Our sister publication, Contemporary OB/GYN, covered a recent study about the increased use of cannabis to manage menopause symptoms was observed among midlife women.
More women are using cannabis during or after menopause, according to a study highlighted at The Menopause Society Annual Meeting 2023.
The rapid growth of cannabis legalization and normalization has led to an increase in medical and recreational use in individuals of all ages. While young adults have been the primary users of cannabis in the past, adults aged 50 years and older are currently the fastest growing group of cannabis users.
While research has been conducted on cannabis usage habits in men and younger adults, there is a gap in data on the prevalence and characteristics of cannabis among women during or after menopause transition. To address this gap, investigators conducted a study including over 5000 midlife women.
The forms, frequency, and motives of cannabis use among postmenopausal women were evaluated. Results indicated common use of cannabis among this population, with over 40% of participants reporting the use of cannabis for medical or recreational reasons.
Cannabis was used to treat chronic pain by 28% of participants, anxiety by 24%, sleep problems by 22%, and stress by 22%. The use of cannabis to treat menopausal symptoms was reported by 6% of patients, with the main symptoms targeted being mood and sleep difficulties related to menopause.
Cannabis use within the previous 30 days was reported by over 10% of participants. Smoking was the main form of cannabis use reported by 56% of users, followed by ingesting edible products by 52%. The use of 1 or more form was reported by 39% of users. Of participants with cannabis use in the previous 30 days, 31% reported daily or near-daily smoking, while 19% reported daily or near-daily edible cannabis product use.
"These findings highlight the need for recognizing and discussing cannabis use in the healthcare setting," said Stephanie Faubion, MD, MBA, medical director for The Menopause Society. "Additional research is needed to evaluate the potential harms and/or benefits of use."