Cannabis In Menopause Management: Increased Use And Interest

Cannabis use and menopause

A study has indicated a growing number of women in the USA are either using cannabis or want to use it for the management of menopause symptoms.

The average age of menopause is 51 years but can start earlier. Most women have symptoms for 5 to 10 years and each woman’s menopause experience differs. For some, bothersome issues are few or none, for others it can be anything from uncomfortable to hellish. Problems can include hot flashes, difficulty sleeping, memory problems, joint pain, mood disturbances, bladder discomfort and weight gain.

In a sample of 232 Northern California women who participated in the Midlife Women Veterans Health Survey, more than half of which reported symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats:

  • Around 27% reported having used or were currently using cannabis to manage menopause symptoms.
  • An additional 10% of participants expressed an interest in trying cannabis to manage symptoms in the future.
  • Just 19% reported using a conventional type of menopause symptom management, such as hormone therapy

“This study 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,” said North American Menopause Society (NAMS) Medical Director  Dr. Stephanie Faubion.

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The NAMS release regarding the survey doesn’t reveal what symptoms women were using cannabis to manage, or its effectiveness.

Further research is definitely needed given menopause isn’t what you would call a rare occurrence and as the survey indicated, there’s certainly plenty of interest in using cannabis to help manage some aspects. While there are a number of cannabusinesses claiming their products may help with menopause issues, there doesn’t appear to have been peer-reviewed clinical studies of cannabis in this regard to date to back those claims. All currently available evidence seems to be pretty much anecdotal; but that doesn’t mean to say it doesn’t help.

The study, “Cannabis use for menopause symptom management among midlife women veterans,” was presented at the 2020 NAMS Virtual Annual Meeting held this week, which focused on novel approaches for treating  symptoms.