LGBTQ Women Consume More Cannabis Than Straight Women, Study Shows

LGBTQ Women Consume More Cannabis Than Straight Women, Study Shows

LGBTQ women consume
more cannabis than straight women do, according to a recent study.

Published in the
journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence
last month, the study dives into the differences in how
frequently lesbian, gay, and bisexual people consume pot. This study is one of
the first to explore the weed habits of the LGBTQ community versus straight
people. It relies on data from the 2015-2017 National Survey on Drug Use and
Health—which includes information from 126,463 individuals—to reach its
conclusions. The authors, who hail from the Columbia Univesity Mailman School
of Public Health, divided the survey’s data by gender and sexuality. The
findings speak for themselves.

While about 10
percent of straight women surveyed used cannabis in the last year, about 40
percent of women did the same. Lesbian women didn’t seem to smoke as much
cannabis as bisexual women, but they still consumed more than double that of
straight women: 26 percent. If you look at daily use, the percentage of use
among all women decreased significantly, but bisexual women still consume the most.
The same goes for medical cannabis use. The study found similar trends among
gay men. Bisexual and gay men used cannabis in the last year nearly twice the
rate that straight men did, per the study.

“We further extended
these findings to estimate daily/near-daily prevalence, which
was seven times higher among bisexual women than heterosexual women and 2.3
times as high for bisexual men compared to heterosexual men,” said senior
author Silvia Martins, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia
University, in a press release.

The study looks at this usage to analyze “marijuana use disorder” specifically, noting that the LGBTQ community may be self-medicating the stress that comes with the stigma of, well, not being straight with cannabis in states where medical laws don’t yet exist. Bisexual women, in particular, may be impacted by medical cannabis laws given their high usage of the plant.

“Our results support
existing literature by demonstrating that bisexual women have higher marijuana
use disorder compared to heterosexual women,” said study author Morgan Philbin,
an assistant professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia, in a press
release. “This is part of a larger health burden, as bisexual women are twice
as likely to have co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders yet
often have little contact with service providers.”

Bisexual women do suffer high mental health and substance
abuse rates, but cannabis is a much smaller threat than, say, prescription
drugs or alcohol, which can lead to actual overdoses. The study also doesn’t
include any information on transgender individuals, who are among the most
at-risk within the LGBTQ community. Further research on this population could
better help inform these findings. Plus, people can always lie when they answer
these surveys.

Could it be that fewer
straight men and women are being honest about their love of pot?

Maybe.

While this study
helps us better understand how different members of our society are exploring
with cannabis, it does appear to raise the alarm about something that may be a
non-issue. It doesn’t try to find out whether there’s any actual dependence on
cannabis yet describes the usage as a disorder.

When members of the
LGBTQ community are suffering deaths at the hands of violence and drugs that
can actually kill, alarmist language around the smoking of a joint or ripping
of a bong feels strangely inappropriate.

Published at Thu, 19 Sep 2019 15:42:32 +0000

Posted in: News

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