Cannabis use and abuse is growing among Australian women, and there is a marked difference in the way women use the substance compared to men, says Patrick Begley in an article for the Brisbane Times.
Daily cannabis use and abuse among women higher
Begley cites the latest National Drug Strategy Household Survey, which says about 700,000 Australian women who are over 14 years in age have admitted to cannabis use in the past year. The research says cannabis-using men outnumber the women, but female cannabis users are more likely to smoke the substance on a daily basis. About 14 per cent of the women surveyed use cannabis daily, which a bit higher than the 12 per cent of men who admitted to daily cannabis use.
Begley also mentions international research that reveals a more worrisome difference between male and female cannabis use: women tend to become more addicted to cannabis more quickly. He quotes Jan Copeland, head of the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre, as saying that women need to use cannabis at higher levels because of their “higher tolerance”.
Copeland adds that while men use cannabis to have fun and go with the flow with friends, women smoke grass as a stress reliever.
To read the article in full, click here.
Now that was intriguing. Most of us probably didn’t realise that men and women appear to experience the drug differently. Begley quotes a neuroscientist in the article, who says sex hormones such as estrogen may be a factor in this difference. Without a doubt, this focus on the specific reactions of women to cannabis is new ground for researchers. More studies in this area are definitely needed. However, as explained towards the end of the article, these sex hormones have also led to researchers preferring to use men for their studies because of their hormonal stability.