Why Women Think They Don't Like Weed

You remember the first time you smoked weed, right? Probably in the woods or...

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Poppy Heap
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You remember the first time you smoked weed, right? Probably in the woods or...

You remember the first time you smoked weed, right? Probably in the woods or at a friend of a friend's basement party. 

Picture the scene: It's either too hot or far too cold. You're sitting on something less than comfortable. Snacks and drinks exist somewhere, but you aren't sure how many you can take, if any. And then, someone serves you a poorly rolled spliff with a side of "three toke minimum" or a spicy "you're not inhaling it long enough".

You follow their instructions, and now you wonder if everyone can hear that weird rasp in your nose. And you don't trust yourself to physically make it to the bathroom if you try for an escape.

Eventually, you sober up enough to go home and resign yourself to the fact that: "weed just isn't for me". 

If you agree with everything I just said, I'll hedge my bets that you're a woman. 

But why is it that so many women have a negative first experience with cannabis?

Women are, and I'm saying this as a woman, typically smaller than men. Women are also thought more in tune with their surroundings. And so, as an experiment at Washington State University confirmed, women need a smaller dose of THC than men. 

Where men have an average experience and continue to experiment, women have negative experiences and swear off weed and its chemical components.

This is not to say women don't smoke weed or consume cannabis products; they do. Just look at the hundreds of daily posts on Reddit and Facebook. It's simply to say many more would take part if their first experience had been better.

New products = New first times

With a new breed of legal and innovative cannabis products on the market, there's a huge opportunity to give women a second chance at their first time.

The CBD industry has done a great job of dealing with first-timer fears. From packaging to promotions, brands explain in no uncertain times what the product does, how to use it, and what it isn't. Although, being free of psychoactive agents does make CBD an easier sell to women who might have been scorned by weed before.

When it comes to encouraging women to have a second go with THC products or straight weed, they need two things.

  1. Women need the motivation to try a product: a need or interest the product can supply.
  2. Women need an easy entry point: a non-intimidating environment and purchasing journey.

Motivation is easy. The medicinal and health properties of THC and other compounds found in cannabis are well documented and promoted by both scientific and anecdotal evidence.

In terms of entry point, as brands innovate cannabis-based products, you could argue the concept of 'smoking a joint' is practically archaic. Cute smoothie shaped vaporizers and delicious gummies make for a more accessible and controllable high. These products offer an easy access point for women to experiment with cannabis.

Positioning THC products for women

To position THC products and their associated instruments to the female market, you'll need to re-educate users that weed isn't about getting "super stoned, man". 

Employers and recruiters have done a vast amount of research into how the words we use can accidentally make women feel unwelcome. Their studies found that we're used to writing in confident and assertive language to drive people to take action. But warm and helpful language is better at helping women complete an action in uncertain territory.

With education and language in mind, here are the two ways brands can welcome a wider female audience.

Tackle gatekeeping culture

Let women know THC is about taking the dose that works for you; so little you barely notice, or so much you're laughing at everyone who does. There are no set rules, and you are by their side no matter how they want to use your products.

Remove intimidating language

Any language barriers in the purchasing journey will have this audience hitting X on their browser. Remove unnecessary jargon and explain industry-specific terminology. Finally, offer entry-level content and a helping hand at each step of the process to keep women pushing forward.

For more musing on the world of legal cannabis products and those who consume them, subscribe to weekly thermidor<’s email updates.

Blog Author
Poppy Heap
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