Science is starting to show us the real differences between women and men when it comes to cannabis and how it affects us. We all react to marijuana differently. Men and women, however, have shown to have distinctly unique reactions to cannabis in a multitude of ways. For example, women are more sensitive to cannabis as a pain reliever while men are more likely to get the munchies. Our unique body chemistry impacts the way cannabis makes us feel. Cannabis has a gender-specific impact on our tolerance levels, our libido, and even our memory.


While it may seem like an obvious question, science has uncovered some of the psychological reasons as they pertain to men and women and their decision to use cannabis. If anyone were to ask us, we would tell them that we smoke cannabis because we like to get high, or because it helps with aches and pains. If that person were a research scientist, they would chuckle and proceed to tell me that cannabis becomes a central focus of many social structures. They would also be inclined to tell us that men, as opposed to the fairer sex, are more likely to give in to social pressures in regards to cannabis. Man's desire to indulge would appear to be linked to his desire to be one of the guys. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to turn to cannabis for pain, stress relief, and anxiety.


Due to our unique biochemistry, it should be no surprise that reactions to cannabis would vary greatly between the sexes. THC interacts with oestrogen and testosterone very differently. These differences are responsible for the number of varying reactions that the male and female body experience after lighting up.

Researchers have found that smoking pot while a woman is ovulating will result in increased effects of the THC. This should be some relief for women who have a hard time getting high. Studies show that women develop a tolerance for cannabis faster and higher than men. Another interesting result of this research found that the interaction between THC and oestrogen causes an increased level of pain relief. Cannabis is simply more effective for pain in women by as much as 30%. Not all of the feminine effects of cannabis are beneficial, however. Women are shown to be more likely to have their memory affected than men. The area of the brain that controls what is called visuospatial memory is more affected by cannabis consumption among women than it is in men. Maybe forgetting the keys wasn't your fault after all.

cannabis men woman reactions biochemistry THC oestrogen testosterone effectsMen, as shocking as is may seem, are far more inclined to order a pizza at two in the morning. It’s no longer your fault for munching out on cheesesteaks in the middle of the night. You are a victim of your own biochemistry. If that wasn't bad enough, men show increased tendencies toward paranoia and psychosis. While these symptoms are somewhat rare and surely don't apply to everyone, it is always good to know the risks. One statistic shows that men are more likely to consume alcohol and other illicit drugs along with cannabis, whereas women tend to mix cannabis and prescription drugs.

While for most of us, cannabis is all sunshine and rainbows, not everyone is so fortunate. Sometimes cannabis can bind to receptors in the brain that are responsible for feelings of anxiety and panic. This occurs in all cannabis consumers; some are simply more sensitive to receptor activity in these ominous parts of the brain. Men were determined to be more likely to experience a cannabis-induced psychosis, than women. An extreme version of an anxiety attack stemming from paranoia, this is a rare occurrence in general with people reporting this usually having pre-existing psychological issues.


Accounts suggest that women who ingest small amounts of cannabis show an increase in sex drive. If too much is consumed, it could have a quite different effect. Large amounts of THC appear to interfere with sex drive. This is due THC flooding the oestrogen pathways. In lower amounts, THC has little to no effect on the oestrogen-receptor interactions. It may, in fact, enhance sexual desire. At larger doses it prevents this binding from taking place, thereby having a mixed to a negative impact on any rendezvous that may have been planned. As far as immediate stimulation goes, cannabis oil in a topical lotion has shown to produce heightened sexual arousal and response. Believe it or not, scientists actually studied that too.

For men, the effects can vary. Some claim marijuana acts as an aphrodisiac, while others experience quite the opposite. THC acts as a testosterone suppressor. In turn, it has the potential to decrease sexual desire in the short term. In the long term, men who are regular consumers of cannabis have the potential for lower sperm counts as well as decreased testosterone levels. Cannabis has widely been reported as a sexually enhancing drug. It makes you hyper-sensitive, with colours appearing brighter, music sounding richer, food tasting better and sex ... well ... feeling sexier.


Researchers also found that women are more susceptible to developing a dependence on cannabis and that they experience withdrawal symptoms more severely. Dependence in women occurs much more quickly than in men. Women can find themselves leaning on their little green friend a little heavy within their first few experiences, whereas with men it doesn't seem to be as big of a deal. When examining behavioural patterns, including sleep and eating habits of women after quitting cannabis, scientists found that they were more adversely affected by the symptoms of withdrawal than their male counterparts.


As if we didn't know it already, men and women are quite different. The primary cause of these differences in as far as cannabis goes, are the way that THC interacts with oestrogen and testosterone receptors. Women have more of a chance of becoming dependent on marijuana and have higher tolerances while men are more likely to want to hang with their mates and order a pizza. While the results that science determines won't always apply to everyone, they are an interesting look into the reasons why we are who we are when we get high.


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