CBD and Menopause: Can It Help?
Menopause is a natural phase for women, which is often associated with annoying symptoms. Hot flashes, mood swings, achy joints and pains, sleep problems, and a general feeling of discomfort are typical symptoms that most women complain about.
Unfortunately, there is no way to stop menopause. There are, however, several ways to help women manage the symptoms and lead a happier life.
Combined with CBD, yoga, gentle exercise, healthy eating, and meditation have often been ascribed as helpful habits that make a difference and help the transition during peri-menopause and menopause itself.
Now that we know more about CBD, there is increasing interest in its potential and an increasing number of women are experimenting with it. Since it’s a botanical compound that has undergone minimal processing, they tend to consider it a wholesome support that may help them manage menopause symptoms.
A bit of science about the human body
The endocannabinoid system
We now know that the human body contains an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is responsible for keeping many bodily functions in balance. The ECS controls our mood, appetite, temperature perception, motor perception, reproductive system, and immune system.
The ECS interacts with endocannabinoid receptors that are spread through the body. When a function is out of sync, the ECS sends messengers that interact with the receptors and alert the body to fix the problem.
During menopause, the ECS is disrupted, as women slowly lose their reproductive ability. There is an imbalance that the ECS tries hard to repair.
How does CBD work with the ECS?
CBD seems to “talk” with the human ECS in an indirect way. CBD doesn’t interact with the receptors directly, but rather appears to “push” the ECS to work better.
Women experience the peri-menopause phase because oestrogen levels decrease. This hormonal decrease causes various imbalances in the body. The ECS gets alerted and tries to fix the problem but is unable to restore harmony to the system.
With the help of CBD, the ECS may become more effective and productive, thus bringing about a better balance in the reproductive system. While it may be impossible for the ECS to increase the oestrogen levels, it may still help lessen the impact on the body of this natural process.
CBD, the ECS and menopause
As mentioned above, the ECS interacts with the reproductive system. Cannabinoid receptors are spread around the reproductive system. When the whole system shifts slowly towards menopause, the ECS tries to restore its harmony. Because of the way that CBD interacts with the ECS, it may help target this specific area and alleviate some of the symptoms.
What are the most common symptoms of menopause?
Most women mention that the most common symptoms of menopause are hot flashes, anxiety, tiredness, difficulty sleeping, weight gain, depression, joint pains, night sweats, and fatigue.
Menopause symptoms often make women feel uncomfortable and unhappy about their life. They can’t enjoy everyday activities and sometimes find it hard to keep up with life’s busy schedule.
CBD for menopause: how can it help?
CBD for mood swings
CBD seems to interact with brain neurotransmitters, particularly serotonin. Serotonin is also called the “feel-good” neurotransmitter because it makes us feel good. Although recent research suggests that low levels of serotonin are not directly responsible for depression, serotonin is involved in our perception and feeling of happiness and joy.
Amazingly enough, more than 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut. ECS receptors, particularly the CB2 receptors that interact with CBD, are mainly located in the gut and the immune system. When we take CBD, it may help boost our serotonin levels and make us feel better about our life.
Maintaining constant levels of serotonin may help the brain achieve a more balanced mood and a sustained feeling of peace. Because menopause is associated with several hormone imbalances, CBD may thus help the body rebalance these hormones and neurotransmitters.
CBD for pains and aches
Aside from oestrogen decreasing during menopause, progesterone also decreases.
Progesterone is a hormone that helps women get pregnant—but, like oestrogen, which has been found to protect the female body from inflammatory build-up, is also an inflammation inhibitor.
When oestrogen and progesterone decrease, the body may suddenly start experiencing inflammation. This is the reason why post-menopausal women often develop arthritis, joint pains, and other inflammatory conditions.
Many women around menopause complain of painful joints and muscles and find it uncomfortable to do sports or strenuous activities. They feel they are missing out on life’s pleasures, which only adds to their mental discomfort.
CBD has been shown to have significant anti-inflammatory properties because it manages to stop the cytokine storms. Cytokines are the proteins the body sends to create inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to an intruder but sometimes the body over-reacts and releases cytokines when there is no real need.
CBD may help stop the build-up and overflow of cytokines and diminish the growth of inflammation. It may thus help women around menopause better manage and deal with inflammation. This, in turn, may help lead to a more active and happy life.
CBD to relax
Menopause is a testing time in women’s life. A lot of things are changing and the unknown sometimes makes women feel anxious and stressed.
Recent research suggests that CBD may help with anxiety disorders such as PTSD, social anxiety, and OCD. While most menopausal women don’t experience such extreme mental conditions, they often want some help when stress levels get out of control.
The aim is to find a natural compound that stabilizes a woman’s mood and helps her face the expected challenges ahead in a relaxed and stress-free way.
Less stress, better sleep
Stress is never favourable to good sleep. When you toss and turn in your sleep because anxiety and thoughts are keeping you awake, your sleep quality suffers. Many women in menopause suffer from sleep disturbances anyway. If you add everyday stress and anxiety about menopause itself, it’s no wonder that women find it difficult to sleep when pre- or perimenopause.
Because CBD seems to help the mind relax and unwind, it could be a good supplement before bed. Specifically, it may help women sleep better in a more sustained way and have more energy in the morning.
Women can better manage menopause with CBD
CBD is considered well-tolerated by the human body and is non-addictive. There has been no mention of CBD over-dose and millions of Britons take CBD for pain management, anxiety, and sleep problems.
Around menopause, women experience many pains and aches, both mental and physical. CBD may help them regain their well-being and a better feeling about themselves.
With so many CBD products in the market, women around menopause can easily include CBD in their lifestyle.
Take CBD before sleep
If you want to improve the quality of your sleep, you can take CBD pills, capsules, or oil for a couple of hours before going to bed. That is how long it takes for ingestible CBD to reach the bloodstream and make a difference and the effect lasts for 4 to 6 hours.
If you like to vape CBD, then it only takes 30 minutes for it to act and will last for 2 to 4 hours.
CBD pre- or post-workout for painless joints
Women who like to exercise and do gentle workouts can take CBD pre-workout to prepare their body or post-workout to help their muscles recover after the exercise. Menopause is no reason to stop doing things that you like! CBD may help you keep an active life. Exercise has been shown to improve people’s mood and it certainly helps with weight gain and overall physical well-being.
CBD to face the world
If menopause and life, in general, seem too challenging, then a consistent intake of CBD may make a difference in how you face the world. It takes some time for CBD to act, though, so don’t get disappointed if it takes you a few days before you start seeing an effect.
Choose your CBD product carefully
It is best to choose a CBD product with good reviews, even if it’s more expensive than the rest. Good CBD producers go to extra lengths to run third-party lab tests on their products to test for CBD content, THC content, and the presence of pollutants. They also choose amber glass, since this prevents UV light from degrading the content.
Check out a product’s Certificate of Analysis or go for organic CBD to make sure it contains no chemicals and heavy metals.
Lastly, check with your doctor if you take any other medicines. CBD may interact with medicines such as steroids, antibiotics, anti-depressants, heart medicines, and blood pressure medicines. Even over-the-counter medicines could interact with CBD. Your doctor will guide you in how to manage both and how to take them both safely.