Cannabis Use: Neurobiological, Behavioral, and Sex/Gender Considerations
Purpose of Review
To summarize the current literature on the effects of cannabinoids in humans and to discuss the existing literature on the sex- and gender-related differences in the effects of cannabinoids.
Cannabis and its constituent cannabinoids are associated with risk of addiction, cognitive deficits, and mood/psychotic disorders. Preclinical and emerging clinical data suggest greater sensitivity to the effects of cannabinoids in women.
Cannabis is one of the most commonly used drugs with increasing rates of use. Women in particular may be at a greater risk of adverse outcomes given the previously described “telescoping effect” of substance use in women. Human data examining the sex- and gender-related differences in the effects of cannabinoids and factors underlying these differences are very limited. This represents a critical gap in the literature and needs to be systematically examined in future studies.
KeywordsCannabis Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol THC Sex differences Gender Endocannabinoid
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Dr. Ranganathan reports grants from Insys Therapeutics, outside the submitted work. Dr. Bassir Nia, Dr. Mann, and Dr. Kaur do not have anything to disclose.
Human and Animal Rights
All cited studies/experiments with human or animal subjects have been previously published and complied with all applicable ethical standards (including the Helsinki declaration and its amendments, institutional/national research committee standards, and international/national/institutional guidelines).
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance
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