CBD for Relief of Menopause Symptoms
Can CBD oil be used to treat menopause?
Evidence that suggests that CBD can be an effective treatment for the symptoms of menopause.
Ways that women are using CBD to improve their quality of life.
Question: Can CBD oil be used to relieve symptoms of menopause?
There is no escaping the inevitability of menopause. As women, every one of us on the planet will, at some point, have to deal with the symptoms and changes that occur in an aging body. It’s estimated that 1.2 billion women will be menopausal by the year 2030.
However, many women have indeed found some relief through CBD oil.
A bit about menopause
Menopause can happen to a woman at any time after the age of 40. The typical age range is between 49-52. However, this can vary from woman to woman.
For some women, the change is barely noticeable and they sail into their sixties with barely a ripple of discomfort. Some other women are not so lucky.
The changes in the body can wreak havoc in a myriad of ways.
The most common symptoms of menopause are:
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a common treatment for menopausal symptoms and is widely recommended by many doctors. However, HRT can be prohibitively expensive.
Moreover, if a woman has had breast cancer or genetic risk factors, many doctors will not prescribe HRT. This is due to the fact that elevated estrogen can increase the likelihood of certain types of cancer.
Hemp-derived CBD oil might be an effective alternative when HRT is not an option.
A bit about CBD
CBD (cannabidiol) is a molecule produced in the Cannabis sativa plant.
The CBD you find in stores and online is extracted from hemp, marijuana’s non-intoxicating cousin.
Cannabinoid compounds such as CBD activate receptors on the surface of cells in our nervous and immune systems and major organs causing them to function in specific ways. Because every woman’s body is different each of us responds to CBD differently.
Ideally, the CBD product you choose to purchase should match your symptoms. For example, sore joints might respond to a CBD joint cream, while menopausal depression may benefit from a tincture, and vaginal dryness might call for a suppository.
Moreover, there are a variety of CBD formulations and products. Some products contain a spectrum of active compounds such as terpenes which can modify the effects of CBD oil, while others contain only purified CBD. Each product works differently, so you really need to do some homework.
CBD products are a safe alternative to traditional medicines. Unlike some prescription medications used to treat menopause, CBD is non-intoxicating, non-toxic, and non-addictive. It has little to no known side effects.
CBD can also be used in tandem with many standard medical protocols.
CBD for the treatment of menopause
CBD for hot flashes
Hot flashes are often the biggest challenge women face during the menopausal years. Hot flashes can disrupt REM sleep and trigger “night sweats” that leave women feeling exhausted and dehydrated. This lack of sleep can lead to chronic depression and a host of other issues.
Hot flashes originate in the hypothalamus — the body’s thermostat. It controls blood vessel dilation and sweat response. It can malfunction due to altered hormone balance causing hot flashes.
Although there have not been sufficient clinical studies to scientifically prove that CBD can relieve hot flashes, there is substantial anecdotal evidence. Many women claim that CBD effectively reduces the frequency and severity of hot flashes.
CBD for insomnia
Insomnia has many causes and triggers, especially during menopause. Moreover, constant sleep disruptions can be the cause of many other medical issues.
Hot flashes and night sweats are the common thieves of a good night’s sleep, however, anxiety is also a huge factor when it comes to menopausal insomnia.
An article in Springer Neurotherapeutics titled “Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders,” published September 4th, 2015, claimed that CBD can be effective at treating insomnia. Several clinical trials are also underway and show great promise for CBD’s potential to treat insomnia.
CBD may alleviate insomnia due to its influence on the brain’s neurochemistry and the serotonin system.
CBD for vaginal dryness
As hormonal imbalances increase with age, one of the biggest problems women face is a lack of vaginal lubrication during intercourse. This is due to an increased density of pain perceiving nerve endings. Moreover, as women enter menopause, due to a lack of estrogen, the vagina receives far less oxygenated blood.
CBD also has powerful anti-inflammatory effects, can relieve muscle contraction, and can effectively increase blood flow to the vagina, enhancing the ability to feel pleasure.
CBD targets the same area of the brain as NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, for example). It decreases the production of inflammatory compounds by disabling pain-producing nerve receptors. It’s also a potent vasodilator that relaxes blood vessels, thus increasing blood flow.
Don’t just use any CBD product internally or you can cause an infection. Either take CBD orally or use CBD suppositories or ointments developed specifically for vaginal use.
CBD for depression and anxiety
Depression and anxiety are the result of stress hormones — in particular, cortisol — and can be the result of an endocannabinoid imbalance. Serotonin and dopamine are chemical messengers that work within the nervous system. They are often disrupted during menopause causing dramatic mood swings.
There is a growing body of science-based evidence that CBD can alleviate depression and anxiety. (See “Cannabidiol as a Treatment for Anxiety Disorders” in Insomnia section above and “Antidepressant-like effects of cannabidiol in mice: possible involvement of 5-HT 1A receptors” – British Journal of Pharmacology, Dec. 4th 2009.)
CBD has been shown to modulate levels of endocannabinoids by inhibiting certain enzymes and has been shown to modulate serotonin production and uptake. CBD as well as some of the terpenes found in CBD oil also interact with dopamine receptors.
CBD for osteoporosis
CBD products have shown to be an effective aid in decreasing bone loss due to menopause.
A recent study highlighted in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences titled “The Endocannabinoid/Endovanilloid System in Bone: From Osteoporosis to Osteosarcoma.” The April 18, 2019 report cited advances and findings in the use of CBD for osteoporosis.
The study indicated that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has a direct impact on the cells that support our skeletal structures called osteoclasts and osteoblasts.
CBD may slow down bone destruction while activating and binding osteoblasts.
CBD & menopause, the conclusion
Menopause doesn’t have to be a torturous time when there are effective treatments. Although pharmaceuticals have their place, the side effects are plentiful and drastic at times.
CBD oil provides a natural, non-invasive remedy that can be taken daily for long periods without harmful results.
CBD may interfere with certain medicines so consult with your doctor before beginning any new protocol.
Enjoy growing older, gracefully, and painlessly with CBD.