Weed gives more pain relief to men than women says study

Thankfully, women apparently still get just as high

Mr and Mrs Smith

Men experience greater pain relief after smoking weed than women, according to a new study.

Participants in the Columbia University Medical Centre study were required to smoke either active weed, containing 3.56%-5.60% THC, or a placebo, which contained no THC. They were then required to take part in a pain response test: placing one hand in cold water (4°C) until they could no longer bear the pain.


While men who smoked the active cannabis experienced a significant decrease in pain sensitivity compared to men who smoked the placebo, the women who smoked the active cannabis did not experience a significant decrease in pain sensitivity compared to those who smoked the placebo.

Thankfully, women still apparently get just as high, with no reported difference between the sexes in how intoxicated they felt or how enjoyable the high was.

“These findings come at a time when more people, including women, are turning to the use of medical cannabis for pain relief,” says the study’s author, Dr Ziva Cooper, associate professor of clinical neurobiology, in a release from the uni.

As Cooper goes on to note, the study emphasises the importance of including both men and women in clinical trials of cannabis to fully understand its positive and negative effects.

Dr Ziva Cooper

Dr Ziva Cooper

Doctors in NSW have been able to prescribe terminally ill patients with medicinal cannabis since early August. With an understanding, albeit limited, of the effects the two main cannabinoids in weed can have, the intent of this decision was to reduce pain, nausea and vomiting and stimulate the appetite of those suffering.

MORE: Medicinal cannabis in NSW: what does it mean?

Having a deeper understanding of health benefits of cannabis will become more and more crucial as we move further toward a pot-friendly world.

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