Hot flashes, mood swings, depression, anxiety, sleepless nights, weight gain, osteoporosis risk…
Life isn’t at all simple for all of us, my dear Venus residents, after the age of 45-55 when menopause knocks on our doors.
The question is simple: what are -if any- the benefits of CBD oil on menopause? Can CBD offer us relief from menopause symptoms?
Do you want to know?
If you do, follow me! (Wait! Let me find my Spanish fan first!)
What is Menopause?
In simple words, menopause happens when we stop having a menstrual cycle.
But what happens and why?
We are born with a great number of immature eggs waiting to be fertilized. Once a month an egg -sometimes more than one- matures and our body is filled with estrogens.
With the passing of time, our supply of eggs decreases until all of them are gone. This is the time when our menstruation cycles stop because of our reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone levels decline.
But, unfortunately, this doesn’t happen from one day to another.
Menopause happens in three stages: the perimenopause, the menopause, and the post-menopause stage
During the perimenopause stage (which actually starts seven to fourteen years before our very last period), our estrogen levels along with other hormones go crazy and start fluctuating. Some “alarming” indicators may be hot flashes, excessive sweating or sleep problems.
We officially enter the world of menopause twelve months after our last menstrual cycle. During this period, we experience a lot of physical and psychological transformations because of changes occurring in our brain and body. Mood swings to weight gain and even osteoporosis are the results of the brain alterations and physical changes menopause causes.
When the menopause storm finishes we enter the post-menopause stage during which we suffer less but there is an increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease resulting from the low levels of estrogens.
What are Menopause Symptoms?
There are no rules and no exceptions in the way each of us will experience menopause. We are UNIQUE and every one of us will make this transition differently from others.
Even though menopause isn’t a disorder, it emerges with a series of symptoms.
Don’t think you will have to face all of them!
Every one of us seems to experience her own symptoms. For some of us, the troubles are intense and severe, while for others there is a slight change in mood or some sleepless nights every now and then.
The most common -and widespread- issues we face during menopause are:
- Joint stiffness and pain
- Mood swings, anxiety, and depression
- Weight gain/diabetes
- Hot flashes
- Night Sweats
- Vaginal dryness and low libido
- Loss of bone density/osteoporosis
- Sleep disruptions / insomnia
- Memory loss and concentration difficulties
Menopause and our Endocannabinoid System
During menopause, increased production of inflammatory molecules and significant brain chemistry changes occur — perhaps these two the source of most of our symptoms.
It’s obvious that all these are related to the Endocannabinoid System (ECS ) which has a complex role in female fertility and the onset of menopause.
The ECS is a biological network composed of enzymes, signaling lipids, and receptors linked to G-proteins known as CB1 and CB2 receptors that exist in the central and peripheral nervous systems. It is the mediator of the interactions of endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids (like CBD) with our body.
Estrogens are connected to our ECS in two ways:
- They control fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) levels in our blood.
- They activate the ECS for the management of emotional response.
The decrease in estrogens may result in declining endocannabinoid activity causing the symptoms of menopause.
Let me refresh your memory: Homeostasis is very important for our wellness and the cannabinoid du jour, CBD may help us achieve it during the “menopause harsh times”.
How can CBD help with Menopausal Symptoms?
I can’t say I like reading scientific articles. They are so boring!
There is a but, though…
I was curious to know the actual origin of the menopause symptoms because I wanted to understand what really happens in our body during this period.
So I spent endless (sigh…) hours reading studies trying to figure out why we have to try hard not to throw that heavy vase at our husband’s head during our mood swings!
I proudly present you the results of my research (I must admit I’ve sweated buckets to gather all this information. Menopause or boredom symptom?)
Joint Stiffness and Pain
What’s happening in there? Don’t say it’s because of our age! It isn’t! We are still young!
The pain appears because our body produces more inflammatory molecules now that estrogens are out of the way. In simple words, we feel pain in parts of our bodies that are not injured but they are inflamed. This means that the probabilities of arthritis issues are higher and pain is a common symptom of it.
What can CBD do for us? If we reduce inflammation there will be less or no pain at all. CBD can help us get rid of pain because it is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
According to the author of the above study:
“Inflammation and oxidative stress are intimately involved in the genesis of many human diseases. Unraveling that relationship therapeutically has proven challenging, in part because inflammation and oxidative stress “feed off” each other. However, CBD would seem to be a promising starting point for further drug development given its anti-oxidant (although relatively modest) and anti-inflammatory actions on immune cells..”George W. Booz
Mood Swings, Anxiety, and Depression
What’s happening in there?: Our female hormones, estrogen, and progesterone interact with dominant neurotransmitters in our systems, such as serotonin and dopamine. During menopause, estrogen and progesterone levels become irregular and our brain’s chemistry changes. This “mess” causes mood swings and may lead to anxiety and even depression.
What can CBD do for us? Cannabidiol has the ability to re-activate the serotonin receptors and to inhibit anxiety and improve mood.
Science has demonstrated the anxiolytic properties of CBD. You can get more information on two articles of mine about what scientists have discovered regarding the impact of CBD oil on anxiety disorders.
Night Sweats and Hot flashes.
What’s happening in there? What really happens is that our inner thermostat is broken! Well, ok, not actually broken. Let’s say it doesn’t work well.
Sweating and blood vessel dilation comprise our body’s cooling system. If our body temperature increases up to 3 degrees, the hypothalamus turns on our body’s “air conditioning system ” to bring our temperature to normal levels.
During menopause, our neurochemistry changes and the hypothalamus reacts to temperature alterations too easily. Flashes and sweating are triggered by only 1.5 degrees increase in temperature.
What can CBD do for us? The endocannabinoid anandamide influences the regulation of body temperature. CBD suppresses the enzyme FAAH (or ‘fatty acid amide hydroxylase’) which is responsible for breaking down anandamide.
So what? (I can hear you !)
With FAAH out of the way, more anandamide stays in our system and for longer periods of time. This improves the ability of hypothalamus to control our body temperature.
What’s happening in there? Hormones control our metabolism. I am sorry to tell you that, without the help of our precious estrogens, we don’t burn as many calories as we used to. Fat isn’t metabolized quickly. Sure, we could starve to death to reduce calories intake and exercise as if we would participate in the next Olympiad. The continuous reduction of our hormones levels will order our body to store abdominal fat and the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease will increase.
What can CBD do for us? CBD can have a direct effect on our metabolism. It can
- Promote fat metabolism by stimulating the proteins and the fat genes responsible for the oxidation and the breakdown of fat
- Increase mitochondrial activity which helps burn more calories
- Reduce the expression of proteins which are involved in lipogenesis.
Vaginal Dryness, and Low Libido
What’s happening DOWN there? During our productive life, estrogens give the order, blood flows to the pelvic area transporting oxygen to our sexual organs’ tissues keeping them elastic.
During menopause, we can kiss elasticity goodbye. Painful sexual intercourse (dyspareunia) is a common issue affecting up to 45% of menopausal and postmenopausal women.
It is caused by dwindling estrogens and -inevitably- by the fear of pain after experiencing the unpleasant soreness in our vagina or burning in our vulva or vagina.
What can CBD do for us? First of all, experts advise us to keep practicing 🙂 . When it comes to the health of our sexual organs, the most appropriate phrase is “use it or lose it”.
Using a CBD infused oil to lubricate our sexual organs may stimulate natural lubrication resulting in less pain.
CBD relaxing properties can alter our negative emotional response to sexual stimulation caused by previously experiencing pain during intercourse. In other words, it can fight our fear of pain.
How about adding a bit of spice in our bedroom? Don’t “get to the point” too early! Increase the preparation time by asking for a sensual massage with a CBD massage oil.
Trust me, you’ll love it!
Loss of Bone Density/Osteoporosis
What’s happening in there? Our estrogens regulate the process of replacing old bone cells with new cells and inhibit bone resorption
As estrogen levels decrease our bones become weaker. Loss of bone density happens when osteoclasts (=multinucleate bone cells responsible for absorbing bone tissue during growth and healing) become more aggressive.
Low estrogen levels result in an increase in osteoclasts number or function inducing to osteoporosis To make things worse, new scientific findings suggest that inflammatory molecules and specifically TNFα (tumor necrosis factor) are probably one of the major factors for increased bone resorption
What can CBD do for us? GPR55 receptors exist in osteoclasts. (scientists assume GPR55 is the third cannabinoid receptor).When cell stimulation by GPR55 is high, bone density loss is increased leading to osteoporosis.
CBD has been found to inhibit GPR55 receptors by interacting with them. It can also lower TNFα levels.
Both of these abilities prevent bone loss.
Sleep Disorders / Insomnia
What’s happening in there? Sleep disorders in menopausal women are results of
- anxiety and depression, and
- night sweats, which may also lead to an uncomfortable sleep.
What can CBD do for us? CBD has been found to be a very powerful natural option for treating sleep disturbances.
CBD has anxiolytic and calming properties. It can help us improve our sleep quality. CBD users report being able to sleep better after consuming CBD oil.
Memory Loss and Concentration Difficulties
What’s happening in there? Again, don’t put the blame on age. It isn’t the reason we have difficulties in remembering things and in concentrating. In cases of surgical menopause, even younger women experience the same symptoms.
Our female hormones, estrogen, and progesterone interact with a specific area in our brain called hippocampus. This “seahorse”-like organ is responsible for the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory, learning and emotion.
Our hormones trigger the hippocampus neurons to form new connections. Memory loss is caused by a lack of these hormones. (where did I put my CBD, girls?)
What can CBD do for us? CBD is a neuroprotectant (and as so it is patented by the US Government.) Studies have shown that CBD may inhibit memory impairment and preserve some aspects of memory function.
So, can CBD oil help us with menopause?
It’s not surprising that more and more menopausal women use CBD oil to alleviate menopause symptoms.
Compared to hormone replacement therapy -which has lots of risks and side effects- CBD seems a natural and safe alternative.
What should you do?
CBD oils have high bioavailability and are a great choice if you want them to target various symptoms. CBD salves can help to treat pain topically.
Give an end to suffering! Give CBD oil a try now!
If you have any questions or want to share any personal experience, leave a comment below.
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DISCLAIMER: The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information provided is not meant to alleviate or cure any disease or disorder. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider for any medical condition.