Have you recently started suffering from light or skipped periods, mood swings, sleep issues, and hot flashes?
Do you or your doctor suspect menopause to be the root cause of these symptoms?
If so, I highly recommend looking into CBD.
By activating the endocannabinoid system, CBD can offer fast, natural relief from menopause symptoms.
Read on to learn more.
What is Menopause?
Menopause, as I’m sure you know, is the time in a woman’s life when her menstrual cycle comes to an end.
But what really happens to the female body when this happens?
To better understand menopause, we can break it down into 3 different stages:
Perimenopause is the initial stage of menopause and starts when a woman’s ovaries gradually start producing less estrogen.
This is also when most women start to experience symptoms of menopause, such as lighter periods, metabolic changes, hot flashes or chills, and much more.
During perimenopause, the ovaries continue releasing eggs, but estrogen production slows, which is the root cause of these symptoms.
Perimenopause lasts until menopause, which is when the ovaries stop releasing eggs altogether.
Understanding the Importance of Estrogen
Estrogen refers to a group of hormones (collectively referred to as estrogens) that serve as the primary female sex hormones.
There are 3 types of estrogens:
In women, estrogen is produced mainly in the ovaries, although small amounts of it are also produced by the adrenal glands and the placenta (during pregnancy only).
From there, estrogen enters the bloodstream and is delivered all over the body where it carries out a wide variety of biological functions.
Now, chances are you’re already familiar with some of these functions, especially those regarding the reproductive system:
Estrogen plays a key role in the growth of female egg follicles in the ovaries, for example, and also kickstarts a variety of bodily processes which eventually lead to ovulation.
Halfway through the menstrual cycle, estrogen levels spike suddenly, triggering the release of an egg from the ovary.
After ovulation, a woman’s estrogen levels drop back down.
These hormonal changes contribute to some of the symptoms women experience during ovulation.
Besides helping with ovulation, estrogen also plays an important role in the growth of the female reproductive tract.
Women begin producing estrogen as they enter puberty.
During this time, estrogens help the growth of muscle components of the female reproductive system, including in the uterus and the uterine tubes.
It also stimulates the growth of the female genitalia during puberty and helps protect parts of the genitalia, such as the vagina, against infections.
Estrogen also plays an important role in the healthy growth of the fallopian tubes, the cervix, and much more.
But besides its effects on the female reproductive system, it’s important to realize that estrogen also influences a woman’s cognition, mental health, as well as the skeletal, cardiovascular, and immune systems.
In the brain, for example, estrogen directly affects parts of the brain involved in regulating mood, body temperature, and more.
When it comes to mood, for example, estrogens can affect the production and processing of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.
All of these neurotransmitters play a key role in regulating mood and emotion, and irregular levels of these neurotransmitters have been linked to depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, or attention deficit disorder.
Besides helping regulate mood and emotion, estrogen also plays a key role in cognitive function and fine motor skills.
Studies have shown, for example, that the drop in estrogen production caused by menopause can affect women and their scores on verbal memory tests.
Estrogen is also really important for bone health and is known to prevent the breakdown of bone tissue.
Hence, lower estrogen levels have been linked to bone issues such as osteoporosis.
In fact, women who have gone through menopause are at a significantly higher risk of developing bone issues.
Estrogen also plays a key role in maintaining healthy skin and can help increase collagen levels to keep the skin from aging.
Estrogen is also involved in:
- Fat distribution around the body.
- Cholesterol production in the liver.
- The size of the voice box and vocal cords.
- Hair growth.
Menopause Causes Severe Changes to the Female Body
As you can see, estrogen plays a super important role in keeping the body functioning properly.
Hence, it comes as no surprise that menopause, which is characterized by the slowed production of estrogen, can cause some pretty severe changes to the female body.
As estrogen levels drop and a woman stops ovulating, she may experience a wide variety of symptoms, including:
- Changes to the menstrual cycle, including light, irregular, or missed periods
- Insomnia and other sleep issues
- Mood swings, irritability, and depression
- Changes in sex drive
- Vaginal dryness
- A rapid, racing heartbeat
- Aches and pains
If you or a loved one is going through or approaching menopause, you’re probably aware of just how intense these symptoms can be.
Plus, you’ll also be aware that going through menopause doesn’t necessarily guarantee you’ll experience each one of these symptoms.
Remember, everyone is different and one woman’s experience of menopause may be very different from another’s.
The Long Term Effects of Menopause
A lot of the discussion surrounding menopause focuses on its immediate effects.
However, it is important to note that the changes that menopause causes can also have lasting effects on a woman’s health.
As I mentioned earlier, women are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis after menopause.
The risk of heart disease, bladder, bowel and vision problems all increase in women who have gone through menopause.
Luckily, a variety of treatments can help reduce symptoms during menopause, as well as reduce the health risks after it.
One of these treatments is CBD.
Here’s how it works:
CBD Can Help Reduce Menopause Symptoms
CBD can help boost the endocannabinoid system, an endogenous biological system that’s involved in managing a wide variety of bodily processes.
The ECS, for example, is involved in managing our body temperature, mood and emotions, hunger, sleep, inflammation, pain, and much more.
By boosting endocannabinoid activity, CBD can help deliver a wide variety of benefits that can directly counteract some of the symptoms of menopause.
That’s because endocannabinoid receptors can be found all around the body:
CB1 receptors are found in extremely high concentrations in the brain, but can also be found in the spine, the thyroid gland, the digestive tract, and fat, liver, and muscle cells.
In women, CB1 receptors have also been found in the ovaries and the placenta.
CB2 receptors, while also found in the brain, are found in higher concentration inside immune cells, throughout the digestive tract, and possibly throughout the peripheral nervous system.
Together with endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-AG, these receptors make up a regulatory system that medical experts believe plays a key role in promoting homeostasis, a careful equilibrium that allows our body to function at its best.
While there hasn’t been a lot of research into the endocannabinoid system and its role in menopause, there’s a solid body of research that shows that cannabinoid therapy can relieve specific symptoms caused by menopause.
Here are some of the symptoms of menopause that CBD can help treat:
CBD May Help Regulate Hot Flashes or Chills
Research shows that the endocannabinoid system plays an important part in regulating our body temperature.
That’s because both CB1 receptors and their agonist, anandamide, are present in the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that controls thirst, hunger, and body temperature.
In high doses, cannabinoids can cause hypothermia, while lower doses induce hyperthermia.
Now, it’s important to realize that these studies looked at THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana.
THC, unlike CBD, is structurally very similar to anandamide and can bind directly to CB1 receptors like those in the hypothalamus.
CBD, on the other hand, does not bind to CB1 receptors.
However, studies have shown that taking CBD supplements can temporarily boost anandamide levels in key parts of the brain, including the hippocampus and hypothalamus.
Studies show that this temporary boost of anandamide, the “bliss” molecule, can have a wide variety of health benefits, such as alleviating the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and even schizophrenia.
Hence, by way of boosting anandamide levels in the brain, CBD may help alleviate the telltale hot flashes and chills so many women experience before, during, and after menopause.
CBD Can Help Relieve Insomnia and Sleep Issues
Besides helping regulate body temperature, the endocannabinoid system also helps regulate sleep.
Luckily, CBD can help.
Studies show that taking CBD directly affects the sleep-wake cycle in rats.
A 2013 study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, for example, showed that taking CBD significantly increased total sleep time in animals.
Moreover, the study showed that the animals spent more time in the first 3 stages of the sleep cycle, during which the body does most of its recovery.
If you suffer from sleep problems as a result of menopause, CBD could help you get to sleep faster, keep you from waking during the night, and leave you feeling more refreshed in the morning.
I use CBD supplements specifically for this reason.
Ever since I started using CBD supplements, I’ve been getting the best sleep of my life.
And that says a lot, seeing that I regularly deal with anxiety and stress which directly affect my ability to fall and stay asleep.
CBD Can Help Boost your Mood and Relieve Anxiety
Mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and depression are all very common symptoms of menopause.
Luckily, CBD can help here too.
The endocannabinoid system plays a really important role in regulating our emotions, mood, stress levels, and response to external stimuli.
CBD supplements can help alleviate anxiety and depression and boost mood in a number of different ways.
First, CBD can help boost the levels of serotonin and anandamide in the brain.
Both of these compounds have mood-boosting effects, which can help relieve symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, and more.
Plus, CBD can also promote neurogenesis in the hippocampus, a key target for a lot of anxiety and depression treatments.
Promoting brain cell growth in these areas can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as help with concentration, improve cognitive function, and boost memory.
I can definitely vouch for the anti-anxiety effects of CBD myself.
I work a really high-pressure job which, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, often leaves me stressed, anxious, and worried.
This affects my mood and sleep, my performance at work, and many other aspects of my life.
Luckily, CBD supplements such as oils and gummies have helped me overcome these symptoms.
While I still face stressful situations at work, I handle them in a much healthier way.
Even before big meetings or other work commitments, CBD can help me get the sleep I need and wake up feeling motivated and focused, rather than stay up all night tossing and turning.
Other Potential Benefits of CBD for Menopause
Menopause can cause a wide variety of symptoms.
But, thanks to the wide-reaching effects of the endocannabinoid system, CBD can help deal with many of them.
Besides the benefits I listed above, CBD can also help:
- Relieve joint pain, migraines, breast tenderness, and other types of pain.
- Raise libido. While there’s a lot of debate about this, there are a lot of anecdotal reports from women suggesting that cannabinoids can help improve sex drive.
- Reduce weight gain and metabolic issues. Stimulating the endocannabinoid system with CBD can directly affect appetite and metabolism.
Beat Menopause Today With CBD
If you’re starting to experience symptoms of menopause, I highly recommend trying CBD.
Now, I’ll admit that I am not currently going through menopause.
However, I’ve seen firsthand how CBD can relieve a plethora of symptoms that menopause causes, including anxiety, mood swings, skin issues, muscle pains, migraines, and much more.
Based on my experience, I recommend using a combination of different CBD supplements, including oils, gummies, and even creams.
I find oils and gummies great for dealing with symptoms like anxiety, stress, sleep issues, and menstrual cramps/pains.
Meanwhile, I love CBD creams and topicals for treating localized symptoms like skin breakouts and blemishes.
For more information on the many different benefits of CBD, I highly recommend you read through the other articles on my blog.
Finally, for detailed reviews of CBD products such as creams and topicals, make sure to check out my homepage.