Anything men can do, women can do, too — with some exceptions. Men and women have slight differences in biology that affect how male and female bodies and brains interact with the world around them. It means that the average woman has to work a bit harder to be able to do a pull-up, and that the average man will never be able to create human life.
When it comes to health, those biological nuances have an impact, as well. Women tend to need slightly different kinds of care than men do, and women’s bodies tend to react differently to certain substances — even weed.
Cannabis is becoming more popular as it sees legalization in more corners of the country. Populations that previously didn’t dabble in this drug are trying it for the first time, to include a large number of women. Yet, research on cannabis is in its infancy, and many early studies are finding that women respond differently from men to exposure to cannabis compounds. Is cannabis safe for women to use, or should women stay away from weed?
Women Are Smaller Than Men
On average, women tend to be smaller than men. While this isn’t true in all circumstances — there are plenty of individual women who are taller or broader than individual men — it is generally the case. As a result, women tend to need less of most substances than men do. For example, the recommended daily water intake for men is a full liter more than the recommended intake for women. Likewise, men are considered heavy drinkers if they consume 15 alcoholic beverages per week, whereas women only need to consume eight alcoholic drinks per week to drink heavily.
The fact that women are smaller than men affects how their bodies manage THC. An average-sized man and an average-sized woman consuming the same amount of edibles will likely have much different experiences, if only because the woman’s body has a higher percentage of THC relative to her body weight than the man’s. Women simply don’t need as much weed to feel effects, so it is important that female cannabis consumers exercise more caution when it comes to dosing. It might be wise for women interested in trying weed talk to budtenders at a Tucson dispensary to find products with the appropriate dose for their experience level and size.
THC and the Female Reproductive System
THC, the primary psychoactive compound within cannabis, interacts with the human body through the endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS exists in all animals; it is a critical system within the body, and it impacts dozens of bodily processes, to include sleep, immunity, memory, appetite, pain sensation and, most notably, reproduction. Research has found that the endocannabinoid system works closely with the endocrine system in moderating the hormones responsible for maintaining the female reproductive system — and for this reason, some have incorrectly assumed that THC causes infertility in women.
In truth, the relationship between THC and female reproduction is remarkably complex, and its effects depend largely on individual women’s reproductive health. Some research has found that THC can slightly increase the release of testosterone; in some women, this could increase fertility by promoting the development of follicles, which release eggs, but in other women, it might interfere with egg maturation. Various factors can determine what effects THC has on fertility, such as a woman’s natural testosterone level and the time in her menstrual cycle when she uses cannabis. Undoubtedly, further research will reveal more insight — but it is unlikely that women have much to fear regarding the impact of THC on their ability to reproduce.
Sexism and Discrimination in the Cannabis Industry
Unfortunately, sexism is the primary reason many people don’t like the idea of women using weed. Women tend to be held to higher social standards than men, with the result that any vice — especially drug consumption — tends to be more distasteful when perpetrated by a woman, and that women who engage in vice — especially drug consumption — often fail to be accepted by broader society. As a result of the inherent sexism of our culture, most people are more willing to accept that cannabis has more negative effects on female users and that women probably shouldn’t use weed to the same degree as men.
It is no secret that the cannabis industry suffers due to sexism, for many reasons. However, the science, as we currently understand it demonstrates that women have nothing to fear from weed, and that responsible cannabis consumption is possible for members of both genders.