CBD and Menopause: Can it really help?
Menopause was a big secret amongst Victorian age women and taboo to even speak of it. Probably because men used the mood swings to incarcerate their wayward wives in asylums and the fear associated with that. Previous generations of women never spoke about personal or sexual ailments; not with their family, friends or reluctantly even with their Doctor. The 21 century is the enlightened age and women are openly discussing ‘the change’. Joking about the symptoms with a room full of ladies is uplifting, but the symptoms can be devastating for a large number of women. Especially when your body thermostat loses control. Within those enlightenment conversations is the discussion on traditional herbal medicines, such as CBD oil.
We all know that women are born with millions of eggs and puberty pumps estrogen into those eggs to make them viable for conception. Over the years, the egg supply diminishes. Once all the eggs are gone, our periods stop and we enter the menopause phase. Estrogen and all our female hormones go for a whiz bang ride in our bodies. Our brain neurochemistry changes. Inflammation ramps up. Menopause changes our inner workings and no two women will have the same experience with menopause symptoms.
Many women choose HRT treatment, but in a trend away from pharmaceutical drugs, CBD oil is getting a good review. There have been limited studies with menopausal women surveyed by the Harvard Medical School reporting that cannabis helped relieve some menopausal symptoms.
Estrogen is important to the endocannabinoid (ECS) system and keeps the body balanced. When the menopause hormone system becomes unbalanced, everything else is affected and women experience insomnia, memory loss, osteoporosis, lower libido, mood swings, inflammation, vaginal dryness, anxiety, hot flashes, sweats, weight gain and joint pain. Oestrogen helps regulate endocannabinoid levels. Low levels are indicated by mood swings, anxiety, inflammation. Plummeting hormones affect serotonin levels, thereby affecting mood. Our bodies produce cannabinoids which help regulate our ECS, and under menopause tension we can use plant cannabinoids for support.
CBD oil is the active ingredient in hemp and cannabis plants. Balancing your hormones, calming the nervous system and easing symptoms can be achieved with CBD products. It is natural and organic and is produced as an oil, pills, powders and creams. Unlike marijuana, CBD products do not make you feel high.
CBD has potent anti-inflammatory properties because it binds with pain receptors. By activating serotonin receptors, CBD thereby increases serotonin.
CBD calms the neurotransmitter in our brains and will assist with sleeping issues due to its anti-anxiety components.
CBD improves collagen production making connective tissue and skin firmer and stronger.
How do you choose a good CBD product?
- Purchase organic, because hemp collects toxins from the soil, like pesticides.
- Avoid added flavours or anything synthetic.
- If inflammation is the issue, search for CBDa.
- Sleeping issues need ingredients like myrcene.
- If drug tests are a concern, use a broad-spectrum CBD.
- A topical lotion can be used to target a specific joint area. This does not enter the bloodstream, so will not address issues such as insomnia.
- Bath salts, vaginal suppositories and personal lubricants are other products to consider.
- There are a multitude of products for sale, so you want to be certain you are buying quality. The active ingredient should be listed as hemp extract, CBD oil or hemp oil. This means that it comes from the flower and not from the seed. The seed contains no CBD.
What is an effective dose?
The recommended dose is 20mg and it should take about 15-45 minutes to take effect. It is acceptable to take this on a daily basis, adjusting the mg dose to suit your requirements. You can’t overdose on CBD as it is fat soluble. While heavy cannabis use is addictive, CBD, by itself, does not appear to be addictive.
What are the side effects of using CBD?
CBD may cause dry mouth, diarrhoea and fatigue. If you are taking other medications, you absolutely should consult your doctor. Whether you plan to vape or ingest it, it is advisable to seek medical advice. Vaping can damage your respiratory system and is not recommended.
Women need to research CBD products for their claims of medicinal value. Infused food and drinks, tinctures, lube or tablets are considered the safe alternatives. Certainly, there is an expanding thought amongst the menopausal population of the CBD benefits. So, give it a go and tell your friends if you feel any benefits.
Written by Mona Hecke
Mona Hecke is a degree qualified Naturopath, nutrition specialist and health and wellness writer.
With over 20 years in the health industry, beginning with a focus on children and families, and a bestselling book ‘The Lunchbox Revolution’, Mona is now empowering women through education and conversation to take action and embrace change. Gut health, mindfulness, nutrition, hormones, and menopause are the topics that women want and need to know to create their healthy future.
Mona holds certifications in Lifestyle Coaching, Kinesiology, holistic herbal medicine, and nutrition.
A recognised leader in the health industry, Mona’s strong social media presence and passion for influencing change will continue to be a catalyst for health reform for the benefit of every Australian.