How CBD Directly Affects Menopause, PMS, Endometriosis & More
You probably know a woman who struggles with painful periods, menopause, PCOS, Endometriosis, or is experiencing other complications with her reproductive system. What we’ve uncovered is that our endocannabinoid system (ECS) is intricately linked to the female reproductive system. Cannabinoid therapy in the form of high-quality CBD or CBD products can actually help ease uncomfortable symptoms associated with these conditions, and potentially be able to help reverse them.
If you recall from The Science Behind CBD, CBD directly stimulates the ECS. Research shows that endocannabinoid activity, along with our CB1 and CB2 receptor functions, fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle. What does this mean? It means that our ECS plays a significant role in the female menstrual cycle, fertility, and hormones associated with the female reproductive system. Research indicates:
- A disruption in your ECS can bring on menopause.
- Endocannabinoid deficiency is a potential cause of endometriosis.
- An imbalance in your ECS has the potential to create hormonal imbalances and conditions which can bring about health complications in the female reproductive system.
In this post, we will touch on a few common conditions that women are faced with today, discuss how they connect to the endocannabinoid system, and give insight on what you can do, starting today, to help yourself or your loved ones.
Let’s start with PCOS.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal issue that affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age. This condition is frequently characterized by irregular or absent periods, acne, excessive hair growth and polycystic ovaries and is a common cause of infertility. Those with PCOS may exhibit insulin resistance that contributes to hormonal imbalances. CB1 and CB2 receptors, two fundamental components of the ECS, help ensure hormones receive proper signals that provide normal levels of production. In women with PCOS, CB1 in adipose tissue is significantly higher than for those without this hormonal disorder. The over-expression of CB1 receptors leads to insulin resistance, causing androgen (a different hormone) levels to rise. This imbalance creates ovulation difficulties and is what ultimately leads to PCOS. With the help of CBD supplementation, insulin and other critical hormones undergo a normalizing effect, alleviating many of the side effects that come along with PCOS.
Now let’s talk about another condition known as Endometriosis.
Similar to PCOS, 1 in 10 women in the US are diagnosed with Endometriosis. Endometriosis, Endo for short, is a condition in which tissue, similar to the tissue which grows inside the uterus, grows outside of the uterus. This tissue responds to hormonal fluctuations in the menstrual cycle and sheds as if it were in the uterus. It causes a great deal of inflammatory pain and affects the quality of life of those who suffer from it. The symptoms of endometriosis include painful periods, painful ovulation, pain during or after sex, heavy bleeding, chronic pelvic pain, fatigue, and infertility, and can impact general physical, mental, and social well being. The ECS has been proven to be involved in cell migration and proliferation, apoptosis, inflammation and interactions with sex steroid hormones, all processes associated with endometriosis. 
In certain studies, endometriosis has been described as an “endocannabinoid deficiency” condition, which can begin to explain its correlation with pain.  Painkillers, hormonal therapy and surgery are the suggested treatments for alleviating this pain and are not generally regarded as safe, often leading to dangerous side effects. CBD, because of its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving qualities, along with its the ability to affect the development of the endometrium tissue in several ways, can be a promising option for women affected with Endo.  Okay, two down, two to go. Let’s talk about our favorite time of the month, shall we?
Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS, affects as many as 75% of women and harbors many symptoms. As most of us know, this can include low back pain, cramping, abdominal pain and bloating, sore joints, anxiety, mood swings, oversensitivity, headaches, sensitivity to light, and an unpredictable sleep schedule. PMDD, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, is a more severe form of PMS with more severe symptoms including depression and irritability and affects up to 5% of women. The symptoms of PMS/PMDD can present themselves up to two weeks to two days before the menstrual cycle starts when hormone levels begin to fall.
The ovarian cycle is controlled by hormones which are secreted largely by the hypothalamus. A study cites: “the ECS has been localized to areas of the hypothalamus responsible for producing hormones, which act through the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis to control a number of aspects of the female reproductive processes.” 
Stress also plays a large role in reproductive health because stress increases the production of the hormone cortisol. This can elicit a reduction in libido and an increase in PMS symptoms. Because the ECS has a direct correlation to cortisol, CBD has been shown to interfere with the excretion of cortisol and aids in reducing many of the unwanted symptoms that come along with this part of our monthly cycle. Sweet, sweet relief! Lastly, let’s talk about menopause.
Menopause is coming for us all, ladies! It is a normal condition that marks the end of our reproductive period that can start as early as 4o years of age and last many years. Symptoms include irregular menstruation, irregular sleeping patterns, hot flashes, mood swings, fatigue and weight gain brought on by the absence of estrogen produced by our body. Hot flashes are largely brought on by “altered chemistry in the hypothalamus — the body’s own thermoregulator.”  Another large complaint from women who are suffering from menopause is lack of energy and losing sleep. “CB1 receptors are also found in the hypothalamus, the central regulator of energy homeostasis, further implicating a role for the ECS in energy balance.”  Once again, we see how the hypothalamus is related not only to the female reproductive system, and the ECS, it also correlates to systems associated with our energy levels.
Since CBD’s main gig is to bring the body into balance, we can see how supplementing with CBD products can normalize body systems, including the thermoregulator which lives in the hypothalamus. This could help alleviate hot flashes, or at least the duration of them, and overall help with this unavoidable transition that every woman must go through. On top of it all, CBD promotes bone growth, which is vital for post-menopausal women as they have a higher rate of osteoporosis and bone fractures.
If you are dealing with any of these conditions, or ones we may not have mentioned, we feel for you. It is not easy being a woman! But it can get better.
Why Is This Happening To Me?
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, you are unique—from your genetics to your body composition, to your stress levels and lifestyle, it is not productive to compare yourself to others. Getting the proper nutrition for your body, adequate sleep, working on developing a healthy mindset, reducing your stress levels, and staying active are all ways you can improve your health and well being. But this doesn’t happen overnight. CBD supplementation can be the thread that helps you tie all of these things together, and help alleviate your symptoms while your body is healing. Aside from symptoms alone, CBD shows promise when it comes to getting to the root of your ailment, reducing and sometimes even reversing your condition.
To Put It All Together
The female reproductive system and the endocannabinoid system work together. If there is an imbalance or deficiency in the ECS, over time, that can present as various conditions in the reproductive system. Is an imbalance in cannabinoids THE reason for these health problems? Probably not. The body is so dynamic and intricate, it is hard to pinpoint the exact reason. However, with all the scientific data we have so far regarding women’s health, and with customer feedback, we believe cannabinoid therapy is the best place to start the healing process.
Did You Say Relief? Sign me up!
At Happy Trails, we have numerous customers who have found immediate relief using our Water Soluble Full Spectrum tincture. This unique formula works quickly when needing relief from symptoms such as pain, inflammation, anxiety, etc. It has helped women alleviate their menopausal hot flashes and has helped them get a better night’s sleep. It also helps people like Hilary with PMS symptoms. “Personally, after a three-month period of consistent use, I have seen a significant decrease in my severe, almost 2 week-long PMS symptoms. My symptoms are much less debilitating and last over a much shorter time frame of only 4 days with no migraines for the first time ever.” – Hilary Kendall, 27. Hilary uses the Water Soluble Full Spectrum formula and takes 1mL a day. If you are avoiding THC for any reason, we offer a THC-free isolate option found here.
Among other customers are women who struggle with endometriosis, decreased libido and pain during sex. Many of these ladies swear by our CBD infused lube. It may sound strange, but this topical application works wonders for many different reasons. One customer says it has altered her mood and anxiety toward sexual encounters, while other women use it to reduce pain associated with PCOS, Endo, and PMS.
Happy to Help
Cannabinoid therapy could be an amazing way to work through the discomforts many women are struggling with when it comes to their reproductive health. If you need guidance in choosing a product, or would like a free consultation based on your unique situation, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can connect with us directly on facebook, instagram or direct message us here.