Now that more and more places are legalizing cannabis, there is growing evidence on how this ancient plant benefits patients. There is also more information from experts who are conducting extensive research about marijuana's medicinal applications. One interesting question that has recently piqued the interest of scientists is, "Does cannabis affect men and women differently?"

Every person has a different reaction to marijuana based on genetic factors and a person's unique biochemistry. Recently, we are learning that gender also plays a significant role in the relationship with marijuana. Sex hormones, along with the amount and location of cannabinoid receptors, differ between men and women. And researchers have just started to discover how these differences affect the experience of cannabis.

Sex Hormones and Marijuana Reactions

According to research, sex hormones play a huge part in why one gender has a different marijuana experience than the other gender. For women, estrogen has a particularly important role in the effects of cannabis. Estrogen regulates the fatty acid amide hydrolase that degrades anandamide, a naturally-occurring endocannabinoid. Anandamide is the natural tetrahydrocannabinol of the body, which regulates appetite and mood and has euphoric effects.

Estrogen levels fluctuate during a woman's menstrual cycle; estrogen is lowest during a woman's period. When a woman's estrogen levels are low, the fatty acid amide hydrolase rapidly degrades anandamide, often resulting in temporary states of depression and anxiety. This may be why women say cannabis is less effective before and during their menstruation.

When it comes to men, the effects of cannabis do not fluctuate as much for them as it does for women. Thus, whatever time of the month, cannabinoids from cannabis usually synthesize and affect men relatively the same way.

Different Effects of Marijuana on Men and Women

Pain relief. When it comes to pain-relieving effects, smoked cannabis significantly decreased pain sensitivity among men. Compared to female participants, men reported more relief, so the latter could require a lower dose to feel pain relief. However, there are conflicting results within the literature on this point. One of these studies says that women are more susceptible to pain relief from marijuana, but only if their estrogen levels are high.
Tolerance. According to a study done on rats, females are quicker to build up a tolerance to marijuana than men. However, tolerance to marijuana rapidly increases regardless of gender.
Increased appetite. The same research paper exploring tolerance reported men were also more susceptible to getting the munchies than their female counterparts. According to researchers, this is seemingly the only THC reaction where men have more sensitivity.
Sexual health. Among men, high THC levels can cause temporary low testosterone levels. This can affect male fertility, libido, and sexual performance. Cessation of cannabis consumption quickly restores these levels to normal. For women, cannabis topicals increase sexual stimulation and arousal. Generally, women have more positive sexual outcomes of consuming marijuana than their male partners.
Withdrawal. A study showed that females reported more withdrawal symptoms like sleep issues, anxiety, and lack of appetite than men. Women have higher chances of having upset stomachs because of withdrawal, which is rarely reported by men.

Woman and Men Experience Cannabis Differently

As we enter into the new age of marijuana, it is important to know how marijuana can affect a person based on their gender. For example, men and women may need a different dose for the same level of pain relief. In another example, men and women may have differences in tolerance and withdrawal symptoms.

In another interesting finding, women may enjoy the positive effects of cannabis on sexual stimulation, while men can have adverse effects on their testosterone production (with long term use). To learn more about the different effects of marijuana on men and women, do not hesitate to talk to a qualified healthcare professional.

Author's Bio: 

Jacob is an experienced cannabis content writers who write on various cannabis health related topics. Visit Top BC Cannabis to learn more about marijuana affects and benefits.