A new study indicates medical cannabis use among women in the USA to manage menopause-related symptoms is increasing.
In the study, 250 perimenopausal and postmenopausal women recruited through advertising targeted to women interested in women’s health and cannabis or cannabinoids were assessed. The split between perimenopausal and postmenopausal women was close to half.
The findings suggest 86% of perimenopausal and postmenopausal women are currently using cannabis as an adjunct treatment for menopause-related symptoms; the most common being sleep disturbances (67.4%) and mood/anxiety (46.1%). The most common methods of using cannabis were smoking it (84.3%) and edibles (78.3%). 78.7% endorsed using medical cannabis for menopause-related symptoms.
Perimenopausal (meaning around the time of menopause) women were more likely to report a higher prevalence of depression and anxiety, as well as increased use of medical cannabis to treat these symptoms.
Results of the study were published last week in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS). Founded in 1989, NAMS is a nonprofit organization focused on promoting the health and quality of life of all women during midlife and beyond.
While observational studies have indicated various benefits of cannabis used medicinally among this group, no studies to date have delved into its safety and efficacy to alleviate menopause-related symptoms says NAMS. Given menopause is something that impacts all women – and assuming NAMS’ assessment is correct – it’s astounding this important research is yet to be carried out.
“Given the lack of clinical trial data on the efficacy and safety of medical cannabis for management of menopause symptoms, more research is needed before this treatment can be recommended in clinical practice,” said Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS’ medical director.
The study’s authors say future research should also investigate the impact of different medical cannabis use characteristics (e.g., cannabinoid profiles) on the efficacy for addressing menopause-related symptoms.
This isn’t NAMS first study indicating an increase of interest in and use of medical cannabis among menopausal women. Back in 2020, we reported on previous NAMS research and based on those results interest and use appears to have continued to grow since then.