International Women’s Day is celebrated annually on March 8th, and serves as a reminder of the progress made towards gender equality and the work that still needs to be done. One important aspect of this is women’s health, which is a topic that continues to be overlooked and underrepresented.
Women’s health refers to the physical, mental, and social well-being of women throughout their lives. Despite advancements in medicine and technology, women’s health issues remain a global challenge. From reproductive health or chronic conditions, women often face unique health challenges and disparities.
Women are at higher risk for certain chronic conditions such as heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and osteoporosis. Additionally, women’s mental health is a significant concern, particularly because they are the backbone of day-to-day motherhood responsibilities ranging from pregnancy to child-rearing. Mothers have much higher rates of depression than the general population. Despite this, they have demonstrated remarkable strength in the face of the challenges associated with balancing paid work, family and household needs, and community expectations.
To address these issues and promote women’s health, policymakers, healthcare providers, and the public much work together to ensure that women have access to quality healthcare, education, and support. This includes increasing access to affordable healthcare services and reducing social stigma around mental health and gender-based violence.
Medicinal Cannabis and Women’s Health
Medicinal cannabis has gained significant attention over the past decade as a potential treatment for a variety of health conditions. While much of the focus has been on its ability to alleviate symptoms in patients with chronic pain, there is also a growing interested in the use of medicinal cannabis in women’s health.
Further research is needed, however researchers are discovering possible health benefits for women, such as:
• Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside of it, causing pelvic pain and discomfort.1
• Menopause is a natural part of the aging process but can be accompanied by a variety of symptoms such as hot flashes, mood changes, and insomnia.2
• Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes fatigue, widespread pain, and tenderness throughout the body. Both sexes are affected by the condition, but women are significantly more likely to develop fibromyalgia.3
While medicinal cannabis may have potential benefits for women’s health, there are also risks and potential side effects to consider. For example, cannabis should be avoided by women who are planning to get pregnant, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding. As with any medications, it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider before starting medicinal cannabis and to use it under medical supervision. With further research, we may gain a better understanding of the potential benefits and risks of medicinal cannabis for women’s health.
International Women’s Day is an opportunity to recognize the importance of women’s health and the need for continued efforts to promote gender equality and support women’s well-being. By advocating for women’s health and investing in the healthcare system that prioritize women’s needs, we can work towards a future when all women have the opportunity to live health, fulfilling lives.