Estrogen, testosterone and THC: What do these three things have in common? Apparently, not much.
Studies reveal that THC (the active chemical in marijuana) interacts differently with these three hormones. What’s the result? Men and women experience different effects from the same drug.
Here’s the breakdown on Mary Jane’s sexism:
- Pain Relief: Multiple studies reveal marijuana’s effects on pain differ between the sexes. Recent research found men who smoke marijuana experience a significant reduction in pain sensitivity, but there’s no decrease in women. These findings are especially important to consider as more states legalize the drug for medical use. The results also affirm the importance of including both men and women in future studies on marijuana’s effectiveness.
- Withdrawal: Women are likely to experience more severe withdrawal symptoms. Females tend to experience more sleep disruption, loss of appetite and irritability.
- Tolerance: Studies show that females develop a tolerance to weed more quickly. This means, over time, women have to use more of the drug to get the same high. Men, on the other hand, don’t develop a tolerance as quickly.
- Sex Drive: THC’s interaction with estrogen is a downer for a woman’s libido. For males, on the other hand, it’s a little more complicated. In men, marijuana causes a spike in testosterone shortly after smoking, increasing sex drive. However, this only lasts about an hour, and in high doses, lasts only 20 minutes. After these time periods, testosterone levels dip lower than normal.
- Appetite: Marijuana is known for inducing strong cases of the munchies. Based on research, this craving is more prominent in men.
- Psychosis: Women may have a harder time in withdrawal, but men seem to be in greater danger while using. Researchers aren’t sure why, but men are more likely to experience cannabis-induced psychosis. In fact, they outnumber women two to one in incidents of psychotic symptoms.
Gender’s Role in Marijuana Use
Does marijuana seem to favor one gender? It’s hard to say. While researchers continue to explore these differences, it’s important to keep in mind gender can greatly affect your experience with marijuana – for better or worse.
Additional Reading: Weed: The Vocabulary Killer
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