There comes a time in every woman’s life when periods become less and less regular until, one day, they completely stop. While this hormonal change is the typical symptom of getting on in years, menopausal life brings its own set of challenges. In this post, we will explore the relationship between weed and menopause. Can weed [and, specifically, THC and CBD] help alleviate some of the symptoms of menopause? Can it help with sleep, joint pain, hot flashes, and genital problems? Recent studies suggest that it can, so it’s no wonder that more and more women have been turning to the therapeutic properties of cannabis to treat menopause symptoms. Read on to learn more about it, and to find out when (and how) should you turn to this incredibly effective natural remedy.
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What Exactly Is Menopause?
The term “menopause” and “menopausal” are thrown around loosely these days and have come to describe a great many things, from women of a certain age (who can be derogatorily referred to as menopausal) to specific symptoms that result from women losing their regular menstrual cycle (and are no longer ovulating).
For most women, though, menopause is just a natural stage of life – one that comes with its own set of challenges and symptoms. Some women are just slightly affected by menopause – others, however, can struggle with the symptoms for years.
Medically speaking, menopause describes a period of a woman’s life when she’s no longer producing eggs in her ovaries. This loss is pre-programmed in the genes to happen at a certain age when getting pregnant might no longer be safe for the woman. Menopause also occurs when ovaries (where eggs are produced) are removed surgically, diseased, or due to severe hormonal imbalance
Menopause is not sudden. It’s preceded by a period we call perimenopause, characterized by certain symptoms such as the loss of regular periods. It’s also indicative of estrogen hormone deficiency. As women age, their estrogen levels decrease, which affects their bodies in different ways.
The average age for a woman to enter menopause is 51 years. However, it’s not all that uncommon for perimenopause to start in the late thirties, resulting in menopause in the early forties. And, it’s not unusual for some women to menstruate well into their late fifties. Thus, personal genetics play a big role when it comes to the onset of menopause.
While menopause is not a disease, it is a period of life that’s accompanied by numerous symptoms. Some of those symptoms are benign while others might be a bit tougher to live with. They include, but are not limited to:
- Sleep problems and insomnia.
- Hot flashes and night sweats.
- Decreased sex drive and function.
- Vaginal dryness and urine leakage.
- Heart palpitations.
- Increased forgetfulness.
- Joint problems.
- Loss of bone density.
These symptoms can persist and, most of the time, there is very little that can be done about them, aside from taking hormone supplements. And, considering that most women will enter menopause around 50 but can live to be more than 80, does this mean that they will struggle with everyday life for 30 odd years?
Not if they are using CBD and THC to quell those menopause symptoms! Recent studies involving CBD confirm that the compound’s beneficial health properties could finally allow women worldwide access to a natural and cost-effective remedy for pains and aches that usually accompany menopause. Read below to learn how.
Cannabis For Menopause
Numerous researchers are taking an active interest in the medicinal properties of THC, CBD and other cannabinoids. While this research is mostly not menopause-focused, this doesn’t mean that it’s not relevant to it.
Menopause is the start of a tremendous change in the body. During that time, hormonal activity changes, neurochemistry changes – pretty much, everything changes.
What researchers are gleaning from their studies is that cannabis affects the body in a profound way. Where there’s inflammation, it reduces it. Where there is a hormonal disbalance, it regulates it. In fact, weed’s beneficial properties are as close to a cure-all that we’ll get for the time being. Here’s what we’ve learned so far about the effects of marijuana – and how it can help you cope with the symptoms of menopause.
Osteoporosis Prevention With CBD & THC
Osteoporosis is a decrease in bone density (literally meaning hollow bone) that increasingly affects women to produce less estrogen. It’s one of the more dangerous and worrying symptoms of menopause – but one cannabis can potentially help with. During perimenopause, the constant ebb and flow of calcium into and out of the bones slows down. As a result, more calcium and other minerals get taken out than put back in, referring to that as bone resorption. As a result, bone density decreases, increasing the risk of bone fractures.
Recent research has shown that inflammation from arthritis might be the main culprit for increased bone resorption via the inflammatory TNFα. CBD and THC can help reduce this inflammation, and by doing so, reduce the risk of increased bone resorption. While we’re still waiting on human trials to begin, studies done on rats with periodontitis show promise as they clearly demonstrate that cannabinoids lower inflammatory TNFα.
CBD For Joint Pain & Aches
As estrogen levels in your body decrease, everything else gets disrupted to a certain degree. We already mentioned that women going through menopause have increased levels of inflammatory molecules, specifically TNFα, which is short for tumor necrosis factor. These molecules can wreak havoc in your body and are very much responsible for those aches and pains you feel in your joints every morning. In fact, around 60% of women between 40 and 64 (who identify as menopausal or postmenopausal) report symptoms that are consistent with arthritis.
These inflammations only get worse with age. However, a few puffs on a CBD-heavy cannabis strain can put a stop to them. CBD is anti-inflammatory, protecting joints against arthritis and lowering the overall levels of inflammatory TNFα. Extensive studies (such as this one here) were done on mice. Still, scientists are optimistic that the results will be similar with humans as well.
CBD Can Help with Poor Sleep Quality
A good night’s sleep is tough to get, even when you’re feeling your best self. For peri and postmenopausal women, it becomes equivalent to mission impossible. An unsatisfying sleep pattern brings many other problems, ranging from fatigue and weariness to anxiety and depression. Menopausal sleep loss can be triggered by many things, such as night sweats or pain so it’s important to understand the root cause before tackling it.
When it comes to CBD and menopause-induced sleep loss, there is substantial evidence (both anecdotal and scientific|) that shows that CBD can help people relax and achieve better sleep. Researchers have already established that CBD and THC can be useful when treating anxiety disorders (which often cause insomnia) so if your sleep loss has anything to do with that, you might want to give CBD oils a try.
It Can Also Help Treat Depression & Mood Swings
It’s not that uncommon for women to experience anxiety or depression when they enter menopause. This is because many hormones influence the activity of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, not the least of which is estrogen. And, serotonin is the key neurochemical that affects our mood. But, as levels of these hormones become erratic and eventually plummet, this neurochemistry changes for the worse.
Cannabis can help you in your fight against depression, anxiety, and mood swings caused by menopause. Studies have shown that it activates serotonin receptors, much like the anxiolytic drug called buspirone. Of course, weed should only ever be used as a supplement to your therapy. If you’re feeling on edge, you should visit your doctor since they can refer you to a mental health specialist if there is a need. Still, it’s nice to know that a little bit of green daily can help you keep your mental symptoms in check!
Say Goodbye To Night Sweats & Hot Flashes
If you’re menopausal (or even perimenopausal), you’ve probably noticed that you get these moments of intense heat when your body is sweating profusely, even though there was no apparent change in the room temperature. If you have, you’ve experienced a hot flash. Menopause has a way of tampering with the hypothalamus, your body’s thermostat so to speak. While seemingly benign (what’s a little sweat, after all), these hot flashes can have a tangible impact on the quality of your life. They prevent good sleep and may even prevent you from participating in some social activities if you’re feeling self-conscious when sweating.
Hot flashes are caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. That’s where CBD and THC step in, seeing how they can alter neuro imbalances by acting on the endocannabinoid receptors in the brain. While no specific studies are confirming that CBD and THC relieve hot flashes, some women report a lessening in frequency when they are regularly taking CBD supplements. Other treatments like therapy, hypnosis and relaxation techniques that calm the nervous system can also influence your neurochemistry and help reduce hot flashes.
Diabetes & Weight Gain Can Be Regulated With CBD
When estrogen production slows down, women’s bodies start burning fewer calories even when they engage in rigorous exercise. The hormonal shift can be so severe that, even if you reduce your calorie intake, you can still be gaining weight since your body is trading muscle tissue for fat. All of this, unfortunately, puts you at risk for diabetes, heart disease, and insulin resistance Thanks menopause!
Population studies have found that adults who use cannabis products have lower insulin levels and smaller waist circumferences. Cannabidiol also switches on genes responsible for a healthy metabolism (meaning that you burn more fat when taking a steady dose of CBD). Additionally, CBD also helps buffer the activity of natural endocannabinoids, including 2-AG, which is linked to insulin resistance and ramped up during menopause.
CBD and THC Curb Memory Loss Symptoms
The brain is a curious and wondrous thing – but it is also extremely delicate and fragile. Even a slight neurochemical imbalance or shift can cause unforeseeable consequences, and diminishing levels of a critical hormone certainly count as an imbalance. It’s no wonder then that many women going through menopause experience memory loss. It’s easy to blame it on aging. Still, the fact remains that even younger women who are going through a surgically-induced menopause (removal of ovaries) are experiencing it. That’s because hormones like estrogen and progesterone encourage neurons in the hippocampus to form new connections. Without them, our brains are missing an important building block, which often results in consequences for the memory.
Currently, scientists are hard at work investigating the possibility that CBD can positively impact memory, and protect the brain against neurodegeneration. A study titled “The effects of cannabidiol on impulsivity and memory during abstinence in cigarette dependent smokers” found that CBD doesn’t seem to be able to reverse the cognitive impairments associated with nicotine abstinence in heavy cigarette smokers. A few studies, on the other hand, found that CBD can somehow help in diminishing the addiction habits of opioids, cocaine, and other stimulants, tobacco, and even THC-rich cannabis. Further studies are, of course, needed to solidify our knowledge about the connection between CBD and menopause-triggered memory loss.
Also, some studies suggest that CBD can be a really positive force when it comes to memory enhancement.
Cannabis & Menopause — How CBD & THC Can Help Women Manage Their Menopause Symptoms
As more and more studies are completed, we’re certain that we will learn more about the effects of CBD on the symptoms of menopause. That said, we already know much about cannabidiol – certainly enough to responsibly claim that the right CBD oil can help with a variety of problems that are present in menopause, such as inflammation, insomnia, anxiety, and more.
Have you just started experiencing some of these symptoms? If you have, and you’re over the age of 40, chances are that you are entering perimenopause. Don’t worry – you can definitely help yourself naturally, and without having to take doctor prescribed replacement hormones. Our Kind Canna strains are packed with the right mix of cannabinoids you need to fight these changes.
That wraps up our entry about CBD and menopause! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment on this post, or to send us an email. We’d love to get you started on the road to a more peaceful and enjoyable life!
KindCanna Cannabis Pre-rolls
Perfect for newcomers, bad rollers, and everyone looking for hassle-free smoking!