The Different Effects Of Pot On Men and Women
A new study conducted by the Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) showed that men experienced more significant pain relief as compared to women.
The study looked at data from 2 placebo-controlled, double blinded studies analyzing the analgesic effects of marijuana in 42 recreational smokers. The participants were made to smoke an equal amount of either a placebo form of marijuana or the real thing. They were then made put their hands in cold water and leave it there until they couldn’t take the pain anymore. After the trial, the participants were asked to answer questions in a survey.
The men who smoked pot reported more of a decrease in pain sensitivity after getting stoned, while also reporting an increase in their tolerance to pain. On the other hand, the female participants didn’t experience a decrease in their sensitivity to pain but they did report that their pain tolerance improved slightly after smoking cannabis. Although the study reported differences in how both men and women experienced pain relief, neither group didn’t report anything on how stoned or intoxicated they felt, nor did they comment on how they liked the effect of real cannabis.
“These findings come at a time when more people, including women, are turning to the use of medical cannabis for pain relief,” states Ziva Cooper, PhD, who is an associate professor of clinical neurobiology in psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center. She also adds, “Preclinical evidence has suggested that the experience of pain relief from cannabis-related products may vary between sexes, but no studies have been done to see if this is true in humans.”
The study’s authors said that there was a need to conduct more research on both men and women so that there is a better understanding about the factors that affect the pain-relieving effects of cannabis, the active chemicals in the plant, and other variables such as the strength of the cannabis, method of delivery, frequency of marijuana use, and the kind of pain that is being measured. Dr. Cooper adds, “This study underscores the importance of including both men and women in clinical trials aimed at understanding the potential therapeutic and negative effects of cannabis, particularly as more people use cannabinoid products for recreational or medical purposes.”
Is There Really A Difference?
The impact of marijuana on the bodies of both men and women have been studied before. While on the outside it might not seem like there’s a big difference in how stoned you get as you smoke with a member of the opposite sex, within the body there could definitely be changes that you aren’t feeling.
While this is a topic that needs further studies, we also need to take into consideration the fact that women are usually excluded from clinical studies and this of course, will affect the kind of data that we have today.
For one thing, the presence of estrogen in women’s bodies can interfere with the endocannabinoid system. This could mean that marijuana will be less effective for women. A 2015 study conducted by Northwestern University also found that women’s brains react differently from men when they analyzed the effects of a drug that targeted the human endocannabinoid system. This is because the endocannabinoid systems of each gender is regulated differently, which can explain why some men and women report differences on the effect of marijuana on them.
Another study conducted by Washington State University suggests that women also react differently to cannabis because they can develop a higher tolerance to THC much faster than men. In the study, which analyzed male and female rats, the scientists tried to make it more challenging by giving the female rats 30% less marijuana. But after 10 days, the female rats still had a higher tolerance compared to the males and even needed a larger dose to feel the same way that the males did.
These studies are definitely intriguing. Have you experienced any differences when you smoke with a member of the opposite sex? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.