Study: Women Prefer Cannabis Over Hormone Therapy for Menopause Symptoms

A study presented at the North American Menopause Society reported that more women have used cannabis to manage symptoms of menopause than a more traditional hormone therapy.

Full story after the jump.

A study presented at the annual North American Menopause Society last month found 27 percent of women had used, or are currently using, cannabis to manage symptoms of menopause – more than the number (19 percent) who had tried a more traditional hormone therapy, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution report.

Another 10 percent of survey respondents said they would be interested in trying cannabis to ease their menopause-related symptoms.

The Midlife Women Veterans Health Survey included 232 women with a median age of 55.95. More than half (54 percent) of the participants reported hot flashes and night sweats, 69 percent reported genitourinary symptoms, and 27 percent reported insomnia. 

Carolyn Gibson, a psychologist and health services researcher at San Francisco Veterans Affairs Health Care System and lead author of the study, said the “findings suggest that cannabis use to manage menopause symptoms may be relatively common.”

“However, we do not know whether cannabis use is safe or effective for menopause symptom management or whether women are discussing these decisions with their healthcare providers – particularly in the VA, where cannabis is considered an illegal substance under federal guidelines. This information is important for healthcare providers, and more research in this area is needed.” – Gibson to the Journal-Constitution

A study published earlier this month in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that 78 percent of seniors were turning to cannabis for more common medical ailments, such as pain and arthritis, sleep disturbance, anxiety, and depression. That survey found 61 percent of participants started using cannabis after age 60.

A study published February in JAMA Internal Medicine found cannabis use among adults over 65-years-old increased from 2.4 percent in 2015 to 4.2 percent in 2018, a 75 percent increase.

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