As women, besides a number of other struggles to look forward to, we have the inevitability of menopause hanging over our heads from the moment we take our first breath. No matter who you are, or what you do, you will eventually go through menopause. It’s just a fact of life. But you don’t need to accept defeat and power through the symptoms, which can be extremely unpleasant. There are options available to you that will make enduring menopause that much easier, such as CBD for menopause.
An increasing amount of menopausal women are choosing more natural methods such as CBD over typical medications to treat their menopause symptoms. But can cannabis help you feel better during menopause? Here, we tell you everything you need to know about CBD and menopause, along with the best products to help ease your symptoms.
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What is menopause?
Menopause is the term used to describe the end of a woman's menstrual cycle, when a woman stops having periods and can no longer get pregnant. It is diagnosed after you've gone without a period for a year and usually occurs in your 40s or 50s after your oestrogen levels start to decline, and your ovaries stop releasing an egg once a month.
However, while the average age women reach menopause in the UK is 51, some women may experience menopause earlier, before their 40s. This is known as premature menopause and affects 1 in 100 women in the UK. Premature menopause usually occurs as a result of surgeries such as hysterectomies, or when there is damage to the ovaries, from things such as cancer treatment.
Menopause is gradual and has three stages:
- Perimenopause: Begins a few years before menopause, when ovaries start producing less oestrogen. Perimenopause is usually when most women’s symptoms start.
- Menopause: Occurs a year after you stopped menstruating. Ovaries no longer release oestrogen.
- Postmenopause: The period after menopause when symptoms ease up. However, as you become older, the health concerns associated with oestrogen deficiency rise.
Symptoms of menopause
While it is a normal part of a woman's natural biological process, it can disrupt your life thanks to unpleasant symptoms such as hot flashes, diminishing your energy or affecting you physically and emotionally.
Most women experience menopausal symptoms that vary in severity and duration. Symptoms typically begin a short while before you stop having periods, during perimenopause, and can last for about four years after your last menstruation. However, it can last longer in some women.
Common symptoms of menopause are:
- Changes to period (becomes lighter or heavier)
- Hot flashes
- Emotional changes
- Vaginal dryness
- Trouble sleeping
- Night sweats
- Frequent urination
- Sore breasts
- Dry skin, mouth or eyes
Later symptoms include:
- Changes in libido
- Hair loss
- Heart palpitations
- Joint and muscle aches and pains
- Weight gain
While many of these symptoms can be highly unpleasant, there are steps you can take to make living through menopause easier.
How to treat menopause
There are several ways to treat menopause, all with varying degrees of success. Treatments include:
- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): A treatment that replaces hormones that are at lower levels as you are about to reach menopause
- Topical hormone therapy: Oestrogen creams or lubricants used to improve vaginal dryness
- Non-hormone medications: Medications such as clonidine may help reduce hot flushes and night sweats, although benefits are usually minor
- Medications for osteoporosis: Medicines or vitamins to help keep bones strong and protected
- Supplements: To keep your energy levels high, ensure you obtain the daily required amounts of calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium
- Healthier living: Exercising, eating healthier, quitting smoking etc. are all factors that can improve symptoms of menopause
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT): Psychological therapy that can improve mental health
- Alternative methods: Natural products such as CBD help improve the symptoms associated with menopause
How does CBD oil help menopause symptoms?
An increasing number of women are turning to CBD products for menopause instead of the more intense treatments such as HRT and medications that can be risky. It is true that not enough research has been done to say for a fact whether CBD can help treat the symptoms of menopause. However, the sheer volume of anecdotal claims and emerging studies show promise. Here are ways CBD could potentially help with the symptoms of menopause.
Regulate the endocannabinoid system
Did you know that oestrogen helps regulate our endocannabinoid levels? When we no longer have enough oestrogen, endocannabinoids such as anandamide (neurotransmitters that make us feel good) are broken down too quickly, leading to stress and depression.
CBD can help by preventing the early breakdown of this endocannabinoid and keep us feeling good for longer.
Improve symptoms of depression
Besides helping you feel better for longer, CBD activates serotonin receptors, raising serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain. This is thought to provide antianxiety and antidepressant effects. According to a study published in Neurotherapeutics, CBD can potentially treat various anxiety disorders, but further study is needed.
Oestrogen helps lower inflammation in the body. Since levels of oestrogen decline during menopause, women's bodies are more susceptible to inflammation during the menopausal years, culminating in joint and muscle pain.
Known for its anti-inflammatory effects, CBD lowers cytokines (pro-inflammatory proteins) to soothe inflammation and binds to pain receptors to reduce pain caused by inflammation. A 2015 study found that CBD reduced inflammation and pain in rats, concluding that topical CBD has the potential to reduce arthritis-related pain and inflammation without any side effects.
However, more studies are needed in order to confirm their findings.
Sleeping difficulties are common during menopause due to fluctuating hormones and lower amounts of γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), a calming neurotransmitter in the brain.
CBD helps balance GABA levels in our brains, resulting in better sleep. One study found that CBD may benefit people with anxiety and sleeping difficulties by improving sleep quality, shortening the time it takes to fall asleep, and reducing sleep disturbances. However, these studies are limited by a small sample pool.
What are the side effects of CBD for menopause?
CBD is considered very safe, with the World Health Organization (WHO) stating that there is no public health risk or potential for abuse with CBD. There are very few side effects from CBD, and those that do occur are minor, such as:
- Changes in appetite
- Weight fluctuations
However, there is much we don’t know about CBD yet, so more research is needed before we know exactly what the long-term effects are.
That being said, compared to the symptoms of menopause, the side effects of CBD are mild.
What type of CBD product is best for the symptoms of menopause?
Depending on the kind of symptoms you want to address, there are a number of CBD products available for you to try.
- CBD oil: Taken sublingually, CBD oil is best for helping address most symptoms, particularly anxiety and insomnia. There is even flavoured CBD oil for those that don’t like the taste of CBD.
- CBD capsules: Instead of being taken sublingually, capsules are swallowed. This means effects take longer to kick in, but are much easier and discreet to take. Like CBD oil, capsules offer help with anxiety and insomnia.
- CBD topicals: Topicals such as CBD cream and balms are applied directly to the skin and are the best option for those experiencing joint and muscle pain.
- CBD edibles: Including products such as gummies, candies, drinks and other treats, CBD edibles are ingested. Like capsules, they take a bit longer to work as they must first pass through the digestive system, but they are also a good choice for helping address the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
How to choose the right CBD for menopause
With the vast amount of CBD products available, it can be tricky to find one that works for you. However, with the following tips in mind, you will be able to navigate through the huge amount of products and find one that suits you.
When buying a CBD product, here’s how to shop wisely:
- Buy organic: Hemp can absorb toxins from the soil, so it is vital to ensure that the soil in which hemp is grown is clean.
- Check the ingredients: Avoid CBD products that contain added flavours or other synthetic ingredients that could be harmful.
- Look for the COA: Only buy CBD products from a company that does third-party lab testing. Find the certificate of analysis (COA) on their website or request it before buying. Companies that do not readily provide COAs should be avoided.
- Find out the source of the hemp: A brand that is open about where they source their hemp is trustworthy and transparent. You know precisely what you’re getting when buying from a brand that provides information on how they source their hemp.
- Check reviews: Finding out what previous users of the product think about it or if they had any issues with a product can give you further insight.
Best CBD oil for menopause
Now that you know what to look for when buying a CBD product for menopause, here are five premium CBD products we suggest you get your hands on to see any potential benefits for yourself.
Canndid CBD Tincture
One of the best CBD tinctures on the market, Canndid CBD Tincture is made with naturally grown hemp sourced in the EU and is formulated with a blend of premium CBD extract, MCT Oil, and Sativa L. It is 100% THC-free and has a delicious subtle mixed berry flavour that masks the taste of CBD, which many people find unpleasant.
Canndid’s tincture may be affordable, but they do not skimp on quality, standing shoulder to shoulder with the very best brands.
Great taste, desirable effects and super affordable – what more could you want in a CBD oil?
Cali Greens CBD Tincture
By now, you’ve probably heard about Cali Greens and their top-quality CBD products, especially their CBD tinctures.
This tincture packs a punch, with just a few drops boosting your endocannabinoid system. The tasty CBD drops contain broad-spectrum organic hemp along with other all-natural vegan ingredients and come in a gorgeous bottle available in two strengths, including 750 mg and 1500 mg, so there is a strength for everyone.
There are three flavours to choose from, namely:
- Mint flavour
- Orange & mango flavour
- Pomegranate flavour
Winner of the ‘Best of Show’ award at the 2019 Vapor Expo Awards, Cali Greens have made a name for themselves in the CBD industry and keep going from strength to strength.
Plant of Life 750 mg CBD Full Spectrum CBD Oil
Plant of Life offer high-quality products made from organically grown EU approved hemp with their own genetic strains. This allows them to have proper CO2 extraction processes in place along with better quality control and originality. Plant of Life like to make their own CBD oil which contains no additives or other synthetic products, and their 750 mg CBD Full Spectrum CBD Oil is no exception
One of their most popular products, the 5 ml bottle of 750 mg Full Spectrum CBD Oil is perfect for those wanting a higher, yet affordable, strength.
Endoca CBD Hemp Oil Drops Mint & Chocolate
Endoca's primary goal is to research and produce revolutionary cannabis extracts and make them available to people all over the globe.
They hope that by focusing on the human Endocannabinoid System, they will be able to help many people regain internal balance.
Their THC Free Chocolate Mint CBD Oil is especially popular. It is a sweet alternative to the naturally strong hemp flavour of CBD, yet it is free from synthetic flavourings. Instead, the delicious taste comes from the blend of CBD with chocolate, apricot oil, and mint extract.
This CBD oil has a strong concentration of 1500 mg and comes in a 10 ml bottle.
With a decadent minty chocolate taste, Endoca’s THC Free Chocolate Mint CBD Oil is definitely one you don't want to miss.
Hopefully, you have grasped a better understanding of menopause from this article, including how CBD could potentially address the symptoms of menopause. Yes, menopause comes for all women. But you don’t need to give up and accept defeat. CBD for menopause could be just the thing to help you through this transitional period in your life.
Speak to your doctor before using CBD for menopause to ensure it is the right choice for you.
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