Handbook of Cannabis and Related Pathologies - Chapter 14 - Gender Differences in Cannabis Use Disorders

Elsevier, Handbook of Cannabis and Related Pathologies, Biology, Pharmacology, Diagnosis, and Treatment,  2017, Pages 131-137
R. Secades-Villa and S. Fernández-Artamendi

Gender differences among individuals with cannabis use disorder (CUD) remain poorly characterized. These gender differences may have implications for gender-specific treatment approaches. The scarce research shows that rates of cannabis use and CUD used to be greater among men than women. However, evidence suggests the existence of a “telescoping effect” in the progression from cannabis use to CUD in women. Findings about gender differences in clinical features of CUD are mixed. Although most of the clinical and population-based studies indicate that the severity of CUD is higher among males than among females, some of them found greater severity of cannabis use in women. Previous work has shown women with CUD have higher rates of comorbid mood and anxiety disorders, whereas men with CUD are more likely to have externalizing disorders. According to the higher prevalence of cannabis use and CUD among males, it is not surprising that these figures replicate also among cannabis users in treatment. Some differences have been found in the factors that trigger treatment seeking and motivation to change, but it seems that treatment outcomes do not significantly differ between genders.