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Females Exhibit More Intense Subjective Cannabis Cravings Than Males

A fresh batch of brownies cool on a baker's rack in the kitchen.

Neuroscience News

Shikha Prashad, Ryan P. Hammonds, Amanda L. Wiese, Amber L. Milligan, Francesca M. Filbey


A recent study at Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas has found sex-related differences in the subjective craving response of heavy cannabis users. The research involved measuring neural and behavioral craving responses in 112 heavy cannabis users, with no significant differences observed between male and female users in neural activity. However, female users exhibited a greater intensity of subjective craving than male users. The researchers found that ovarian hormones may modulate this differential response, with preliminary evidence suggesting that different estrogen levels may also be related. Addressing sex-related differences in response to substance use is essential given the phenomenon known as telescoping, where women progress more quickly through addiction milestones and enter into treatment programs at a younger age than men and also report more significant withdrawal symptoms and negative impacts of withdrawal. The study's findings can help improve clinical outcomes for everyone, particularly women, by accounting for individual differences in the development and administration of interventions.Read full story on Neuroscience News

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Francesca Filbey, PhD

Bert Moore Endowed Chair and Professor, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences Director, Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory of Addictive Disorders


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