Are Women More Sensitive To The Effects Of THC?

According To New Research, Yes.

Are Women More Sensitive To The Effects Of THC? A new study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse has found that women may be more sensitive to the drug’s effects.

Professor Rebecca Craft of Washington State University lead the study that found that women may be up to 30 percent more sensitive to the pain-relieving qualities of marijuana. Because of this, they may also develop a tolerance to the drug. For both men and women, as tolerance builds, a patient may need higher doses to get the same effect.

From the Study

“Women report greater sensitivity to the subjective effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)”, begins the study’s abstract. “Similarly, female rodents tend to be more sensitive to some pharmacological effects of THC and synthetic cannabinoids.” As such; “This study examined sex differences in discriminative stimulus and response rate effects of THC and synthetic cannabinoids in rats.”

“A cumulative dosing THC discrimination procedure was utilized to evaluate sex differences in the discriminative stimulus effects of THC and three synthetic cannabinoids: CP47,497, WIN55,212-2, and JWH-018. Sex differences in the effects of these four compounds and a degradant of A-834735 on response rates also were assessed in a food-reinforced discrete dosing procedure.”

Findings; “Females required a lower training dose than males for acquisition of the discrimination. Further, THC was more potent at producing rimonabant-reversible discriminative stimulus and response rate effects in females. While synthetic cannabinoids were more potent in producing THC-like effects than was THC in female rats, greater discrepancies were observed in male rats. Similar sensitivity to the response rate-decreasing effects induced by most, but not all (A-834735 degradant), synthetic cannabinoids was seen in both sexes.”

Conclusion; “This study represents one of the first direct comparisons of sex differences in THC discrimination. Females were more sensitive to THC’s effects, which may be related, in part, to sex differences in THC metabolism. Synthetic cannabinoids were more potent than THC in both sexes, but were considerably more so in male than in female rats. Future research should emphasize further characterization of sex differences in cannabinoid pharmacology.”

The study was conducted by researchers at the Washington State University Department of Psychology.

Estrogen And Cannabis

In a study from 2011, researchers found that cannabis has anxiolytic (able to prevent anxiety), antipsychotic, antiemetic (able to prevent nausea and vomiting), and anti-inflammatory properties. The researchers also found that female rats given doses of THC 30 percent lower than those given to males became especially tolerant to THC during ovulation, which was also when their estrogen levels had peaked and were on the verge of coming down. However, it doesn’t seem that tolerance to cannabidiol would have been affected, according to another 2007 study.

Women And Cannabis

Roughly 17.4 million Americans use marijuana regularly. More and more women are coming out in support of marijuana, including Oprah, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jennifer Aniston. Women are also getting involved in marijuana reform, with organizations such as the NORML Women’s AllianceMothers Against Misuse and AbuseMoms for Marijuana International, and CannaMoms, which not only support women’s marijuana use, but challenge drug laws while raising awareness for the mothers and children whose lives would be improved by medical marijuana access.

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