Sex Differences in Cannabis Use and Effects


  • Rameen Omar The University of Texas at Dallas
  • Dr. Vanessa Shirazi The University of Texas at Dallas



cannabis, sex differences, patterns of use, motivations, health effects, well-being, physiological responses, cannabis use disorders, reproductive health, substance abuse, addiction, public health


Cannabis, the most widely used illicit substance globally, has seen a significant increase in usage, driven by the growth of the cannabis industry and evolving public opinion on potential risks. Understanding the differential effects of cannabis on males and females is becoming increasingly significant. This paper aims to investigate the sex differences in cannabis use, including patterns, motivations, and physiological responses, and their impact on health and well-being. Usage patterns exhibit variations between genders, with men using cannabis more frequently, in larger quantities, and starting at a younger age. Conversely, women tend to experience a "telescoping effect," progressing more rapidly from initial use to dependence. Sex differences are observed in the effects of cannabis, including increased heart rate and heightened sensitivity in women, and long-term consequences like Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD) and cognitive impairment in men. Cannabis use has also been linked to negative effects on reproductive health in women, as well as sexual function and testosterone levels in men. Mental health concerns are also prevalent, with women at a higher risk of developing dependence and experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. Conversely, heavy cannabis use may exacerbate anxiety and depression in men. Further research is imperative to inform the general population and the healthcare industry, enabling informed decision-making regarding the potential benefits and risks of cannabis use. This knowledge will facilitate the development of gender-specific prevention and treatment strategies for cannabis use disorders, promoting the overall well-being of individuals. 


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How to Cite

Omar, R., & Shirazi, V. (2023). Sex Differences in Cannabis Use and Effects. Journal of Student Research, 12(3).



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