For women going through menopause, it can be an extremely tiring and emotional experience, so can CBD help?
The science around CBD and menopause is far from concrete. However, there have been studies into other conditions that offer insights we can apply to menopause.
Research around CBD and sleep disorders, anxiety, and inflammation can give us some idea of how it might fight against symptoms of menopause. If you’re dealing with severe menopausal symptoms, be sure to speak with your doctor about treatment options.
What is menopause?
If you’re seeking out information on CBD oil for menopause, chances are you probably already know what menopause is. However, let’s look at some basic information.
It all comes down to one particular female hormone – oestrogen.
Oestrogen, or estrogen, is one of the primary female sex hormones. Men also carry oestrogen in their bodies but in much, much smaller amounts. For women, starting in puberty, oestrogen is produced by the body to control and regulate the female reproductive system.
One of its main tasks is around maintaining the eggs produced in the ovaries. Around once every month an egg is produced in the ovaries. If the egg goes unfertilised, menstruation (or periods) occur.
However, there are a finite amount of eggs to be produced in the female body. As the eggs begin to dwindle, the level of oestrogen in the body also lowers. This ultimately leads to periods stopping and menopause.
When does menopause begin?
Generally speaking, menopause occurs between the ages of forty-five and fifty-five years old as oestrogen levels fall. According to the NHS, the average age for menopause to begin is 51 years old.
However, there are some women who develop menopause before they are forty years old in a condition known as premature menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
While most women will suffer from menopausal symptoms in their lives, the severity of these symptoms will vary from woman to woman.
Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Hot flushes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Lower mood
- Increased anxiety
- Reduction in libido
- Memory and concentration problems
- Insomnia or other sleeping difficulties
Traditional treatments for menopause
You should consult with your doctor if you’re experiencing symptoms of menopause that are troubling. Likewise, if you are suffering premature menopause then you should also seek advice.
For those with severe symptoms, there are a number of treatment options available.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
HRT is a form of treatment that replaces the lost oestrogen in the body. This can be beneficial in relieving a number of menopausal symptoms. There are a number of HRT treatment forms including implants, tablets, skin patches, and topical treatments for the skin.
There are two general types of HRT:
- Combined HRT – like the name suggests, this combines oestrogen and progestogen in the body. This treatment is for women who still have their wombs. Oestrogen-only HRT treatments can raise a woman’s chance of ovarian cancer.
- Oestrogen-only HRT – this treatment is specifically for those women who’ve had their wombs removed.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
CBT has taken off in recent years and is widely used for a number of issues including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, panic attacks, depression and other mental health disorders.
However, not everyone who uses and can see benefit from CBT has a mental disorder. Through talk therapy, people can become more in touch with the negative thoughts that are affecting them in deeper ways.
Healthy diet and exercise
A doctor may recommend that to combat your menopausal symptoms, you radically change your diet. Keeping an eye on sugar and fat intake as well as staying fit and strong has been shown to improve some menopausal symptoms.
Can CBD treat menopause symptoms?
Currently, there are no clinical studies with evidence stating that CBD can directly treat menopausal symptoms. However, CBD has been widely acknowledged as beneficial in dealing with a wide set of ailments. Some of these have common ground with menopausal symptoms.
As an example, this study, published in 2020, looked at the effects of CBD on chronic pain. The study highlighted that although context was needed for how CBD was used and what for. There was also growing access to unregulated CBD products, there were potential benefits to be seen in relation to sleep and chronic pain from CBD.
One of the most widely discussed aspects of the benefits of CBD is its ability to deal with inflammation. During menopause, it is important to deal with inflammation of aching joints and muscles.
For women going through menopause, depression and anxiety can be on high. CBD has been widely studied for its powerful anti-anxiety effects. Like all areas of CBD, there has been relatively little research done in humans. This study from 2014 used animal models and found that there is real potential for future uses in humans.
Suffering from prolonged anxiety can of course lead to disturbed sleep patterns. CBD is a useful tool for anyone trying to get a better night’s sleep. This 2019 study of cannabidiol in anxiety and sleep found that the substance could be of benefit for those with anxiety. What they found that a dose of 25mg can be foundational for establishing a solid sleeping pattern in the short term. However, it should be noted that this form of treatment may not be sustainable over the long term.
As with everything CBD, there still needs to be much more research into what really works for menopausal women.