Women may be significantly more sensitive to THC than dudes, according to researchers up in Canada.
Researchers took 91 subjects and stuck them in a lab, all of them between 19 and 25 and regular cannabis users who partook one to four times a week. Roughly half of the subjects were women and half were men. (According to the study’s authors, they were focused on “sex” rather than “gender,” meaning they looked exclusively at cis women and cis men.)
Each subject was given a joint to smoke. While women smoked just as long as men, on average they smoked less of the joint than their male counterparts. As you would expect, the women had a lower THC level in their blood than the men. However, despite consuming different amounts of weed, the women seemed to be just as high as the men.
When tested, both women and men were found to exhibit the exact same peak drug effects, cognitive effects, and mood as men.
“We found that women smoked less of a cannabis joint, had lower levels of THC in blood, yet experienced the same acute effects as men,” said Justin Matheson, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Toronto and lead author of the study. The study was published in the journal Psychopharmacology and reported by High Times.
“So, I think the main take-away is that women may need a lower dose of THC to get to the same degree of intoxication as men.”
Matheson also explains that though his study suggests that women need less weed to get high than men, further testing will be required to figure out exactly why that would be. He does have some guesses though.
“For example, there’s evidence that estrogen (a sex hormone) influences the metabolism of THC, which could explain some of the sex differences in the metabolism of THC we see,” he said. “But we also know that gender identity influences drug use behaviors, which could relate to why we saw that women smoked less of the cannabis joint.”