Despite the fact it’s a normal part of aging for all women, the period of intense hormonal fluctuation that occurs during menopause can cause a series of adverse effects. Although there are some hormonal replacement therapies, alongside natural remedies, many women are turning to CBD to improve their menopausal health. It seems that there may be ways to harness the natural benefits of cannabis through CBD, making menopause an easier experience.
What are the Symptoms of Menopause?
Just as hormonal changes are unique to each individual throughout their menstrual cycle, what each woman experiences during menopause are different too. Moreover, the severity of the symptoms differs. For those who experience menopause quickly, the period in which they are menopausal will lead to more severe symptoms. For those with a longer menopause, their symptoms may be less severe.
Just prior to menopause occurring, women will often experience:
- Reduction or significant change in their monthly periods
- Hot flushes, night sweats, and changes in temperature
The symptoms of menopause can then include:
- Mental health changes (insomnia, anxiety, depression)
- Weight changes
- Memory problems and difficulty concentrating
- Vaginal dryness, dry mouth and dry eyes
- Urination changes, including increased urination or urinary tract infections
- Painful and stiff joints and muscles
There may be other symptoms, depending on the individual going through menopause.
What Causes Menopause Symptoms?
As is well known, menopause occurs due to the ovaries no longer producing eggs, thus changing (and ending) the monthly menstrual cycle. This process reduces the amount of oestrogen, progesterone and FSH hormones in the body.
The changing in hormonal balance causes the influx of symptoms that women feel around this time.
What are the Traditional Treatments for Menopause Symptoms?
Due to the diverse range in symptoms, there are many treatment methods available.
The most common menopause treatment is HRT, or Hormone Replacement Therapy. This treatment (given through patches, tablets, gels or implants) regulates the hormonal changes in the body by providing the body with additional oestrogen. For women experiencing severe changes in their bodies, this therapy can help reduce the severity of their symptoms.
Mental health treatment is also available to women, such as CBT. This treatment can help with the low mood, depression, anxiety or insomnia that some women experience.
Topical creams for vaginal dryness are also available. Standard over-the-counter treatments for headaches and bodily pains are also recommended.
What is CBD?
CBD is the non-psychoactive element of the Cannabis plant. Unlike conventional cannabis, it does not contain THC, and so therefore, does not get you ‘high’. It is completely legal in the UK and is available over the counter and online.
CBD has been proven to help provide the therapeutic elements of cannabis, without the psychoactive effects. Through CBD extraction, oils are produced which can then be taken through a wide range of delivery methods. As research develops in the area, scientists are becoming more and more excited about the ability of CBD to relieve pain and provide in-cell benefits to a myriad of conditions.
How can CBD Help Menopause Symptoms?
CBD is often used by those experiencing sleep problems, anxiety and chronic pain. Although there is limited evidence about the use of CBD when these symptoms are caused by menopause, there is little reason to doubt that it would continue to provide relaxing and soothing effects to those in menopause.
Headaches and joint pain are often seen to be helped by CBD, and many users experience relief from continuous pain when taking CBD. Moreover, CBD has a specifically positive impact on mood – something which is often under pressure when experiencing menopause. A 2018 study, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, found that cannabis had a significant effect on the reduction of perception of depression, anxiety and stress. This study also demonstrated that higher CBD strains of cannabis were the most effective at tackling mental health.
CBD is also effective for those struggling with sleep, a common symptom of menopause. A 2019 study published in the Permanente Journal demonstrated that sleep scores amongst patients improved by 67% when taking CBD. This agrees with plenty of scientific evidence to suggest that CBD can be positively influential on our sleep.
CBD has the potential to do far more than just easing symptoms, however. There is evidence to suggest that the endocannabinoid system (the internal bodily system in which CBD contributes), has a vital role in temperature regulation, sleep patterns, pain function, memory and mood. This said, therefore, hot flushes and night sweats caused by menopause, may be regulate by CBD.
Menopause is also known to cause higher levels of inflammation within the body, due to reduced oestrogen levels. The reduction of these oestrogen levels increases the sensitivity to pain and inflammation throughout the body. CBD is demonstrated to provide relief from pain by lessening and regulating these inflammation levels.
As more information is discovered about the endo-cannabinoid system within our bodies, it is likely more research will reveal the benefits of CBD on the menopause specifically. Libido issues, for example, are able to be regulated by CBD.
Which CBD Products are Best for Menopause?
Due to the large range of CBD products available, it can feel overwhelming knowing which to choose.
Recent research has demonstrated that transdermal CBD has strong benefits on pain, and so therefore there is evidence to suggest that if you are looking to treat the pain caused by menopause, a CBD patch might be the best option.
For those looking to quickly experience the benefits of CBD, without waiting for activation to occur, CBD vapes are the best option available.
For those looking to experience the general effects of CBD, and be in control of their own dosing, traditional CBD oil tinctures are a great option.
It is clear that CBD could be very beneficial in helping women manage the symptoms caused by menopause. For those who are new to CBD, it may seem like an overwhelming area, in which they know little about. However, studies and research demonstrate the clear ways in which it can help to lessen pain, reduce anxiety and improve sleep.
As research continues, there will surely be more data uncovered revealing the ways in which CBD can regulate our internal bodily systems, and how that itself can improve the effects of menopause.