Medical Research

Does CBD Affect Men and Women Differently?

Written by Caleb Summeril

There are obvious differences that distinguish the two human sexes from one another, such as body size and shape. Other differences between men and women are more subtle and tend to show up when taking a biological and chemical look at the two. These variations between the sexes do have an impact in regards to how CBD interacts within the body.

A main difference between men and women exists at a genetic and hormonal level. Different hormones within the human body can affect how CBD and other cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system. For woman, the natural cycle of increasing and decreasing estrogen production can play a role with the effects of CBD. Estrogen can help to breakdown cannabinoids and increase the body’s ability to absorb and process CBD upon consumption. As levels of estrogen fluctuate within a woman’s body, so can the affects and abilities of CBD. Higher estrogen levels can equate to a heightened effect when consuming CBD and vice versa.

CBD can also affect men on the hormonal level by increasing testosterone and impacting libido. Testosterone levels may rise upon initial and short term consumption of cannabis and CBD but long term use may eventually result in a slight loss of sex-drive due to falling testosterone levels. This suggests that CBD in small doses may lead to increased male libido while long term and high use may lead to the contrary.

A University of Washington study also suggests that females may more easily build up a tolerance to cannabinoids upon frequent consumption. Either sex can develop a tolerance to cannabinoids, CBD included, but this study points to woman developing one much more quickly. While CBD exhibits pain relieving symptoms in both men and women, one study indicates that men may see greater pain relief upon consuming CBD than woman [1].


  1. Cooper, Z.D., Haney, M. “Sex-dependent effects of cannabis-induced analgesia.” Drug Alcohol Depend. 167:112-20. Times Cited = 11. Journal Impact Factor = 3.349

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About the author

Caleb Summeril

Caleb Summeril writes creative copy, stories and songs from the mountains of Colorado. When not working on words, he can be found on global gallivants which fuel future endeavors. Learn more about his writing services at