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The FDA Wants to Understand How Sex and Gender May Affect CBD Use

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Sep 23, 2020   
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The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Women’s Health will soon discuss the evidence for any sex and gender differences that may affect CBD use. 

During a virtual conference, scheduled for November 19, the federal group will host a series of presentations on how sex and gender may affect an individual’s response to CBD and other cannabinoids.

Gender studies

By hosting the public meeting, the FDA Office of Women’s Health hope to detail the existing scientific evidence for the “presence or absence” of sex and gender differences in use and responses to cannabis compounds.

“Conditions for which CBD is often marketed, such as chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances, are more prevalent in women than men,” the group’s statement reads.

“Therefore, consideration of issues pertaining to the safety of CBD products may be particularly important to address in women.”

The meeting’s presentations will also highlight the known effects CBD and other cannabinoids can exert during pregnancy – an issue the federal group considers “an important public health concern.”

Details on who will speak at the virtual event and what they will discuss are due to be announced in the coming weeks.

CBD and pregnancy

A recent study, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, found that those who continue consuming cannabis after 15 weeks of pregnancy are more likely to give birth to babies with a lower birthweight and a shorter head circumference.

And, according to another recent study conducted at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA, nearly 30 percent of surveyed participants of “childbearing age” believed that topical CBD creams are safe to use during pregnancy.

“That’s concerning,” Mark Zakowski, senior author of that study, said in a statement at the time, “because CBD may interact with commonly used anesthetics that might be needed during labor and delivery. And ongoing CBD use has shown the potential to act like a common class of antidepressants, SSRI inhibitors, which can adversely interact with other drugs.”


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