Menopause is a “change of life” phase that marks the end of a woman’s child-bearing ability. It’s characterized by a lack of menstruation for over 12 months. Menopause is supposed to be naturally occurring with no identifiable physiological and biological changes. However, it can be induced. It mostly occurs between the ages of 40 to 55 years but there are outliers. Earlier menopause generally has more negative consequences associated with it than late-stage menopause. Late-stage menopause can be caused by the use of hormonal birth control methods or an unhealthy Body Mass Index1
Reasons For Premature Menopause Include:
- Excessive psychological strain
- Radiation damage from previous chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment.
- Certain medications that inhibit estrogen and progesterone production such as those for Endometriosis treatment.
- Long-term illnesses.
- A genetic predisposition that leads to diseases such as Turner Syndrome.
- Poor lifestyle habits, notably cigarette smoking and a poor diet
- Long-term exposure to harmful toxins
- Possibly the lack of a previous pregnancy
Signs & Symptoms of Menopause
Menopause has a plethora of symptoms that vary in intensity from mild discomfort to life-disrupting. These include:
- Pain during sex due to vaginal dryness and atrophy
- Night Sweats
- Hot flashes and chills
- Insomnia or irregular sleep cycles
- Hair dryness and loss
- Anxiety, irritability and mood imbalances
- Dry skin and loss of skin quality
- Reduced sex drive
- Slowed metabolism and weight gain
- Increased prevalence of Urinary Tract Infections
Benefits of Using CBD to Treat the Side Effects of Menopause
There are increasing amounts of research into the benefits of CBD for various medical conditions. As the knowledge base evolves, CBD could be the safer long-term option. No real comprehensive cure to premature menopause currently exists. This means the veer towards CBD as treatment might be the solution. CBD has advantages including but not limited to:
- Quality Sleep
According to research, CBD has a positive effect on sleep quantity and quality. It stabilizes blood pressure and relaxes the muscles2
- Bone Growth
According to studies, CBD stimulates bone density growth. Osteoporosis is one of the more unfortunate symptoms of menopause and CBD can stimulate an increase in bone density3
- Replacing Hormonal Drugs
Research shows that CBD can be a replacement for hormonal prescription drugs. Prescription drugs have a lot of negative side effects. CBD may be used to replace them with fewer side effects4.
- Mood stabilization
Mood swings are a common symptom of menopause causing women to feel irritated and depressed. There are plenty of studies available that prove CBD as an effective mood stabilizer5.
The Role of the Endocannabinoid System in Menopause
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a system of liquid-based endogenous retrograde neurotransmitters bound to cannabinoid receptors. Its main function is to regulate endocrine, immune tissue and brain functions. Satellite functions of the endocannabinoid system include pain and sleep regulation, healthy bone growth, and mood stabilization.
During menopause, the system deteriorates and leads to the imbalance of estrogen and progesterone. This leads to most of the symptoms and consequences of menopause. Cannabinoid receptors respond very well to CBD and are a vital part of this system, thus CBD treatment is easily assimilated into the natural working of the Endocannabinoid system and has the ability to augment functions effectively.
How to use CBD to Treat the Side Effects Menopause
Depending on the problem area, there are various ways to use CBD. For improved skin quality, there are topical creams and oils that can be applied directly to the skin. For sleep and mood stabilization, there are vape oils and edibles that you can ingest or smoke to get them into the bloodstream. CBD oils can also be ingested and mixed with some food or drinks. Oils and sublingual sprays are also other methods for localized CBD delivery. There are also some strains of cannabis that have high CBD content and depending on local laws and regulations can be used as medical marijuana. The use of CBD depends on the desired effect.
CBD Dosage for Menopause
The correct dosage of CBD will vary depending on many factors, such as the severity of symptoms and personal body chemistry. Everyone should find a dose that works for them personally. To do this, we recommend using the Step-up approach, developed by Leinow and Birnbaum6 in their book, CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis. North Atlantic Books.
To learn how to correctly dose your CBD oil, read our post on CBD dosage.
What is Research Saying About CBD Treatment for Menopause
Although there have been no clinical trials, CBD treatment for menopause has received shining testimonials from users. These cannot be considered a clinical class trial but it does give credence to the theory that CBD works. There are user reports of no significant side effects and much better results as opposed to the already existing treatments. CBD can also be taken in in various ways that are much more comfortable than swallowing pills or injections. It is reported to be kinder on the liver and kidneys, the organs that break down toxins in the body. The fact that it does not have the high associated with marijuana means users can also retain full functionality while using CBD treatments.
- Greendale, Gail A., Nancy P. Lee, and Edga R. Arriola. „The menopause.“ The Lancet 353.9152 (1999): 571-580.
- Hill, M. and Gorzalka, B. (2009). The Endocannabinoid System and the Treatment of Mood and Anxiety Disorders. CNS & Neurological Disorders – Drug Targets, 8(6), pp.451-458.
- Kogan, Natalya M., et al. „Cannabidiol, a Major Non‐Psychotropic Cannabis Constituent Enhances Fracture Healing and Stimulates Lysyl Hydroxylase Activity in Osteoblasts.“ Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 30.10 (2015): 1905-1913.
- Corroon Jr, James M., Laurie K. Mischley, and Michelle Sexton. „Cannabis as a substitute for prescription drugs–a cross-sectional study.“ Journal of pain research 10 (2017): 989
- Zanelati, T. V., et al. „Antidepressant‐like effects of cannabidiol in mice: possible involvement of 5‐HT1A receptors.“ British journal of pharmacology 159.1 (2010): 122-128.
- Leinow,, L. and Birnbaum, J. (2017). CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis. North Atlantic Books.