Currently there is a massive body of evidence supporting the fact that the chemical compound discovered in the cannabis plant called cannabidiol (CBD) can be a natural alternative to treating chronic pain and reducing menopausal symptoms due to its rich therapeutic properties. This is because, like many NSAIDs, CBD and CBDA, the raw form of CBD, is a COX-2 enzyme inhibitor, and can also potentially help beat the anxiety associated with pain.
As menopause has been found to disrupt the regular performance of the body’s endocannabinoid system, which regulates our mood, fertility and reproduction, pain, and other bodily functions, cannabinoids are being studied for their interaction within the Endocannabinoid system, which maintains balance/homeostasis of our body. Currently there is much information on the following menopausal symptoms that CBD can help with.
Aches & Joint Pain
Without estrogen, our bodies produce higher levels of inflammatory molecules (specifically, tumor necrosis factor, or TNFα). This means arthritis symptoms could skyrocket during menopause. More than 60% of women aged 40 to 64 suffer from pain in their muscles and joints. Cannabidiol has proven anti-inflammatory properties. In mice, CBD is anti-arthritic, protects joints against inflammatory damage, and lowers levels of inflammatory TNFα. Low-impact exercise and dietary changes are also excellent resources in a fight against inflammation.
Sleep is one of life's most rejuvenating therapies. With menopause many women find it difficult to have a relaxing night’s rest, triggering fatigue, anxiety, and other health issues. A significant case study on a person with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in 2016 revealed that the CBD oil was capable of alleviating sleep disruptions and anxiety. Naturally CBD is effective menopausal insomnia as well.
CBD does stabilize blood pressure and ease muscles, allowing one to get a betters night sleep.
CBD has also been documented to aid people in gaining a considerable amount of energy to help them to get through the day. Its anxiety-inhibiting and relaxing effects make sleep improvement achievable for insomniac women. However, it must also be stated that high doses of CBD may also have more “energizing” or “up” effects for some people. For many, a combination of small amounts of THC and myrcene may also be helpful.
It’s tempting to blame memory loss on age, but even younger women who go through surgical menopause can experience rapid memory loss. The brain region responsible for memory, learning and emotion, the hippocampus, is a hotbed of synaptic plasticity. Hormones like estrogen and progesterone encourage neurons in the hippocampus to form new connections, and our memories might suffer without these hormones.
Scientists are actively investigating CBD for encouraging synaptic plasticity and neuroprotection, particularly in the hippocampus. However, there is not yet solid evidence for its recommendation, and there are many other ways you can protect this important brain region. If you want to improve your memory consider the following;
1) Exercise, exercise promotes neuron growth by boosting your brain’s brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels. BDNF is a protein that encourages the growth of new neurons and connections (synapses). 2) Spend time with others--social isolation harms both our bodies and our brains. living in social isolation produce less BDNF in their hippocampi. Social isolation can even negate the power of exercise
3) Restorative sleep--both reduced hours or disrupted sleep — can impair neurogenesis.
4) Sex is great for growing new neurons.
5) Alcohol might not “kill” brain cells, but it does shrink your hippocampus. In rats, moderate drinking (equivalent to 3-4 drinks per day) reduced neurogenesis in the hippocampus by 40%. However, rats also have a burst of regeneration after 7 days of sobriety. So, if you drink regularly, try incorporating sober weeks into your schedule.
6) Meditation. Long-term meditators have larger hippocampi, and a 3-month retreat program of yoga and meditation raises BDNF levels.
7) Healthy diet. Although there is no perfect diet for everyone, it appears that high-fat diets, particularly when combined with refined sugars, are bad for neurogenesis. Vitamin deficiencies can also get in the way of hippocampal regeneration.
8) Intermittent fasting. Studies show that fasting and caloric restriction could benefit your brain. In rats, fasting increases levels of interferon‐γ — a molecule that protects the hippocampus from stress-induced death. And in mice, fasting increased BDNF and neural growth. Fasting isn’t for everyone, but your digestive tract might at least appreciate an occasional break.
9) Supplements. Although CBD oil research is the most promising, studies show that curcumin, resveratrol, omega-3 fatty acids, green tea, quercetin (a plant flavonoid) and bilobalide (from ginkgo biloba) supplements could all contribute to stimulating regeneration of the hippocampus.
Bone density loss
We’ve all heard about the importance of dietary calcium and exercise for preventing osteoporosis, but new research suggests that inflammation from arthritis or other conditions might be one of the biggest causes of bone resorption. Inflammatory TNFα is particularly adept at telling your body to increase bone resorption.
How CBD could help: The same anti-inflammatory features that make CBD oil a popular remedy for arthritic symptoms might also prove useful for bone health. In rats with periodontitis, CBD lowers TNFα levels and prevents oral bone loss. Some research has found that CBD interacts with a cannabinoid receptor that may play a role in bone density loss. CBD may, therefore, be able to reduce the rate of bone density loss that can occur during menopause. Resistance exercise also decreases TNFα levels, which may explain why exercise can help prevent bone loss. A low bone density can increase the chance of fractures or bruises, so it is an important symptom to treat.
Menopausal Weight Gain
Hormones shape our bodies on so many levels, including controlling our metabolism. Without estrogen, our bodies burn fewer calories — even while sleeping — and we also burn less fat during exercise. Even if you cut calories and maintain a stable weight throughout menopause, the ongoing hormonal shift tells your body to trade in lean muscle mass for abdominal fat. And this pattern of fat storage unfortunately raises your predisposition to insulin resistance, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Population studies have found that adults who use cannabis products have lower insulin levels and smaller waist circumferences. Cannabidiol could contribute by switching on genes for healthy metabolism (through the PPAR-γ receptor). CBD also helps buffer the activity of natural endocannabinoids,including 2-AG, which is linked to insulin resistance and ramped up during menopause.
Less estrogen, sometimes mean more abdominal fat and weight gain in menopausal women. A 2016 study discovered how CBD triggers the proteins and genes that participate in increasing fat breakdown and how it intensifies the body’s ability to burn calories.
Also, cannabinoids like CBD has been validated to help regulate food cravings. CBD was found to aid in lowering insulin levels and improving metabolism, reducing the probability of diabetes and heart disease for menopausal women.
Anxiety/Stress, Mood Swings and Depression
Many women experience menopausal anxiety, depression, and a few episodes of panic attacks due to their fluctuating hormone levels. Estrogen and progesterone influence the activity of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain — which directly affect mood. As levels of these hormones become erratic and eventually plummet, your neurochemistry will change. CBD is efficient in lowering stress and improving one’s mood. Extensive studies prove CBD’s anxiolytic capabilities for the treatment of anxiety disorder and depression. Although CBD cannot cure depression and/or anxiety, there is evidence that show how it can improve the symptoms associated with such mental health problems.
Hot Flashes & Night Sweats
Hot flashes and night sweats disrupt our sleep and daily routines, which can reduce the quality of our lives. These “vasomotor” symptoms are caused by altered neurochemistry in the hypothalamus — your body’s thermostat control. In other words, your body’s cooling system — blood vessel dilation & sweat response — gets switched on way too easily. When tested in the lab, women who suffer from hot flashes are triggered when their body temperatures increase by only 1.5 degrees, whereas other women’s bodies don’t switch on the cooling system unless their temperatures increase almost 3 degrees.
Because hot flashes have a neurochemical basis, some SSRIs and antidepressants can help relieve hot flashes. Although there aren’t studies that have specifically tested CBD for hot flashes, its influence on the body’s serotonin system could be one reason why some women swear by CBD for this symptom. Other treatments like therapy, hypnosis and relaxation techniques that calm the nervous system can also influence your neurochemistry and help reduce hot flashes.
Genitourinary syndrome of menopause (bladder control, vaginal atrophy & dryness)
Is a condition where the vaginal tissue becomes thinner, drier and more inflamed — affecting more than half of postmenopausal women. It can become painful to sit, walk, or urinate, with a higher risk for incontinence. without estrogen, vaginas become densely innervated with pain-perceiving nerves and other nerves that further cut off the blood flow.
Estrogen helps keep blood flowing to the pelvic region, delivering fresh oxygen to the tissues of the urinary tract and sexual organs — keeping things elastic and healthy. Once menopause arrives, women should give their pelvis some extra love and attention to keep up the blood flow.
Along with regular sexual activity, a topical lubricant that contains cannabinoids like CBD or THC — which are both potent vasodilators — can increase blood flow to the pelvic region. This keeps tissues healthy while also moisturizing the vaginal canal. Topical CBD can also fight inflammation, relax muscles and calm pain-perceiving nerves in the vulva and vagina, making CBD-infused lube and suppositories one of women’s best companions through menopause.