Cannabis use is riding high on a decade-long wave of decriminalization, legalization and unregulated synthetic substitutes. As society examines the impact, an interesting disparity has become apparent: the risks are different in females than in males.
A new review of animal studies says that sex differences in response to cannabis are not just socio-cultural, but biological too. Published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience , it examines the influence of sex hormones like testosterone, estradiol (estrogen) and progesterone on the endocannabinoid system: networks of brain cells which communicate using the same family of chemicals found in cannabis, called ‘cannabinoids’.
You should read the whole article!
Some interesting tidbits:
- Men are natural risk-takers, so are more likely to start trying cannabis. But women are more likely to get addicted to cannabis.
- The connection between endocannabinoid receptors and dopamine is stronger in women.
- Estradiol seems to be connected to how women’s endocannabinoid system functions.
- Cannabinoid receptors increase with age in women – older women may be more heavily affected by cannabis.