Menopause Mythbusters: Does CBD Help with Menopause Symptoms?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is everywhere you look these days. From coffee to dog treats, it’s being touted as the latest natural cure-all for everything from anxiety to epilepsy. But what is it? And is it actually safe and effective? If you’re giving these claims a healthy dose of side-eye, we don’t blame you.
But if CBD does live up to the hype, that means it could be a natural, viable option for the relief of menopause symptoms like hot flashes, sleeplessness, and mood swings. We did some investigating to find out if CBD for menopause deserves to be the next big thing in women’s healthcare.
What is CBD?
Unlike its popular cousin, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical compound – meaning that it won’t get you high. Because CBD doesn’t have the same intoxicating effects as THC, it’s considered safer by many and is now legal in the states where medicinal and/or recreational marijuana is also legal.
There are a variety of ways you can take CBD, from CBD-infused edibles to CBD chewing gum to CBD cooking oils, or just straight up CBD oil. Taking CBD orally is the most popular way to use it, but there are also topical CBD and smokable CBD options available.
What are the health benefits of CBD?
Even though CBD is suddenly everywhere, we’re still in the process of learning about its full potential as a health supplement. It was recently approved by the FDA to treat two rare forms of childhood epilepsy, and there are some clinical trials that suggest CBD can help with social anxiety. We have limited knowledge about CBD’s effectiveness as an antidepressant, antipsychotic, and as a sleep aid because all of the studies so far have been done using animals.
Does CBD have side effects?
Yes. While the side effects of CBD are still being studied, some of the most popular side effects include tiredness, diarrhea, changes in appetite, and weight fluctuations. There is also a potential risk of liver damage, lethargy, and depression. Beware of the use of CBD for conditions involving the intimate parts of your anatomy. Unless the products have undergone pre-clinical and clinical testing, their safety is questionable and use is likely to be impermissible without FDA clearance.
Does CBD work for menopause symptoms?
In theory, it could. Our endocannabinoid system is a collection of cell receptors in the brain. Those cell receptors play a key role in bodily functions, including mood regulation, pain, sleep, and temperature regulation, just to name a few. Menopause can disrupt the endocannabinoid system and cause a host of symptoms like sleeplessness and hot flashes. CBD could potentially interact with those cell receptors and help alleviate menopause symptoms. Unfortunately, we don’t have any studies yet that show evidence that this is the case.
Can CBD help with sleeplessness during menopause?
There’s a good possibility that CBD can help with sleeplessness – in fact, this is one of the most popular uses of the supplement. In one study, people using CBD for sleep reported having slept “significantly more” than people not using CBD. So if you’re having trouble getting a full night’s sleep on a regular basis, CBD could help you get some extra shut-eye.
Can CBD help with menopause mood swings?
CBD is widely used to help with anxiety and provides an alternative for those who want to avoid prescription drugs like Xanax and Klonopin.
“I think there’s good evidence to suggest that CBD could be an effective treatment of anxiety and addiction,” said Dr. Esther Blessing, a psychiatrist, and researcher at New York University. “But we need clinical trials to find out.”
Like many of the purported benefits of CBD, we still have little medical evidence that CBD can help with mood swings. But with scores of people who swear by it, CBD could be an alternative if you’re looking to quell anxiety and stabilize your mood.
CBD for menopause symptoms: Is it the real deal?
Like so many natural supplements, there are few studies on CBD and its impact on our health. The good news is that CBD is fairly safe and widely accessible in the U.S. If you’re curious about trying it, there’s nothing stopping you – especially if you’re having mood changes or sleeplessness related to menopause. Be sure to check back here at FemmePharma as we learn more about the impact of CBD on menopause!