Study: Women More Sensitive to Weed

A recent study out of the federal government was designed to spread the word that women can’t handle their THC. Instead, it sends exactly the opposite message: Chicks should smoke more weed.

WOMEN MORE SENSITIVE TO WEEDThe study, released by the office of the White House drug czar, claims women are more sensitive to marijuana because of their estrogen levels. The authors, researchers at Washington State University, said they worry this effect will lead to increased panic attacks, paranoia, and anxiety for female users.

Never mind more than 5,000 years of cannabis use by women and men alike. Never mind the lack of much in the way of scientific evidence showing women suffer more negative effects. And never mind the anti-weed bias of pretty much every study that has ever come out of the drug czar’s office.

Even so, this study is great news, especially if you’re a girl. Boys can get stoned and everything, but apparently there are lady functions that give pot a bigger punch. Specifically, women’s estrogen levels increase the pain-relieving properties of marijuana, the researchers claimed.

The study found that female lab rats were 30 percent more sensitive to THC their male counterparts. And some limited research from other scientists suggests women may suffer slightly greater adverse effects when using cannabis. They may also be more susceptible to abuse and dependence, though that rate is still very low.

The researchers said they’re concerned their data means women will suffer more panic attacks, more paranoia, more irritability, more sleep disruption, and under-eating (who knew?) than men.

The study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a White House agency tasked with coordinating drug policy across various federal agencies – most prominently, the DEA.

It has long been common knowledge that NIDA only approves studies that examine the negative effects of marijuana. Studies seeking to explore the benefits of the drug – even medical – have almost always been denied access to the only federally legal pot farm in the country.

That may be changing, though slowly. NIDA recently approved a major study into medical cannabis, the first of its kind to clear the agency.

Marijuana LeafBut it’s hard not to see the political influence at play in this study. If weed is so bad for women, wouldn’t that have become clear long ago? You’d think America’s doctors would have noticed if a common recreational drug were causing nervous breakdowns.

In any event, there are countless benefits to this kind of biological interaction. For one thing, women would appear to spend less on weed – which is critical when you consider that most of those women earn less than their male colleagues.

There’s another plus side for women, according to the study: They don’t get the munchies as bad as men. That means less likelihood of weight gain, and even some potential weight loss. Studies have showed pot leads to thinner waistlines.

About Brian Ellis

With 6 years' experience in business journalism, Brian is the person we turn to for anything related to the business of cannabis. His news coverage spans topics including marijuana business and finance. Brian's work features on, and