A quick internet search, and it won’t be long for you to see the many anecdotal stories about cannabidiol (CBD). A range of studies have discovered CBD benefits for women.
Many claim CBD has helped them with their anxiety, depression, pain, and much more. In addition, studies are backing CBD's use for female-specific concerns such as PMS, hormonal imbalances, and menopause symptoms.
CBD has grown in popularity since its inception, and it's no surprise why with these claims. Below, The Extract will take a look into some of the benefits of women taking CBD oil.
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CBD is a naturally-produced, active compound that is found in the cannabis plant. The Cannabis sativa plant has over 80 cannabinoids. However, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD are the most known compounds since they are the most abundant of all the cannabinoids.
CBD is non-psychoactive, so you will not experience a high as you would with THC. CBD oils that are sold widely in stores generally contain minimal doses of THC. This dose is not enough to give users a high.
CBD works because our bodies produce endocannabinoids. These are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors within your nervous system. CBD impacts this endocannabinoid receptor activity.
CBD oil for women’s health
Research regarding the CBD benefits for women is limited. However, the Yale School of Medicine has recently received a grant to conduct a study. The study will be on how CBD could impact behaviour and the brain.
The researchers aim to find out how CBD affects women and whether it affects men and women differently. Leading the study is Dr. Sarah Lichenstein. She has said that most research in this area has been conducted solely on men.
She thinks it’s essential to complement the already conducted research on men to comprehend how CBD affects women’s brains. What inspired the study is that the most common reason consumers seek out CBD is to treat their anxiety.
This condition is twice as prevalent in women as it is in men. One in three females meet the criteria for anxiety or a related disorder across their lifetime. The study looks to discover the brain mechanisms behind how CBD affects female behaviour.
Yale School of Medicine study
The study participants will take either a placebo or the FDA-approved CBD oral solution commonly known as Epidiolex. They will do tasks proven to reliably induce low levels of stress while inside a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner.
Researchers will gather data on self-reported anxiety and physiological and subjective effects following the supplement’s consumption. They will then observe and record the activation of amygdala and insula. In other words, the areas of the brain associated with anxiety and stress.
All participants will be women, giving necessary data to compare with the existing male research. This research will help clarify the CBD benefits for women's health.
CBD for hormonal imbalances and PMS
It has been suggested that CBD could help women dealing with hormonal imbalances. One study looked into the effect of CBD on this particular female issue. It was discovered that it helped to regulate the secretion of the stress-activating hormone cortisol.
By encouraging hormone regulation, CBD can help to prevent a hormonal imbalance. Also, when you consume hemp-based CBD products, you are taking in omega-6 fatty acid. This fatty acid has proven helpful for regulating hormones.
There is little evidence to determine whether CBD is useful for PMS symptoms. However, with its activation of the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, the stress and anxiety associated with PMS are generally reduced.
CBD benefits for women's menopause
Another benefit of women taking CBD oil is it can be useful for menopause symptoms. CBD’s ability to assist in lowering stress and frustration levels also makes it a useful supplement for menopause. Beyond helping with the emotional elements, it has practical physical applications too.
Studies have found that CBD could help in preventing the thinning of bones. This is something that happens with hormonal changes when a woman goes through menopause. They have found that CBD could strengthen bonds and make the healing process after fractures much quicker.
CBD for relaxation
A recent study found that people who took CBD oil regularly experienced improved sleep and relaxation. This is a great CBD benefit for women who find it difficult to relax or fall asleep. However, depending on how much CBD you consume, it can have the opposite effect on sleeping.
Evidence has suggested that taking small doses can result in a more wakeful state. On the other hand, higher dosages can make individuals feel rather drowsy. With that, it’s best to avoid taking CBD before going to sleep until you know how your body will react.
CBD for mood changes
One common reason people are consuming CBD is to help enhance their mood. Scientists are aware that CBD activates the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor responsible for regulating anxiety and mood.
Research has found that CBD can cause the creation of new brain cells (neurogenesis). This helps the brain to discover new ways of operating and thinking.
CBD for anxiety
Anxiety is a common problem for many women. The cause of this anxiety differs from woman to woman. For example, the pressure of juggling home and work-life responsibilities.
A number of studies have recognised the potential of CBD for treating a range of anxiety disorders. In particular for Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). A study from 2011 found that participants with anxiety who took CBD experienced lower levels of anxiety.
Key takeaways – CBD women’s health
At this point in clinical research, CBD for women’s health looks like a positive natural remedy. Studies show there are potential CBD benefits for women's health. Therefore, it will be interesting to learn the findings of Dr. Sarah Lichenstein’s study on how CBD interacts with female brains.
However, it seems that CBD wellness for women is most effective when complemented with a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, CBD should be considered an aid alongside a healthy lifestyle rather than a cure-all supplement.