Cannabis-smoking women: Numbers rising amidst ‘legalise marijuana’ wave, high tolerance to weed a major cause

By @ritwikroy1985 on
legalization of marijuana
A woman smokes as she smiles during a demonstration in support of the legalization of marijuana outside the Supreme Court building in Mexico City, Mexico, in this November 4, 2015 file photo. Reuters/Edgard Garrido

A new survey has revealed that the number of cannabis-smoking women in Australia is increasing.

While a lot is happening around the world with regards to legalising marijuana, and Mexico is being looked at as a future legal recreational and medical cannabis market that can bring medical marijuana entrepreneurs $2.45 billion dollars a year, the increasing dependence of  Australian women on cannabis is a growing concern, according to National Drug Strategy Household Survey.

According to a 29-year-old woman (name withheld on request), smoking cannabis makes everything a “little bit more pleasant.” She smokes about two bongs every morning, not in front of her two-year-old son, and 20 more at night when her child is asleep. She pays her bills and always sticks to her routine. She says smoking weed makes her feel fresh.

However, without marijuana, she starts shaking and soon anxiety takes over, reports The Sydney Morning Herald in an exclusive report. According to her, going without marijuana is impossible and she can’t think of anything worse than not smoking weed.

This is a prime example of the increasing number of women smoking cannabis and getting dependent on it primarily because of the “happy” effect it has on people.

According to the survey, although out of 1.9 million Australians over 14 years who have smoked cannabis in the past year, 1.2 million are men, female smokers are likely to smoke weed every day. Fourteen percent of women smokers smoke cannabis daily, whereas only 12 percent men smoke cannabis daily.

Women tend to become more addicted quickly and suffer withdrawal symptoms worse than men. Unfortunately, women smokers are less likely to seek medical help. Women smokers have higher tolerance levels than men. Hence, they need to use at higher levels.

“They are more at risk of negative effects including paranoia and other kinds of anxiety-type feelings, but also to addiction,” says Jan Copeland, head of the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre.

As opposed to men who take marijuana simply to have fun, women depend on cannabis to relieve internal stress and distress situations, says Copeland. The experience also differs in women than men primarily because of brain changes. Sex hormone estrogen may also play a role in the difference of experience.

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