Nearly three-in-ten women have either used or are currently using cannabis to manage menopause symptoms, according to data to be presented at the annual meeting of The North American Menopause Society.
A team of investigators affiliated with the San Francisco VA Medical Center examined patterns of self-reported cannabis use for menopause symptoms in a sample of 232 female veterans (mean age 56 years).
Commenting on the study, NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “While the therapeutic use of cannabis by veterans is not altogether uncommon, this study is among the first to highlight veterans’ use of [cannabis] for this particular condition. Given cannabis’ relatively high rate of use among the women in this cohort, scientists and others would be well-advised to further explore its safety, efficacy, and prevalence among women experiencing menopause.”
They reported: “Current or ever use of cannabis for menopause symptom management was reported by 27 percent of all participants, while an additional 10 percent expressed interest in future use. In contrast, only 19 percent reported traditional forms of menopause symptom management, including menopausal hormone therapy.”
Cannabis use was most commonly reported among women experiencing hot flashes and night sweats. Some respondents also complained of experiencing insomnia.
Authors of the study concluded: “Use of cannabis for menopause symptom management was common in this sample midlife women veterans in Northern California [where [cannabis] use is legal.] … These findings … highlight the importance of understanding the potential risks, benefits, and effectiveness of cannabis for this indication.”
An abstract of the study, “Cannabis use for menopause symptom management among midlife women veterans,” is available from The North American Menopause Society here. Additional information on cannabis use and veterans is available from the NORML fact sheet here.
NORML advocates for changes in public policy so that the responsible possession and use of [cannabis] by adults is no longer subject to criminal penalties. NORML further advocates for a regulated commercial cannabis market so that activities involving the for-profit production and retail sale of cannabis and cannabis products are safe, transparent, consumer-friendly, and are subject to state and/or local licensure. Finally, NORML advocates for additional changes in legal and regulatory policies so that those who use [cannabis] responsibly are no longer face either social stigma or workplace discrimination, and so that those with past criminal records for [cannabis]-related violations have the opportunity to have their records automatically expunged.
For Immediate Release