CBD for Women – A Winning Combination
The cannabis sativa plant has always been seen to demonstrate female qualities. Since antiquity, cultures have revered it for its healing properties, and in Western society, it is probably no accident that it is referred to colloquially as “Mary Jane.”
While good health is essential for everyone, the unique health needs of women in all stages of life seem particularly well suited to the ministrations of CBD. Women face the journey of their lives in stages; the cycles of menstruation, pregnancy and childbirth, childrearing and nursing, and finally, menopause.
These ever-changing roles bring with them new health concerns through the years, and CBD could potentially be a valuable support during every one of these milestones.
A loss of control over their bodies is a familiar refrain among many women as they go through each phase of the journey. Many simply accept the uncomfortable symptoms that accompany these changes as an inevitability that can’t be avoided.
However, plant medicines have had a valuable role over the centuries in assisting women through all of the mental, emotional, and physical challenges life throws at them. CBD may be an excellent way to reclaim some measure of power over their health and begin a new period of wellness.
Sourced from hemp, CBD is a close cousin to THC, but it does not carry with it the same mind-altering or psychoactive effects. Gentle enough to be used daily, it has the potential to offer relief for many health concerns and support women’s’ bodies in a way no other plant can. In the next part of this article, we will dive into a little bit of the research behind CBD when it comes to issues women face.
CBD, Menstrual Pain, and Mood Swings
During menstruation, women experience an increase in inflammation in the body as the uterus contracts and expels its lining. For many women, this cramping can lead to severe discomfort.
The same inflammation correlates to other issues like painful breasts and bloating. CBD may offer some remarkable relief when it comes to painful periods – Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) – as it has been definitively proven as a potent anti-inflammatory agent. For women who find themselves taking handfuls of over the counter pain medications each month, CBD is far safer and gentler to the digestive tract and may be a viable option.
Another frequent complaint among women during their monthly cycles is mood swings, something that can also be related to the endocannabinoid system. Anxiety, stress, and depression are all linked to inflammation, as well.
Anandamide is the main endocannabinoid in the human body, and it is related to feelings of bliss and well-being. When the ECS is knocked out of whack, the body starts making chemicals that block the production of anandamide.
This can lead to a host of negative feelings. Again, supplementing with phytocannabinoids can return the ECS into balance and improve mood.
Cannabidiol and Fertility
There is still much research to be done on the subject of CBD and fertility. Still, a recent study conducted by the University of Teramo shows that cannabinoids like CBD could play more of a role in fertility than was previously thought. The research indicates that the ECS may be a new target in improving fertility and reproductive problems.
Another point to consider is that women who are attempting to conceive usually want to expose their bodies to the least amount of medications and chemicals as possible. For those who worry about the impact of unnecessary substances, CBD may offer a safe and helpful way to support a woman’s body while she is trying to get pregnant.
Cannabidiol and Weight Gain
It is a well-known fact that many women experience wide fluctuations in their weight throughout their lives. Hormones during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause will vary, and women have a harder time than men shedding excess pounds. Ultimately, this can lead to insulin resistance or diabetes and increases the risk of other diseases as well.
A Nebraska College of Medicine study showed that those who regularly used cannabis had lower levels of fasting insulin, and their waist circumferences were measurably smaller. It is thought that CBD may increase its effect on specific genes that help the body maintain a healthy metabolism.
Cannabidiol and Menopause
When estrogen levels decline during menopause, the body starts to produce more inflammatory chemicals. Little wonder that joint pain, arthritis, and other painful conditions begin to emerge during this time. While the typical effects of aging are expected, that doesn’t mean you should live with more pain than necessary. As stated before, CBD has impressive anti-inflammatory properties that may help alleviate some of these effects.
Other studies have shown CBD to help alleviate some of the more common symptoms seen during menopause as well. For example, many women complain of hot flashes and night sweats. CBD has reportedly helped with both of these uncomfortable symptoms, likely because the ECS plays such a vital role in regulating body temperature.
Genitourinary syndrome is also a common complaint among women going through menopause. Typically, it consists of genital and urinary issues that come about as a result of hormonal changes. Painful intercourse, poor bladder control, and more can interfere with a woman’s sense of self and lead to depression and anxiety.
However, CBD seems to be able to help with some of these symptoms too. Topical lubricants containing cannabidiol can help relax the muscles and decrease nerve pain in the vulva and vagina. While research is still ongoing, there are plenty of women who swear by CBD’s ability to help with these issues.
Osteoporosis is another condition that frequently occurs in women going through menopause. Bone density decreases and fractures become more common. CBD has shown promise in this arena as well. New research conducted by the Vanderbilt Center for Bone Biology suggests that the same inflammation that leads to arthritis may be responsible for bone loss too. It is thought that by decreasing these inflammatory compounds with cannabinoids, the process may lessen the amount of bone resorption that takes place.
The Endocannabinoid System in Women
All mammals possess an endocannabinoid system; a network of cannabis receptors located throughout the brain and body. They interact with the body’s own internal molecules called endocannabinoids.
The ECS is responsible for many of the most vital human functions. Inflammation, pain, appetite, memory, sleep, and temperature are all controlled by the inner workings of the ECS.
In women, the ECS also controls reproduction, sex, fertility, childbirth, nursing, mood, and more. When the daily stresses of life knock this delicate system out of balance, cannabinoids from plants (phytocannabinoids) can help supplement the ECS and bring it back into homeostasis.
Although research on CBD as it relates to the unique health needs of women is still in the early stages, we already are seeing some promising results. Cannabinoids present an opportunity for both genders to restore health, but for women, the chance to be an active participant in their own wellness is particularly important.
CBD offers alternatives other than relying on harmful pharmaceuticals and may even help women to feel better about their choices.