Article by Angela Stelmakowich, Growth Op
Nova Scotia investigators looking at women with pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) found that using more cannabis appeared to be a coping motive for dealing with depressed mood before and during menstruation.
The observational study involved using data from the electronic daily diaries of 69 naturally cycling female cannabis users with or without retrospectively identified PMDD over 32 days, notes the research paper in Addiction.
Investigators considered participant saliva samples on low and high progesterone days of their respective menstrual cycles and reported cannabis use and depressive symptoms.
Those taking part in the study used cannabis four or more times during the month, according to Psychiatry Advisor. The 19 women with retrospectively identified PMDD had higher rates of persistent depressive disorder, used cannabis on more days and consumed more standard joint equivalents per day.
While women with PMDD had higher depressive symptoms and cannabis use during pre-menstrual and menstruation days, there was no correlation observed between positive mood and cannabis use, the publication notes.
Study authors report that coping motives explained heightened cannabis use both pre-menstrually and menstrually among those with PMDD, while depressed mood explained increased weed use menstrually.
With regard to positive mood and enhancement motives, they write these “were associated with decreased cannabis use during the follicular/ovulatory phases,” they add.
PMDD is a severe “form of a common problem called premenstrual syndrome, or PMS,” notes information from the Nova Scotia government. About three-quarters of women of childbearing age have some PMS problems, with an estimated three to nine per cent of them experiencing PMDD.
Symptoms of the latter include sadness and crying, feeling nervous or anxious, anger or irritability, strong cravings for certain foods, problems paying attention and concentrating, fatigue, trouble sleeping and physical problems such as breast tenderness, headaches, joint or muscle pain and swelling or bloating, the information reports.