CBD Oil For Menopause: What You Need To Know
Hot flashes, mood swings, anxiety, insomnia, and weight gain are all just a few of the common symptoms of menopause connected to the extreme changes in hormones many menopausal women face. Pharmaceuticals are generally the first line of treatment for this condition, but this does not always have to be the case.
Cannabis is quickly becoming an alternative method for managing menopause symptoms. This treatment comes in the form of cannabidiol oil (CBD oil). CBD is a compound within the cannabis plant that has shown for many years to contain great medicinal benefits.
This element of the cannabis plant does not contain THC, which is the psychoactive compound of marijuana that is associated with getting “high.”
Though THC and CBD are both compounds of the marijuana plant. CBD oil for menopause is a relatively new approach to managing menopause symptoms, but it is growing in popularity as women in pre-menopause, perimenopause, and actual menopause are seeing continuous positive results.
What is Menopause?
Menopause, a word that many women hear and dread most of their lives. It really isn’t until a woman begins to near the end of her 40’s that she genuinely starts to realize that there is no avoiding the onslaught of symptoms of menopause.
The process of menopause takes place before a woman actually hits menopause. This is referred to as perimenopause. This process takes place about 7 to 14 years before a woman experiences her last menstrual cycle.
During perimenopause, women will have symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleeplessness, and other indicators.
Natural menopause is caused by a decline in the reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone. A woman in her late 30s will begin producing less of these hormones, by her 40s her periods are irregular, and by her early 50s (age 51is the average) she will generally no longer have a period.
About 12 months after her last menstrual cycle menopause has officially begun. Many women will seek hormone replacement therapy or natural remedies for menopause symptoms during this phase.
Post-menopause is the stage after menopause where homeostasis does return, but treatment may still be necessary to regulate this new normal. In an attempt to manage these symptoms of menopause women will turn to a variety of treatment options.
Cannabis can be quite effective in managing these symptoms and research is showing that CBD oil for menopause symptoms may be promising.
What Are The Symptoms Of Menopause?
Menopause symptoms are likely the worst part of this process in a woman’s life. The trade-off of no longer having a menstrual cycle would be worth the side effects, but unfortunately for some women, these symptoms don’t actually subside without intervention.
Now instead of having a menstrual cycle once a month with painful menstrual cramps, they are now having to annoying symptoms each day of the month.
The Link Between The Endocannabinoid System And Menopause
Clinical trials and research are beginning to suggest that CBD oil for menopause symptoms may be effective in reducing or eliminating these symptoms. This works by CBD binding to receptors of the endocannabinoid system.
This system is designed for natural cannabinoids in the body, but CBD from cannabis can step in when the body’s cannabinoids are low. Oestrogen is a hormone that regulates fatty acid amide hydrolase which is responsible for anandamide production.
As estrogen levels drop during menopause this process is not completed as efficiently. CBD oil can regulate menopause symptoms by taking the place of estrogen during this process by binding to these sites where estrogen is deficient.
How Can CBD Help With Menopause?
The endocannabinoid system is strongly associated with menopause symptoms in women. Menopause may play a role in disrupting this system. Oestrogen is the primary hormone within this system.
As this hormone decreases with menopause the endocannabinoid system is not as efficient resulting in many of the symptoms associated with menopause as the female reproductive system has a large number of cannabinoid receptors.
CBD may be effective in reducing these symptoms by essentially taking the place of estrogen by binding to cannabinoid receptors. Therefore, cannabis in the form of CBD oil for menopause has a promising future.
CBD For Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are probably the most well-known of the menopause symptoms. Like THC, the hormone anandamide regulates body temperature. As this hormone declines as a result of menopause, the body’s natural response is hot flashes.
Because of this, the cannabinoid THC may help to cool the body. But dosing is critical because low amounts of THC may cause the body temperature to rise.
This symptom may be alleviated by using CBD oil for menopause as well. CBD may raise anandamide in the body. As this hormone rises, rather than falls as is normal in menopausal women, the body can control its temperature more effectively.
CBD For Insomnia
Cannabis oil may help menopausal women control sleep disturbances. CBD oil for menopause works in a couple of different ways. First, CBD has anxiety inhibiting effect in the body which can help the menopausal woman rest better at night. Second, hot flashes can result in night sweats which make sleeping difficult.
CBD For Bone Density
Using CBD oil for menopause symptoms may help with bone density. Bone density may decline in menopausal women because estrogen decreases and this hormone is responsible for regulating the formation of replacing old bone cells.
Osteoclasts increase as estrogen decreases. They contain receptors, GPR55 receptors, that stimulate bone cells to break down. CBD has been shown in research to interact with these GPR55 receptors to inhibit their bone density breakdown effect.
Cannabis in the form of CBD oil may also be successful in breast cancer symptom treatment. Women who begin menopause after the age of 55 have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Some research is showing that CBD may cause a decline in tumor size and aggressiveness.
However, the primary way in which CBD helps with breast cancer is through helping with treatment symptoms such as pain and nausea.
CBD For Pain Management
Pain is a less known but common side effect of menopause. Extreme fluctuations in hormones can lead to many chronic pains like bruising, joint pain, breast tenderness, and menstrual cramps. Cannabis in the form of CBD oil for menopause symptoms is a known pain reliever.
This is a great option for those seeking relief without the need for addictive and dangerous opioids.
CBD For Anxiety And Mood Swings
Some symptoms of menopause affect more than just the menopausal women. Mood swings and anxiety are not fun for anyone, especially the menopause sufferer. The endocannabinoid system utilizes estrogen to regulate mood and emotional responses.
As estrogen decreases due to menopause the women will see an increase in these symptoms. CBD from cannabis is generally a mood enhancer and relaxer eliminating emotional responses and anxiety. CBD oil for menopause should be considered for anyone wanting to mitigate these side effects.
Alzheimer’s disease is primarily caused by inflammation in the brain. CBD oil may treat these symptoms by acting as an anti-inflammatory.
CBD For Low Libido
Vaginal dryness and decreased libido can occur in menopausal women and can be quite frustrating. This is especially frustrating for women who had a particularly high sex drive prior to menopause. In a Psychology Today poll 67 percent of women reported that they believe cannabis, specifically CBD, has helped their sex drive.
CBD For Weight Management
Weight gain during menopause is a common occurrence and happens as a result of a few reasons. Lifestyle, age, and hormone all work together to cause an increase in weight gain during menopause. CBD oil for menopause may mitigate this physiological response to menopause.
Studies show that cannabis users have a lower BMI than non-cannabis users. However, THC is known to cause “the munchies” leading to weight gain. Because of this high-CBD strains or CBD oils should be chosen over high-THC ridden cannabis products.
The Benefits Of CBD For Menopause
CBD oil for menopause is thought to be more effective in treating these symptoms and has the ability to be used long term unlike hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Postmenopausal women are realizing that there is an increased risk with HRT for mitigating their menopausal symptoms and these risks are not a concern with cannabis in the form of CBD oil.
The benefits of CBD oil continue to be discovered on what seems like an almost daily basis. For the menopausal women, the potential benefits of CBD oil for menopause are just beginning to be uncovered.
The endocannabinoid system is really just starting to be investigated, but as research and science unfold there are sure to be many beneficial discoveries of how CBD and health outcomes are interrelated.