More menopause patients choosing cannabis to relieve symptoms of ‘the change’
Cannabis has been a topic of hushed conversation for years amongst menopausal people looking for relief from nagging symptoms like hot flashes and insomnia. The plant is even helpful in cases of decreased libido, which can often plague those transitioning into menopause.
Cannabis isn’t going anywhere, and the conversations about its therapeutic value are getting louder. University of Alberta researchers recently shared results from a cross-sectional survey. Women-identifying people 35 and older in Alberta are using cannabis to alleviate symptoms of menopause.
What did the cannabis survey find?
There was one conflict of interest among researching scientists: Nese Yuksel has served as a board member and/or speaker for pharmaceutical companies Biosyent, Bayer, Amgen, Organon, and Duchesnay. No other conflicts were reported.
Participants opted into the survey on social channels like Facebook and Twitter between October and December 2020. A total of 1761 responses were collected, and 1485 met the criteria to be included in the resulting data.
The cohort age averaged around 49 years old, with 33 percent in the period before menopause (perimenopausal) and 35 percent were postmenopausal. Researchers gathered information about symptoms experienced in the transition, how participants used cannabis in response to menopause, and the general perceptions about the plant.
Consumers more apt to choose cannabis
Descriptive statistics and comparative analysis were used to estimate the probability of cannabis consumption during menopause. The data showed that more people are choosing cannabis to mitigate symptoms.
At the time, surveys were answered, 499 people, or 34 percent of respondents, consumed cannabis, with 66 percent reporting that they’d ever chosen to partake. Interestingly, those identified as current cannabis consumers were more likely to report symptoms of menopause as compared to non-cannabis consumers.
Health backgrounds were accounted for, showing that tobacco smokers were 2.5 times more likely to report cannabis consumption as non-smokers. Additionally, those who felt they were in neutral or poor health were more likely to consume cannabis when compared to those who self-reported that they were in good shape.
Analyzing the 499 currently consuming, researchers found that, 75 percent self-reported that consumption was for therapeutic reasons. The cohort had a few reasons for consumption in common: 65 percent chose cannabis for sleep, 45 percent sought the plant to combat anxiety, and 33 percent sought help with muscle and joint pain. Of these cannabis consumers, 74 percent reported that cannabis helped relieve these conditions and ailments.
Lack of sleep, anxiety, and pain are commonly reported symptoms of menopause, causing researchers to assert that people seek cannabis to find relief from the age-induced transition.
Data continues to show that cannabis may be helpful in treating symptoms of gender-specific conditions like menopause, highlighting a gap in the market for products catering to these consumers.
Researchers assert that more research is required to understand the safety and efficacy of the plant for this set of patients, but the survey supports the understanding that interest in cannabis for menopause is high.