Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 271–280 | Cite as

Cannabis Use: Neurobiological, Behavioral, and Sex/Gender Considerations

  • Anahita Bassir Nia
  • Claire Mann
  • Harsimar Kaur
  • Mohini RanganathanEmail author
Addictions (M Potenza and M Brand, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Addictions


Purpose of Review

To summarize the current literature on the effects of cannabinoids in humans and to discuss the existing literature on the sex- and gender-related differences in the effects of cannabinoids.

Recent Findings

Cannabis and its constituent cannabinoids are associated with risk of addiction, cognitive deficits, and mood/psychotic disorders. Preclinical and emerging clinical data suggest greater sensitivity to the effects of cannabinoids in women.


Cannabis is one of the most commonly used drugs with increasing rates of use. Women in particular may be at a greater risk of adverse outcomes given the previously described “telescoping effect” of substance use in women. Human data examining the sex- and gender-related differences in the effects of cannabinoids and factors underlying these differences are very limited. This represents a critical gap in the literature and needs to be systematically examined in future studies.


Cannabis Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol THC Sex differences Gender Endocannabinoid 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Ranganathan reports grants from Insys Therapeutics, outside the submitted work. Dr. Bassir Nia, Dr. Mann, and Dr. Kaur do not have anything to disclose.

Human and Animal Rights

All cited studies/experiments with human or animal subjects have been previously published and complied with all applicable ethical standards (including the Helsinki declaration and its amendments, institutional/national research committee standards, and international/national/institutional guidelines).

Supplementary material

40473_2018_167_MOESM1_ESM.docx (38 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 37.6 kb)


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anahita Bassir Nia
    • 1
  • Claire Mann
    • 2
  • Harsimar Kaur
    • 1
  • Mohini Ranganathan
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.School of MedicineYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Icahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.School of Medicine, VA Connecticut Healthcare SystemYale UniversityWest HavenUSA

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