Women are more prone to feel the effects of marijuana than are men
While research into the effects of cannabis has been limited, those studies that have been conducted have mainly concentrated on male subjects, particularly, lab mice. Males were chosen, as they have been for a large number of studies, in an attempt to reduce variables which could include fluctuating hormones associated with the reproductive cycle. However, new studies have incorporated more female test subjects and the results are interesting.
Scientists are realizing that there is a significant connection between the body’s endocannabinoid system and estrogen in mitigating the effects of cannabis on the system. Experiments have shown that women are more affected by cannabis than are men. Researchers indicate that cannabinoids can potentially lead to better relief of pain in women than in men and that they could also enhance a woman’s sexual behavior while suppressing it in men. As a unique side effect, women are less likely to suffer the munchies following marijuana consumption than men.
The studies determined that, following marijuana consumption, estrogen levels increase substantially. Since women have more estrogen than men, they are more inclined to see an even higher level of estrogen production associated with cannabis consumption.
The link isn’t tied to estrogen alone. CB1 (cannabinoid) receptors in the brain fluctuate in accordance to the amount of estrogen in the body. As estrogen production increases, so do the CB1 receptors. These receptors are responsible for a number of characteristics, including appetite, pain sensation, memory and moods.
Estrogen can also increase the amount of anandamide, an endocannabinoid, which leads to an elevation of the strength of the endocannabinoid system. This results in stronger marijuana effects when estrogen levels are higher.
Too much of a good thing is too much, however, and overconsuming can have a negative effect. It’s always best to follow the recommendations of someone of the same sex when deciding to try a new strain or product.