Marijuana usage isn’t the only area in which men and women may differ in terms of side effects experienced. Rather, there are also differences observed between the two groups in relation to stopping use of the drug. Men more often reported sleep-related withdrawal symptoms, specifically insomnia and vivid dreams, according to the 2016 study. Women more often voiced withdrawal symptoms of anxiety and nausea.
It’s not entirely clear as to why all of these differences exist across sex and gender in regards to marijuana use and related side effects. However, experts theorize that various biological and physiological factors are likely at play, including variance in metabolism, sex hormones, organ function, speed of absorption, and more (via the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health). In regards to differences in patterns of marijuana use, societal and demographic factors are thought to play a role, such as socioeconomic status, race, stigma, and sexual orientation, as well as who these products are predominantly marketed to. Awareness of this information can help policymakers more effectively address issues of public health surrounding marijuana use.
If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).