There comes a time in the life of every woman when periods become less and less regular until, one day, they completely stop. While this hormonal change is the normal symptom of getting on in years, the menopausal life does bring with it its own set of challenges. In this post, we will explore the relationship between CBD and menopause. Can CBD help alleviate some of the symptoms of menopause? Can it help with sleep, joint pain, hot flashes, and geniurital problems? Recent studies suggest that it can so it’s no wonder that more and more women have been turning to the therapeutic properties of CBD oils to treat menopause symptoms. Read on to learn more about it, and to find out when (and how) should you turn to this incredibly effective natural remedy.
What Exactly Is Menopause?
The term “menopause” and “menopausal” are thrown around loosely these days, and have come to describe a great many things, from women of a certain age (who can be derogatorily referred to as menopausal) to specific symptoms that result from women losing their regular menstrual cycle (and are no longer ovulating).
For most women, though, menopause is just a natural stage of life – one that comes with its own set of challenges and symptoms. Some women are just slightly affected by menopause – others, however, can struggle with the symptoms for years.
Medically speaking, menopause describes a period of a woman’s life when she’s no longer producing eggs in her ovaries. This loss is pre-programmed in the genes to happen at a certain age when getting pregnant might no longer be safe for the woman. Menopause also occurs when ovaries (where eggs are produced) are removed surgically, when they are diseased, or due to severe hormonal imbalance.
Menopause is not sudden. It’s preceded by a period that we call perimenopause, which is characterized by certain symptoms such as the loss of regular periods. It’s also indicative of the estrogen hormone deficiency. As women age, their estrogen levels decrease, which affects their bodies in different ways.
The average age for a woman to enter menopause is 51 years. However, it’s not all that uncommon for perimenopause to start in the late thirties, resulting in menopause in early forties. And, it’s not uncommon for some women to menstruate well into their late fifties. Personal genetics play a big role when it comes to the onset of menopause.
While menopause is not a disease, it is a period of life that’s accompanied by numerous symptoms. Some of those symptoms are benign while others might be a bit tougher to live with. They include, but are not limited to:
- Sleep problems and insomnia.
- Hot flashes and night sweats.
- Decreased sex drive and function.
- Vaginal dryness and urine leakage.
- Heart palpitations.
- Increased forgetfulness.
- Joint problems.
- Loss of bone density.
These symptoms can persist and, most of the time, there is very little that can be done about them, aside from taking hormone supplements. And, considering that most women will enter menopause around 50 but can live to be more than 80, does this mean that they will struggle with everyday life for 30 odd years?
Not if they are using CBD oil to quell those menopause symptoms! Recent studies involving CBD confirm that the compound’s beneficial health properties could finally allow women all over the world access to a natural and cost-effective remedy for pains and aches that usually accompany menopause. Read below to learn how.
Cannabis & Hemp For Menopause
Numerous researchers are taking an active interest in medicinal properties of CBD and other cannabinoids. While this research is mostly not menopause-focused, this doesn’t mean that it’s not relevant to it.
Menopause is the start of a tremendous change in the body. During that time, hormonal activity changes, neurochemistry changes – pretty much, everything changes.
What researchers are gleaning from their studies is that CBD affects the body in a profound way. Where there’s inflammation, it reduces it. Where there is a hormonal disbalance, it regulates it. In fact, CBD’s beneficial properties are as close to a cure-all that we’ll get for the time being. Here’s what we’ve learned so far about the effects of CBD – and how it can help you cope with the symptoms of menopause.
Osteoporosis Prevention With CBD
Osteoporosis is a decrease in the bone density (literally meaning hollow bone) that increasingly affects women as they start producing less estrogen. It’s one of the more dangerous and worrying symptoms of menopause – but one CBD can potentially help with. During perimenopause, the constant ebb and flow of calcium into and out of the bones slows down. That is, more calcium and other minerals get taken out than put back in, and we refer to that as bone resorption. As a result, bone density decreases, increasing the risk of bone fractures.
Recent research has shown that inflammation from arthritis might be the main culprit for increased bone resorption via the inflammatory TNFα. CBD can help reduce this inflammation, and by doing so, reduce the risk of increased bone resorption. While we’re still waiting on human trials to begin, studies done on rats with periodontitis show promise as the clearly demonstrate that CBD lowers inflammatory TNFα.
CBD For Joint Pain & Aches
As estrogen levels in your body decrease, everything else gets disrupted to a certain degree. We already mentioned that women going through menopause have increased levels of inflammatory molecules, specifically, TNFα, which is short for tumor necrosis factor. These molecules can wreak havoc in your body, and are very much responsible for those aches and pains you feel in your joints every morning. In fact, around 60% of women between 40 and 64 (who identify as menopausal or postmenopausal) report symptoms that are consistent with arthritis.
These inflammations only get worse with age. However, a steady dose of CBD infused oils can put a stop to them. CBD is anti-inflammatory, protecting joints against arthritis and lowering the overall levels of inflammatory TNFα. Extensive studies (such as this one here) were done on mice but scientists are optimistic that the results will be similar with humans as well.
CBD Can Help With Menopause- Induced Insomnia & Poor Sleep Quality
A good night’s sleep is tough to get, even when you’re feeling your best self. For peri and postmenopausal women, it becomes tantamount to mission impossible. Unsatisfying sleep pattern brings with it many other problems, ranging from fatigue and weariness to anxiety and depression. Menopausal sleep loss can be triggered by many things, such as night sweats or pain so it’s important to understand the root cause before tackling it.
When it comes to CBD and menopause-induced sleep loss, there is substantial evidence (both anecdotal and scientific|) that shows that CBD can help people relax and achieve better sleep. Researchers have already established that CBD can be useful when treating anxiety disorders (which often cause insomnia) so if your sleep loss has anything to do with that, you might want to give CBD oils a try.
It Can Also Help Treat Depression & Mood Swings
It’s not that uncommon for women to experience anxiety or depression when they enter menopause. A lot of hormones influence the activity of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, not the least of which is estrogen. And, serotonin is the key neurochemical that affects our mood. As levels of these hormones become erratic and eventually plummet, this neurochemistry changes for the worse.
CBD can help you in your fight against depression, anxiety, and mood swings caused by menopause. Studies have shown that it activates serotonin receptors in much the same way as the anxiolytic drug called buspirone. Of course, CBD should only ever be used as a supplement to your therapy. If you’re feeling on edge, it’s best that you visit your doctor since they can refer you to a mental health specialist if there is a need. Still, it’s nice to know that a little bit of CBD on a daily basis can help you keep your mental symptoms in check!
Say Goodbye To Night Sweats & Hot Flashes
If you’re menopausal (or even perimenopausal), you’ve probably noticed that you get these moments of intense heat when your body is sweating profusely, even though there was no apparent change in the room temperature. If you have, you’ve experienced a hot flash. Menopause has a way of tampering with the hypothalamus, your body’s thermostat so to speak. While seemingly benign (what’s a little sweat, after all), these hot flashes can have a real impact on the quality of your life. They prevent good sleep, and may even prevent you from participating in some social activities if you’re feeling self-conscious when sweating.
Hot flashes are caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. That’s where CBD steps in, seeing how it has the ability to alter neuro imbalances by acting on the endocannabinoid receptors in the brain. While there are no specific studies confirming that CBD relieves hot flashes, some women report a lessening in frequency when they are regularly taking CBD supplements. Other treatments like therapy, hypnosis and relaxation techniques that calm the nervous system can also influence your neurochemistry and help reduce hot flashes.
Diabetes & Weight Gain Can Be Regulated With CBD
When production of estrogen slows down, women’s’ bodies start burning fewer calories even when they engage in rigorous exercise. The hormonal shift can be so severe that, even if you reduce your calorie intake, you can still be gaining weight since your body is trading muscle tissue for fat. All of this, unfortunately, puts you at risk for diabetes, heart disease, and insulin resistance Thanks menopause!
Population studies have found that adults who use cannabis products have lower insulin levels and smaller waist circumferences. Cannabidiol also switches on genes that are responsible for a healthy metabolism (meaning that you burn more fat when taking a steady dose of CBD). Additionally, CBD also helps buffer the activity of natural endocannabinoids, including 2-AG, which is linked to insulin resistance and ramped up during menopause.
CBD Curbs Memory Loss Symptoms
The brain is a curious and wondrous thing – but it is also extremely delicate and fragile. Even a slight neurochemical imbalance or shift can cause unforeseeable consequences, and diminishing levels of a critical hormone certainly count as an imbalance. It’s no wonder then that many women going through menopause experience memory loss. It’s easy to blame it on aging but the fact remains that even younger women who are going through a surgically-induced menopause (removal of ovaries) are experiencing it. That’s because hormones like estrogen and progesterone encourage neurons in the hippocampus to form new connections. Without them, our brains are missing an important building block, which often results in consequences for the memory.
Currently, scientists are hard at work investigating the possibility that CBD can positively impact memory, and protect the brain against neurodegeneration. A study titled “The effects of cannabidiol on impulsivity and memory during abstinence in cigarette dependent smokers” found that CBD doesn’t seem to be able to reverse the cognitive impairments associated with nicotine abstinence in heavy cigarette smokers. A few studies, on the other hand, found that CBD can somehow help in diminishing the addiction habits of opioids, cocaine, and other stimulants, tobacco, and even THC-rich cannabis. Further studies are, of course, needed to solidify our knowledge about the connection between CBD and menopause-triggered memory loss.
Also, some studies suggest that CBD can be a really positive force when it comes to memory enhancement. Make sure to read our blog post focusing on that subject right here.
CBD & Menopause – Are You Doing All You Can To Ease Your Symptoms?
As more and more studies are completed, we’re certain that we will learn more about the effects of CBD on the symptoms of menopause. That said, we already know much about cannabidiol – certainly enough to responsibly claim that the right CBD oil can help with a variety of problems that are present in menopause, such as inflammation, insomnia, anxiety, and more.
Have you just started experiencing some of these symptoms? If you have, and you’re over the age of 40, chances are that you are entering perimenopause. Don’t worry – you can definitely help yourself naturally, and without having to take doctor prescribed replacement hormones. Our CBD vape pen can definitely help you put your life back on track. We recommend taking CBD through inhalation since the effect is immediate. Considering that most menopausal symptoms are in need of an immediate solution (anxiety, joint pain, insomnia, to name just a few), we definitely recommend the Calm Vape vape pen as a quick and easy solution. If you need any help determining how much you need to take, refer to our CBD dosage blog post right here.
That wraps up our entry about CBD and menopause! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment on this post, or to send us an email. We’d love to get you started on the road to a more peaceful and enjoyable life!