The legalization of medical cannabis has led to its use to treat a growing number of health problems. A new study suggests that it is becoming more common for women to use medicinal cannabis for menopause-related symptoms. Perimenopausal women, who experience significantly worse menopausal symptoms (especially depression), make up the largest percentage of users. The results of the study are published online today at menopausethe journal of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
Hormonal changes associated with menopause are responsible for causing a wide range of bothersome symptoms, including hot flashes, sleep disturbances, depressed mood, and anxiety. Although several treatment options, especially hormone therapy, have been shown to be effective in managing these symptoms, not all women are able or willing to use these options. This has led to the continued search for more non-hormonal treatment options.
Several observational studies previously demonstrated that the use of medical cannabis is associated with several clinical benefits, including improvements in measures of anxiety, mood, sleep, and pain, as well as cognitive improvement after treatment. But no study to date has examined the safety and effectiveness of medical cannabis for relieving menopause-related symptoms.
In this new study involving more than 250 perimenopausal and postmenopausal women who were recruited through advertising aimed at women interested in women’s health and cannabis or cannabinoids, researchers sought to assess cannabis use, including modes of of use, and compare patterns of use between perimenopause and postmenopause. women. The results suggested that many women (86%) currently use cannabis as an adjunctive treatment for menopause-related symptoms through a variety of different ways of use, the most common being smoking (84.3%) and edibles (78 .3%). The most common indications for medicinal cannabis use were sleep disorders and menopause-related anxiety/anxiety.
Compared with postmenopausal participants, perimenopausal participants reported significantly worse menopause-related symptomatology, including more anxiety and hot flashes. Perimenopausal women were also more likely to report a higher incidence of depression and anxiety, as well as increased use of medicinal cannabis to treat these symptoms. Additional research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of cannabis for the treatment of various menopausal symptoms.
The results of the study are published in the article “A survey of medical cannabis use during perimenopause and postmenopause”.
This study suggests that medicinal cannabis use may be common in middle-aged women experiencing menopause-related symptoms. Given the lack of clinical trial data on the efficacy and safety of medicinal cannabis for the management of menopausal symptoms, further research is needed before this treatment can be recommended in clinical practice. Healthcare professionals should ask their patients about the use of medicinal cannabis for menopausal symptoms and provide evidence-based recommendations for symptom management.”
Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS Medical Director
American Menopause Society (NAMS)
Dahlgren, MK, et al. (2022) A survey of medicinal cannabis use during perimenopause and postmenopause. menopause doi.org/10.1097/GME.0000000000002018.