OCT 12, 2023 1:00 PM PDT

More Women Turning to Marijuana to Manage Menopause Symptoms

WRITTEN BY: Kerry Charron

A study found that women and adults aged 50 and over reflect the fastest-growing segment of cannabis users. A study confirms the frequent use of cannabis by midlife women to manage various menopause symptoms. The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) researchers presented the study results during the 2023 Annual Meeting of The Menopause Society in Philadelphia in late September.

The study analyzed data from more than 5,000 midlife women to understand the frequency, forms, and motives of cannabis use by mainly postmenopausal women. The study found that cannabis use is relatively common in midlife women. Over 40% reported using cannabis for recreational or therapeutic reasons. The study corroborates the findings from previous studies. Roughly 40% of 5,000 women use cannabis to manage menopause symptoms. The UCSF research team found women used cannabis to treat chronic pain (28%), anxiety (24%), sleep problems (22%), and stress (22%). 6% of women consume cannabis to decrease menopause-related mood and sleep difficulties.

Over 10% of participants had used cannabis in the past 30 days. The study highlighted the most popular modes of consumption: smoking (56%), ingesting edible products (52%), or using cannabis in more than one form (39%). 31% reported smoking on a daily or near-daily basis. 19% of participants consumed edibles on a daily or near-daily basis.

More research is needed to determine the benefits and risks of using cannabis to ease menopause. Lead study author Dr. Carolyn Gibson explained, "We know that cannabis products are being marketed to women to manage menopause symptoms, and these findings suggest that midlife women are turning to cannabis for menopause symptoms and other common issues in the menopause transition. But we still do not know if use is actually helping for those symptoms, or if it may be contributing to other challenges." The study highlights the need for open conversations with patients managing menopause symptoms with cannabis and increased research to assess cannabis's potential risks and benefits.

Sources: Eureka News Alert, The Menopause Society


About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Kerry Charron writes about medical cannabis research. She has experience working in a Florida cultivation center and has participated in advocacy efforts for medical cannabis.
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