either quantitative or qualitative.

While quantitative differences refer to differences in the magnitude of effects which occur in both sexes, qualitative differences occur only in one sex, or differ in their underlying mechanism.

To this day, studies reported mostly quantitative sex differences in cannabinoid effects, both in animal and human studies. The differences in human studies were of a lesser degree.

To put things into perspective, marijuana was found to be more or less potent, or efficacious in one gender compared to the other.

How Does Cannabis Affect Women Differently?

According to a study published in 2020, both oral and vaporized cannabis have stronger effects on women than men. Women experience greater peak blood concentration and the effects, even when body weight was taken into account.

Since women tend to experience the same effects of cannabis as men at a lower dose of THC,  the starting doses for women should be lower. This should be taken into account especially if you’re trying out weed for the first time.

Women can experience stronger effects when consuming cannabis.

One of the explanations for this phenomenon is that sex differences occur due to muscle and fat ratio differences in men and women. Since cannabinoids are fat-soluble, meaning they dissolve in lipids, and women have a higher percentage of fat tissue, they can experience stronger effects of cannabis.

Another theory is that women are more sensitive to the effects of THC due to the way THC is metabolized in females. Though this theory suggests a qualitative difference in the underlying mechanism, more research is needed to determine whether this is the case.

In recent years, another theory is on the rise. 

Scientists suggest that the endocannabinoid system is sexually dimorphic, which means that it has two different forms depending on sex, and that the hormone difference can lie behind the explanation for the different way women and men experience marijuana.

While there are numerous studies that have discovered that women who use cannabis have more sexual satisfaction, one study found that the influence of cannabis on sexual behaviours is dose-dependent, both in women and men.

Studies suggest that cannabis consumption can lead to a more satisfying sexual experience.

Nevertheless, since THC is a vasodilator, which means that it widens blood vessels and improves blood flow, it can potentially lead to a more satisfying sexual experience, whether consumed through smoking, vaping, orally or through topicals such as cannabis lubricants.

Conclusion

While the current findings suggest that there are gender-based differences when it comes to cannabis, the research is still in its early phase. Additionally, women are still underrepresented in clinical studies, and further studies are needed for conclusive results.

Studies

  1. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.643193/full
  2. https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/50594.html
  3. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00213-019-05369-y
  4. https://cannigma.com/physiology/how-cannabis-affects-women-and-men-differently/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9700262/
  6. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnbeh.2018.00249/full
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2931555/ 

References

  1. https://www.elle.com/culture/career-politics/a12993/rise-of-the-pot-power-women/
  2. https://www.psypost.org/2020/06/cannabis-study-suggests-women-may-need-less-thc-to-get-to-the-same-effects-as-men-57117
  3. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medication/cannabis/research-data/canadian-cannabis-survey-2021-summary.html
  4. https://bccewh.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/InfoSheet-Women-Cannabis0308.pdf
  5. https://jumbleandflow.com/2021/02/08/cannabis-for-women/ 
  6. https://fashionmagazine.com/wellness/weed-effects-on-women/ 

We offer quality cannabis experiences through education, curated selection, elevated environments and inspiring stories.

 


It all started in 1979 on a small Hawaiian island, with a group of promising students and athletes that would hang out after school, riding in a Volkswagen van.

This group of friends loved to indulge in Pakalolo (noun: the Hawaiian word for cannabis) – or as locals called it: Choom. They named themselves the “Choom Gang” and would go on to influence our world as successful lawyers, entrepreneurs, and even the 44th president of the United States.

But back then, it was never about the future, it was about good people sparking ideas, sharing adventures, and cultivating good times.

Disclamer

1. Please consume responsibly.
2. When canning any food at home (e.g. cannabutter or canna-oil) you should be very careful since there can be a risk of the appearance of toxin that can lead to botulism, a very serious illness. This happens when food is canned, processed, stored or handled. Bacteria that cause botulism can very quickly grow in cannabis edibles that are made at home. Bacteria can cause botulism poisoning which is a very serious illness that affects the body’s nerves and produces serious health consequences.

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