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Updated on January 28, 2024

CBD for Menopause

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Key takeaways

  • Cannabis extracts were used several centuries ago to manage menstrual cramp and improve women’s health.
  • CBD may improve symptoms of menopause by reducing anxiety, promoting hormonal balance, reducing hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.
  • CBD is safe for use during menopause.
  • CBD was found to increase estrogen levels in test animals.

The cannabis plant has a long history of serving important roles in women’s health. History shows that Queen Victoria used cannabis for her menstrual cramps and this is just one out of many other use cases. Today, scientists believe CBD may hold promise in dealing with signs of menopause and managing the symptoms. This article will look at those potential benefits and how CBD may assist people with menopause.

Overview of menopause

Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman's reproductive years. It typically occurs in the late 40s to early 50s, signaling the cessation of menstruation and fertility. This transitional phase is characterized by hormonal changes, particularly a decline in estrogen and progesterone production by the ovaries.

The period leading up to menopause is called perimenopause and may begin several years before the final menstrual period. During perimenopause, hormonal fluctuations can lead to irregular menstrual cycles and various symptoms.

Symptoms of menopause

Menopausal symptoms vary among individuals but can include the following;

  1. Hot flashes
  2. Night sweats
  3. Mood swings
  4. Sleep disturbances
  5. Vaginal dryness
  6. Changes in libido.

These symptoms are attributed to hormonal changes affecting the body's regulatory systems.

What research says about CBD for Menopause

A study conducted in Alberta, Canada, surveyed 1761 women, with 1485 responses analyzed. The average age was 49, and 35% were postmenopausal while 33% were perimenopausal. Among those analyzed, 34% reported currently using cannabis, and 66% had used it in the past. Over 75% of current users used cannabis for medical reasons. The main reasons for use were sleep (65%), anxiety (45%), and muscle/joint achiness (33%). About 74% of current users found cannabis helpful for their symptoms. T

A study published in 2022 found that most participants, around 86.1%, were currently using cannabis, and about 78.7% of them used it for managing menopause-related symptoms. The common ways of using cannabis were through smoking (84.3%) and edibles (78.3%). The primary menopause-related symptoms they used cannabis for were sleep disturbance (67.4%) and mood/anxiety (46.1%).

How may cannabis assist with menopause symptoms?

Although research data addressing highlighting the therapeutic roles of CBD in menopause are very few, the available research studies show that people with menopause can manage their symptoms better with CBD. Some of these possible therapeutic benefits include but are not limited to the following;

  1. Hot Flashes and Night Sweats:

CBD may influence the endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating body temperature and hormonal balance. Some individuals report a reduction in the frequency and intensity of hot flashes and night sweats with the use of CBD.

  1. Sleep Disturbances:

CBD is known for its calming and anxiolytic effects. For menopausal individuals experiencing sleep disturbances, CBD may promote relaxation and improve sleep quality, helping to address insomnia or disrupted sleep patterns.

  1. Mood Swings and Anxiety:

CBD interacts with receptors in the brain that are involved in mood regulation. Some studies suggest that CBD may have anxiolytic properties, potentially helping to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and mood swings associated with hormonal fluctuations during menopause.

  1. Joint and Muscle Pain:

CBD's anti-inflammatory properties may be beneficial for managing joint and muscle pain, which can be experienced during menopause. By reducing inflammation, CBD may contribute to relief from discomfort.

  1. Cognitive Function:

Some research indicates that CBD may have neuroprotective properties. While more studies are needed, this suggests a potential role for CBD in supporting cognitive function, which can be affected by hormonal changes during menopause.

  1. Hormonal Balance:

The endocannabinoid system, which interacts with CBD, plays a role in regulating various physiological processes, including hormonal balance. While the specific mechanisms are still under investigation, some studies suggest that CBD may influence the production and release of hormones, contributing to overall hormonal balance.

  1. Bone density loss

Loss of bone density starts occurring in individuals after menopause, and osteoporosis impacts approximately 1 in 4 females aged 65 and older. The presence of low bone density elevates the susceptibility to fractures, underscoring the importance of seeking appropriate treatment.

A study conducted in 2010 using animal models discovered that CBD interacts with a cannabinoid receptor potentially associated with bone density loss. This finding raises the possibility that CBD might have the capacity to mitigate the rate of bone density reduction that often accompanies menopause.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does CBD do for menopause?

CBD may help manage menopausal symptoms by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, influencing hormonal balance, and addressing common issues such as sleep disturbances, anxiety, and joint pain. Its potential anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic properties may offer relief during this transitional phase. Some women report improved sleep, mood, and a reduction in hot flashes with CBD use.

What hormone does CBD release?

CBD does not directly release hormones. Instead, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex regulatory system in the body. The ECS plays a role in maintaining homeostasis, influencing various physiological processes, including mood, sleep, appetite, and immune response. While CBD doesn't release hormones itself, its interaction with the ECS may indirectly influence hormone levels and balance within the body.

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Babyn K, Ross S, Makowsky M, Kiang T, Yuksel N. Cannabis use for menopause in women aged 35 and over: a cross-sectional survey on usage patterns and perceptions in Alberta, Canada. BMJ Open. 2023 Jun 21;13(6):e069197. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-069197. PMID: 37344107; PMCID: PMC10314536.

Dahlgren, M. K., El-Abboud, C., Lambros, A. M., Sagar, K. A., Smith, R. T., & Gruber, S. A. (2022). A survey of medical cannabis use during perimenopause and postmenopause. Menopause (New York, N.y.), 29(9), 1028-1036.

Zuardi AW, Guimarães FS, Moreira AC. Effect of cannabidiol on plasma prolactin, growth hormone and cortisol in human volunteers. Braz J Med Biol Res. 1993 Feb;26(2):213-7. PMID: 8257923.

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