A new study from The North American Menopause Society has found that cannabis use is extremely prevalent among women going through menopause.
Early evidence has shown that medical cannabis can treat a host of ailments such as epilepsy, chronic pain, cancer pain, and inflammation, and now, it looks like cannabis may also assist women going through menopausal pain.
Menopause occurs among women roughly aged between 40 to 50 and occurs 12 months after their final menstrual cycle. This process can be very strenuous for many women, who can experience hot flushes, night sweats, headaches, insomnia, decreased libido, and mood swings.
Now, a recent study shown at the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) has shown that a sizeable portion of women are turning to cannabis to manage their menopause symptoms.
The study sampled 232 women, whose median age was 55 years old, and more than 50% of respondents had reported experiencing hot flashes and night sweats, with close to a third of respondents reporting insomnia.
Moreover, of the sample, almost a third of women (27%) reported using cannabis to manage their menopausal symptoms, with a further 10% of women stating that they had considered using cannabis to help minimize their discomfort.
The author of the study, Carolyn Gibson, stated that "these findings suggest that cannabis use to manage menopause symptoms may be relatively common."
Though the study's author continued to highlight that the patterns of cannabis use exhibited among participants is not itself evidence of cannabis's proven benefits.
"However, we do not know whether cannabis use is safe or effective for menopause symptom management or whether women are discussing these decisions with their healthcare providers — particularly in the VA, where cannabis is considered an illegal substance under federal guidelines. This information is important for healthcare providers, and more research in this area is needed," Gibson mentioned.
The Medical Director at the North American Menopausal society, Dr. Stephanie Faubion, also expressed her caution surrounding the lack of research on cannabis's benefits to menopausal women and whether there were any harms that may arise from its use.
"[The research] highlights a somewhat alarming trend and the need for more research relative to the potential risks and benefits of cannabis use for the management of bothersome menopause symptoms."
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