CBD and the Menopause — Does it work and if so how?
The endocannabinoid system is a collection of cell receptors, called cannabinoid receptors, in the brain, other organs, and tissues throughout the body.
This system plays an important role in menopause, and CBD affect the way that it works. In theory, this means that CBD could influence the effects of menopause on the body.
Cannabinoid receptors are involved in:
- mood regulation
- the functioning of the immune system
- fertility and reproduction
- temperature regulation
One theory is that a poorly functioning endocannabinoid system can lead to various health conditions. By influencing the function of the endocannabinoid system, chemicals like CBD may help treat these conditions.
There are cannabinoid receptors throughout the female reproductive system, and menopause seems to disrupt the endocannabinoid system. For these reasons, it is possible that CBD oil could reduce some symptoms of menopause.
Which Menopause symptoms may it treat?
No studies have directly looked into the effects of CBD on people experiencing menopause. This means that researchers are not sure whether it works or is a safe option.
Various studies have, however, tested the effects of CBD on specific symptoms in other groups of people.
For example, a 2020 review concluded that CBD could help relieve chronic pain, improve sleep, and reduce inflammation. They observed these effects, however, in people with specific health issues, not menopause.
There is no evidence that CBD oil can ease all menopause symptoms, but it might help with:
The risk of depression and anxiety is higher around the time of menopause, and this may be due to changing hormones, other menopause symptoms, or both.
Studies in animals, including a 2014 review of the relevant research in mice, have found that CBD can reduce the effects of depression and anxiety.
However, as the authors of a 2020 review caution, there has only been very limited related research in humans.
They note that only a few case studies exist in which individual people with a history of depression have reported improvements after taking CBD.
They also point to text that is part of the packaging of FDA-approved CBD, called Epidiolex, which lists depression and suicidal ideation as possible side effects.
Many people report difficulty getting quality sleep during menopause, and this issue can have a significant impact on daily life.
According to the 2020 review mentioned above, endocannabinoids play a role in the sleep-wake cycle. This suggests that CBD can affect sleep.
The researchers highlight the few, limited studies on CBD and sleep in humans. The results of these suggest that higher doses of CBD can have a sedating effect.
It is possible, therefore, that CBD oil may help treat sleep disturbances relating to menopause.
Bone density loss
People begin to lose bone mass after menopause. Osteoporosis affects 1 in 4 femalesTrusted Source aged 65 and over.
Having low bone density can increase the risk of fractures, so it is crucial to receive treatment.
A 2008 study in animals found that CBD interacts with a cannabinoid receptor that may play a role in bone density loss. CBD may, therefore, be able to reduce the rate of bone density loss that can occur during menopause.
However, this has not been demonstrated in humans — no research has shown that CBD improves bone density loss related to menopause.
Other strategies and treatments
As the Office on Women’s Health point out, staying active, having good sleep hygiene, and finding ways to reduce stress can help ease menopause symptoms.
Meanwhile, hormone replacement therapy can specifically help relieve symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and mood changes.
Anyone who may be experiencing depression or anxiety may benefit from speaking with a doctor or a mental health professional for support.
Many people turn to natural remedies for menopause symptoms, including:
- black cohosh
- red clover
While some find that these remedies provide relief, they are not approved menopause treatments, and research into their effectiveness has arrived at mixed conclusions.
Researchers are only just beginning to understand how the endocannabinoid system works and the roles that it may play in various aspects of health.
Testing the theories about the role of CBD in menopause will require further research. Only then can the medical community determine whether CBD oil has menopause-related benefits.
Follow Mrs Canni's Journey through the Peri Menopause and find out what has helped, including CBD.
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