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The impact of cannabis use on vasomotor symptoms, mood, insomnia and sexuality in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women: a systematic review

J Mejia-Gomez 1N Phung 2E Philippopoulos 3K E Murphy 3W Wolfman 3

Climacteric. 2021 Mar 24;1-10.doi: 10.1080/13697137.2021.1898581. 

Abstract

Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the published data on the effect of cannabis use in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women to alleviate menopausal symptoms, insomnia and anxiety.

Methods: Databases searched included Ovid MEDLINE, PubMed, Ovid Embase, Web of Science, Scopus, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Cochrane, LILACS and AMED. Selected studies assessed perimenopausal or postmenopausal women, cannabis use impact and menopausal symptoms.

Results: A total of 564 studies were retrieved. Three studies met the inclusion criteria. One study controlled for participant cannabis use and reported on the effects of cannabis and placebo cigarette smoking on mood in 10 postmenopausal women. Another study assessed associations between drug use with hot flashes and insomnia in 120 HIV-infected women and found that menopausal status and cannabis use was crudely associated with the presence of hot flashes. The last study evaluated expectancies of 115 menopausal patients who endorsed lifetime cannabis use and reported that women expected cannabis to improve depression, anxiety, hot flashes and problems with sleep. None of these studies assessed quality of life as an outcome.

Conclusion: There is a paucity of literature on the impact of cannabis use in menopause. Research into cannabis consumption in menopause is essential, as it is frequently used to alleviate symptoms without evidence of its benefits.