For decades, the media’s depictions of cannabis users seem to show that weed is a man’s drug. Male stoners dominate not only TV and movies but also marketing for dispensaries and cannabis products.
Women use weed, too. In fact, there are more than a few unique benefits women can gain from enjoying cannabis recreationally and responsibly. Women’s health is different from men’s health, so here’s how women can better manage their wellness by consuming cannabis.
Cannabinoids interact with the human body largely through the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in regulating almost every other system — including the reproductive system. As a result, there are a couple of different ways using cannabis can help a woman better regulate her reproductive cycles and comfort.
First, cannabis can be an invaluable tool in managing menstrual symptoms. Many women suffer greatly before and during their menstrual cycle, experiencing significant pain, nausea, and swelling. As a pain and inflammation reliever, cannabis can be useful in making this time of the month more bearable.
Next, many women tend to experience an increase to their libido when they use weed. This could be the result of the psychoactive effects of THC, which eliminate stress and encourage euphoria, making a woman more receptive to sexual experiences. However, the interaction between THC and endocannabinoid receptors around the reproductive system could also be responsible for an increased interest in sexual activity, as THC could help to increase a woman’s fertility.
While consuming cannabis probably doesn’t do much to improve the complexion, applying cannabis compounds to the skin seems to have beneficial results. There are a few different components of cannabis that can have positive effects on how the skin looks and feels. Hempseed oil, or the non-psychoactive oil pressed from cannabis seeds, is full of beneficial fatty acids that give the skin much-needed hydration; CBD helps to reduce redness and inflammation, even texture, and also boost hydration; and THC can be a boon in eliminating pain and irritation.
It is possible for women to make their own cannabis-based lotions and balms, but the skincare industry is seeing more and more cannabis and hemp products reach the shelves. For products containing THC, women might need to search a local legal retail cannabis store, like a dispensary in Reno, but non-psychoactive cannabis compounds could be available anywhere skincare products are sold.
Though psychiatric disorders present almost identically in men and women, women tend to receive far more diagnoses for illnesses like depression, anxiety, insomnia and the like. Women who suffer from a mental health concern should talk to their doctors about the possibility of integrating cannabis into their treatment plan.
Studies on the effects of cannabis on mental health tend to be conflicted. Some research finds that cannabis use decreases feelings of anxiety and depression; other studies indicate that cannabis use can worsen mental health, leading to issues like panic disorders and substance abuse. The key seems to be using cannabis in low doses, which provides a minor positive boost to mood and sensation that can interrupt the negative thought patterns associated with mental disease.
More women than men experience chronic pain — but fewer women are likely to receive treatment for their pain. Worse, traditional pain treatment often involves opioids, which many women hope to avoid for fear of various adverse effects. Fortunately, cannabis can assist with pain management. Various compounds within cannabis help to interrupt the pain cycle; some interrupt pain signals in the central nervous system, and some relax muscles, eliminate inflammation and otherwise reduce the potential causes of pain.
As is the case with other health conditions, women should talk with their healthcare providers before using cannabis to manage chronic pain. Cannabis can interact with other medications, which can result in unwanted effects. Even so, cannabis tends to be much safer than other chronic pain treatments, both in the short and long term, so women should feel confident and comfortable using weed to reduce chronic pain once they get the go-ahead from their doctors.
Women don’t need a reason to use weed. In states where cannabis has been legalized for recreational adult use, of-age women have just as much right as any man to indulge in the sticky green herb for fun. Still, women can benefit in certain ways by adopting cannabis as their substance of choice, and being aware of these advantages might convince more women to give weed a try.