A growing body of evidence (both clinical and anecdotal) is showing some exciting signs. That potentially, cannabidiol (CBD oil) can ease some symptoms of menopause.
Let’s explore how CBD impacts the body and mind of menopausal women. Unfortunately, the symptoms (changes in estrogen levels, mood changes, sleep disturbances, etc.) are usually difficult to treat.
Current pharmaceutical treatment options are hormone replacement therapy (HRT) related.
Unfortunately, these options have considerable risks, side effects and are not effective in the long term. This is why full-spectrum CBD oil may be a great option for relieving menopause symptoms.
WHAT IS MENOPAUSE?
At some point in their life, all female adults will go through menopause. Menopause occurs when a woman no longer has a menstrual cycle.
It occurs naturally and is due to programmed loss of follicles. These are the structures that contain eggs in the ovaries.
The condition may also occur when the ovaries are surgically removed. (Often during a hysterectomy).
In either case, the cessation of menstrual periods indicates oestrogen hormone deficiency. In most cases, for most ladies, menopause does not occur overnight.
First, there is a phase called perimenopause. This often occurs a few years before the final menstrual cycle.
The average age of menopausal women today is about 51 years. Yet, it can occur as early as 40 or as late as the early 60s.
Early menopause tends to occur in women who have never had children or those who smoke. Menopause is not a disease but has a range of symptoms, some of which can be hard to live with.
These symptoms can include:
Decreased sexual drive/function
Since women’s life average expectancy is over 80 years. Most can expect to live around 30 to 40 years of their lives in the postmenopausal state.
So the symptoms of menopause can affect women for a significant amount of time. As such, the potential benefits of CBD products to help with menopause symptoms are exciting.
NOTE – Please don’t worry about getting high (or similar side effects) from CBD. It contains very low levels of THC. (THC is the compound in cannabis oil that affects brain function etc.)
THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM AND MENOPAUSE
There is extensive research on the role of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in female fertility. This includes its involvement with the onset of menopause and how it relates to the body’s cannabinoid receptors.
Current research indicates some fundamental changes occur in the ECS. Also to related biological systems during the menopausal transition.
The ECS is a biological network of endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptor proteins. It is found in mammals’ central and peripheral nervous systems.
This means that the network permeates the entire body. Regulating several physiological and cognitive processes, including fertility.
The ECS controls the interaction of cannabinoids such as CBD with the body. Oestrogen is one of the hormones that facilitate proper ECS function.
It achieves this by regulating fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) levels in the blood. FAAH levels fall when oestrogen production declines.
During ovulation, oestrogen and endocannabinoid levels peak. FAAH facilitates the breakdown of the endocannabinoid anandamide.
Anandamide has an ovarian function. It helps in the maturation and release of the egg during ovulation.
Another role of oestrogen is activating the ECS and regulating emotional response.
These declining interactions between the ECS and oestrogen indicate something interesting. That the symptoms caused by menopause may arise from reduced endocannabinoid activity.
HOW CAN CBD HELP MENOPAUSAL WOMEN?
It appears that menopause disrupts the endocannabinoid system in women. So, CBD can be beneficial in managing some of the problems associated with menopause, as detailed below.
1: LOSS OF BONE DENSITY
Loss of bone density can occur in many women during menopause. If left untreated, this can lead to osteoporosis and other debilitating bone ailments.
Oestrogen regulates the process that replaces old bone cells with new cells. A decline in oestrogen levels results in the bones becoming weaker over time.
Osteoclasts are the special cells involved in breaking down bones. Bone loss occurs when osteoclast activity is aggressive.
Osteoclasts have numerous GPR55 receptors. If these receptors stimulate the cells too much. Excessive bone loss can occur, leading to osteoporosis.
Research indicates that CBD can interact with GPR55 receptors and inhibit their action. Thus preventing bone density loss.
2: HOT FLASHES
This is among the most common symptoms of menopause. Women experience hot flashes as an intense buildup in body heat. Usually starting in the chest and face, followed by sweating and chills.
Some sufferers report anxiety as the sensation builds. Anandamide, an endocannabinoid, helps in the regulation of body temperature.
CBD is thought to increase the levels of anandamide in the body by inhibiting the action of FAAH. The potential effect is an improved ability to control body temperature.
Insomnia in menopausal women occurs due to related symptoms. Such as migraines, hot flashes, and joint stiffness.
If left untreated, lack of proper sleep often affects other areas of a woman’s life. This may worsen the symptoms of menopause and lead to mood swings.
CBD has been documented as an effective natural alternative to treating sleep problems.
CBD has anxiolytic (anxiety-inhibiting) and relaxing effects. These can help support deeper, more restful sleep.
4: PAIN MANAGEMENT
The hormonal changes that occur during menopause can result in several painful conditions.
These include joint stiffness, migraines, and muscle aches. CBD can be a very useful pain-relief agent.
Many people currently use CBD for pain management in clinical settings. Researchers have documented the beneficial aspects of CBD on muscle and joint pain.
CBD inhibits specific cellular processes that can cause both swelling and pain. CBD also has anti-inflammatory properties.
These can help menopausal ladies engage in their daily activities more productively.
5: MOOD SWINGS AND ANXIETY
Mood swings during menopause are the result of oestrogen and progesterone fluctuations.
The mood swings are often accompanied by anxiety. In fact, menopause and anxiety go hand-in-hand.
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