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).
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.
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 marijuana 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.”
Authors of the study concluded: “Use of cannabis for menopause symptom management was common in this sample midlife women veterans in Northern California [where marijuana use is legal.] … These findings … highlight the importance of understanding the potential risks, benefits, and effectiveness of cannabis for this indication.”