Cannabis Provides More Pain Relief for Men Than Women

HealthDay News — Men seem to exhibit greater cannabis-induced analgesia relative to women, according to a study published online August 5 in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.1

Ziva D. Cooper, PhD and Margaret Haney, PhD, of the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Department of Psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, asked 42 recreational cannabis smokers to place one hand in extremely cold water until they could no longer tolerate the pain. They did this twice: Once after smoking cannabis and once after smoking a placebo.

The researchers found that after smoking cannabis, men reported they were significantly less sensitive to pain. They were also more able tolerate pain. While women reported they were somewhat more able to tolerate pain after smoking cannabis, it brought them no significant pain relief. Despite the differences in pain relief, men and women had similar levels of intoxication after smoking cannabis.’

“This study underscores the importance of including both men and women in clinical trials aimed at understanding the potential therapeutic and negative effects of cannabis, particularly as more people use cannabinoid products for recreational or medical purposes,” Cooper said in a university news release.

Cooper has received funding from INSYS Therapeutics and is a consultant to KannaLife Sciences and PharmaCann. Haney has received funding from INSYS Therapeutics and Aelis Farma. The companies are commercial sellers of medical marijuana.

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  1. Cooper ZD, Haney M. Sex-dependent effects of cannabis-induced analgesia. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016.