Think of a typical weed smoker.
You’re probably imagining a guy, right? There’s a good reason for that – research shows that more men smoke weed than women.
However, that doesn’t mean that women don’t use weed at all, because they certainly do. In fact, a 2017 survey showed that the number of women using weed was on the rise.
Women tend to use weed for different reasons to their male counterparts, often looking to deal with stress and anxiety, and there’s evidence to show that weed affects women differently.
Want to get the complete low-down on women and weed?
Keep reading for everything you need to know.
Women Can Be More Sensitive to Weed
There’s evidence to show that women can be more sensitive to cannabinoids, the psychoactive compounds that are found in weed. This means that smaller amounts of weed can have more dramatic effects on them.
Ever smoked the same as one of your male friends but ended up way higher?
This could be why.
Nobody has yet figured out exactly why women are more sensitive to cannabinoids, but current theories look at hormones, differences in the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, and differences in metabolization.
Being more sensitive could mean that women need to use less weed to achieve the same results as their male counterparts.
It also increases the likelihood of addiction and withdrawal symptoms with regular use, even when using relatively small amounts. If you’re a woman who uses weed, it’s smart to stay mindful of these potential risks.
Women May Need More THC to Experience Pain Relief
Weed is gaining a wide reputation as a remedy to pain, but women might not see the results they’re hoping for.
Studies have shown that men experience greater pain relief than women when using cannabis, and this is thought to be down to the fact that women build up a tolerance to THC more quickly.
That means that a woman who regularly uses weed will need to use more and more to experience the same level of pain relief as her tolerance builds.
If you’re planning on using weed as a long-term solution to pain, this is really important to consider, especially given the potential negative side effects of using large amounts of weed over a long period of time.
Women May Be More Likely to Get Addicted to Weed
Worried about weed addiction? If you’re a woman, you should be especially conscious of the risks, since women are more likely to become addicted to weed than men.
As mentioned, women build up a tolerance to THC more quickly than men. That means a regular user might quickly find herself needing more and more weed to feel ‘normal’, which is a worrying red flag for addiction.
There’s also evidence to suggest that women experience more severe withdrawal symptoms when they stop using weed, which could increase the risk of addiction.
If you find yourself Googling things like ‘buy my weed online’ more often than you’d like, it might be time to take a break.
It’s easy to look at weed as harmless, but it’s still entirely possible to suffer from a serious addiction to it. If you’re worried about your level of cannabis use, you should always seek help as early as possible.
Women Experience More Severe Withdrawal Symptoms
If you use weed regularly over an extended period of time, you’ll suffer some kind of withdrawal symptoms when you stop.
Unfortunately, if you’re female, the withdrawal you experience is likely to be more severe.
Common cannabis withdrawal symptoms include:
- Mood swings
- Stomach problems
- Loss of focus
Many weed withdrawal symptoms are very similar to the issues which people use weed to avoid in the first place, so it’s really important to ask yourself whether weed is a good long-term solution for you.
If you’re not careful, you might achieve short-term relief but find that your original issues are even worse when you try and stop using weed.
Women Are More Likely to Use Edibles
As well as being affected differently by weed, the way women use weed is often quite distinct.
While men commonly smoke weed, women are more likely to use edibles. This can be down to social factors, a dislike of smoking, or convenience of use.
Since consuming cannabis differently can produce different effects, this factor is really important when it comes to comparing how weed affects women differently to men.
Could it be that many of the differences noted are down to the different routes of administration? Or are a variety of factors at play?
Right now, there isn’t enough evidence to say for sure – but it’s likely that multiple factors play a role.
If you’re a woman using weed, looking at how different methods of taking the drug alters the way you feel is smart. One woman might get excellent pain relief using edibles but limited results smoking weed.
Another might find she has tons of unpleasant side effects after using edibles but feels good after smoking.
Everyone is different, and sometimes it’s necessary to experiment to figure out what’s right for you.
Women May Experience More Adverse Effects Than Men
Thinking that women get a pretty rough ride when it comes to weed?
You’re not wrong.
As explained above, women can be more sensitive to weed, more prone to addiction, more likely to suffer withdrawal symptoms, and less likely to benefit from pain relief.
However, research into women and weed is still in its infancy, and many women find that weed is helpful to them for all kinds of reasons.
Don’t let this article put you off weed altogether – but make sure you’re educated about the risks and ready to make an informed decision.
Should More Research Be Carried Out on Women and Weed?
With greater numbers of women using weed every year, now is the time for more research to be carried out into women and weed.
Many of the facts above are still not fully understand, but the right research could shine a light on how weed can best be used to help people of all genders.
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