Studies have shown that men are more likely to smoke marijuana recreationally than women. Marijuana use has increased in the past decade due to the legalization and perceived benefits of smoking a joint, with the percentage of men who use it rising to around 13 percent. Women have stayed around 7 percent.
One of the major defining factors for men using marijuana has to do with unemployment rates and low income. So why are men in poverty situations more likely to spend money on marijuana? The risks involved if your state has not legalized recreational use, as well as the cost of marijuana, would seem to logically deter impoverished individuals from partaking. As studies have shown, however, the exact opposite is true. Below we will look at why men smoke more than women and try to address the issue of why more men in low-income groups smoke than men in higher income brackets.
It appears that marijuana is not the only drug that has a higher usage among men. They are also more likely to misuse prescription medication and other illicit drugs. The use of marijuana may have a lot to do with how the drug affects the smoker: Just as with alcohol, not everyone has the same reaction to smoking pot.
Women are much more likely to have their spatial memory impaired by marijuana use than are men, which is a negative side effect that may deter marijuana usage among women. Men are also more likely to experience a greater high while smoking, which makes the drug more enjoyable for them. Women may refrain from smoking simply because they don’t understand the appeal, or that they could have a better experience with alcohol or other types of drugs.
In teenagers, poor family relationships and trouble at school also prompts males to partake in the drug more often than females. The similarities between men and women who smoke marijuana include at least one mental health disorder and a low rate of seeking treatment. This means they are self-medicating with marijuana, either because smoking the drug is cheaper than therapy or because it is sometimes more socially acceptable to smoke pot than it is to seek help for a mental disorder. Women who smoke pot often experience a worsening of their symptoms if they are dealing with anxiety or depression. Men often experience temporary relief from such disorders.
In general, it appears that marijuana usage in men is tied to self-medicating. It can be a coping mechanism for men in bad situations, either socially or economically. Men find relief in smoking pot, whereas women only find more problems.
This is only a general study, of course, because many women do find themselves consistently smoking pot to the point of psychological addiction. For the vast majority, however, the risks of worsening mental health are not worth the sub-par high marijuana gives them. Men can have negative side effects too, of course, as all individuals are different. According to the stats, however, men find the risks are outweighed by the benefits.