A new US study of data from 5,000 midlife women has found more than 40% reported using cannabis for recreational or therapeutic purposes at some point.

The most common reasons for use were to treat chronic pain (28%), anxiety (24%), sleep problems (22%), and stress (22%). 

Women who reported using cannabis specifically for menopause symptoms (6%) primarily did so to target menopause-related mood and sleep difficulties.

More than 10% of study participants had used cannabis in the past 30 days, most often smoking (56%), ingesting edible products (52%), or using it in more than one form (39%). 

Among those with past 30-day use, 31% reported smoking on a daily or near-daily basis, while 19% reported daily or near-daily use of edible products.

The results will be presented at the 2023 annual meeting of The Menopause Society in Philadelphia this week.

Lead author and health services researcher at the University of California Dr Carolyn Gibson said: “We know that cannabis products are being marketed to women to manage menopause symptoms, and these findings suggest midlife women are turning to cannabis for menopause symptoms and other common issues in the menopause transition. 

“But we still do not know if use is actually helping for those symptoms, or if it may be contributing to other challenges.”

Medical director for The Menopause Society Dr Stephanie Faubion added: “These findings highlight the need for recognising and discussing cannabis use in the healthcare setting. Additional research is needed to evaluate the potential harms and/or benefits of use.”

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...

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