Long Story Short
A new report published by researchers at Columbia University found that men might get more pain relief from cannabis than women. The study has been issued in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
The study looked at the ways that different groups of men and women reacted to pain after smoking marijuana. To begin with, everyone in the study was given either an active or a placebo form of marijuana to smoke.
After smoking, they then put their hands in the super cold water and left them there as long as they possibly could. After the test, the subjects answered a questionnaire about their experience and the pain they felt.
When the whole thing was over, the researchers analyzed the results from the cold water test as well as the subjects’ questionnaires. Here’s what they found:
- After smoking cannabis, men usually reported substantial decreases in pain sensitivity and significant increases in pain tolerance.
- The women in the study didn’t report a very significant decrease in pain sensitivity. But they did experience a slight increase in pain tolerance right after smoking.
- There were no real differences between men and women when it came to how intoxicated they felt after smoking.
More Research Needed
The entire research project was aimed at trying to learn more about how cannabis might be used to treat pain. And while the study points out some interesting new variables, researchers said more work is still needed.
“These findings come at a time when more people, including women, are turning to the use of medical cannabis for pain relief,” said Ziva Cooper, an associate professor of clinical neurobiology at Columbia. Cooper was also a lead researcher on the project.
“This study underscores the importance of including both men and women in clinical trials aimed at understanding the potential therapeutic and adverse effects of cannabis, especially since more people use cannabinoid products for recreational or medical purposes.”
Aches and pains are some of the most common reasons people use medical marijuana. So far, some form of medical marijuana has been legalized in 25 states as well as Washington D.C.
Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and D.C. have also legalized recreational cannabis. This fall, five more states will vote whether or not to legalize marijuana.