The upcoming Canada-wide legalization of recreational marijuana will have all sorts of consequences, both intended and unintended. But what, specifically, will it do to the male body? Quite a lot, it appears.
For starters, pot affects males and females differently. A team of researchers from Washington State University, a state where cannabis has been legal since 2012, has given us some answers. Psychology professor and researcher Rebecca Craft found that, in female rats, the effects of THC were closely linked to hormone levels, with a spike in sensitivity right around ovulation.
Craft also notes that “the majority of research in humans suggests that women are more likely to be affected by cannabinoids than men, with reports of enhanced and decreased performance on various tasks.” She has also studied cannabis withdrawal symptoms, and says that women often have a harder time discontinuing pot after heavy use, with symptoms like irritability and sleep disruption. In rats, THC withdrawal has even caused changes in the menstrual cycle timing.
Smoking pot also can also affect the male hormone balance.