How CBD Directly Affects Menopause, PMS, Endometriosis & More
How CBD Directly Affects Menopause, PMS, Endometriosis and 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.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6332911/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31785471 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5436335/#s008title https://hemppedia.org/cbd-for-endometriosis/#What_Causes_Endometriosis https://www.hmhb.org/cbd-oil-for-menopause/ https://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/menopause/post-menopause-and-osteoporosis
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