By Zoe D.
Marijuana is growing in popularity as more states across the country legalize it for both medicinal and recreational purposes. It’s not only men that are starting to smoke more often. Women are also smoking more frequently and aren’t shy about letting the world know it either, especially when it comes to female celebrities.
But I bet you didn’t know that women capitalize on weed’s benefits more than their male counterparts do. In a National Survey on Drug Use conducted in 2012, men who hit the bong outnumbered women by almost two to one. Here are seven ways how marijuana benefits you as a woman.
- Ease PMS
One unfortunate thing about being a woman is dealing with PMS with it’s cramps, cravings, and general discomfort every month. Instead of turning to over-the-counter pain medications like Midol or ibuprofen, women can utilize THC and/or CBD, two of the main components found in cannabis, to ease bloating, headaches, and nausea.
More so than any OTC or RX medication, cannabis can even help the 10% of women who deal with cramps so intense that they make make daily functioning close to impossible.
- Reduce anxiety
Many women suffer from mild to moderate anxiety that makes many daily tasks more difficult than they should be. In a 2013 study published in Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, a majority of women reported that the most common reason why they smoked marijuana was to reduce anxiety, tension, and stress.
Another study conducted in 2014 by Vanderbilt University confirmed there are cannabinoid receptors in the portion of the brain that helps to regulate anxiety (the amygdala), which explains why so many people suffering from anxiety turn to the pipe for relief.
People who have difficulty falling and/or staying asleep can ingest cannabis to help them get a better night’s rest. Taking a few puffs before climbing into bed can help people to fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night. Women tend to suffer from insomnia more commonly than men do, and weed can be a preferred, safer alternative to medications such as Ambien, Lunesta, etc.
- Sex life
Are things getting a bit dull in the bedroom? Are you experiencing problems with your sex drive? Pot can lower inhibitions and make sex more enjoyable and orgasms more intense because it reduces anxiety, stress, and nerves that surface during sexual activity.
Some medications, like some antidepressants and birth control pills, can reduce a woman’s desire for sex. Taking a few hits can make the experience more enjoyable and get the libido going for an extended pleasurable evening.
- Higher sensitivity to THC
You might not be aware that THC impacts women a bit more strongly than men. The difference is even more prominent in women who are ovulating, a time when their estrogen levels are spiking.
The result can be negative if you’re sensitive to some of the more uncommon side effects, such as increased paranoia or anxiety. Women tend to get “higher” than men, but this also causes them to build up tolerance faster.
- Breast Cancer treatment and symptoms
The cannabinoids in marijuana offer benefits that help manage cancer and its side effects, especially those associated with chemotherapy. The cannabinoids can also kill cancer cells and slow tumor growth by regulating the life cycles of cells. It can also increase appetite, reduce nausea, and help reduce pain levels that are common to women undergoing breast cancer treatments.
- Weight management
The commonly held belief is that marijuana increases hunger and leads to the munchies, but the opposite is true in some situations. People who smoke on a regular basis are less likely to develop obesity-related conditions, such as diabetes. Some people get cravings for certain foods when under the influence, but in some situations it can actually curb cravings and help suppress your appetite.
Weed offers so many benefits that it’s hard to understand why some women who suffer any of these ailments choose not to harness them. Both men and women clearly benefit from its relaxation, pain, anti-nausea, and other helpful properties, but women tend to benefit the most.
There’s certainly no harm in trying an alternative approach instead of taking over-the-counter or a prescription drugs, which are known to sometimes cause some pretty intense side effects. Besides potentially losing a few hours of productivity, what can it hurt?