If you’re beginning the changes within your body associated with menopause, you may have realized by now that there are very few options available for managing the symptoms of the change. If you’re like many others, odds are you’re looking for a few non-conventional ways or natural remedies like CBD to help manage the symptoms. But does it work? Here’s everything you need to know about CBD and menopause.
What is CBD?
CBD is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in hemp plants and certain marijuana strains. Unlike THC, CBD (short for cannabidiol) won’t cause an altered state or “high”. However, it works closely with our endocannabinoid systems to help regulate the body’s natural processes. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a collection of neurotransmitters found all over the body that help regulate naturally-occurring brain and nervous system chemicals.
These receptors are directly affected by the cannabinoids found in cannabis (including THC and CBD) since they mimic natural body chemicals and react with the ECS to help promote balance. Research suggests that CBD plays a significant role in pain management and other systems that play a part in body regulation, balance, and overall health.
The endocannabinoid system in unison with cannabinoids like CBD can help to regulate our sleep-wake cycles, general mood, metabolism, inflammation, stress management, pain perception, and other crucial body processes like digestion and respiration. Since CBD is processed well within the body, it affects a ton of different body processes, making it a fitting choice for menopause symptoms.
Evidence suggests that CBD can be used as a(n):
- Appetite stimulant
- Stomach upset relief (anti-emetic)
- Sleep aid
CBD and the Symptoms of Menopause
Menopause comes with a garden variety of less-than-stellar symptoms, including irregular periods, hot flashes, chills, night sweats, changes in mood, changes in weight, thinning hair, dry skin, and vaginal dryness.
Every woman will have different symptoms with menopause. Some women will only experience minor discomfort while others will experience drastic mood swings and emotional lows. When a woman’s cycle slows down, there are many hormonal changes within her endocannabinoid system.
The ECS maintains hormonal balance within the body and plays a big part in our moods and physiology. Menopause triggers changes to the production of a happy chemical similar to THC known as anandamide. This fluctuation can cause anxiety and make it difficult to manage stress and emotional changes.
While your levels of anandamide are fluctuating, some users suggest that taking CBD can help bring your levels back to normal. CBD instigates a response out of the receptors in the ECS. Basically, it antagonizes the receptors within the ECS and forces them to release more natural chemicals like anandamide. Essentially, it is thought to act as an antidepressant with other whole-body benefits when taken daily.
Research suggests that CBD helps to regulate the ECS and promote homeostasis. It helps your body to operate optimally by manipulating the chemicals you produce naturally. During menopause, your ECS is producing chemicals all willy nilly. By introducing CBD into your body you can, in theory, help create that equilibrium. A poorly functioning ECS leads to a variety of health conditions and mental highs and lows. Taking CBD could make it possible to help modulate those body processes, effectively assisting with many of the negative side effects associated with menopause.
Can CBD Help with Menopause Symptoms?
Many users say that CBD can be taken to help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with menopause while also helping to keep your body regular and functioning nominally.
While most women experience hot flashes and mood swings, many women also experience sleep disruptions, pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, and a low sex drive. The good news is that CBD in unison with the ECS can possibly help regulate these responses within the body. Evidence suggests that CBD can even regulate your estrogen levels, improving your sex drive.
As a natural antidepressant, anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory, CBD., according to research, naturally combats most of the symptoms while also regulating estrogen levels or acting as a supplement for the lack of estrogen and anandamide. Users say it can alleviate most PMS symptoms that act on the same neuro-pathways as menopause responses, so the results of menopause management with CBD are promising for most women.
Scientific Evidence for CBD and Menopause
While thousands of personal reports and anecdotal evidence exists online, many scientific studies support CBD as an effective way to manage the symptoms of menopause.
For example, a 2016 study showed that CBD oils can reduce restless sleep and curb feelings of anxiety or depression. In a similar study on cannabinoids within the ECS, CBD was shown to help with aggressive mood swings, which is a common side effect of menopause.
On the other hand, CBD helps with your physical body, according to users as well as research. Reports say that when used topically it can improve skin and help prevent fine lines and wrinkles. It acts as a natural anti-inflammatory that helps reduce skin condition flareups, which are another common side effect of menopause. For some, it can help with hot flashes and sweats too! Users say CBD can actually lower your body temperature when taken in increments.
Most interestingly, CBD is also reported to help with bone density and prevent conditions like osteoporosis. This is crucial for most women going through the change over the age of 50. There is a direct link between the severe dip in estrogen during menopause and bone health. Women with low hormone levels and infrequent periods can lose lots of their bone mass which increases the risk of bruises, fractures, and conditions like osteoporosis. Research suggests that CBD can strengthen tissues that connect broken bones, helping to prevent bone loss during the change.
How to Use CBD for Menopause
For many women, CBD works well for symptoms of menopause, but the secret ingredient is daily use. CBD acts as a supplement for chemical imbalances, but it works best when taken consistently. If you’re considering trying CBD to help manage your symptoms, be sure to talk with your doctor to determine whether or not CBD will be safe and effective within your body.
Many users report that 10 to 20mgs of quality CBD every day can help keep your body functioning properly and alleviate the symptoms of menopause. It can also improve your sleep, mood, skin, and bone density.
Can You Take CBD with HRT?
If you’ve been examining all of your options for menopause symptom management, you may have stumbled upon hormone replacement therapy or HRT. If you’re on an HRT regimen, have no fear. If you take HRT, studies have shown that CBD products can help reduce some of the risks, like breast cancer and blood clots. CBD helps breast cancer cells die a natural death and prevent it from becoming a life-threatening condition. The same goes for blood clots, as CBD acts as a whole-body regulator.
It follows then that combining HRT with CBD could be a great way to manage whole-body symptoms of menopause. Both are great options with few possible side effects so you don’t have to choose one over the other. Consider a tailored approach and find what works best for you by working closely with your doctor and monitoring your symptoms as you go through the change.
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