CBD and Menopause
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The benefits of CBD have become nearly common knowledge over the past few years as the interest in non-traditional medicine grows. Many health conditions can be treated using prescription medication, but people are now opting for natural remedies like CBD because it poses less risk, both long and short-term, and there can be fewer side effects than mainstream medication. Some of the most common uses for CBD include managing anxiety, muscle pain, and combating inflammation. However, there are other uses for CBD that are not as widely known. One of those uses is relieving some of the symptoms of menopause. Below you will find all you need to know about CBD oil for menopause.
What is menopause?
Menopause is the time that marks the end of your menstrual cycles. Typically, it’s diagnosed after you have stopped having your period for a stretch of 12 months. The age at which people get menopause can differ; usually, it occurs in your 40s and 50s, with an average age of 51. Although menopause is a natural biological process, it carries with it many irritating physical symptoms, such as hot flashes. It can also trigger emotional symptoms that can impact your sleep, lower your energy, and affect your emotional wellbeing. There are many effective treatments that can help combat menopause symptoms. They range from lifestyle adjustments, hormone therapy, and more natural alternatives like CBD.
What are menopause symptoms?
In the months and years leading up to menopause, you might experience any number of symptoms including irregular periods, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, chills, night sweats, sleep issues, mood changes, weight gain and slowed down metabolism, thinning hair, drier skin, and loss of breast fullness. Many of the symptoms of menopause are very common among most people, however, they can naturally vary depending on the person. For the most part, many people experience some irregularity in their period before it stops entirely. If your period begins to skip before the onset of menopause, this is to be expected.
Before menopause, menstrual periods can often skip a month or several months before returning for a month or more. During perimenopause, and if your periods continue to appear on an inconsistent basis, they tend to also appear closer together or on shorter cycles. Although you may have irregular periods, pregnancy is still possible during perimenopause. For this reason, if you have skipped a period but are not sure if you have begun menopause, it is recommended that you take a pregnancy test just to be sure.
Does CBD help with menopause symptoms?
Before we dive into how CBD helps with menopause symptoms, we will consider how CBD works. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a type of cannabinoid that interacts with your endocannabinoid system (ECS for short). The ECS is composed of cell receptors that are dispersed throughout the body that help your body achieve homeostasis. The receptors respond to endocannabinoids which are produced naturally by your body as well as to external cannabinoids like those found in cannabis. There are 113 known cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Of those 113 cannabinoids, CBD is one of the most popular. When extracted from the hemp flower, CBD has many potential health benefits without the “high” that is associated with THC. This is because CBD obtained from hemp contains only trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3%).
CBD can increase the level of mood-boosting neurotransmitters, which can help combat moodiness, anxiety, and sleep issues. CBD can even relieve hot flashes. This is because one of the biggest triggers of hot flashes is stress, which can be ameliorated with CBD.
Does CBD help with hormonal balance?
CBD can help with balancing hormones. It can regulate hormones like estrogen and cortisol, which are related to stress, and melatonin, which is the sleep hormone.
The connection between CBD and estrogen is particularly helpful to understand. Estrogen is a hormone that is very important to the ECS because it regulates fatty acid amide hydrolase or FAAH, which breaks down certain endocannabinoids. This means that if there is a lower or more fluctuating amount of estrogen than usual, it can harmfully impact your ECS, which in turn can explain some of the symptoms related to menopause such as anxiety, mood swings, and poor sleep. As such, it makes sense that CBD can potentially assist the body when estrogen is scarce.
CBD is also a potential treatment for anxiety disorders. CBD is thought to interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors which are found in the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. When CBD interacts with CB1 receptors in the brain it alters serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in your mental wellbeing. Low serotonin levels typically lead to depression and can sometimes trigger anxiety. The conventional treatments for low serotonin levels normally involve selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) such as sertraline and fluoxetine (Zoloft and Prozac, respectively). However, some people prefer the more natural route and use CBD to help manage their condition instead.
CBD can also help some sleep disorders, whether the issue pertains to falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. Issues related to sleep are very common among people in their menopause years. Although THC is more potent when it comes to helping people fall asleep, CBD can certainly help those who experience restlessness and night and can’t stay asleep. There is considerable evidence that indicates CBD can help with sleep disorders including insomnia, REM sleep behaviour disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness disorder.
How much CBD should I use for the menopause symptoms I want to treat?
One of the considerations when it comes to CBD is deciding what CBD product and method of delivery is right for you. For instance, there is topical CBD in the form of creams or salves that are helpful for those experiencing inflammation or localized pain. However, CBD that is applied topically is less likely to reach your bloodstream and therefore is not likely the best option in terms of addressing issues such as anxiety or insomnia. When it comes to symptoms such as these, CBD oil is the best bet. CBD oil can be consumed in various ways, but the most effective method is consuming it sublingually. This means applying a dropper or two under the tongue and allowing it to be absorbed for 30-60 seconds before swallowing.
The dosage will differ depending on the severity of the issue, however, it is recommended that you start off with a lower dosage and gradually increase it if need be. Here is a convenient dosing chart and calculator to help get you started.
What are the benefits of CBD over traditional treatments?
CBD has a host of benefits and research continues to show the ways that CBD can positively affect your quality of life. Unlike over-the-counter medication that combats specific issues and can potentially have several side effects, CBD can help combat underlying issues because of the way it interacts with the ECS and cannabinoid receptors throughout the body. That means that if your primary issue is sleep, for instance, CBD can help with mood-related problems such as low serotonin and spikes in anxiety at the same time.
Although CBD can help combat many of the symptoms associated with menopause, it is important to note that researchers are still working to learn exactly how cannabis works in the body. Clinical trials are still underway to help determine the specific way in which CBD affects menopause, however, anecdotal evidence suggests CBD can help address many symptoms experienced by menopausal people. In any case, while preliminary studies look promising, it is important to speak with your doctor when considering any new treatment plan.
DISCLAIMER: Information and products presented by resolveCBD are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment, nor is it intended to be a substitute or alternative for professional medical advice. Always consult with a licensed professional regarding medical treatment or possible interactions with prescribed drugs. Products are intended to be used as directed, by individuals who are 19 years of age or older.