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Are you experiencing menopause?
If it has been 12 months since your last period, and have no other health issues that may affect your cycle, you may be experiencing menopause. It usually begins anytime between someone’s mid-forties to mid-fifties and lasts for several years.
Menopause is caused by a massive change in estrogen levels in a woman’s body. Weight gain may now happen more easily, and bone and heart health can be affected. Some women may not experience any symptoms of this change, but others may experience symptoms like hot flashes, sleep troubles, moodiness and irritability, painful sex or depression.
What can happen to a woman’s body post-menopause?
Once estrogen levels have decreased, women may now experience weight gain due to the body now storing more fat. There may be a higher risk of developing osteoporosis (weak bones) and heart disease because of these lower estrogen levels.
How can CBD help with menopause?
Many women going through menopause report having trouble getting a good night’s sleep. Whether it’s frequent night wakes, insomnia, or waking early, reduced sleep can add up and make day-to-day life difficult. Researchers have found that CBD may help decrease sleep troubles, improve the quality of sleep, and help people fall asleep faster. Research has indicated higher doses of CBD may have a sedative effect, too.
Hot flushes are a common occurrence for women during and after menopause. It is believed they are related to the changing estrogen levels in the body. Hot flushes are usually experienced in the upper part of the body — a woman may find her skin is flushed, and she experiences heavy sweating and chills. These hot flushes could last a few seconds or several minutes. THC can mimic some aspects of anandamide, an endocannabinoid that helps regulate body temperature — but medicinal cannabis may help manage anxiety, which can be a trigger for a hot flush.
Anxiety, depression and mood issues
During menopause, there is an increased risk of depression and anxiety. This may be due to menopause itself or the symptoms that come along with this body change.
Animal studies have found medicinal cannabis may help manage depression and anxiety, nevertheless, there is currently no research into whether this also translates to humans. There are some case studies available and we have seen firsthand in the clinic how medicinal cannabis may help those facing mental health issues, however.
Muscle aches and joint pain
Women can develop menopause-related arthritis (pain in joints) due to increased inflammation from the decreased estrogen levels. A 2015 animal study found that topical CBD may help reduce inflammation, and concluded that topical CBD may help with inflammation.
What type of CBD is best for menopause symptoms?
If you’re looking for fast relief from symptoms such as anxiety or sleeping troubles, CBD oil taken beneath the tongue is the best option. Edibles are another easy and discreet option that may take a little longer than CBD oil but are just as effective. For joint pain and muscle aches, topical CBD will likely be the best treatment option for you. One of our qualified doctors will be able to guide you to the best product option depending on your menopause symptoms.
What does the research say?
Research completed in June 2022 showed that mice with decreased estrogen levels responded positively to being treated with medicinal cannabis. Some women experience weight gain post-menopause, and after being treated with cannabis, the mice were better able to dispose of glucose from their bloodstream and burned more energy. Their bone density also improved, which could help women avoid developing brittle bones (osteoporosis), and they had less gut inflammation and better levels of healthy gut bacteria.
Research into how medicinal cannabis can help with menopause specifically is ongoing, but currently still very limited due to medicinal cannabis only recently being legalised. There are no current human studies relating to cannabis and menopause, but we look forward to research coming out in the future that addresses woman’s health.
If you’re struggling with menopause symptoms and are looking for relief, medicinal cannabis may be an option for you. Contact us today to book in time to see one of our experienced doctors.
Disclaimer – medicinal cannabis and CBD oil are unapproved medicines in NZ which means that there is no conclusive evidence for their effect, apart from Sativex. Many doctors do not routinely prescribe cannabis medicines. The above article was written for general educational purposes and does not intend to suggest that medicinal cannabis can be used to treat any health condition. Please consult with your healthcare provider.