Menopause occurs when your body has stopped menstruating and is formally diagnosed when you have gone 12 months without your period. This process results in sweeping changes to your body and may cause you no shortage of discomfort or distress. This can be potentially avoided via the use of an innovative and safe extract of the cannabis plant known as cannabidiol (CBD).
What is Menopause?
Menopause does not occur overnight; it is a gradual process of transformation until your ovaries stop producing reproductive hormones. This period of transition may take months or years and is formally known as perimenopause.
During this period of time, the symptoms may include:
- Vaginal dryness
- Irregular menstruation
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Problems with sleep
- Urinary incontinence
- Changes in mood
- Slower metabolism and weight gain
Furthermore, some women may develop other conditions following menopause, including osteoporosis or heart disease. Consequently, treating menopause will be different for each woman and may have to consist of a holistic approach combining conventional medicines with additional supplements.
What Causes Menopause?
There are a number of different factors that may cause menopause, including:
- Natural decrease of reproductive hormones – As a natural result of the aging process, your ovaries produce less estrogen and progesterone in your late 30s. As you approach menopause, your fertility then declines until your ovaries stop producing any eggs.
- Hysterectomy – If you undergo a total hysterectomy or a bilateral oophorectomy, then both your uterus and ovaries are entirely removed. This causes your body to go into menopause, even if you are young at the time of the procedure.
- Cancer treatment – Undergoing chemo- and/or radiation therapy may induce menopause, although in some cases it is temporary and your body may regain natural reproductive function.
- Premature menopause – Approximately 1% of women undergo menopause before the age of 40 due to primary ovarian insufficiency. In these cases, genetics or an autoimmune disease prevent your ovaries from producing enough reproductive hormones.
Despite these various factors, menopause usually occurs in your late 40s or 50s, with the average age being 51 for women in the United States.
What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is an extract of the cannabis plant that belongs to the group of chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. CBD is a highly effective health and wellness supplement with a number of positive benefits due to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is a regulatory and control system in your body that governs:
- Immune function
- Neurological function
- Pain and inflammation (these are closely related)
Your overall health improves when the ECS is functioning properly. CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors (known as CB-1 and CB-2 receptors) in the ECS to promote a state of balance and wellness that is known as homeostasis.
CBD Oil is available as a tincture, which is a combination of CBD and a carrier oil such as hempseed oil. CBD is also available in different forms such as capsules and isolate powder. There are even vegan CBD gummies for the plant-based community.
What are the Benefits of CBD for Menopause?
CBD oil can help treat your menopausal symptoms, including:
- Pain/inflammation – One of CBD’s most powerful properties is its ability to decrease inflammation. It can effectively counter the increase in inflammatory molecules (especially tumor necrosis factor, or TNFα) once your estrogen levels decrease.
- Depression/mood swings – CBD treats these symptoms by interacting with the ECS to modulate the levels of three crucial neurotransmitters: serotonin, dopamine, and anandamide.
- Weight gain/diabetes – Your body will burn fewer calories as your estrogen levels plummet following menopause. CBD can counter this effect by switching on genes that govern a healthy metabolism (via the PPARG receptor) and decreasing 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
- Hot flashes/night sweats – The ECS is responsible for thermoregulation (a fancy way of saying your body’s internal temperature). CBD likely treats this symptom by modulating serotonin levels.
- Vaginal dryness/urinary incontinence – Estrogen is responsible for keeping healthy blood flow to your vagina and bladder. CBD treats this constriction of blood flow by modulating healthy anandamide levels and acting as a vasodilator. This is just a fancy way of saying that it expands arteries and veins, thereby promoting healthy blood flow.
- Osteoporosis – Remember that CBD has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and its ability to lower TNFα levels may also help treat this post-menopausal condition.
- Insomnia – The ECS controls our sleep cycles, and CBD’s ability to modulate this system helps induce healthy sleep without acting as an intoxicating or addictive narcotic.
In addition to treating these symptoms, there is a growing body of research demonstrating that CBD can promote overall health and wellness.
Does CBD Have Any Side Effects?
CBD is a unique supplement in that it is highly effective while still being incredibly safe. In other words, it is tough on the symptoms but not on your body.
However, as with any medicinal substance, people may have different reactions to it. Although they are quite rare, the side effects associated with CBD include:
- Dry mouth – This occurs because the ECS inhibits the secretion of saliva; this side effect is easily avoided if you drink plenty of water.
- Slight decrease in blood pressure – Remember that CBD is a vasodilator, so if you suffer from hypotension (low blood pressure) then you may experience lightheadedness.
- Drowsiness – In most cases, CBD actually gives users a slight boost in energy if it is taken at a low dose. However, when ingested at higher doses or when it is first introduced to a person’s metabolism, it may result in slight drowsiness.
- Diarrhea/upset stomach – Although CBD is highly effective in treating gastrointestinal distress due to its interaction with the ECS, some users report intestinal discomfort or diarrhea after ingestion. This is likely due to other ingredients in the oil and not the CBD itself. For example, many CBD oil products contain another oil to act as a “carrier”, including coconut (MCT), olive, emu, grapeseed, or hemp seed oil.
Most of these side effects are temporary until your system has time to adjust to the CBD oil and will generally subside in a short amount of time.
CBD is safe, natural, and highly effective. It can potentially treat many of the symptoms associated with menopause while also promoting overall health and wellness.