Although cannabidiol (or CBD) has become incredibly popular since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill decriminalized the cultivation and production of the hemp plant from which it is derived, many questions remain about the intricacies and effects of this safe and non-psychoactive compound. People looking into the effects of products like CBD pain relief creams are wondering specifically about the question of how CBD differs in how it affects the body based on the gender of the person using it.
CBD and women
Early evidence suggests that the increased estrogen levels in the bodies of women lead to CBD having an increased effect on them. Estrogen can break down cannabinoids and absorb them faster. A woman’s body is more sensitive to CBD when estrogen levels are highest, such as one or two days before ovulation when hormones are peaking. This is great news for women who want to use CBD to relieve menstrual cramps or other symptoms that accompany menstruation.
Estrogen levels can affect many things, from libido to general mood, and CBD can also help regulate these. It’s essential to moderate your dosage, however: Although low doses of CBD have been known to improve libido, higher doses of the compound can have the opposite effect.
When it comes to tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant (which is different from CBD and is not currently legalized at the federal level), women also experience increased THC sensitivity and are more likely to develop a dependence and more likely to relapse due to increased withdrawal symptoms. However, this is not an issue with CBD, as CBD is not addictive because it does not produce a high the way THC does.
Although women can initially experience heightened effects of CBD, a University of Washington study suggests that women can actually build up a tolerance to cannabinoids after frequent consumption more quickly than men can.
CBD and men
When given the same dosage of CBD for a similar amount of pain, it is more likely that men will not experience the level of relief that women will. However, this is not necessarily a problem, because dosages for men can just be increased to experience the same level of relief.
When using cannabis products and CBD, men’s testosterone levels have been known to rise in the short term but decrease in the long term. This means that with the slight decrease in testosterone over a long period can lead to a similar effect that high dosages of CBD in women can produce: a decrease in libido and sex drive.
When looking at the effects of all cannabis products on men, including THC, men are more likely to increase their food intake when under the influence of THC. This predisposition, commonly referred to as “the munchies,” does not have as much as an effect on women and women are less likely to experience a craving for food when under the influence of THC. Again, this is not something to be concerned about when looking into the differing effects of the non-psychoactive CBD between men and women.
There are also very rare occurrences of men reacting negatively to the effects of CBD, but these instances should not deter anyone from experimenting to find the best CBD hemp oil for pain relief that fits their needs and lifestyle.
In the past, the field of medicine has too often left women out of the picture when it comes to medical trials and studies. This has led to an influx of women’s issues being ignored, as well as a lack of understanding about how specific medications and treatments will affect women’s bodies, either in a positive way or to their detriment.
Luckily, since the field of CBD studies on humans has just begun to flourish, women in today’s society will not let this erasure occur and will demand to know how CBD can work best for their bodies.