Can CBD help relieve endometriosis?
When we suffer from an illness, we rely on science to give us answers, but science does not always have a cure for everything. In fact, we are constantly discovering new pathologies and new cases of patients developing different types of symptoms in the face of the same disease. Endometriosis is one of the diseases that is receiving increasing attention, but which is poorly understood and treated
Today, one product stands out and offers endometriosis patients relief from their painful symptoms: cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD.
CBD is a product from the cannabis plant that has very positive effects on endometriosis and helps to relieve the pain of the symptoms of the disease.
In this article, we will take a detailed look at what endometriosis means to women who suffer from it and what solutions exist, including CBD
What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is an active ingredient found in different varieties of the cannabis plant. It does not produce a psychoactive effect like Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, another molecule in cannabis. It relaxes and provides many therapeutic properties that are potentially beneficial for certain symptoms, including chronic pain. CBD does not alter the state of consciousness of its users and does not produce an additive effect.
Cannabidiol is known to relieve symptoms of diseases such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or epilepsy.
In France, CBD concentrated products are legally marketed in online CBD shops such as 321 CBD
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is an inflammatory and chronic disease of the female reproductive system
To be more precise, it is a disease of the endometrium, the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus. During a “normal” menstrual period, the endometrium naturally breaks away from the inside of the uterus and is shed. In the case of a patient suffering from endometriosis, the cells that are supposed to be discharged migrate into the fallopian tubes, the vagina and the ovaries where they continue to follow the menstrual cycle. They sometimes reach different organs, such as the rectum or colon, or even the bladder. They cause painful lesions that can lead to infertility
The exact cause of endometriosis is unknown, but there are several theories as to how and why endometriosis occurs. Retrograde menstruation is a popular theory that involves blood and tissue from a woman’s uterus traveling through the fallopian tubes into the abdominal cavity during menstruation, carrying with it endometrial fragments, or cells capable of generating new endometrial foci. It is considered that almost all women have some degree of retrograde menstruation, but only some women will have endometriosis. This may be due to differences in women’s immune systems.
Endometriosis is much more common if a close relative also has the disease, so there may also be genes that influence endometriosis.
Why the intense pain during menstruation? When a woman with endometriosis has her period, the blood she discharges is from cells and tissues inside and outside the uterus. When the blood touches these other organs inside the abdomen, it can cause inflammation and irritation, creating pain.
In France, endometriosis is a common gynaecological condition, affecting between 10% and 12% of women of childbearing age, or 1.5 to 2.5 million women.
The symptoms of endometriosis
People with endometriosis usually suffer from at least one of the following symptoms:
Severe menstrual cramps
Painful sexual intercourse
Chronic lower back, abdominal or pelvic pain
Diarrhea, constipation or nausea
Infertility or difficulty getting pregnant
Some women with endometriosis may have no symptoms at all.
Existing treatments for endometriosis
Endometriosis is a disease that does not progress very far and there is no risk of the number and volume of lesions getting worse. To date, there is no cure for endometriosis and the disease can be difficult to treat
The treatments that do exist aim to relieve the symptoms so that the condition does not interfere with the patient’s daily life. They can relieve pain, slow the growth of endometriosis tissue or improve fertility.
Here are some solutions provided by the medical profession for the treatment of endometriosis.
Analgesic treatment The most common treatment offered by doctors today is analgesics. Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and painkillers help women with endometriosis to cope with the painful symptoms of endometriosis, but in no way prevent the disease from developing
Hormonal treatment: Hormonal treatment is designed to reduce the level of estrogen in the blood, in order to block the proliferation and bleeding of lesions caused by endometriosis. This treatment relieves the symptoms by reducing or stopping menstruation but does not stop the lesions.
Surgical treatment Surgical treatment: Surgical intervention is used to remove cysts and adhesions caused by endometrial fragments in the abdominal cavity. This is done in severe cases of the disease.
Lifestyle changes are considered to improve the condition of women with endometriosis. Indeed, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating vegetarian, meditating, doing sports such as yoga or running, adopting an anti-inflammatory diet rich in fatty acids, doing breathing exercises or even doing acupuncture and aromatherapy are some of the informal advice given to patients.
Apart from this advice, there are still no proven “natural” treatments for endometriosis. For a few years now, CBD has been emerging from the pack with its therapeutic properties, notably anti-inflammatory, and offers to relieve the symptoms of endometriosis. Let’s take a closer look at the effects of CBD on endometriosis.
The effects of CBD on endometriosis
First of all, let’s explain how CBD comes into contact with our body
In our body, we can find cannabinoid receptors, housed mainly in the nervous system, immune system and organs. Cannabinoid receptors have also been found in the endometrium and intestinal linings.
Cannabis is composed of chemicals called cannabinoids, the best known of which are THC and CBD. These interact with these cannabinoid receptors and have therapeutic properties that carry over to diseases that the body suffers from, including endometriosis.
One of the main characteristics of endometriosis is that it is an inflammation. Cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory properties that have been proven in research done for other diseases, such as fibromyalgia for example (read Is CBD effective against fibromyalgia? )
Another symptom of endometriosis is pain, often chronic. Studies show that cannabinoids present in cannabis are beneficial for chronic pain. They relieve and soothe pain due to their analgesic properties. Endometriosis can also cause other comorbidities such as anxiety and depression, for which CBD has been proven to be an effective remedy.
What CBD products for endometriosis?
By reducing inflammation as well as the pain they depend on, people with endometriosis access better living conditions, better management of their bodies and preserve their mental health.
For this, CBD oils, known to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties are preferred products by people wishing to relieve their symptoms. CBD oil is administered sublingually, or under the tongue, where it is absorbed quickly and effectively. The quality of CBD oil is very important and influences its therapeutic quality.
If this is your first time, we recommend starting with a low dose, 2-3 times a week, and then gradually increasing the doses. Keeping a diary to see if CBD is having an effect on your symptoms can also be very helpful
Although there have been very few studies on endometriosis and CBD in particular, we know that many chronic pain patients, including endometriosis, use and are very satisfied with CBD and CBD oil. There are also many individual patient case studies that show that CBD oil can help with endometriosis.
To access a range of high quality CBD products, please visit our 321 CBD e-shop and test our premium CBD oils whose properties will relieve your ailments.
How CBD can Help Combat Endometriosis Pain
Endometriosis effects 1 in 10 women around the world (up to a staggering 176 million worldwide). It can cause huge amounts of pain for those who suffer. Due to the negative side effects of many conventional pain medications, the number of women self-treating with cannabis is increasing. CBD could possibly provide some relief to those with endometriosis, for reasons which will be explored in this article.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition which effects the female reproductive system. Simply, it’s wen the tissue of the uterus (that sheds each month at your period) grows outside of the uterus itself. This tissue, called endometrium, can develop on the ovaries and fallopian tubes. However, in severe cases it can grow all throughout the abdomen.
Endometriosis itself is not life threatening, but it can cause a severe amount of pain. Just as our uterine lining sheds at our period, the tissue outside of these areas reacts to our monthly hormones. It sheds and breakdown, but as there is no clear route for it to go, it can get trapped in your body. This becomes incredibly painful and causes flaring, scaring and inflammation.
Although some people only experience the symptoms and pain mildly, for others it can be incredibly life altering. The rates of those struggling with mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, are greatly increased amongst those suffering.
How is Endometriosis Diagnosed?
One of the major issues in treating endometriosis is the initial difficulty in getting it diagnosed. It is initially useful to understand the signs and symptoms that might lead you to seek a diagnosis. Some common symptoms women experience are:
- Bladder pain
- Consistent premenstrual symptoms
- Heavy, painful periods
- Lethargy, fatigue and trouble sleeping
- Pain during sex
- Pain in the lower back, hips and thighs
- Pain with bowel movements
- Pelvic pain
Unfortunately, the current average time it takes to receive a diagnosis is between 7 and 10 years. Tracking your cycle and symptoms can help to spread up this process slightly, but the only way to confirm it with certainty is through an explorative keyhole surgery known as a laparoscopy.
A laparoscopy is a surgery in which a camera is inserted into the pelvis through a small cut, near the navel. The doctor can use this camera to look and see if there is tissue in areas outside of the uterus itself.
What Causes Endometriosis?
Due to a lack of research, there is not a single effective treatment for endometriosis. Scientists are looking to investigate how the tissue thrives outside of the uterus, and what can be done to prevent this. The most recent theory is that the menstrual blood flows to these areas too, carrying the tissue to areas where it doesn’t belong. There is also the possibility that our environmental factors, such as hormones and toxins in food, could be causing the tissue to grow outside of where is naturally belongs.
What is understood, however, is that once the tissue begins to grow somewhere it is then able to grow and spread. Some even compare this to cancer, where cells continue to replicate in an undesired way. In order to grow the cells, use our system of veins and arteries to supply them with what they need, and remove waste products. They also grow nerve endings which increase pain perception.
What are the Current Treatments for Endometriosis?
Despite the fact endometriosis is considered a benign disease, patients can continue to experience a spread and growth of this tissue rapidly. There is research going into the possibility of cancer treatments being effective to treat endometriosis, however currently the only options available to treat the tissue itself is surgical removal. Surgery is obviously a last resort option, and it is possible for the tissue to grow back if it is not entirely removed during the process.
For those who do not want to undergo surgery, or are not suitable for it, there are other ways in which the tissue can be treated. Some doctors look to natural remedies to help restore the body’s health. Lifestyle and dietary changes can be beneficial for some, but often need to be bespoke to the individual. Exercise and physical activity can also improve the symptoms – finding a balance between working out and resting, alongside ensuring you get enough sleep, can prove helpful for some with milder symptoms.
Painkillers are often prescribed by doctors. Over the counter drugs such as ibuprofen are tried initially, with mefenamic acid often being prescribed if the pain is more severe. Doctors often try hormone therapies, such as conventional birth control pills to help regulate the pain caused by monthly cycles, although these treatments sometimes only have limited success.
What are the Side Effects for Current Endometriosis Treatments?
Taking painkillers such as ibuprofen for prolonged periods of time can lead to stomach ulcers, or inflammation to the lining of the stomach. Therefore, they are not recommended for continuous use.
Hormonal treatments can cause headaches, migraines, blood pressure changed, spotting, mood effects and weight gain. They can also change the microbiome of our gut, increasing stomach issues.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD is one of over one hundred chemical compounds, known as cannabinoids, that are found in the cannabis plant. They are specifically found in Cannabis sativa.
Although many people know cannabis to create a feeling of being ‘high’, this is not the case with CBD. Tetrahydrocannabinol better known as THC, is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid active in cannabis. This is the compound that creates the psychoactive effect of being ‘high’. Unlike THC, CBD does not have any psychoactive effects and does not cause the user to get ‘high’.
Although CBD does not have any psychoactive effects, it is still able to ease pain and aid relaxation. It is growing in popularity as scientific studies are beginning to prove that it can help aid symptoms of anxiety, depression and chronic pain.
Can CBD and CBD Oil help treat endometriosis?
There is growing evidence to suggest that CBD can be beneficial to some people suffering with endometriosis. The inflammation, one of the most significant causes of endometriosis pain, is lessened by the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD. There are also mild analgesic properties in CBD, which may also help reduce pain.
There have been very few studies about the effect of CBD specifically on endometriosis. We do know, however, that there is evidence to support the treatment of chronic pain through CBD and CBD oil. Moreover, there is the possibility that supporting the function of there are cannabinoid receptors that can be controlled through taking CBD that might help reduce the over-functioning of endometriosis cells, although this thesis is yet to be explored further and is only in early stages.
There are possible ways in which the cell multiplication may be helped by CBD:
- The cannabinoid CBD works with our internal endocannabinoid system to help regulate bodily processes. It is also helpful at regulating cell growth, stopping over-zealous cell multiplication. For these reasons, there has been some positive evidence that cannabis could help treat cancer, as it stops the cells from multiplying. It is possible that the same may be possible for endometriosis.
- CBD may also be able to stop the endometriotic cells from migrating or moving around the body into new organs. This may be because it blocks GPR18 receptor from activating. It is worth noting, however, that unlike CBD, THC (the psychoactive element of cannabis) may active these receptors – therefore if you are self-medicating with THC, CBD may be essential to counter this activity.
- As previously noted, in order to thrive, endometriotic cells need blood vessels and capillaries. There is the possibility that CBD can inhibit this process in cells, (as they inhibit vascularisation) in cells.
- For some patients the nerve damage can be the most painful element of endometriosis. If it is a specific kind of endometriosis, known as deep-infiltrating endometriosis, the tissue embeds itself deeper into the organs it is growing on. This can cause deeper lesions that contain a high density of nerves. CBD may be able to regulate the nerve growth by interfering with innervation (the growth of new nerves), preventing new receptors.
- There may also be a possibility that activating endocannabinoid receptors inside the body may be able to produce anti-inflammatory properties, lessening the body’s immune response to new cells and reducing pain caused by endometriosis tissue.
What CBD Products can be Used for Treating Endometriosis?
As there are a variety of ways to take CBD, it may be overwhelming working out which is the best product to use to help endometriosis symptoms.
CBD patches are a great option for those looking for a long-lasting effect, as they have a duration of 24 hours. They can also be applied close to the area of inflammation, on veinous tissue. This will ensure the CBD focuses on this area first, and then is generally released into the blood stream.
CBD vape oils are a fantastic option for those looking for the instant relief of CBD. The relief vape cartridge is specifically formulated to help with issues regarding chronic pain and is made using a range of terpenes specific to pain. A vape product quickly allows CBD to enter the system, without the wait-time for activation.
CBD capsules are an easy way to ingest CBD and are often enjoyed as part of a supplementation routine. If you are supplementing in your diet, or taking daily medication, a capsule is a great way to ensure you are consuming your CBD.
Endometriosis is a condition which effects many women, and despite growing scientific research, there is no singular cure. For those suffering, CBD may be able to help mitigate symptoms and provide anti-inflammatory effects. Moreover, there is possible evidence to suggest that CBD itself might reduce the cell growth and the prevalence of new tissue.
CBD for Endometriosis Pain Relief
We might as well call it the miracle cannabis compound. CBD has been praised by consumers and researchers 1 due to its versatile usage when it comes to treating different conditions. Its application is particularly popular on conditions for which a cure or a cause has not yet been discovered, such as endometriosis.
CBD is an acronym for Cannabidiol. It is a compound found in hemp and cannabis that lacks the intoxicating and addictive effects associated with other cannabis compounds such as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Because of this, this, hemp-derived CBD products are legally sold and used in many countries around the world.
The wide application of CBD in the medical context has been studied extensively and by now, there is plenty of medical evidence for the healing properties CBD possesses.
It has strong anti-inflammatory 2 , and pain-relieving 1 properties, as well as the ability to positively influence brain chemistry, thus effectively treating depression 3 , anxiety 4 , irritation, and stress.
Therefore CBD and CBD Oil have been used to treat conditions such as:
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Alzheimer’s Disease
But what is the relationship between CBD and endometriosis? Is there proof that CBD can effectively aid in endometriosis pain management. Is there another endometriosis pain relief method are not aware of yet?
CBD for Endometriosis – quick overview
Further research indicates that cannabinoids have a direct influence on endometriosis. It has been found that cannabinoids are responsible for the following:
- Stopping cell proliferation
- Preventing cell migration
- Reduce inflammation
- Calm and reduce pain
This article will look into these claims in more detail and hopefully establish a relationship between CBD and endometriosis based on medical research and actual consumer experiences.
What is Endometriosis?
Before we dive further into the CBD for endometriosis topics, let us talk more about what the condition really is, what causes it and how it affects women’s lives.
Endometriosis is a condition which only affects women. It is associated with the endometrium tissue – the tissue that lines the uterus – and its unusual growth on the outside of the uterus. Once it starts growing in the “wrong place”, the endometrium tissue can further develop on the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and other abdominal locations. It can sometimes go undiagnosed for a long time, as some of the symptoms can be easily dismissed as just more severe menstrual cramps and discomfort.
Further endometriosis symptoms include:
- Painful intercourse
- Painful urination or bowel movements
- Chronic lower back, abdominal or pelvic pain
- Diarrhea, constipation or nausea
- Infertility or difficulty getting pregnant
However, it is rare that all of the symptoms are present at once, which is why many women can be unaware that they have endometriosis.
This condition is not considered life-threatening and it does not affect women’s life span. Nonetheless, it causes both physical and psychological damage It is highly associated with strong pain and discomfort, as it responds to both the hormones present in a woman’s body and the uterus alone.
Similarly to the menstruation process, endometrial tissues build up every month, followed by a breakdown and a shed. The problem, however, occurs when the tissue material is not properly disposed of by the body. Trapped tissue frequently becomes inflamed and can cause internal scarring while the body tries to absorb back the “unflushed” material.
Every woman is different, therefore the level of discomfort and pain differs significantly, Nonetheless, there have been documented cases of women suffering from endometriosis, whose quality of life has been severely affected by the conditions, causing them to experience increased rates of anxiety and depression 5
What Causes Endometriosis?
The exact cause of endometriosis remains unknown. There are, however some theories to what might contribute it its development.
One of the most widely accepted theories comes from the Obstetrics and gynecology journal 6 and it suggests that endometriosis occurs due to a phenomenon called “retrograde menstruation”. In simple terms this means that menstrual blood flows backward, carrying endometrial tissue through the fallopian tubes into the peritoneal cavity.
Once the tissue has been transported to the abdominal areas, it acts very similarly to cancer cells, as it grows and multiplies unnoticed by the body’s immune system. As the endometrium develops, it slowly changes its environment to become more hospitable by recruiting blood veins for nutrient supply and creating new nerve endings, which increase pain perception. These later contribute to the severe chronic pain associated with endometriosis. Another endometrium – specific quality is that it can transport to other tissues, thus spreading vastly.
Conventional Endometriosis Treatment
Those who have not yet experienced CBD as endometriosis pain relief may be familiar with conventional endometriosis treatment. This usually includes:
Although partially successful, none of these treatments is completely safe or side-effect-free.
Is there a natural endometriosis treatment?
Apart from CBD for endometriosis, there are not many natural or herbal supplements for treating endometriosis. There are however foods that contain Vitamin B6, Omega 3 fatty acids and curcumin that can help keep the condition at bay. Reaching menopause will, in most cases, also put an end to the endometrial cycle.
Is CBD a possible endometriosis pain relief?
As already mentioned, CBD has several proven healing properties. In comparison to conventional endometriosis treatments, CBD stands out as a natural and mostly side-effect free alternative.
Supported by medical evidence, CBD can actually have a direct impact on the female reproductive tract 9 functionality, due to its close relation to the endocannabinoid system.
CBD can be a powerful aid when treating endometriosis, not only because of its anti-inflammatory 10 and pain-relieving qualities but because it has the ability to affect the development of the endometrium tissue in several ways.
Cannabinoids Can Stop Cell Multiplication
A healthy body has several defense mechanisms in the form of immune reactions 11 , which shield the organism from any foreign substances, microorganisms, and toxins. Apoptosis 12 is the body’s way of inducing “programmed” cell death when it noticed damaged cells, which may cause a threat to the overall system. There is however evidence 13 that women suffering from endometriosis have impaired apoptosis functions, which allows for the easy spread of the endometrium tissue.
A study 14 shows that CBD has a direct influence on cell survival or death decision, as well as the ability to prevent faulty cells from spreading.
Furthermore, another study 15 on mice suggests that cannabinoids represent a promising therapeutic approach when it comes to endometriosis treatment
CBD can Prevent Cell Migration
It has been concluded that cell migration in the body is directly influenced by the CB1 and CB2cannabinoid receptors. Studies show that CBD, as a cannabinoid, has the ability to influence and in some cases even stop can stop endometriotic cells from migrating 16 , as it also influences the human body to grow more of its own Cannabinoids.
Stopping the cell migration can the only solution for women who have undergone surgery to remove the affected area, but the endometriosis has later returned in a different area.
CBD calms pain nerves and reduces pain
Severe pain in one of the most common symptoms of endometriosis. As already mentioned, prolonged intake of painkillers may have harmful, long term side effects. Therefore, CBD for endometriosis may be a more adequate solution, as it has been proven 17 to reduce various types of pain.
How to use CBD oil to treat endometriosis?
As endometriosis affects internal areas of the body, a sublingual use of CBD oil is recommended. This method consists of taking the CBD oil under your tongue and it is done by using a dropper. The sublingual method of taking CBD is the second fastest method after inhalation. The CBD effects can usually be felt after around 30 – 60 minutes. The flavor of CBD is described as hereby and earthy. If taking the oil sublingually is not your preferred method, there are other ways to use CBD.
The right dosage of CBD for endometriosis will depend on the severity of your symptoms, as well as how your body reacts to the oil. We recommend using the step-up approach as described in the book CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis by L. Leinow 18 . North Atlantic Books. CBD can be an adequate endometriosis relief, but you have to listen to your body and determine an effective dosage for your needs.
Even though not life-threatening, endometriosis can severely impact a woman’s quality of life. All conventional endometriosis currently offered comes with a rather long list of harmful side-effects. CBD could offer a natural treatment for endometriosis, as it works in various ways to not only mast the symptoms but to significantly reduce and sometimes fully eliminate them. CBD oil for endometriosis, in combination with a healthy and regulated diet, may be the key to easing the struggles of women, suffering from this condition. CBD for Endometriosis – Customer Reviews*