The Top 5 Ways Marijuana Affects Women vs. Men

By Brittany Morgan Williams

Many medicines affect men and women differently, but due to the inherent sexism in the medical field (and nearly every other industry), there is nowhere near as much information on what works best for a woman’s body compared to what works best for men’s bodies. Naturally produced hormones and estrogen greatly impact both a woman’s reactions to various drugs and hinders some of the value found in cannabis for men.

Women are more sensitive to the THC found in marijuana. This means that they derive more pain relief from smoking weed than men do, according to Washington State University lead scientist Rebecca Craft. She found, in rodent test trials, that women get 30% more pain relief. Thank goodness whatever created THC realized how much pain women are in monthly.

Psychologically, women and men experience cannabis differently, including some of the negative consequences. Men are much more likely to suffer from induced psychosis, which is when THC doesn’t allow the brain to let it figure out which stimuli matter. Remember that guy who ate his best friend’s ear a few years back? That. Women, on the other hand, seem to have decreased visuospatial memory from cannabis use. Visuospatial memory helps you recall directions in your head and even helps you remember to grab your phone before you leave the house.

I’d always heard that marijuana enhances the sexual experience. Apparently, that’s only partially true. In women, their libido heightens with small doses, but with more usage, their estrogen (and libido) crash. Men get a nice testosterone rush, which spurs the libido along for a short while and then drops to lower than pre-toke levels. Cannabis also decreases sexual appetite and sperm production in men according to a study from Columbia and Johns Hopkins University.

A female’s menstrual cycle can greatly affect how high they get. According to Craft, the high is the most intense when it can interact with a lot of estrogen. So, when estrogen has peaked and begins it’s descent is when women can achieve the highest high.

Women are more likely to develop a tolerance to weed and likewise have more severe cannabis withdrawal symptoms. How could they not, with marijuana’s high level of pain repressor that a large portion of women need. If I was on Vicodin for six months and then tried to stop cold turkey, there would be definite consequences, believe me, I’ve been there.

So, overall, yeah, it’s rad to smoke with friends (especially as it’s still legal in California!). But when your female friend asks for another hit, don’t look at her and ask, “Dude, how can you smoke that much and still be conscious?” She’s a woman. We were just made more resistant.