Cbd oil for menopause symptoms

Can CBD Help Alleviate Menopause Symptoms?

Is CBD a possible treatment option for menopause symptoms ? There are still many studies needed to prove cannabis’s efficacy, but the signs are promising for a host of conditions, including menopause. Whether or not cannabis is the “wonder drug” some claim it to be, people around the world have experienced marijuana’s startling curative powers and the healing strength of its compounds.

In fact, medical marijuana has been prescribed to people with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, and even cancer. If cannabis can be used for these varied conditions, then there is the possibility that it can also be utilized to reduce or control symptoms associated with menopause .

Discover how one of the most ancient forms of medicine may be able to ease menopause symptoms.

How CBD Relieves Menopause Symptoms

Cannabis use for menopause and other conditions has been shrouded in mystery due to legal restrictions and lack of funding for scientific studies. One fact, however, is clear: somebody dies of a prescription overdose every 19 minutes , but nobody dies of a cannabis overdose. It has never happened. So, if you’re wary about trying cannabis, keep that stunning statistic in mind.

There is a significant body of evidence supporting the fact that one of the chemical compounds in the cannabis plant, cannabidiol (CBD), can be a natural alternative to treating chronic pain and reducing menopausal symptoms due to its rich therapeutic properties. CBD can also potentially help beat the anxiety associated with pain.

Menopause disrupts the regular performance of the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates our mood, fertility, pain management, and other bodily functions. Recently, CBD has become a sought-after natural health alternative in reducing inflammation in the body and relieving pain during menopause .

As scientists conduct further research on CBD and menopause, more women may be able to reap the benefits of cannabis medicine.

Mood Changes and Depression

Many women experiencing menopause may have heightened anxiety, depression , and a few episodes of panic attacks due to the see-sawing of their hormone levels.

Luckily, CBD is efficient in inhibiting one’s stress and improving one’s mood. Extensive studies have manifested CBD’s anti-anxiety powers. Although CBD cannot cure depression or anxiety, there is some evidence that shows how it can improve the symptoms associated with such mental health issues, especially when microdosing.

Insomnia

Many women in their menopausal season have difficulty sleeping, which may trigger fatigue and other health issues. A significant case study on a person with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in 2016 revealed that CBD oil was capable of alleviating sleep disruptions and anxiety.

Other findings showed that CBD stabilizes a person’s blood pressure and eases muscles, setting the scene for a restorative sleep, especially for menopausal women. CBD has also been documented to aid people in gaining a considerable amount of energy to get through the day.

The cannabinoid’s anxiety-inhibiting and relaxing effects make sleep improvement achievable for menopausal women suffering from insomnia. However, high doses of CBD may also have more “energizing” or “up” effects for some people. Therefore, your doctor is best qualified to determine if CBD is an appropriate treatment option for menopause symptoms.

Bone Density Loss

Drops in estrogen starting in perimenopause (the decade or so preceding menopause) can lead to bone density loss in women. One disease, osteoporosis, is of particular concern. Bones become brittle in individuals with osteoporosis, thus increasing the likelihood of fractures.

Osteoporosis risk increases for women of perimenopausal, menopausal and post-menopausal age. In fact, women over the age of 50 are the most likely group to develop osteoporosis. The Bone Health & Osteoporosis Foundation reports that 50% of all women over age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis.

Evidence suggests that CBD and other cannabinoids play a role in bone formation . Research is still emerging, but it is possible that CBD could exert a protective effect on bones by connecting to receptors in the skeletal endocannabinoid system.

Weight Gain

Weight gain is another issue that women face during menopause, since they produce less estrogen, which burns calories. No longer efficiently burning calories, women may gain abdominal fat starting around during menopause due to these hormonal shifts. Weight gain makes diabetes more likely to develop, along with other types of disease that involve the heart and blood vessels.

Cannabinoids like CBD have shown to regulate food cravings and, as a result, help women lose abdominal fat. CBD has also been found to aid in lowering insulin levels and improving metabolism, thus reducing the probability of diabetes and heart disease for menopausal women.

A 2016 study conducted by Korean researchers suggested that CBD triggers the proteins and genes that participate in increasing fat breakdown and how it intensifies the body’s ability to burn calories. While CBD alone may not be sufficient for menopausal weight loss, it could play a beneficial role.

Hot Flashes

There is insufficient evidence regarding the effects of CBD on hot flashes . However, it is possible that cooling CBD gels could provide temporary hot flash relief. In addition, CBD oil stored in the refrigerator could ease hot flashes in the short-term.

Joint Pain

CBD has been well-established in scientific literature to be beneficial in treating joint pain, including pain related to arthritis . The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD contribute to its efficacy in relieving pain.

Many but not all women will experience joint pain during menopause. Those who do may feel pain in their knees, hands, hips and knees. Topical CBD products may be used to treat joint pain with targeted application to areas of discomfort.

Memory Loss

Brain fog during menopause is a real phenomenon that can affect short-term memory. While THC can have a negative impact on memory, CBD appears to have the opposite effect. CBD has been studied for its effects on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, along with other conditions linked to memory loss.

Scientists cannot definitively say whether CBD can help clarify the brain fog that occurs during menopause. But CBD has demonstrated neuroprotective effects , including the ability to stimulate new brain cell growth.

Risks and Precautions

CBD products come with fewer risks and precautions than those containing THC. However, CBD is still a drug which means you should exercise certain precautions.

Avoid using CBD or any cannabis products if you are on blood thinners like warfarin or heparin. Consult with your doctor if you are on antidepressants or any prescription medication, which may interact with CBD.

Furthermore, you may experience side effects after using CBD, but these are usually minor. Some side effects of CBD include:

    • Dry mouth
    • Drowsiness
    • Reduced appetite
    • Diarrhea
    • Liver injury (in rare cases)

    See your doctor if you have concerns about any side effects from CBD.

    Free Infographic Guide to Cannabinoids

    How to Find the Right CBD for Menopause

    Evaluating the quality of CBD products is a multi-step process that requires a little legwork on your part. Here are some key issues to consider before you purchase a CBD product for menopause.

    Hemp Source

    Know the origin of the hemp in your CBD products. CBD oils that are certified USDA-organic tend to be higher quality than others.

    Extraction Method

    Impurities are removed during the extraction process, leaving you with a refined final product. There are many different extraction methods used to create CBD oil, but the CO2 method with olive oil is generally reputed to be the best.

    Cannabinoid Spectrum (Full Spectrum vs. Isolate)

    Full-spectrum oils usually have superior therapeutic properties than isolates. CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD available and usually contains no psychoactive THC. But CBD isolate lacks the rich plant compounds including aromatic terpenes preserved in full-spectrum products.

    The only caveat is that full-spectrum CBD products contain up to 0.3% THC concentrations, which may be inappropriate for women suffering from anxiety or who simply don’t want any risk of getting high. Broad-spectrum products are the happy medium between full-spectrum and isolates. Broad-spectrum CBD oils keep the therapeutic plant compounds but strip away virtually all the THC.

    Potency

    Potency is relative because CBD oil will affect each individual differently. However, 50 milligrams of CBD per 1 milliliter serving is the gold standard of potency in CBD products. For a typical 30-milliliter bottle of CBD oil, a potent CBD measurement would equal 1,500 milligrams.

    Lab Reports

    Check out a product’s lab reports to make sure there is an absence of mold, heavy metals and other contaminants.

    Company Reputation

    Are you familiar with the brand name? What have you heard others say about the brand in online reviews and through word of mouth? Do your homework on the company reputation before you invest in a CBD product.

    Best CBD Products for Menopause

    Here are our top 5 picks of the best CBD products for menopause.

    CBDfx Gummies

    Vegan, gluten-free, and containing no artificial anything, these broad-spectrum CBD gummies are an excellent choice for the health-conscious woman.

    R&R Medicinals THC-Free Hemp Extract Softgels

    Product origin is important, and these organic hemp softgels come from a reputable Colorado farm. Plus, the company offers a 25% discount for veterans.

    Receptra Naturals CBD Tincture

    These CBD tinctures have a sunflower oil base and are great for microdosing. Invigorating flavors include fresh berry and ginger lime.

    Joy Organics Organic CBD Salve

    If you prefer topical CBD products, this organic salve can help ease your menopause-related aches and pains. Made with beeswax, the salve also offers nourishing skin benefits.

    Charlotte’s Web CBD Oil

    Conquer insomnia with this full-spectrum CBD oil designed to calm you. Unique flavor options include olive oil, mint chocolate and orange blossom.

    Using CBD for Menopause

    Despite the scientific evidence supporting medical marijuana and CBD’s potential for treating menopause symptoms, the treatment is not mainstream. However, it is clear that CBD could play a beneficial role in treating a range of menopause symptoms .

    If you’re going through menopause and would like to learn more about the benefits of CBD and cannabis medicine, the physicians at Leafwell are here to help. While menopause is not specifically a qualifying condition for any state medical cannabis program, many of the side effects such as pain and insomnia are qualifying conditions for a medical cannabis card. Contact us today and get started on your path to holistic wellness by applying for a medical marijuana card.

    CBD Oil and Menopause: Does CBD Help With Menopause Symptoms?

    Most of us don’t start thinking about menopause until it’s just around the corner — leaving us completely unprepared to deal with its irksome symptoms, especially in the early stages.

    But the sooner you detect and proactively respond to the changes taking place inside your body, the better.

    Unfortunately, the current medical system lacks support for the needs of peri- and post-menopausal women, so like many others, you may be turning to natural resources for aid.

    Menopause is one of the top reasons women use cannabis products. The hype hemp-derived CBD oil is gaining for easing peri- and post-menopausal symptoms isn’t based just on anecdotal evidence — scientists also suggest that cannabidiol (CBD) could be useful for menopause symptoms.

    In this article, I’ll cover the 8 most common menopause symptoms and how CBD can alleviate them — and show you my personal list of trusted CBD brands.

    But first, let’s go over the basics.

    First of All, What is CBD Oil?

    CBD oil is a concentrated hemp extract that contains a carrier oil (like sweet almond oil or MCT oil), cannabidiol (CBD), and a variety of trace cannabinoids, terpenes, and other hemp compounds.

    Unlike its marijuana-derived counterpart, hemp-derived CBD oil can’t get you high because it only contains 0.3% THC — which isn’t enough to get you high

    CBD oil interacts with the endocannabinoid system — one of the most important networks in humans that regulates every homeostatic function in the body. This includes processes like memory, mood, cognitive performance, immune response, body temperature, appetite, sensory perception, and more.

    CBD supports the endocannabinoid system through two sets of receptors (CB1 and CB2) and several receptor-independent routes so it can maintain the chemical balance in the body whenever any of the above functions becomes compromised.

    Because of that, CBD offers a plethora of health benefits, including emotional stability, better sleep, reduced stress, and relief from inflammation and pain. It’s no wonder women struggling with menopause turn to CBD oil for help.

    How Does Menopause Affect Women?

    Women are born with millions of immature eggs in their ovaries. Since puberty, our bodies start to produce more estrogen every time an egg matures, which happens approximately once a month.

    However, as time flies, our supplies of eggs begin to shrink. And once we use up all our eggs, our menstruation stops which means the end of your estrogen burst. That’s how menopause is triggered.

    Well, in very simplified terms, of course.

    In fact, menopause is more complicated than we think.

    For the years prior to menopause (i.e. perimenopause), our estrogen levels fluctuate from the highs and lows a little bit less each year.

    There’s a host of hormones that go on a roller-coaster ride along with estrogen, all of which are meant to keep your body operating in carefully orchestrated cycles.

    Consequently, some molecules in your body controlled by these hormones also start to increase or decrease. The body starts to produce inflammatory molecules and your brain’s neurochemistry changes too.

    Menopause impacts the inner clockwork of our bodies, from brain function to bone reabsorption to fat accumulation.

    And each woman’s experience of menopause is different.

    Menopausal Symptoms: Causes & Potential Solutions

    The current state of the medical system in regards to menopause is changing. For way too long, women have been silent about menopause and their needs during that period — so the topic was neglected by modern medicine.

    As a matter of fact, scientists are still trying to find out why and how a woman’s body changes during menopause.

    Much of the research presented in this article is at the cutting edge when it comes to interactions between CBD and menopause symptoms.

    It’s unlikely your doctor will explain them to you, but I believe the more you understand about the nature of menopause, the easier it will be to find relief.

    Here are the 8 menopause symptoms you can alleviate using CBD oil:

    1. Aches & Joint Pain

    Do you feel achy more often than you used to? Without estrogen, our bodies produce more inflammatory molecules, specifically TNFα — short for tumor necrosis factor (1). A spontaneous increase in the levels of this molecule is associated with faster onset of menopause.

    This means that you may start experiencing arthritis symptoms during menopause. More than 60% of women aged 40–64 struggle with muscle and joint pain (2).

    CBD has documented anti-inflammatory properties. As shown in animal models, it can act as an anti-arthritic by protecting joints against inflammatory damage and reducing concentrations of inflammatory TNFα (3).

    You can use CBD oil as a supplement to your dietary regimen and low-impact exercise to combat inflammation during menopause.

    2. Mood Swings & Depression

    Anxiety and depression are common in women during menopause. Estrogen and progesterone regulate the activity of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, directly affecting mood.

    As the levels of these hormones rapidly decrease, your neurochemistry will change, hence the emotional distress.

    CBD can help with anxiety on two levels. First, it facilitates serotonin neurotransmission through one of its receptors (5-HT1A), making it more available for the brain and regulating mood (4). Secondly, and most importantly, CBD is able to improve the binding ability of a neurotransmitter known as GABA — GABA acts as the brake pedal for the nervous system, slowing down neurological activity and helping us relax when we experience an anxiety attack (5).

    When it comes to depression, CBD offers some remarkable benefits to different causes of this disease. There are a few phase 2 clinical trials being conducted on the effects of CBD for different types of depression.

    3. Hot Flashes & Night Sweats

    Women frequently joke about hot flashes and night sweats, but this is a serious problem for those going through menopause.

    These symptoms are triggered by altered chemistry in the hypothalamus — the body’s own thermoregulator. In short, your body’s cooling abilities — including sweat response and vessel dilation — get activated way too often.

    Menopausal women who suffer from hot flashes are triggered when their body temperature rises by only 1.5 degrees, whereas those before menopause have their cooling system switched off unless their temperature increases by almost 3 degrees (6).

    Here’s where CBD may help.

    Although there’s been no research that has specifically looked for CBD and its influence on hot flashes, its ability to interact with the body’s serotonin system could be one reason why some women use CBD for this symptom.

    There actually several other tools that can help you calm the nervous system, such as behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques, or hypnosis.

    4. Weight Gain & Diabetes

    Hormones play a significant role in shaping our bodies on many levels; this also includes controlling our metabolism.

    Without estrogen, our bodies don’t burn as many calories as they did before the plunge — even while sleeping. You may suddenly notice that you also burn less fat during physical activity.

    Even if you cut down on calories and avoid weight fluctuation, the ongoing hormonal changes tell your body to sacrifice lean muscle mass in favor of abdominal fat.

    This way of storing fat, unfortunately, makes you more exposed to cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, and diabetes.

    According to population studies, adults who use cannabis regularly have lower insulin levels and smaller waist circumferences than those who abstain from cannabinoids (7).

    CBD could contribute to that phenomenon by triggering the PPAR-γ receptor that boosts our metabolism. On top of that, CBD also helps increase the production of natural endocannabinoids, including 2-AG, which can mitigate insulin resistance, especially during menopause (8).

    5. Genitourinary Syndrome

    Estrogen helps maintain proper blood flow to the pelvic region, bringing fresh oxygen to the tissues in the sexual organs and urinary tract. Long story short, it keeps things elastic and healthy.

    Once women enter menopause, these functions get easily compromised and lead to an array of unpleasant conditions, such as inflammation, muscle stress, and oversensitivity in those intimate regions.

    If that happens to you, I suggest that you use a topical lubricant that contains CBD or THC. Both these cannabinoids are potent vasodilators, which means they can make your body funnel more blood to the pelvic region — moisturizing the vaginal canal.

    CBD can also reduce inflammation, relax muscles, and calm the nerves within the vagina.

    6. Osteoporosis

    Our bodies regularly transfer calcium and other minerals between the bloodstream and bones. As we enter the perimenopausal stage, less calcium is added to the bone, and more is taken away, resulting in lowering bone density and making us more exposed to fractures.

    New studies suggest that inflammation triggered by arthritis or other conditions might be one of the most significant causes of bone degeneration — the main suspect here is, again, TNFα (9).

    It appears that the same anti-inflammatory qualities that make CBD oil a popular choice for arthritis may also contribute to improving your bones’ density.

    Although most studies in this subject have been conducted on animal models, I encourage you to use every natural resource if you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Additionally, you may add resistance exercise to your daily routine, as it also decreases TNFα concentrations.

    7. Sleep Deprivation

    Many peri- and post-menopausal women experience trouble sleeping. Sleep deprivation can take a serious toll on your health, triggering fatigue and a whole array of other health conditions.

    Menopause disrupts sleep on many levels, mainly through increased anxiety and night sweats.

    Before you can troubleshoot the best solutions for decreased sleep quality, you’ll need to identify the biggest obstacles between you and a good night’s rest.

    In addition to its anti-anxiety properties, CBD can help the user regulate their sleep-wake cycle when it gets disturbed.

    CBD helps us remain in the deep stage of sleep for longer — and reduces the time we stay in the REM stage, resulting in restorative sleep (11).

    8. Memory Loss

    The hippocampus — the brain area responsible for memory, emotion, and learning — is a key component of memory in the human brain. Estrogen and progesterone stimulate the production of neurons in the hippocampus to create new connections, and without these hormones, our memory might suffer.

    Scientists are actively researching the benefits of CBD for improving synaptic plasticity and memory loss, specifically in the hippocampus (12). The initial results are promising, to say the list, but we still need more solid evidence to further prove these findings.

    Nevertheless, you can use CBD oil along with other ways to protect this region of the brain, such as exercise, spending time with others, avoiding alcohol, cultivating your sex life, and getting restful sleep.

    Things to Keep in Mind When Buying CBD Oil for Menopause

    Not all CBD oils are created equal. In fact, there’s a large scope of difference when it comes to the quality of different CBD products.

    If using this supplement for menopause and its many symptoms, it’s important to aim at the highest quality possible, and preferably in a moderate to high potency.

    Here’s what you need to consider when buying CBD oil for menopause:

    Hemp Source

    The source of hemp used in your CBD oil is of paramount importance because it tells you a lot about the quality of the extract.

    Hemp acts as a bioaccumulator, meaning it absorbs everything from the soil it’s grown in. By this token, hemp grown in poor soil will result in a poor-quality CBD oil. Not only will such products contain low levels of CBD, but they will also be contaminated with all the pollutants living in that soil.

    On the other hand, organically grown hemp plants will yield potent extracts without harmful contamination. Thus, I encourage you to buy CBD oil from manufacturers who get their hemp from domestic farmers and use organic practices.

    Extraction Method

    The extraction method used in the manufacturing of your CBD oil is another make-or-break factor when it comes to its potency and purity.

    Reputable companies use CO2 extraction, as it leaves them with a clean and potent product. CO2-extracted oils come in a beautiful amber-gold color, which is an indicator of their high quality.

    CBD tinctures, which are a bit different than regular oil drops, use high-proof alcohol to strip the valuable cannabinoids and nutrients from hemp. But when a company uses butane, propane, and other harsh solvents for extraction, it’s best to steer clear of their products.

    Cannabinoid Spectrum (Full Spectrum vs. Isolate)

    For menopause, I’d recommend using full-spectrum extracts because they contain all the natural compounds from hemp. These molecules create unique synergy and are more effective together than in isolation.

    That’s why, in my opinion, full-spectrum CBD oil is superior to CBD isolate. Of course, the latter carries the highest dose of CBD per serving, but unlike full-spectrum extracts, it may lose efficacy beyond certain dosage, which scientists refer to as a “bell-shaped response.”

    Potency

    CBD comes in various potencies, starting from 100mg to even 5000mg per bottle. Your ideal potency will depend on several factors, such as your body weight, metabolism, the severity of your condition, and previous experience with CBD supplements.

    If your menopause symptoms are mild and you’ve never taken CBD before, then it’s better to start low and slow. I would go with low-to-moderate potencies such as 250mg for starters.

    But on the other hand, if your symptoms negatively impact your everyday performance, you can go with higher dosages. However, keep in mind that larger amounts of CBD can induce sedation and make you feel a bit dizzy due to lowered blood pressure.

    When taking any medication, make sure you consult with your doctor prior to taking any CBD product. Cannabidiol interacts with a wide range of drugs and can lead to their increased concentrations in your system.

    Lab Reports

    CBD companies have the option to send their extracts for a thorough analysis to a third-party laboratory.

    These laboratories generated by an independent company test for the product’s cannabinoid content and its purity grade. As CBD becomes popular these days, many new manufacturers and products are out in the market now and then. Unfortunately, there are no quality controls for CBD products, thus making it hard to distinguish poor quality products from the finest ones. For this, users need to find and read these third-lab test results from manufacturers before buying any product for their safe consumption.

    Lab reports allow the user to verify if the label claims are based on facts and thus should be clearly displayed on your vendor’s website in a dedicated section. If you can’t find them there, don’t panic; try to contact the brand via email or any other channel.

    Company Reputation

    Find me a company that says their products are low-quality and I’ll get you supplied with premium CBD oil for life.

    Every CBD brand out there brags about the quality of its products, and there’s one simple way to see if they’re telling the truth

    Do some research and read online reviews from verified users before you decide to spend your money on CBD oil.

    Make sure to check with different sources for more objective information. Some companies boast 5-star reviews on their website, while third-party sources like Amazon hammer their products with lots of poor opinions.

    Summarizing the Benefits of CBD for Menopause

    As you begin to experience the first menopause symptoms, it’s an important time to monitor the changes happening within your body and life. By understanding the causes of these symptoms, you will be able to find the best solutions for alleviating them.

    I hope this article will help you in this endeavor and contribute to a well-informed CBD oil purchase.

    Do you take CBD oil for menopause? Have you noticed any improvements in your symptoms? Share your stories with me!

    References:

    1. Sites, C.K. et al. (2002). Menopause-related Differences in Inflammation Markers and Their Relationship to Body Fat Distribution and Insulin-stimulated Glucose Disposal. Fertility and Sterility, 77(1), 128–135.
    2. Makara-Studzińśka, M. T., Kryś-Noszczyk, K. M., & Jakiel, G. (2014). Epidemiology of the symptoms of menopause – an intercontinental review. Przeglad menopauzalny = Menopause review, 13(3), 203–211.
    3. Malfait, A.M., Gallily, R., Sumariwalla, P.F., Malik, A.S., Andreakos, E., Mechoulam, R., and Feldman, M. (2000). The Nonpsychoactive Cannabis Constituent Cannabidiol is an Oral Anti-arthritic Therapeutic in Murine Collagen-induced Arthritis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 97(17), 9561–9566.
    4. Sales, A.J., Crestani, C.C., Guimaraes, F.S., Joca, S.R.L. (2018). Antidepressant-like Effect Induced by Cannabidiol is Dependent on Brain Serotonin Levels. Progress in Neuro-psychopharmacology & Psychiatry, 30(86), 255-261.
    5. Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics : the journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836. doi:10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
    6. Freedman, R.R., Krell, W. (1999). Reduced Thermoregulatory Null Zone in Postmenopausal Women With Hot Flashes. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 181(1), 66-70.
    7. Penner, E.A., Buettner, H., Mittleman, M.A. (2013). The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance among US Adults. The American Journal of Medicine, 126(7), 583-589.
    8. Fanelli, F., Mezullo, M., Baccini, M., Casadio, E., Gasparini, D.I., Vicennati, V., Pasquali, R. & Pagotto, U. (2017) Menopause is a Major determinant of Endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol Plasma Level and of its Relevance as Biomarker of Dyslipidemia and Insulin Resistance in Lean Women. Endocrine Abstracts, 49, EP669.
    9. Mundy, G.R. (2007). Osteoporosis and Inflammation. International Life Sciences Institute, 141-151.
    10. Murillo-Rodríguez, E., Sarro-Ramírez, A., Sánchez, D., Mijangos-Moreno, S., Tejeda-Padrón, A., Poot-Aké, A., … Arias-Carrión, O. (2014). Potential effects of cannabidiol as a wake-promoting agent. Current neuropharmacology, 12(3), 269–272.
    11. Linares, I., Guimaraes, F. S., Eckeli, A., Crippa, A., Zuardi, A. W., Souza, J., … Crippa, J. (2018). No Acute Effects of Cannabidiol on the Sleep-Wake Cycle of Healthy Subjects: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study. Frontiers in pharmacology, 9, 315.
    12. Beale, C., Broyd, S. J., Chye, Y., Suo, C., Schira, M., Galettis, P., … Solowij, N. (2018). Prolonged Cannabidiol Treatment Effects on Hippocampal Subfield Volumes in Current Cannabis Users. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 3(1), 94–107.
    Nina Julia

    Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.

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    8 Menopause Symptoms CBD Could Help

    Unfortunately, you may have discovered that the medical system is often woefully unprepared to deal with the symptoms of menopause. Previous generations of women were so quiet about “the change” that the medical system is only just now waking up to the needs of peri- and post-menopausal women. So, like many others, you may be turning to traditional herbal medicines – like CBD oil – for support, because our great- great-grandmothers were probably on to something.

    Most of us never seriously consider menopause until we find ourselves on its doorstep — woefully unprepared to deal with its many symptoms. Some of us might not even recognize these symptoms during the early stages of perimenopause. But the sooner we notice and proactively respond to the changes happening within our bodies, the better our future health.

    Cannabis & Hemp for Menopause

    Menopause is one of the top three reasons women use therapeutic cannabis products — menstruation and sex are the other two. The good reputation that hemp and cannabis-derived CBD oils are gaining for treating peri- and post-menopausal symptoms isn’t based just on testimonials — scientific research also indicates how cannabidiol (CBD) could be useful for:

    • Aches & joint pain
    • Mood swings or depression
    • Weight gain / diabetes
    • Hot flashes
    • Genitourinary syndrome (vaginal dryness, atrophy and bladder control problems)
    • Osteoporosis
    • Sleep disruptions / insomnia
    • Memory loss

    In this article, we’ll explore how menopause triggers inflammation and brain chemistry changes — which are at the root of most of these symptoms — and how CBD and other interventions could help.

    More than Estrogen: A Sea of Changes

    You’re probably familiar with the estrogen story by now: women are born with millions of immature eggs in their ovaries. Starting at puberty, our bodies are pumped full of estrogen every time an egg matures — approximately once a month. However, over the years, our supply of eggs dwindles. And once all our eggs are gone, our periods stop and the estrogen bursts go away, triggering menopause.

    But in reality, menopause is not so clear-cut. For years before the menopause (a period called the perimenopause), our estrogen levels swing unpredictably high or low before the final plunge. And it’s not just estrogen that goes on a roller-coaster ride — a full supporting cast of hormones that (more-or-less) kept our bodies operating smoothly over the years also begin rebelling.

    Controlled by these hormones, countless molecules in our bodies also increase or decrease. Our brain neurochemistry changes. Our bodies ramp 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.

    Menopausal Symptoms: Causes & Support

    If menopause has left you feeling like the medical system doesn’t understand your needs, you’re probably right. Scientists are still uncovering why and how our bodies change during menopause.

    Much of the information in this article is at the cutting edge of menopause research, and may have never been explained to you by your doctor — but we believe that the more you understand about your symptoms, the easier it will be for you to find support.

    Here are some of the most widespread issues women face during menopause:

    Aches & Joint Pain

    What’s going on: Does your body hurt more than it used to? Don’t be so quick to blame it on age – without estrogen, our bodies produce higher levels of inflammatory molecules (specifically, tumor necrosis factor, or TNFα). This means arthritis symptoms could skyrocket during menopause. More than 60% of women aged 40 to 64 suffer from pain in their muscles and joints.

    How CBD could help: It is more important than ever to reduce inflammation in your body during menopause. 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.

    Mood Swings & Depression

    What’s going on: It’s not unusual for women to experience anxiety or depression during menopause. Estrogen and progesterone influence the activity of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain — which directly affect mood. As levels of these hormones become erratic and eventually plummet, your neurochemistry will change.

    How CBD could help: 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 turns out 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

    What’s going on: Hot flashes and night sweats are frequently joked about, but in reality they’re no laughing matter. They disrupt our sleep and daily routines, which can reduce the quality of our lives. These “vasomotor” symptoms are caused by altered neurochemistry in the hypothalamus — your body’s thermostat control. In other words, your body’s cooling system — blood vessel dilation & sweat response — gets switched on way too easily. When tested in the lab, women who suffer from hot flashes are triggered when their body temperatures increase by only 1.5 degrees , whereas other women’s bodies don’t switch on the cooling system unless their temperatures increase almost 3 degrees.

    How CBD could help: 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.

    Weight Gain & Diabetes

    What’s going on: Hormones shape our bodies on so many levels, including controlling our metabolism. Without estrogen, our bodies burn fewer calories — even while sleeping — and we also burn less fat during exercise. Even if you cut calories and maintain a stable weight throughout menopause, the ongoing hormonal shift tells your body to trade in lean muscle mass for abdominal fat. And this pattern of fat storage unfortunately raises your predisposition to insulin resistance, diabetes and cardiovascular disease .

    Genitourinal Syndrome (Vaginal Dryness, Atrophy & Bladder Control)

    What’s going on: Sexual health and bladder control after menopause might seem like two separate subjects, but they are so intimately related that they are now lumped into a single medical condition. Estrogen helps keep blood flowing to the pelvic region, delivering fresh oxygen to the tissues of the urinary tract and sexual organs — keeping things elastic and healthy. Once menopause arrives, women should give their pelvis some extra love and attention to keep up the blood flow. (For more on this topic, read our article on sexual health after menopause .)

    How CBD could help: Along with regular sexual activity, a topical lubricant that contains cannabinoids like CBD or THC — which are both potent vasodilators — can increase blood flow to the pelvic region. This keeps tissues healthy while also moisturizing the vaginal canal. Topical CBD can also fight inflammation, relax muscles and calm pain-perceiving nerves in the vulva and vagina , making CBD-infused lube and suppositories one of women’s best companions through menopause.

    Osteoporosis

    What’s going on: Our bodies constantly move calcium and other minerals into — and out of — bones. As we enter perimenopause, the net result is often bone resorption (where more bone is taken away than is added), lowering bone density and increasing our risk for fractures. We’ve all heard about the importance of dietary calcium and exercise for preventing osteoporosis, but new research suggests that inflammation from arthritis or other conditions might be one of the biggest causes of bone resorption . Inflammatory TNFα is particularly adept at telling your body to increase bone resorption .

    How CBD could help: 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.

    Sleep Disturbances

    What’s going on: Many peri- and post-menopausal women have trouble getting a good night’s sleep. And sleep deprivation can really wear a person down — triggering fatigue and a full spectrum of other health issues. Menopause might disrupt your sleep a number of different ways, including through night sweats and increased anxiety or depression . You’ll need to identify the biggest hurdles between you and a good night’s sleep before you can troubleshoot the best solutions. Track your sleep or ask your doctor about a sleep study if you need help.

    How CBD could help: People of all genders and ages 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.

    Memory Loss

    What’s going on: It’s tempting to blame memory loss on age, but even younger women who go through surgical menopause can experience rapid memory loss . The brain region responsible for memory, learning and emotion, the hippocampus , is a hotbed of synaptic plasticity. Hormones like estrogen and progesterone encourage neurons in the hippocampus to form new connections , and our memories might suffer without these hormones.

    How CBD could help: 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 .

    Self-Directed Care for Menopause

    Now, more than ever, is an important time to observe the changes happening within your body and life. Be honest with yourself and others about how much support you need.

    Estrogen and progesterone shouldered a lot of responsibilities within your body, and CBD should only be one of many resources that help you through (and beyond) menopause.

    For more suggested tips to help you thrive through this transition, see our handy article on 9 essential sources of support for menopause.

    CBD: Are You Doing It Right?

    For those who are new to the world of CBD, in addition to purchasing a high-quality product, 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.

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