Women & Cannabis: A Quick Guide

Written by Tammy Taylor

The herb cannabis originated from the Asian subcontinent but today enjoys worldwide recognition. The plant can provide both a euphoric state and promote health with a variety of therapeutic benefits to help combat many physical and mental health ailments.

And while many different people use cannabinoids, women can be aided by cannabis to treat conditions specific to their body and needs.

Here are some ways in which cannabinoids may benefit women:


Are you dealing with chronic and excruciating pain? While over-the-counter and prescription painkillers can help, these medications can also cause unwanted side effects.

The endocannabinoid system in the body is responsible for a wide variety of functions. It produces cannabinoids to communicate with cells and helps the body stay in a balanced state. Much like natural cannabinoids in the body, the ones present in the cannabis plant can also interact with the endocannabinoid system.

When someone ingests cannabis, it can help provide much-needed relief. Cannabidiol (CBD) topicals are becoming quite popular today among women dealing with pain or inflammation.

Postpartum Depression

Up to approximately 80% of women face the “baby blues” after giving birth.[1] While in most cases, the effects go away within a few weeks, if it persists for longer, it could be a more serious condition. Postpartum depression is a severe disorder that can induce suicidal thoughts, erratic behavior, and confusion. Going through it can adversely affect the mother as well as the baby.

Using cannabis may help calm your body and mind and reduce anxious and depressive thoughts. Endogenous cannabinoids play a very important role in pregnancy and thus may help women during the postpartum period.[2] However, there is no solid scientific evidence to support this and therefore women should discuss cannabinoid use with their doctor during pregnancy or immediately following birth. CBD products are sometimes preferred by those trying to avoid using tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the intoxicating compound in cannabis. These products are available as CBD tinctures, topicals, gummies, and various other items.

PMS Symptoms

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a broad term used for a series of symptoms that a woman experiences between ovulation and menstruation. These can include mood swings, breast tenderness, abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, and irritability. Using cannabinoids, especially CBD, may help with pain, headaches, and mood.[3] It may also help improve your gastrointestinal health to help with bloating and nausea.


Women experience tumultuous changes in their bodies during menopause, which can make life very challenging, as it can disrupt both physical as well as mental health.

While menopause causes many different symptoms, a quite bothersome one for many is hot flashes. CBD may help modulate body temperature through its affect on serotonin. This chemical system also affects emotions and therefore may help with mood.[4]

Sexual Health

Using cannabis before getting intimate may increase libido and help you get in the mood. When cannabinoids communicate with the endocannabinoid system, they heighten physical sensations. You may enjoy sex more after using the herb. In fact, a survey study found just this when they asked about women cannabis use before sex. Their responses indicated very positive results.[5]

 The ways to use cannabis are as many as the benefits it can offer. If you are wondering how you can use it, read on:

Smoking or vaping. Smoking is the age-old method of using cannabis, which is still prevalent. Vaporizers are small electronic devices that allow you to enjoy the benefits of cannabis without any fuss. Smoking or vaping can give you very quick effects.

Edibles. Cannabis edibles are foods or beverages that have been infused with the herb. You can find a wide array of edibles on the market like gummy bears, cookies, brownies, and beverages like beer or coffee. Moreover, if you are keen to cook, you can make your own edibles at home.

Topicals. These creams and lotions contain different cannabinoids and can be applied directly to a specific body area. Many use this option for a more targeted effect.

Final Thoughts

Cannabinoids may help women deal with health conditions that are specific to their bodies, everything from pain to anxiety, PMS to menopause, and possibly postpartum depression. If you are thinking of using cannabis for any of these reasons, do your research and talk to your doctor before starting to use any products.

Image Credit: Aphiwat Chuangchoem
Image Source:


  1. Manjunath NG, et al. Postpartum blue is common in socially and economically insecure mothers. Indian J Community Med. 2011;36(3):231-233.
  2. Fride E. Multiple roles for the endocannabinoid system during the earliest stages of life: pre- and postnatal development. J Neuroendocrinol. 2008;20(1):75-81.
  3. Cavner JP et al. Is CBD a viable option for menstrual symptoms? Online Journal of Complementary & Alternative Medicine. 2019;2(5):1-3.
  4. Sales AJ, et al. Antidepressant-like effect induced by cannabidiol is dependent on brain serotonin levels. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2018;86:255-261.
  5. Lynn BK, et al. The relationship between marijuana use prior to sex and sexual function in women. Sex Med. 2019;7(2):192-197.

About the author

Tammy Taylor