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Why are Women Substituting Medical Marijuana for Their Prescription Drugs Way More Than Men Do?


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The usage of medical cannabis is rapidly on the rise, especially for anxiety, pain, and depression. In a study carried out by Cannigma, it was revealed that the use of prescription drugs might be decreasing in places where medical cannabis has been legalized.

The survey further showed that women are more likely to replace their prescription drugs with cannabis. 

Out of a total of 204 female respondents, 147 that is a total of 72%, admitted that they use cannabis as a replacement for prescription medications. This is far more than the 90 out of 162 (55.5%) male respondents. It is obvious that more women substitute prescription drugs with cannabis than men. 

Other Research Findings

Apart from the discovery that women substitute prescription drugs with cannabis more than men, it was also discovered people who use medical cannabis take it more than once a day. In addition to that, many of them reportedly use it several times a week. 

These research findings were obtained by sending newsletters to thousands of Cannigma users. Most respondents were citizens of the United States.

Almost 85% of the research survey respondents hailed from North America. Other respondents were from New Zealand, Australia, Jamaica, Portugal, Greece, Ireland, Belgium, Peru, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Mexico. 

Amanda Reiman, Ph.D., MSW., put together this survey. Reiman is a woman, social ethnobotanist, and cannabis policy expert who founded Personal Plants, a website committed to offering tips on home growing and processing medicinal plants like cannabis.

After this study, she went ahead to carry out a couple of other studies on cannabis. This includes research on the subjects of patients, dispensaries, and the use of marijuana to treat addiction.

She was also the first and foremost chairwoman of the Medical Cannabis Commission located in the City of Berkeley. 

Women vs. Men in Cannabis Consumption

Undoubtedly, men and women use cannabis differently. They also react differently to the substance.

This was revealed after a couple of researches into how both genders differ in the use and reaction of cannabis.

After a 2021 cross-sectional online survey of 361 medical cannabis users present in Illinois, it was discovered that there was a significant increase in the way women consumed cannabis after they acquired an MC (medical cannabis) card. These women discontinued prescription medications and replaced them with cannabis.

The scholars added that the women got higher support for Medical Cannabis from their primary health care providers. This act immensely increased the probability of women discontinuing prescription medication and replacing them with medical cannabis.

Another thing to note about gender differences in the survey is that women got higher levels of support from the physicians for the use of medical cannabis. There are also a couple of differences in reports about medical cannabis usage. These reports relate to the separate ways cannabis affects men and women.

A 2021 research assessed the results of 4 double-blind, placebo-controlled studies by comparing the effects of oral and vaporized cannabis in both male and female members. It was discovered that females had more peak blood 11-OH-THC concentrations. They also reported a higher peak subjective rating of “cannabis effect.”

In addition to that, the researchers found out that women experienced a significantly higher feeling of “nervousness and anxiety,” “restlessness,” and “heart racing,” more than men. It is believed that this effect could be linked to hormones in women. After all, the presence of estrogen in the body plays a key role in mediating the entire endocannabinoid system. 

The scholars advised that based on the finding, public health needs to recommend a smaller starting dose for women.

Some other research studies revealed a difference between the intake methods preferred by women and men. For example, a Canadian research study in 2019 discovered that males are much more likely to vape cannabis (precisely 15.8% of men like to vape cannabis) compared to 10.8% of women. They were also seven times more likely to drive when they were under the influence of cannabis. However, the studies did not state who is more likely to stop on the way and ask for directions.

In all, the findings consistently reveal major differences in the way men and women use and react to cannabis. The surveys only disclose that the women use and react more to the product.

Other Important Researches Carried Out by Reiman

Reiman set up more research to find out more about the usage of cannabis, as well as the various reasons why people use it.  The activist claims she was urged to highlight the use cases that do not fit into the already available narrative that people have, especially those strongly against cannabis legalization or the use of the plant for medical purposes. 

Most of the available research on marijuana focuses on the negative sides of cannabis usage. This includes research that relates to the use of cannabis by vulnerable populations (like children and teenagers). It also includes research that has to do with the harmful outcomes of the drug. It is vital to admit that there is another side to the usage of cannabis that is regular and non-problematic.

The survey also aims to identify persons that qualify as medical cannabis patients. She opted to discover why people use cannabis, especially when they aren’t using it for medical reasons. She guessed that, even though users of the products do not consider themselves medical cannabis patients, their motivations most likely have therapeutic components.

She also stated that users report about 1 – 2 sessions of cannabis consumption each day, even when they are taken days a week. This shows a sign of moderation among users.

Last Words

More surveys should be aimed at digging deeper into the beneficial side of cannabis usage and motivations for use by womenfolk. 

Although women resort to medical cannabis quicker, it still remains that men have the higher overall experience with the drug.









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