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2023 Study: Sex Differences for Smoked Cannabis

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A June 2023 study entitled "Sex Differences in the Subjective and Reinforcing Effects of Smoked Cannabis" that was co-authored by Dr. Ziva Cooper and published in the journal Addiction Biology tested whether "sex differences translate to humans by assessing the subjective and reinforcing effects of smoked cannabis in male and female volunteers."

A cannabis joint and some unground flowers.
Sex differences for smoked pot

Reported the study: "Preclinical studies have shown sex-based differences in the reinforcing effects of cannabinoid 1 receptor [CB1] agonists such as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)."


"The study collected data from 68 weekly cannabis consumers (55 males and 13 females)."

The study collected data from 68 weekly cannabis consumers (55 males and 13 females), comparing the "subjective and reinforcing effects of smoked active (~25 mg THC) versus placebo cannabis (0 mg THC).

A man lights a cannabis joint.
Smokers prefer real cannabis

Sex Differences for Smoked Cannabis Results

Sex Differences for Smoked Cannabis. The study reported that female participants "reported greater reductions from baseline in cannabis craving and significantly higher cannabis-specific ratings of strength, liking, willingness to take again, and good effect compared with males."


"The study's authors noted that participants who received active cannabis (not a placebo) were much more likely to continue use."

The study's authors noted that participants who received active cannabis (not a placebo) were much more likely to continue use. "Although females were more sensitive to certain positive subjective effects of active cannabis, they were not more likely than males to self-administer it," noted the researchers.


The scientists declared that their data "highlight the need to test sex differences as a primary objective in experimental studies."


View the original study.

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