Just like any part of the reproductive cycle, menopause is something we should all be aware of. Whether you experience it for yourself or live with someone who it is, it is something that you are likely to encounter in close proximity. But like so much of Womens health, this hugely influential event in a woman’s life has been largely overlooked in both research and education, failing not only the person undergoing this lengthy and sometimes extremely challenging hormonal shift, but everyone around them who provides support and better understand the process of how it happens.
From the overstimulation of mast cells and altered levels of progesterone that triggers new allergies to the new joys of estrogen dominance that can potentially lead to candida overgrowth and hypothyroidism, menopause is no joke! During this time of transformation, an incredible amount happens in a woman’s body. But with the right supplements, a supportive diet, and emotional strength in yourself and others, this journey can be made much easier.
Apart from HRT (hormone replacement therapy), almost all dietary supplements and therapies for the relief of menopausal symptoms come from traditional folk medicine, which has been documented worldwide for thousands of years. Black cohosh, for example, is a very popular herbal remedy used today to treat menopausal symptoms, but has been the drug of choice used by Native American people for centuries. Ashwagandha is still widely used to reduce hot flashes and the degenerative effects of menopause and perimenopause, but was originally an ancient Ayurvedic herb. Cannabis has always been used to treat a wide variety of women’s health problems, with the Merck Handbook of 1899 mentioning its use in labor, ovarian cancer, and “climacteric disorders” (also known as menopause).
Until recently, we lacked a deeper understanding of why cannabis can be such an enormously useful plant for treating menopausal symptoms. While there is still a lot to learn (not just about cannabis, but about menopause as a whole), a multitude of studies of whole plant cannabis and CBD have revealed a wide range of measures that could make all the difference when it comes to the Facilitate process.
CBD oil offers a natural serotonin boost
Serotonin levels decrease with the onset of menopause, along with estrogen, and this can lead to many common ailments such as insomnia, depression, anxiety, and lack of libido. Finding natural ways to increase serotonin can make a significant difference in not only the side effects of decreased serotonin but also estrogen levels.
Exercise, meditation, and yoga are good options for increasing serotonin, as are diets high in phytoestrogens (soy, flaxseed, chickpeas, tofu, Japanese tempeh and miso, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, celery, rhubarb, and green beans) all contain phytoestrogens, so look for recipes that contain these ingredients). As for dietary supplements, the nature of CBD oil makes it an ideal choice directly activates serotonin receptors, for an immediate release of this important neurotransmitter.
Menopause and the endocannabinoid system
One of the densest concentrations of endocannabinoid receptors is found in the female reproductive system, where they play an essential role in the Ovarian function (which secretes estrogen and progesterone) and is closely involved in central and local control of female reproductive capacity.
A regular dose of CBD oil (especially full-spectrum CBD oil) not only helps keep your endocannabinoid system in balance during this very sensitive time, and thus regulates processes that could otherwise go completely wrong. But there is now some evidence that the CBD molecule certain binding potential for estrogen receptors, as well as apigenin – a flavonoid phytoestrogen found in cannabis and other plants. This means that they can activate these receptors and aid in the release of estrogen in a very similar way to HRT drugs, which are often prescribed for relief from menopausal symptoms. However, more research is needed to determine these effects.
CBDa for menopause
Raw cannabidiolic acid, CBDa, is another ingredient of the cannabis plant that is worth adding to your diet during menopause. This is sometimes found in cold-pressed or whole plant CBD oils, or can be found in CBD teas and hemp raw material. Studies have shown that CBDA is 1000 times more effective than CBD in reducing anxiety and nausea by activating serotonin receptors, which should impact other menopausal symptoms caused by low levels of serotonin and estrogen, as mentioned above.
Another reason CBDa is such an exciting part of the cannabis plant when it comes to menopause is the way it is inhibits the COX-2 enzymethat produces inflammatory prostaglandins. Ordinarily, estrogen would do this job, preventing the post-inflammatory effects and joint degeneration that can manifest as arthritis. But when estrogen levels are depleted during menopause, CBDa can offer a helping hand.
CBD can relieve menopausal symptoms
Anxiety is very common during menopause and as you probably already know, CBD oil is great at reducing it. There are several mechanisms by which CBD can relieve stress and anxiety: about the endocannabinoid system and the increase in endocannabinoid levels in the brain; from a serotonin surge; and by contributing to a more restful sleep, as sleep deprivation only ever worsens mood problems.
Avoid dopamine cell death
Lack of estrogen can also lead to the death of dopamine cells in the brain. D. Eugene Redmond, Jr., Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosurgery at the Yale School of Medicine and Director of the Neural Transplantation and Regeneration Program states, “Without estrogen, more than 30 percent of all dopamine neurons in an important area of the brain that produces, disappeared the neurotransmitter dopamine.
However, the lost cells can be regenerated if estrogen is administered (or increased) within 10 days.
You will now have some understanding of how cannabis and CBD can help increase estrogen levels. Additionally, CBD also activates dopamine receptors to restore the effectiveness of this neurotransmitter (also in the face of diminishing receptors in the brain, heart, and other organs), which in turn should help balance norepinephrinem what plays a role in hot flashes, Troubled sleep, anxiety and pain.
There’s still a lot to learn about how cannabis could help with menopause, as terpenes and flavonoids are also very therapeutic! But when it comes to anecdotes, it is definitely worth trying a good quality, full-spectrum CBD oil for symptom relief.