Benefits of Medical Marijuana for Women’s Health
Women may only make up roughly half of the population, but they drive consumer spending in a big way. Women account for 70%-80% of consumer spending in the United States. Not only that, but women play a major role in the influencing of buying choices of both friends and family. This means that women are a major target for just about every industry, and the cannabis industry is no exception.
The legalized cannabis market in is expected to grow 150% by 2021, making women a prime target for both advertising and for shaping the cannabis industry. Women are turning to cannabis to treat everything from acne to menopause, including helping with their sex lives. They are buying infused candies, baked goods, and other infused products in increasing numbers.
All of this begs the question: Why? What are the benefits of cannabis for women? Let’s talk about those a little more.
Studies show that CBD oil can act as an anti-inflammatory agent as well as an anti-proliferative, combined with having a sebostatic effect. This means that CBD oil applied to the face could be an effective acne treatment. It may even be a good treatment for a specific kind of acne – the kind that women get around that time of the month.
Speaking of periods, at least 80% of women are going to experience menstrual pain at some point. The pain that is experienced with menstruation is normal and may last from the teens all the way until menopause. However, for a small percentage of women (5%-10%), menstrual pain can be severe enough to interfere with their daily routine and necessitate calling in sick to work. THC has powerful muscle relaxant properties. This can give women some serious relief from period cramps.
Make Menopause Easier
Women typically enter menopause between their mid-40s and mid-50s. While the symptoms of PMS may stop, which can be a good thing for some women, menopause comes with a whole host of its own symptoms, including:
- Hot flashes
- Mood swings
- Low libido
- Weight gain
Cannabis can help menopause in a multitude of ways. Studies suggest that the endocannabinoid system plays an important role in the hypothalamus in regulating body temperature. Therefore, consuming THC can help to cool the body, but be careful – finding the right dose may take experimentation and time.
Estrogen plays a huge role in the utilization of endocannabinoids, especially as it pertains to mood stabilization. The drop in estrogen levels that often accompany menopause may play a role in the mood swings many women experience. Cannabis has long been known to help mitigate feelings of both depression and anxiety.
For libido, anecdotal evidence says that cannabis can enhance sexual intercourse. 67% of respondents to a Psychology Today poll said that marijuana has enhanced their sex life.
Endometriosis and PMS may both be the cause of pelvic pain in women, but endometriosis is a whole different animal. It is a chronic autoimmune disease affecting up to 10% of women. It is characterized by the growth of endometrial tissue outside the uterus and is notoriously difficult to diagnose. Some women suffer for more than 30 years before getting a diagnosis. Its pain is debilitating, and many women’s doctors prescribe opiates to deal with that pain. Many women are turning towards cannabis now that the stigma of using the drug has lessened.
Using rat models, scientists believe that CBD may help to inhibit aggressive breast cancer cells. We’re already aware of the effect that medical marijuana has on the pain of such conditions, but as a potential treatment for cancer cannabis still needs more research to prove or disprove this function. However, that doesn’t stop such high-profile supporters like Olivia Newton-John from proclaiming its benefits.
The Harvard Health blog says that women are 2 ½ times more likely to use antidepressants as men. The concept of using cannabis for depression is not new. Clergyman Robert Burton recommended using cannabis in his book The Anatomy of Melancholy. Research shows that THC in low doses can actually help to alleviate depression. Be careful, though, because higher doses may actually to exacerbate the problem.
Nothing can quite take the wonder and euphoria out of becoming pregnant like spending time hunched over the toilet. Morning sickness is a common side effect of pregnancy, but for a small percentage of women, a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum can really cause problems. Though there are prescription medications for this condition, many women turn to the known anti-nausea effects that THC provides. Of course, before adding any medication, herbal or otherwise, to your routine while pregnant, consult an OB-GYN.
Many of those who are at the forefront of developing technology and health and beauty products infused with cannabis are women. Women are leading the charge in cannabis legalization and getting it recommended once again as a legitimate medication. Perhaps their wisdom and experiences, which is backed by millennia of use in culture across history, should be taken into consideration.