Veriheal's Annual Medical Cannabis Preference Report
Introduction: All about the study
There are a variety of products available for consumption on the legal cannabis market. From concentrates to edibles, there are an increasing number of consumption methods to choose from.
At Veriheal we surveyed patients that used our services to better understand the relationship between gender and consumption methods.
Responses from a nationwide cohort of cannabis patients are used to draw connections between cannabis use in self-identified women and their preference for edibles. Supporting research is also assessed in order to evaluate the validity of these claims.
*This study was conducted using patient survey data from the Veriheal platform, which operates via electronic health records that mirror those used in the traditional medical industry—which generally does not include separate fields for birth sex and self-identified gender identity in its electronic health records. Future Veriheal reporting aims to be more inclusive of transgender and gender-nonconforming people.
Why do women prefer to purchase and use edibles more than flower?
To understand this preference we asked male and female respondents about the following:
What conditions do you have?
How do you want to feel?
Are there any CBD to THC ratios that you look for in your cannabis products?
Data regarding patients' desired feelings when using cannabis revealed similarities between genders.
Patients of both genders signaled a desire for feelings of relaxation and pain relief when using cannabis.
Men were slightly more likely to desire pain relief (69%) to relaxation (67%).
Women were slightly more likely to desire feeling relaxed (72%) to feeling relief from pain (69%).
Common Medical Conditions
The top two conditions both genders use cannabis for (trouble sleeping and chronic pain) are seen on this graph, as well as a condition where men and women significantly differ (nausea)
The survey revealed women use cannabis to treat nausea (14%) at significantly higher rates than men (8%).
Women are more likely to prefer a specific CBD:THC ratio (32.5%) than men (26.2%)
Now that we’ve seen the results from the survey, let’s analyze this data with what we already know about gender and cannabis consumption.
Women are more likely to replace their pharmaceuticals with cannabis products.
There is a prevailing stigma around women and substance use for a variety of reasons which causes them to seek out edibles – a more discrete method of consumption.
Gendered Stigma of Cannabis use
It has been found that the predominant reason that women choose edibles is for their discrete nature.
Substance use in women is generally perceived as less frequent than in men, and the desire to conceal cannabis use in women may be a byproduct of this stigma.
This stigma can be especially harsh toward women that have children, who use cannabis.
Women who wish to avoid negative associations related to their cannabis use are more likely to seek out edibles as a more discrete means of obtaining the therapeutic effects of cannabis.
Increased use of cannabis as medicine is likely to lead to more oral formulations as a parallel to or part of the pharmaceutical industry.
While oral consumption may have stark differences from smoking, its popularity seems to be increasing, and women are apt to support their growth in the adult use market.
*Although this survey is limited – in that it does not explicitly take into account trans and non-binary persons’ experiences – we hope that this study serves as a starting point to understanding cannabis use and its relationship to gender.
4. Dr. Thomas Henke, DO, Osteopathic Medicine; Medical Review and Diligence; Advisor at Veriheal; Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine; Member, American Heart Association; Registered Physician, Marijuana Regulatory Agency; Member, Society of Cannabis Clinicians; Member, Cannabis Care Certification Program; Member, Minority Cannabis Business Association, Member, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.