cbd oil for memopause

Best CBD Oil for Hot Flashes – March 2022

A hot flash is reported as feelings of warmth in the upper body, such as the face, neck, and chest. It includes sweating, flushing, rapid heartbeat, and chills [4] .

Hot flashes are also the most common symptom of menopause. It is the time when a woman’s menstrual period becomes irregular and eventually stops.

A study reported that up to 85% of menopausal women experience hot flashes [5] . Women may feel mild to intense hot flashes as often as several times a day.

It is not exactly clear what causes hot flashes. However, most research suggests that hot flashes occur when decreased estrogen levels cause the body’s thermostat to become more sensitive to slight changes in its temperature [6] .

When the hypothalamus thinks the body is too warm, it starts a chain of events, such as a hot flash, to cool it down.

Some people turn to natural or alternative remedies to treat their hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. One of the options is the CBD oil.

CBD oil (cannabidiol) is a chemical compound derived from cannabis plants. It is touted as a natural, organic remedy for a wide range of health concerns.

Multiple studies suggest that CBD helps relieve symptoms relating to menopause.

According to a 2010 study, CBD has anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties that may reduce anxiety and depression symptoms. It is found to affect serotonin, which is a natural mood stabilizer in humans [7] .

A 2016 case study also showed that CBD oil reduced sleep disturbances and anxiety in people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) [8] .

In addition, researchers reported that CBD might play a role in bone density loss by interacting with a cannabinoid receptor [9] . Therefore, it was concluded that CBD might be able to reduce the rate of bone density loss that can occur during menopause.

Although CBD oil may be helpful for some of these symptoms, no evidence indicates that CBD is likely to be effective for all menopausal symptoms, especially hot flashes.

How CBD Oil Works for Hot Flashes

CBD works on the body by interacting with cannabinoid receptors to help with various symptoms of menopause.

The body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) with two receptors, the CB1 and CB2. These cannabinoid receptors have a specific function in different parts of the body.

According to research, the ECS impacts female reproductive tissues and processes. This system plays an essential role in mood and temperature regulation, pain, sleep, memory, immune function, fertility, and reproduction [10] .

A study reported that CBD affects serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter in the brain [11] . Since hot flashes have a neurochemical basis, CBD shows the potential to relieve these menopause symptoms.

CBD may also help with hot flashes by targeting one of their biggest triggers: anxiety. A 2018 study found that CBD significantly reduced anxiety, depression, and stress [12] .

However, despite its promising benefits, there are limited studies on CBD and its impact on hormones and menopause. Similarly, CBD has not shown to increase estrogen, a hormone that reduces hot flashes [13] .

Due to a lack of laboratory tests conducted, CBD’s safety and efficacy as a treatment for hot flashes have not been proven. According to research, the most recommended and effective treatment for hot flashes is hormone therapy [14] .

The Pros and Cons of CBD for Hot Flashes

Conclusion

Many people have touted CBD oil as a natural remedy for a wide range of health conditions. It is believed to help reduce symptoms related to menopause, such as hot flashes.

Research showed that CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors and affects serotonin. It works to relieve different symptoms, including pain, stress, anxiety, and sleep disturbances.

More Women Are Trying Cannabis for Menopausal Symptoms

Research presented at NAMS suggests legalization has upped cannabis use for medical issues.

Recreational cannabis has been legal in Canada since 2018, which led researchers at the University of Alberta to wonder if women are using it more to lessen menopause symptoms such as insomnia, night sweats, and mood swings. Funded by an operating grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), their study abstract was presented at The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, from September 22 to 25, 2021. The research, which looked at rates and patterns of cannabis use and user reported effectiveness, has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

“Anecdotally, there have been increasing reports that Canadians are using cannabis for medical purposes, and that they are accessing it from nonmedical sources. We also got from these anecdotal reports that the symptoms are overlapping with menopause symptoms.

There is not much published in the scientific literature right now about this; there's a big gap on cannabis used to manage menopause symptoms specifically. What we wanted to do with our study was provide a snapshot within our population on if women are using cannabis, and how are they using it. Then we can move forward, fill that gap of knowledge and see if this is worth investigating more,” says Katherine Babyn, PharmD, a master's student on the faculty of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Alberta, and first author of the study abstract.

Researchers Looked at Cannabis Use in Women From Alberta, Canada

The study analyzed responses from around 1,500 women who live in the province of Alberta in Canada — 18 percent were premenopausal, 33 percent perimenopausal, and 35 percent postmenopausal. A small percentage had either undergone a hysterectomy or bilateral oophorectomy. In the overall group, around 33 percent reported using cannabis within the last 30 days, and 65 percent had used it within their lifetime. Current cannabis rates were comparable among all menopause stage groupings.

Women’s Reasons for Cannabis Use Suggest That Medical and Menopausal Symptoms Overlap

Findings hint that women were most interested in improving sleep and easing anxiety. Subjects were asked about use, and were invited to give multiple reasons for use. Of 499 study participants who reported current cannabis use, 75 percent stated it was for medical purposes: sleep issues (65 percent), anxiety (45 percent), muscle or joint achiness (33 percent), irritability (29 percent), and depression (25 percent). Three-quarters stated that they did find improvement with cannabis use but didn’t specify for which particular symptom.

The top three delivery systems were edibles, oils, and smoking. The study did not look at dosage or daily use specific to different delivery systems.

More Research Is Needed to Understand Cannabis Use for Menopausal Symptoms

“This is an interesting opening study, but a lot more research needs to be done. In order to really understand cannabis use in this population, we need to ask more detailed questions. The next step really should be to understand more how they're using cannabis, when they're using it, how much they're using, and start to pick a more specific, refined population,” says Jahan Marcu, PhD, cannnabinoid pharmacologist and founding partner at Marcu and Arora. Dr. Marcu was not involved in this research.

Dr. Babyn agrees, “There is currently a gap in knowledge in the context of cannabis being used for menopause symptoms that needs to be addressed. We established that women are using cannabis for this reason, and from there, future studies can build off of what we are showing. We're hoping that this kickstarts more research within this area so that we can have the evidence health professionals need to guide patients in using cannabis safely.”

Want to Try Cannabis? Talk to a Medical Professional First

“We found that most women are turning to the internet or their friends and family to get more information on cannabis used for medical purposes. This is an opportunity for healthcare providers to fill in and make sure that women are taking cannabis safely and appropriately,” says Babyn.

Always speak first with a qualified health professional. Not every physician, however, is going to be knowledgeable about cannabis. If so, don’t go to an unlicensed CBD shop. Research published in December 2019 in JAMA showed that many CBD products are mislabeled and contain less CBD than manufacturers claim.

Go, instead, to a state licensed dispensary, which follow basic product safety, regulation, and requirements. “Medical cannabis dispensaries in the United States have pharmacists who can consult with you about drug interactions, side effects, the safety of different delivery systems, and how to implement the advice of ‘stay low and go slow,’ which means you use a low dose and use it as infrequently as possible,” says Marcu.

Are Menopausal Symptoms Undertreated?

High cannabis use rates may be a sign that women need more thorough care around menopause. “We believe the reason they are turning to cannabis is they may not be getting the care that they need. We know there is a stigma towards menopause and fear of use of hormone therapy. Women may be turning to cannabis because they want to control their symptoms, they want to have self-control, but they may not know all of their options to help manage menopause symptoms,” says Nese Yuksel, BScPharm, PharmD, a professor on the faculty of pharmacy and pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta, who was the primary investigator and study supervisor.

In fact, Yale School of Medicine researchers looked at insurance claims from more than 500,000 women in various stages of menopause. They found that while 60 percent of the women with significant menopausal symptoms sought medical attention, almost three-quarters received no treatment.

“We are not advocating for cannabis as we believe there should be more research to support the use in menopause. We want to get the message that as healthcare professionals, we should be talking to women about their menopause issues. Discuss symptoms, and identify and look at all the options to manage symptoms,” added Dr. Yuksel.

What is CBD oil and can it help menopause symptoms?

Cannabidiol (CBD oil) is the buzzword of the moment (or should that be buzz-acronym?). But despite seemingly being in every beauty article, blog and Facebook post I see, many people are confused about what it is and how to use it.

I have to admit to being the same. I know CannabiGold can help your skin, but what about all these other miracle claims? Can CBD oil really help menopause symptoms? Ease anxiety? Stop chronic pain, align the planets and bring them into universal harmony and end the Jameela Jamil/Kardashians feud?

What is CBD oil?

Here comes the science bit – concentrate.

Cannabidiol is a chemical compound found in hemp and marijuana, two types of the cannabis sativa plant. But it’s not the part that gets you high. That’s tetrahydrocannabinol (THC – all these acronyms are like an episode of Line of Duty). CBD oil in the UK has to come from industrial hemp with tiny levels of THC. Because of this, it has no psychoactive properties, so it won’t suddenly hit you when you’re lying in the bath, leaving you craving chocolate biscuits but you can’t because you’re on a diet. (As happened to a friend of mine. Yes, a friend. Honest*.)

But that’s not the only place you’ll find CBD. Surprise, surprise, there are cannabinoids in your body. Around 30 years ago, scientists discovered we had an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that helps all the other systems in our bodies work in tune with each other.

Research is still quite new in this system, but scientists think CBD oil may help the endocannabinoid system work more efficiently. So it’s not only the planets that may be aligning with CBD…

What health benefits does CBD have?

Tests are ongoing and most of them have been done on animals. Other evidence is word-of-mouth – people sharing their experiences. – so there is nothing conclusive about the health benefits of CBD oil.

Nevertheless, it does look as if CBD oil can help with the likes of:

  • pain – CBD has anti-inflammatory effects so it may help alleviate pain and stiffness;
  • anxiety – a 2011 study found CBD helped people with social anxiety disorder. Studies also show it can help with anxiety in general, but again, tests are ongoing;
  • PTSD – children suffering post-traumatic stress disorder respond well to CBD oil, according to studies, and some doctors recommend it for depression, and
  • acne – CBD inhibits the oil production in your sebaceous glands, while it’s anti-inflammatory properties can help acne.

Can CBD oil help ease menopause symptoms?

The million-dollar question. And the answer is…

Remember the endocannabinoid system? Well, researchers believe this plays an essential part in the likes of:

  • mood swings
  • pain
  • sleep
  • memory
  • body temperature.

Menopause knocks the ECS for six (there’s a surprise. It affects so much of our lives so why should this newly found system escape?) So if CBD oil can help restore balance, then it could help reduce some symptoms.

It’s thought that CBD oil can be effective in tackling sleep disturbances, mood changes and aches and pains. But more research is needed (again, there’s a surprise).

How do I choose a CBD oil?

Research, research and research. CBD can come in many forms – capsules, ointments, lotions, little nibblies such as chocolate and gummy bears – and the amount of CBD in it can vary just as much.

So do your research. Read the reviews, the articles, ask around and find out what you think is best for you.

And like any supplement, check with your doctor first if you’re taking any prescribed medication.

How do I take CBD oil?

It depends what form you’re taking, but the easiest way is a few drops under your tongue, letting it absorb before swallowing (if you’ve used Bach Flower Remedies, it’s the same way.)

You can also add CBD to water, or get a spray form, or eat it.

And start with a low dosage and build up if needed.

Are there any side effects?

Most people will be able to take CBD oil without any problem, but there can be some side effects. One study found the most common were:

  • weight gain/loss
  • changes in appetite
  • diarrhea
  • tiredness

Make sure you read the label and any leaflet so you’re aware. Plus CBD can alter the efficacy of any existing medication so again, check with your doctor before taking it.

So there you have it. Everything I know about CBD. Using cannabis for medicinal treatments is still new and caught up in a whole load of ethics because of the law around marijuana. Some doctors don’t like prescribing it, while others are unsure about its efficacy and safety (sounds like HRT).

CBD has celebrity users, with the likes of Michael J Fox backing it in his fight against Parkinson’s, as well as Whoopi Goldberg, Kristen Bell, Olivia Wilde and Jennifer Aniston (hope she liked my science bit.) But remember, celebrities are people just like you and me.

Having read a lot about CBD oil, I’m in the “definitely worth a try” lobby. The planets aren’t going to align – and I think we can give up hope for Jameela and Kim – but it does seem that there is something about CBD oil worth trying.

But remember to check with your doctor first.

I’d love to hear if you’ve tried CBD oil and what your thoughts were. Leave me a comment below.

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