We know that men and women are different — so much so that they’ve often been described as coming from completely different planets. While we do know that they both hail from planet Earth, we are still constantly discovering new ways that medicine affects the genders differently.
This goes double for natural remedies like medical cannabis, and with marijuana legalization being such a widely discussed topic in recent years, it seems crucial that we take these kinds of questions into consideration. So how might medical marijuana help to heal men and women differently?
Medical Marijuana for Women
Women are affected differently by marijuana than their male counterparts. For example, medical marijuana can be a great tool to help improve women’s sex lives — low THC strains have been found to improve female sexual health and improve the quality of climaxes.
It’s also useful as a treatment for menstrual cramps. Traditional treatments for cramps include heating pads and NSAID pain relievers like Naproxen. However, marijuana-infused tampons and lubricants have also been found to help reduce the severity of menstrual cramps.
Medical cannabis has also become a treatment option for fibromyalgia, a neurological disorder that has thus far been very difficult to treat — only 10 years ago, doctors didn’t even believe it existed! Medical marijuana can help fibromyalgia sufferers who suffer from chronic pain, insomnia and other symptoms associated with this very real condition.
Medical Marijuana for Men
Men tend to fall into many of the stereotypical marijuana categories — specifically, they’re more likely to get the munchies after using marijuana. A study conducted by Washington State University found that this increase in appetite was one of the only side effects that occurred in men but not in women.
This effect can actually be positive for men and women alike who suffer from conditions that cause a lack of appetite, such as cancer, anxiety and hypothyroidism. Additionally, marijuana has been linked to an increased metabolism, meaning that those munchies may not affect weight drastically:
“After surveying 786 adults in an Inuit community — where more than half of the indigenous population reported frequent cannabis use — researchers at Université Laval in Quebec, Canada, determined that smoking pot statistically correlated with lower body mass index (BMI), lower fat percentages and lower fasting insulin levels.”
Unfortunately, men tend to be less sensitive to the pain relieving and anti-inflammatory effects of marijuana than women — they require higher doses to get the same effect.
When it comes to sex, the relationship between men and marijuana is somewhat complicated. It has been seen to provide improved sexual desire, but only for a short amount of time after the THC hits their system.
Healthy Alternatives to Smoking
Marijuana, medical or otherwise, is usually associated with smoking — and there are plenty of Hollywood movies that help to perpetuate this stereotype. Thankfully, if you want to incorporate medical marijuana into your treatment regimen, you don’t have to worry about smoking — there are plenty of alternatives.
If you’re not a fan of smoking, there are plenty of healthier ways to incorporate medical marijuana into your life — edible snacks, oils for topical application and suppositories for internal use are all options.
If you already use edibles, you’re probably familiar with making cannabis-infused butter. Instead, try infusing your olive oil or coconut oil instead to get all the benefits of canna-butter without the extra fats. Any recipe that calls for the use of butter can be replaced with the infused oil. If you’re not a cook (or, like me, you’re the kind of person who can burn water in the kitchen), there are plenty of companies that offer healthy pre-packaged edibles with a variety of different levels of THC, so it won’t be hard to find the perfect snack for you.
You also don’t need to get high to enjoy the medical benefits of marijuana. The majority of the medical benefits are from the cannabinoids, or CBDs. The feeling of getting high, on the other hand, comes from THC. By using low THC strains, you can get all the benefits with none of the high.
Medical marijuana is currently only legal in 29 states, with more states working on their legislation every year. There are so many medical conditions that can be improved from the use of medical cannabis that it likely won’t be long before it’s a legal option in every state in the United States. Either way, medical marijuana can potentially be a fantastic healing tool for use in a variety of medical situations for men and women across the world.