Women are turning to cannabis more often than pharmaceutical drugs for medical treatment, according to a study published in the Journal of Women’s Health.
The study, entitled “Gender Differences in Medical Cannabis Use: Symptoms Treated, Physician Support for Use, and Prescription Medication Discontinuation,” analyzed answers from several different doctors and patients, who revealed that many more women are openly admitting to using cannabis, in comparison to previous studies. This could be due to the fact that, as cannabis is getting more normalized, negative stereotypes about its use are less widespread in comparison to the known effects of opioid abuse.
The study results were also significant because it suggests that more women are becoming interested in learning about cannabis in comparison to men. Researchers noted that women are more likely to replace prescription painkillers and other drugs with cannabis, even though overall, men are more likely to be regular cannabis consumers.
The study notes that the increase in interest among women likely comes from those who suffer from chronic pain and are looking for new treatment methods. This includes conditions such as specifically post-menstrual syndrome, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, endometriosis, gynecological cancers, and other biological conditions that women face regularly.
However, there isn’t yet enough information to determine exactly why women are turning to cannabis at a faster rate than men. Journal of Women’s Health suggests that more research needs to be done. “The implication that women may conceptualize medical cannabis as complementary or alternative medicine merits further research, as this finding may be viewed as a consequence of patient experience with cannabis, and not only of shifting public attitudes toward it,” the study authors wrote.
As always, more research is necessary to reaffirm the observations from this particular study, but every new study on cannabis helps to build up an informational database that will benefit patients in the future.