Is CBD for menopause a real thing? How does the endocannabinoid system affect menopausal symptoms?
Menopause is one of the most dramatic things that can happen to a woman. It’s the gratest change in the reproductive system since the times of puberty, and going through this period is anything but pleasant.
Swellings, hot flashes, pain, insomnia, mood swings – these are some of many symptoms of menopause. Until recently, ladies wre forced to either look for relief in pharmaceuticals or be left defensless against this inevitable sign of aging. But now, as the growing body of scientific evidence suggest, women can finally look for natural alternatives.
So, is CBD for menopause a real thing? How can cannabinoids potentially ease the symptoms of menopause? The answer lies below.
Read on to learn more about the use of CBD for menopause.
Everything You Need to Know About Menopause
Menopause is a period of time when a woman’s menstrual cycle comes to an end. Menopause usually occurs when women are in their late 40s or early 50s and lasts about a year. However, the majority of women experience menopause when they are 51 years old, as statistics say.
We distinguish three stages of menopause: perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause.
As you may hav guessed, peromause is the initial stage of menopause. This is when the body starts to notice minor changes, such as the slowdown in estrogen production, which is the body’s natural answer to the core stage – menopause.
Menopause is the longest period of this drastical shift, lasting approximately 12 months after a woman’s last menstruation. At this point, ovulation stops completely, and estrogen levels drop significantly.
Post-menopause is often referred to as a new homeostasis. It’s the period during which menopause ends and all its symptoms begin to disappear.
There is a whole litany of undesired side effects that a woman experiences when she enters menopause. The list is quite long, but the most common symptoms of menopause include:
- Decreased libido
- Hot flashes
- Trouble sleeping
- Weight gain
- Hormonal changes
- Mood swings
In severe cases, menopause can lead to anxiety and depression, because some women simply can’t cope with the aforementioned symptoms. As you probably noticed, the signs of menopause affect every function that is controlled by the human endocannabinoid system. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the relationship between these two.
CBD For Menopause: the Endocannabinoid System
Just a quick reminder – the endocannabinoid system is a complex route of cell receptors and neurotransmitters that work together to maintain homeostasis in the body. Simply put, the endocannabinoid system helps the body maintain its chemichal balance ant therefore perform a wide range of vital functions.
It is because of this system that cannabis compounds, such as CBD and THC interact with our body. When it comes to CBD for menopause, there is a special bond between the endocannabinoid system and estrogen. The female hormone plays an important role in regulating the fatty hydrolase enzyme (FAAH). This enzyme, in turn, breaks down certain endocannabinoids. In short, when estrogen levels increase, so do the number of endocannabinoids in the body. And vice versa.
There are preliminary studies suggesting the possible link between early onset menopause and deficiencies in endocannabinoids. As you might remember, the endocannabinoid system regulates body temperature, pain perception, hormone levels, and mood. This piece of evidence is very promising in terms of further research on the use of CBD for menopause.
Given the above, you can consider CBD a potential source of help when you enter menopause. How can CBD prove effective against menopause symptoms?
Let’s find out.
CBD For Menopause: Easing the Symptoms
The use of CBD for menopause can be an effective booster for the endocannabinoid system to help women deal with problems that are caused by lowered levels of estrogen.
Because cannabis still remains a Schedule I drug on the federal level, the research on CBD and other cannabioids for menopause is, least to say, scant. However, it takes one quick look back in history to understand that this concept is actually nothing new. In a 1924 text, Sajous and Sajous, cannabis is cited as a plant with menopause-relieving properties.
We hope that we will soon gain a modern scientific understanding of how exactly the endocannabinoid system controls essential physiological functions, including hormonal changes during menopause. Anyway, let’s get back on track.
Hot flashes are one of the telltale signs of menopause, and at the same time, the most hated one. They are linked to the breakdown of anandamide, a natural endocannabinoid that is also known as the “bliss molecule”. Anandamide is responsible for many bodily functions, including the body temperature.
It appears that CBD can mitigate hot flashes by acting as a modulator to the endocannabinoid system. Cannabidiol stimulates the ECS to produce more of its endocannabioids and it slows down their breakdown. That being said, more anandamide remains in your system, keeping hot flashes at bay.
Insomnia goes hand in hand with hot flashes during menopause. When night sweats and hot rushes appear interchangeably, it’s nearly impossible to fall asleep. This makes you even more exhaused and overpowered, and the vicious circle continues to spin. As numerous studies have shown, CBD helps the endocannabinoid system regulate the sleep-wake cycle. On top of that Cannabidiol relieves anxiety and provides the soothing sensation of calmness. When you’re completely relax, it’s easier to get a good night’s sleep.
Estrogen plays an important role in utilizing endocannabinoids. This hormone controls mood and emotional respons through the endocannabinoid system. Whenever there’s a drop in estrogen levels, you will most likely experience a deficit in endocannabinoids. This can result in mood swings, anxiety, or in the worst case scenario – depression. Fortunately, research suggests that CBD and other cannabinoids can be administered to combat mood-related disorders.
Gaining extra pounds is almost inevitable during menopause, but some women react to this extra ballast in a very nervous manner. Hormones, lifestyle changes, aging – they all impact the way you look.
In this case, incorporating a healthy diet and regular exercise into your life can bring satisfying results. However, if this doesn’t help, CBD can make a fine supplement to your nutrition plan. Cannabidiol has been shown to be an effective appetite suppressor, and a compound that contributes to the so-called fat browning.
Of many other functions controlled by estrogen, cell regeneration in bones is particularly dependant on this hormone, so any decrease in its levels can cause losses in the bone mass, and eventually, osteoporosis.
Again, science shows us that post-menopausal osteoporosis and the endocannabinoid system go hand in hand. An increased intake of cannabinoids can effectively reduce bone loss. Studies have also shown that CBD, CBC, CBG, and THC, can stimulate bone growth and protect women against the post-menopausal osteoporosis. These studies are particularly interesting in terms of further examination of full-spectrum CBD extracts vs. isolates.
During menopause, libido can hit the ground, not to mention that many women also experience vaginal dryness, both of which are two of the most irritating side effects of menopause if your sex drive was volcano-hot prior to this period.
Fortunately, as the Psychology Today Poll states, 67% of women admit that cannabis compounds have improved their sex life during menopause. This is a good indicator that CBD and other cannabinoids might help big time if you know what products have the highest bioavailability.
CBD For Menopause: the Bottom Line
Menopause can be a true pain in the neck, and the vast majority of women fear this somewhat humilliating period due to the changes in hormones and other factor that we’ve mentioned in the article. Until recently, ladies were left defensless against menopause, but with the recent research on phytocannabinoids, there is hope that CBD for menopause can soon become something we will all hear about.
With so many forms of application, from tinctures and capsules to topicals, vape juices, and concentrates, each woman can find a CBD product that will fit her needs and alleviate the disturbing symptoms of menopause. If you want to go through aging with dignity and happiness, start thinking about your future now, and consider adding Cannabidiol to your nutrition plan.
Are there any ladies who use CBD for menopause out there? Share your stories!