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CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a natural compound of hemp marijuana or cannabis plant. Researchers have found that it has strong anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipsychotic, antimicrobial, and anti-oxidant properties. It is considered a wellness alternative to existing medications for pain, inflammation, and epilepsy. It is legal to use CBD in the USA if it is obtained from hemp plants containing less than 0.3% intoxicating THC.
From lousy sex to hot flashes to other unpleasant symptoms, every woman experiences menopause differently. Decreasing Estrogen levels can do a number on your libido and your looks.Whether your menopause is just approaching or you are experiencing it first hand, you will agree with us that it can be very debilitating and annoying at times.
In this blog, we will discuss how CBD can help manage menopause and its symptoms effectively.
What Is Menopause?
Menopause is the natural cessation or end of the menstrual cycle in women. It is characterized by a decline in the two most important hormones of the female body, i.e., progesterone and Estrogen. For some people, that happens naturally, and ovaries stop producing these hormones, but for others, menopause may happen after surgical removal of ovaries or other hormonal imbalances.
The onset of symptoms of menopause usually starts as early as 50 years old or as late as 60 years. Before the actual menopause, the woman's body experiences a stage of perimenopause where she experiences the unpleasant symptoms along with the menstrual cycle. Perimenopause occurs at least 10 years before you completely stop menstruating.
Symptoms of menopause
One of the most common symptoms of menopause is the end of your menstrual cycle for straight 12 months. During this time, the women experience the following associated symptoms:
These symptoms significantly affect the quality of life of a person. One of the most debilitating symptoms of menopause is anxiety and depression, and if a person has a history of stress and anxiety, it is very highly likely that it emerges again during menopause. Fortunately, you don't have to live with the discomforts forever, and you can effectively manage and treat menopause.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The physician usually makes the diagnosis of menopause by analyzing symptoms and signs. These signs and symptoms tell most women about the transition even before visiting the physician. However, self-diagnosis is just not enough; it is best to visit your physician because, in some cases, further evaluation is also needed.
Usually, tests are not required to diagnose menopause; however, you can ask your physician for the certain special circumstances.
To check the levels of Estrogen and follicle-stimulating hormone as the levels of FSH increase and estrogen decrease as menopause occurs.
You will be required to check your thyroid-stimulating hormone because if you are suffering from hypothyroidism, you can experience similar symptoms.
Over-the-counter FSH level measuring tests are also used that can tell you about the concentration of FSH in your body. However, they are not accurate, and it is better to get a proper check-up done at the hospital.
Treatment of Menopause
There is no medical treatment for menopause; instead, physicians focus on relieving the symptoms and signs of menopause and try to prevent chronic conditions that may arise with aging. For many women, low estrogen levels can result in hot flashes that can be uncomfortable. Estrogen therapy is one of the most effective options to get relief from hot flashes. Your physician may recommend the lowest dose of Estrogen depending upon your family history and your personal medical history for a specific period. Estrogen is also particularly helpful in preventing bone loss; however, long-term use of hormones may give rise to breast cancer or cardiovascular risk. Therefore it is best to consult the benefits and risks of this method with your doctor.
Vaginal Estrogen in the form of a tablet or cream is administered directly to the vagina. This treatment releases enough amount of Estrogen that is strictly absorbed by the tissues surrounding the vagina. It helps relieve discomfort and vaginal dryness that can make intercourse very difficult. This method is also helpful with urinary tract problems due to dryness.
Women complain about anxiety and depression during menopause. Antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are used to treat depression and anxiety as well as menopausal hot flashes. For women who cannot go through hormone therapy, low-dose antidepressant treatment may be a very effective option for the management of hot flashes. Gabapentin and clonidine may also help in managing hot flashes.
Loss of bone density
Low levels of Estrogen can lead to bone loss and may also increase the risk of fractures. During this time, doctors may recommend vitamin D supplements to prevent bone loss and strengthen bones.
How Can CBD Help With Menopause?
Like other treatment options, CBD may help manage symptoms of menopause. Before we discuss further, you must know that so far, there are no direct studies that have looked into the link between menopause and CBD. However, various studies looked into the effects of CBD on different symptoms in other people. For example, a review published in 2020 found that CBD may help relieve chronic pain and inflammation and may also help improve sleep. However, these effects were observed in people with other health issues, not in menopause. Currently, we have no evidence that CBD in any form can be helpful for the management of symptoms of menopause, but it may help with the following problems.
Around the time of menopause, due to changing hormones and other menopause symptoms, the risk of developing anxiety and depression also increases. Studies in animals have concluded that CBD can decrease the effects of anxiety and depression in mice. However, only a few studies on people with a history of anxiety and depression improve in the condition after consuming CBD.
Women experiencing menopause also report difficulty in getting good quality sleep. According to a review published in 2020, endocannabinoids play a significant role in modulating the sleep-wake cycle. This finding also suggests that CBD may impact sleep. In this review, researchers mentioned a few limited studies on CBD and its impacts on sleep in human participants. The results suggested that if a high dose of CBD is consumed, it can have a sedating effect. Therefore, it may help manage sleep disturbances related to menopause, but we still don't have strong evidence.
Women begin to lose bone density after menopause. Osteoporosis affects one in four women above 65 years. Low bone density can increase the risks of fractures. A study in 2008 on animals found that CBD's interaction with cannabinoid receptors may help in reducing the loss of bone density. CBD may help reduce the rate of loss of bone density during menopause; however, no definite research has been demonstrated in humans.