DOES CBD OIL HELP MENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS?
Women going through the menopause are highly recommending CBD for the benefits it provides in alleviating the menopausal symptoms they’re experiencing.
Admittedly, more of these reports are coming from America as the American market has been open and growing for longer than ours here in the UK. America’s market is not as restricted as the UK for advertising either, which makes it easier for companies to get the message out about the benefits of CBD.
The science behind the menopause is not complete and is ongoing, which makes it hard for doctors to prescribe medicine. This is one reason why more and more women are turning to a natural product to alleviate their symptoms as their bodies adapt to the hormonal change. A lot of ladies do not realise they are entering the perimenopause stage, but if they were to know sooner and proactively prepare for the onset of the menopause, this would aid the transition and in turn support overall wellbeing. In America one of the top reasons for women choosing to use CBD is for menopause, the others being menstruation and sex.
CBD may work in a range of ways to help menopause symptoms, of particular interest is the way that it interacts with cannabinoid receptors.
How do cannabinoid receptors work?
The Endocannabinoid System refers to a collection of cell receptors called cannabinoid receptors, which are present in the brain, organs, and other tissues throughout the body. The endocannabinoid system works by interacting with chemical messengers, including CBD. Researchers believe that this system plays an essential role in many bodily functions and other aspects of health, including:
- Mood regulation
- Immune functions
- Weight gain / diabetes
- Sleep disruptions / insomnia
- Memory loss
- Aches & joint pain
- Temperature regulation / hot flash or flush
One theory is that a poorly functioning endocannabinoid system can lead to several different health conditions. Manipulating the chemicals involved in the system, such as CBD, could potentially help to treat such conditions.
Menopause seems to disrupt the endocannabinoid system, and there are cannabinoid receptors throughout the female reproductive system, so it is possible that CBD oil could reduce some of the symptoms relating to menopause.
The female hormone, Oestrogen, is responsible for managing the millions of immature eggs found in ovaries. Starting at puberty, women’s bodies are pumped full of Oestrogen every time an egg matures — approximately once a month. However, over the years the supply of eggs reduces. Once all the eggs are gone, periods stop and the Oestrogen surge goes away, triggering menopause.
But before the menopause (a period called the perimenopause), the oestrogen levels fluctuate unpredictably for a period of time. The loss of oestrogen creates an imbalance of other hormones, which creates a domino effect resulting in imbalance throughout the body.
Controlled by these hormones, brain neurochemistry changes and the body ramps up production of inflammatory molecules. From brain function, to fat accumulation, to bone reabsorption, menopause changes the inner workings of our bodies and each woman’s experience of menopause will be unique.
What menopause symptoms can CBD treat?
While there is no evidence indicating that CBD oil is likely to influence all menopause symptoms, it could be helpful for the following:
Aches & Joint Pain
It is important to reduce inflammation in your body during menopause, and Cannabidiol has proven anti-inflammatory properties. In mice, CBD is anti-arthritic, protects joints against inflammatory damage, and lowers levels of inflammatory TNFα. Low-impact exercise and dietary changes are also excellent resources in a fight against inflammation.
The same anti-inflammatory features that make CBD oil a popular remedy for arthritic symptoms might also prove useful for bone health. In rats with periodontitis, CBD lowers TNFα levels and prevents oral bone loss. However, human evidence for this application is lacking, and we encourage you to use every medical resource available if you’ve been diagnosed with low bone density. Resistance exercise also decreases TNFα levels, which may explain why exercise can help prevent bone loss.
Weight Gain & Diabetes
Population studies have found that adults who use cannabis products have lower insulin levels and smaller waist circumferences. Cannabidiol could contribute by switching on genes for healthy metabolism (through the PPAR-γ receptor). CBD also helps buffer the activity of natural endocannabinoids, including 2-AG, which is linked to insulin resistance and ramped up during menopause.
If you’re emotionally distressed, you should seek the support of a medical professional. They might suggest therapeutic or pharmaceutical solutions. If you supplement your treatment with CBD oil, it may be good to know that CBD activates serotonin receptors similar to the anti-anxiety drug buspirone.
(For more on this topic, read our articles about the different ways that CBD could help anxiety or depression.)
Hot Flashes & Night Sweats
Because hot flashes have a neurochemical basis, some SSRIs and antidepressants can help relieve hot flashes. Although there aren’t studies that have specifically tested CBD for hot flashes, its influence on the body’s serotonin system could be one reason why some women swear by CBD for this symptom. Other treatments like therapy, hypnosis and relaxation techniques that calm the nervous system can also influence your neurochemistry and help reduce hot flashes.
People of all ages and genders report that CBD formulations help them get restorative sleep. Whether or not CBD could help you get a better night’s sleep depends on the source of your disruptions. CBD’s influence on neurochemistry and anxiety could help improve sleep for women experiencing insomnia or disruptive night sweats.
Bone Density Loss
A low bone density can increase the chance of fractures or bruises, so it is an important symptom to treat. Some research has found that CBD interacts with a cannabinoid receptor that may play a role in bone density loss. CBD may therefore be able to reduce the rate of bone density loss that can occur during menopause.
Scientists are actively investigating CBD for encouraging synaptic plasticity and neuroprotection, particularly in the hippocampus. However, there is not yet solid evidence for its recommendation, and there are many other ways you can protect this important brain region. If you want to improve your memory, check out 9 ways to naturally rewire your hippocampus.
For those who are new to the world of CBD, in addition to purchasing a high-quality product like Tailored Wellbeing, it’s important to optimize your dosage and delivery for the desired effect.
For instance, vape pens deliver immediate benefits that dwindle within an hour or two, whereas oral CBD oil takes longer to kick in but its effects can last 8-12 hours.