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Women cannabis users underrepresented in health research: Study

Women cannabis users are underrepresented in health research, and according to a recent study, this could limit the understanding of the impact of drugs on women.

A team of researchers has found that the majority of cannabis use research reflects the experience of male cannabis users, with very limited information on how women react to the drug.

They also found that there was little research on cannabis psychosis in countries where cannabis use is high.

The findings were published in the Journal of Current Psychiatry Reports.

Most of the researches tend to be focused in America, Europe, and Australia, missing the impact of the drug in Africa, Asian and the Middle East, where very little is known about the number of people that develop cannabis psychosis.

"Across the world governments are opening up access to cannabis for health or recreation. This means that it is important that people have access to information about the risks as well as benefits of using cannabis," said Ian Hamilton, lead author of the study.

Cannabis psychosis is one risk which can have a devastating effect on an individual and their family. Building on previous research from the University of York, we reviewed the evidence linking cannabis to psychosis and identified two significant problems.

"One such problem relates to gender bias. The research we looked at predominantly includes men and not women; this could link to a wider problem with the lack of female scientists in addiction research also. The other issue relates to the geographical spread of addiction research; we are missing a large population size in not focusing study in areas outside of America, Europe, and Australia," Hamilton said.

"We could gain much more knowledge on the risk of cannabis psychosis by including other countries and cultures," the researchers suggested.