Article written by
Tina MagrabiSenior Content Writer
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
Cannabis use is rising among women, the fastest-growing demographic of new users. According to market research from the Brightfield Group, women account for 59% of individuals who have recently started using cannabis.
Learn why more women are channeling the power of the cannabis plant to treat various ailments or simply to feel good and how you can join them.
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Why More and More Women Are Using Marijuana
Women who use marijuana are mainly self-reported, so we can’t say for sure why every woman uses the plant. But in general, there are some common reasons that women find cannabis as medicine (CaM) useful.
Since 2020, the COVID pandemic has triggered stress-related conditions like insomnia, anxiety, and depression. At the same time, there has been an increase in marijuana use among men and women alike, with Millennial cannabis use standing out as the most pronounced and 13% of the generation self-reporting cannabis use.
Insomnia, the inability to fall asleep and/or stay asleep, was already on the rise in 2020 (mainly due to the prevalence of digital devices) when the pandemic began. Pandemic-related stress from 24/7 childcare and remote work only compounded insomnia issues for countless women.
Fortunately, some research has demonstrated that cannabis may be a valuable tool for combating insomnia. One recent 2021 clinical trial revealed that two weeks of sublingual (under the tongue) cannabinoid administration reduced insomnia in participants, most of whom were women.
CBD products, in particular, are reputed to be beneficial for people who need a good night’s sleep. Whereas tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) could impair sleep quality in the long term, cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown to help treat long-term insomnia and even reduce nightmares stemming from PTSD.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with troubling experiences that the brain has trouble processing and recovering from. New cases of PTSD are increasingly linked to the COVID pandemic, especially among healthcare providers, including women, who represent a staggering 70% of the global healthcare workforce. In 2021, Leafwell certified 19.6% more women for cannabis with a PTSD diagnosis than men.
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Anxiety & Depression
Women are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder than men. Yoga and meditation have long been popular outlets for women seeking relief from anxiety, but cannabis is also an emerging supplemental treatment. In 2021, anxiety and depression were the most common qualifying conditions for women using Leafwell to get their medical cannabis certificate, accounting for more than 21% of all women patients.
Extensive research has indicated that cannabis could be a potential treatment for anxiety disorders. Some CBD products are specifically designed to help treat anxiety. Charlotte’s Web CBD Oil is a perennial favorite among people seeking to ease anxiety symptoms, but we do not have any clinical data to confirm these reports.
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Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
PMS presents with a variety of symptoms that differ among women. Some may experience multiple symptoms each month, such as cramping, headaches, and mood swings. Others may only experience one symptom, such as migraine headaches.
Cannabis and CBD topicals have gained popularity as natural beauty treatments. Many cosmetic and skin care products now feature cannabis and CBD on their list of active ingredients. Lotions, creams, balms, oils, and bath salts are just a handful of products that may contain cannabis-based ingredients.
Companies like Green Roads and Joy Organics have created entire product lines with the cannabis consumer. And for a good reason. Some research suggests that certain cannabinoids, namely CBD, may be therapeutic for the skin. Eczema and psoriasis are two specific dermatological conditions CBD may benefit from with its moisturizing and nourishing properties.
Enhancement of sexual pleasure is why more women use cannabis than ever before. Some sexual intimacy products like gel and oil-based lubricants are made with cannabis-derived ingredients, primarily CBD. Foria Wellness is a brand known for CBD-infused sexual intimacy products, including their popular Awaken Arousal Oil with CBD.
In addition to vaginal lubrication, cannabis could enhance women’s sexual experience in other ways. A 2019 survey published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that cannabis helped people relax, elevating physical sensations and sexual pleasure.
Women are more likely to be affected by autoimmune disorders like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis (MS). This is because women tend to have more robust inflammatory responses than men, which can be helpful when fighting infections but also increases the risk of developing an autoimmune disorder.
Men vs. Women: How Cannabis Use Differs
Recent research has shown that women and men use cannabis differently. For example, women tend to use more of a variety of cannabis products, with gummies being reported as a favorite. Women are also more likely than men to use vape cartridges and cannabis topicals, according to data from the Brightfield Group. Research also suggests that women are more likely to use medical cannabis as a substitute for other drugs,
Furthermore, certain cannabis markets in the United States have more women users than men users. Colorado and Washington, for example, reportedly have a majority of women cannabis consumers. Notably, women use cannabis to treat their specific conditions, including painful gynecological conditions like endometriosis.
Medical cannabis may be beneficial for both women and men. Learn more about how cannabis could help you and speak with one of Leafwell’s qualified healthcare providers about applying for a medical marijuana card online.
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