Research at Washington State University Show Gender Differences in the Effects of Marijuana

Rebecca-CraftA new study led by Rebecca Craft, a professor of psychology at Washington State University, has found significant gender differences in the effects of marijuana. Professor Craft’s research found that women are more likely than men to become dependent on the drug and that women suffer more severe withdrawal symptoms when they stop using marijuana. She also found that women seem to be more sensitive than men to pain relief from marijuana.

Professor Craft states that in her group’s research “we routinely follow females across their cycle and see if their drug sensitivities change. And they do. Very frequently. What we’re finding with THC is you get a very clear spike in drug sensitivity right when females are ovulating.”

Professor Craft hopes that her research will compel scientists to use more women in clinical trials as limiting testing to men – because they have consistent hormonal levels – does not always produce results that are relevant to women. Since the results on cannabinoid drugs on a range of measures, like pain and other, show gender differences, “maybe folks who conduct clinical trials in people will pay attention to gender as an important variable,” she says. “But it hasn’t happened yet.”

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study


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