With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we thought we’d share research about how cannabis affects men and women differently. What we learned may surprise you!
First off, it’s important to point out that when we say “men” and “women” we are referring to an individual’s designated sex at birth rather than one’s own gender identification. Of course, we are all different and may not experience cannabis the same as a friend or even close family member, even one that shares our sex. That said, research shows that cannabis does indeed affect most men and women differently.
If we were to bet and other Chandler dispensary, we’d wager that most males eat more than most females. And males who smoke, vaporize or ingest medical cannabis get the “munchies” more often than females who take the medicine. We’d win that bet according to a Medical News Today article written by Marie Ellis, Are females more susceptible to effects of marijuana? According to Ellis’ article, both anecdotal evidence and scientific research have shown that cannabis increases appetite in men more than in women.
Wish it weren’t so, but according to research reported by Lisa Rough in a Leafly article entitled, How Does Cannabis Affect Men and Women Differently? cannabis can make females more forgetful by impairing their “visuospatial” memory. What is that you ask? Visuospatial memory is the ability to perceive objects and create maps in your head. When it’s impaired, we may forget where we put important objects like keys and cellphones or even, how to get ourselves home. Why doesn’t cannabis affect male’s visuospatial memory? Not sure yet…we need more researchers to study the effect.
According to research reported in that same Leafly article, estrogen is a factor in how cannabis affects a person. In smaller doses, cannabis increases a woman’s libido. Too much cannabis, however, lowers libido in women. Interestlngly, both small and large doses of cannabis decrease sexual response in men.
In October 2016, Ziva Cooper and Margaret Haney from the Division of Substance Abuse at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University published a study entitled, Sex-dependent effects of cannabis-induced analgesia. Their double blind, placebo-controlled study measured pain response in 42 recreational cannabis smokers who had just smoked flower. Using the
Cold-Pressor Test, Cooper and Haney asked participants to immerse a hand in cold water, just under 40 degrees Fahrenheit, to determine pain sensitivity and tolerance. A significant number of the study’s male participants reported decreased pain sensation and an increased tolerance for the pain they felt. Women did not report minimized pain sensation but did report a slight increase in tolerance for their pain.
The study did not determine if the differences reported were due to body chemistry or psychological factors. The authors did say that women might need higher doses or different formulations of medical cannabis to feel the same level of pain relief as their male counterparts.
What does all this tell us? We’re only just beginning to understand the many ways that body chemistry, different strains, and different levels of medical cannabis interact with each other. So, yes, you guessed it, we still need more clinical scientific research to increase our understanding of this powerful and efficacious plant.
Cooper and Haney study: http://www.drugandalcoholdependence.com/article/S0376-8716(16)30223-X/abstract?cc=y=