Not so long ago, young adults were the primary users of Cannabis. Today, women and adults aged 50+ represent the fastest growing group of Cannabis users. An abstract recently presented at the 2023 Annual Meeting of the Menopause Society in Philadelphia confirmed frequent use of Cannabis by midlife women, particularly to manage an array of menopause symptoms.
Cannabis use is increasing across all age groups. Lack of research puts us in a knowledge gap. Earlier studies largely focused on the Cannabis use habits of men and younger adults. Until now, little was known about the prevalence of Cannabis use among women in and after menopause.
Based on data from more than 5,000 midlife women, this new study analyzes the frequency, forms, and motives of Cannabis use in post-menopausal women. Over 40% of the women reported ever using Cannabis most often for chronic pain (28%), anxiety (24%), sleep problems (22%), and stress (22%). Six percent of women reported using Cannabis specifically for menopause, targeting menopause related mood and sleep difficulties.
It was noted that ten percent of the study participants used Cannabis in the past thirty days, most often smoking (56%), ingesting edibles (52%), or using Cannabis in more than one form (39%). Thirty one percent reported smoking Cannabis on a daily or near daily basis and 19% reported daily or near daily use of edibles.
Dr. Carolyn Gibson, lead author and health services researcher at the University of California, San Francisco explains, “We know that Cannabis products are being marketed to women to manage menopause symptoms and these study findings suggest that midlife women are turning to Cannabis…”
This observational study documents that midlife women with menopausal symptoms benefit from Cannabis use. “These findings highlight the need for recognizing and discussing Cannabis in the health care setting,” suggests Dr. Stephanie Faubion, Medical Director of the Menopause Society.
Jean Talleyrand, M.D.,