CBD Oil for Menopause
There comes a time in a woman’s life when her body runs out its limited supply of eggs. This brings about many changes that are extremely uncomfortable and difficult to manage. During this time hormone levels fluctuate, which can cause a myriad of unexpected symptoms such as mood swings, sleep disturbance, hot flashes, and even loss of bone density.
Treatment options are limited and often include prescriptions for antidepressants and seizures which aren’t designed for treating menopause. It’s very frustrating to experience these symptoms without sound treatment options. Women are beginning to rely on CBD oil as an all-natural remedy to regain their preferred quality of life.
CBD Oil and Menopausal Hormones
When studying CBD oil for menopause it’s important to understand how hormones work with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is primarily composed of the CB1 & CB2 receptors. The female sex hormone estradiol interacts with the ECS in a very unique way.
We know that the CB1 receptor, which is primarily found in the brain, plays a role in regulating sex hormone production. You may already know that female hormone levels vary throughout the month in accordance with the menstrual cycle. This study states that not only do endocannabinoid levels fluctuate across the female hormonal cycle, but CB1 receptor densities also fluctuate.
Regulation goes both ways, estradiol down-regulates FAAH, a key component of the endocannabinoid system. As we mentioned in our post, How to Nurture Your Endocannabinoid System, FAAH is the compound that breaks down cannabinoids. So, with less FAAH, there will be more active cannabinoids.
Estradiol also increased anandamide in rats. Anandamide is a messenger that carries cannabinoid molecules, with more anandamide, more cannabinoids can be transported. With lowered FAAH and increased anandamide, CBD can be utilized to a greater extent. This phenomenon can only occur when estradiol levels are high.
After menopause estradiol levels can drop below 35 pg/ml, which is much lower than the average 90 pg/ml that an ovulating person experiences. Many who experience menopause consider hormone replacement therapy (HRT) because of this.
Due to this drop in estradiol, experienced CBD oil users may notice a slight change in its effectivity as they enter menopause. During this time, it’s okay to try increasing your dosage, try a brief tolerance break, and follow some tips from our article, How to Nurture Your Endocannabinoid System. This doesn’t mean that CBD will no longer work for women entering menopause, the ECS simply no longer receives the benefits of increased estradiol on a monthly basis.
Menopausal Mood Swings and Insomnia
A study from 2006 states, “[E]strogen may elicit changes in emotional behavior through an endocannabinoid mechanism, and suggest that inhibition of FAAH represents a therapeutic target for anxiety and depression in women.” You can learn about some natural food sources that can help inhibit FAAH production here.
Fortunately, CBD oil can help with both mood regulation and sleep for individuals with and without menopause.
This abstract describes cannabidiol as having effects similar to antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. It states most studies showed that CBD interacted well with the 5-HT1A neuro-receptor. The 5-HT1A neuro-receptor is activated by serotonin, which makes it the target of contemporary antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications.
Another study suggests that CBD may even work better than THC for deep sleep. Drowsiness is a common symptom associated with high doses of CBD oil. This can be helpful for those with a restless mind in the evening. Night sweats, a form of hot flashes, can also disrupt sleep, CBD may be able to help treat these as well.
Hot flashes occur without warning and cause blood vessels near the skin’s surface to dilate in order to cool off. The onset is sudden, which can cause irritability and stress. There are few prescription treatments available for hot flashes. According to WebMD, antidepressants, and anti-seizure medications are options.
As we mentioned above, cannabidiol has been described as having an antidepressant-like effect. We also know that Epidiolex is a form of cannabidiol that has been FDA approved to treat certain types of seizures. Therefore, it’s possible that CBD oil could be an all-natural alternative to prescriptions that weren’t designed for treating hot flashes.