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CBD is increasingly being used by menopausal women as an alternative to hormone therapy, which has been shown to increase the risk of cancer.
But is it a safe alternative, and more importantly, does it work?
Although not a proven treatment for menopause, scientific and anecdotal evidence shows that CBD can reduce many of the problems that contribute to menopause symptoms.
Can CBD Help With Menopause?
The short answer is yes, but indirectly.
There is little to no scientific evidence showing that CBD can directly reduce symptoms of menopause, such as night sweats or hot flashes, but there is evidence showing that it can impact triggers of menopause symptoms, such as stress.
How CBD Works
Before we discuss CBD’s impact on menopause symptoms, we first need to understand how it’s able to have such a big impact on the body.
CBD and other cannabinoids work by interacting with the receptors in your body’s naturally-occurring Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
Every human has an ECS, a transmitter system responsible for helping regulate sleep, pain control, inflammatory response, emotional processing, body temperature control, and more.
The ECS is ultimately responsible for maintaining homeostasis, or balance, in your bodily functions.
It does this by interacting with endocannabinoids, which are cannabinoids produced inside your body.
But sometimes, endocannabinoids break down or the ECS isn’t able to do its job for some other reason.
This is where introducing outside cannabinoids is useful. Some cannabinoids interact heavily with the CB1 and CB2 receptors within your ECS, while others prevent endocannabinoid breakdown.
All cannabinoids, however, do the same thing: help the ECS maintain balance within the body.
This is the basis for how CBD and other cannabinoids are able to regulate menopausal symptoms.
How CBD Helps Menopause Symptoms
Since CBD is able to impact the ECS, which controls many vital bodily functions, it has major potential to help ease some of the struggles associated with menopause.
Here are some ways that CBD can, directly and indirectly, address common symptoms.
Hot flashes happen suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere, so it can be hard to identify what’s causing them.
While CBD can’t stop hot flashes, it has been shown to be effective at addressing anxiety, a common trigger.
Night sweats are caused by menopause-induced hormonal changes that make it more difficult for your body to regulate its temperature.
While CBD has little effect on body temperature, Delta-9 THC does, regardless of whether it comes from hemp or marijuana.
Hypothermic effects of THC were discovered as early as the 1970s, and later studies on rodents showed there was a correlation between THC and lower body temperature.
And not to worry: THC-induced hypothermia is nowhere near the freezing temperatures we think of when we hear “hypothermia.”
Bone Density Loss
CBD cannot prevent bone density loss, but it can make prevention efforts easier.
One of the most commonly cited benefits of exercise, especially for women, is that it prevents osteoporosis and bone loss.
CBD supports healthy muscles, bones, and joints, making exercise easier, especially if you have flexibility or mobility concerns. CBD also helps you maintain a normal inflammatory response, removing yet another roadblock to exercising regularly.
Sleep disruption is also a frequent symptom of menopause, and one of the most challenging to manage on a daily basis.
CBD’s relaxing properties make it perfect for supporting restful sleep.
Not only can it help you get in the mood to get to bed, but CBD supports sleep quality and minimizes episodes waking up in the middle of the night.
Science supports this, too: this case study showed that CBD could reduce sleep disturbances in someone with PTSD.
The mood swings that sometimes result from menopause can be taxing for you and those around you.
CBD can help get mood swings under control, though, as it has calming, relaxing, and mood-boosting benefits.
A study on mice showed that CBD can operate in a similar way to antidepressant medications. Humans aren’t mice, of course, but this study helps verify the relaxing effects that many CBD users feel.
Metabolic Disruption and Weight Gain
The metabolic disruption and weight gain that can result from menopause pose a vicious cycle that is difficult to escape.
Thankfully, there’s science to show that CBD can directly regulate metabolism (and thus make weight management easier).
In a study of the effects of CBD and Delta-9 THC on Fatty Liver Disease, which is closely associated with metabolic syndrome (a group of metabolic and cardiovascular issues that are closely tied to being overweight), CBD improved glucose tolerance and reduced inflammatory response.
High blood glucose is a key factor in Metabolic Syndrome – if your body can’t metabolize glucose, it’s stored as fat. Another key factor in Metabolic Syndrome is the inflammation of blood vessels.
So, CBD has been demonstrated in at least one study to help manage the metabolic system, and thus, weight. However, it’s not a substitute for healthy eating and exercise.
The hair loss that many women experience during menopause is largely due to hormonal changes, but stress is also a contributing factor.
CBD helps with stress because it promotes mental and physical relaxation. Not only will your mood be improved, but you’ll also find it easier to engage in naturally de-stressing activities such as exercising and socializing.
Which Type of CBD Works Best for Menopause?
So. CBD can support you in a big way during your menopause journey.
But how should you take it? Here are your best options.
CBD tinctures consist of cannabinoid extracts in carrier oil. Sometimes, flavoring is added to provide a better taste.
Since tinctures are taken under the tongue, your body will metabolize the CBD more quickly than if you got it from a digestible product, such as an edible.
Exact dosing is also very easy with a tincture, and onset time is quick – you will feel the effects of a tincture in 10 to 30 minutes.
CBD-infused gel capsules provide a tasteless way to get your CBD, and the dosing is very precise, as each soft gel contains a set amount of CBD.
Capsules have to be digested, so it takes longer for you to feel the effects of CBD than if you used a tincture – effects kick in within 30-90 minutes.
Edibles & Drinks
Edibles and drinks provide a great-tasting way to get your CBD if you don’t like the earthy taste of tinctures.
Edibles and drinks take longer than tinctures to feel, as you’re receiving the CBD through digestion. You’ll typically feel the effects in 30-90 minutes.
The only downside to edibles and drinks is that some contain lots of sugar – if this is something you’re concerned with, you’ll want to opt for a tincture or capsule.
If you’re looking for targeted relaxation for your muscles, bones, and joints, topical products (which you apply on the skin) are a great fit.
There are plenty of options out there; we offer CBD-infused roll-ons and salves.
The only downside to topicals is that the CBD you get won’t be absorbed into the bloodstream. Therefore, you won’t get the mental benefits of CBD for stress or anxiety.
Topicals work quickly! After applying a topical, the effects can be felt in just 5-10 minutes.
Smokables and Vapes
Hemp joints and vapes provide a quick way to ingest cannabinoids and relax, and the effects can be felt in just 5-10 minutes.
However, we don’t recommend using a smokable or vape if you’re looking to promote health during menopause, due to the issues that smoking and vaping can cause.
Smokables and vapes can be useful, but they aren’t the best for menopause.
Which Cannabinoids Work Best for Menopause?
This article is focused on CBD for menopause. However, other cannabinoids can be beneficial in some cases. Here are a few.
CBD is the swiss army knife of cannabinoids, as it has a diverse set of benefits ranging from mental relaxation to inflammatory response management.
It’s also the most researched cannabinoid for menopause: most of the benefits of hemp for menopause that we discussed above only apply to CBD – at least, based on what scientists know so far.
Therefore, CBD is your best bet during menopause.
Delta-9 THC, more simply known as THC, is known for its relaxing and psychoactive effects.
While it doesn’t pose half the benefits for menopause that CBD does, it can help cool you down, so some find it useful for combatting night sweats.
CBD and CBG Combined
CBG has a plethora of mental and physical benefits, and it’s possible that it can help as much as CBD does for menopause. However, this hasn’t been researched.
What we do know is that CBG is wonderful for muscle, bone, and joint relaxation.
Its positive effects are especially amplified when combined with CBD; CBG provides the physical benefits, while CBD provides the mental ones.
If mobility and joint health are areas you’re focused on maintaining as you move through menopause, using a product that contains CBD and CBG together is a good move. This combo is very effective in a tincture, edible, or topical alike.
Finding the Right Cannabinoid
CBD is undoubtedly the go-to cannabinoid for menopause. It’s the most versatile and has the most scientific research to back it up. However, other cannabinoids have their benefits, too.
If you’re looking for something psychoactive, or you’re looking to target muscle, bone, and joint health, THC and CBG are worth a try.
What Dosage of CBD is Best for Menopause?
Since menopause symptoms vary greatly between women, there is no right answer to this question.
But to find your perfect dose, start by taking 10mg per day, and then increase or decrease the amount depending on whether it’s working for the symptoms you’re experiencing, and how you feel.
Another factor that will influence your dosage is whether or not you’ve built up a tolerance to CBD or THC, and if so, how much.
Factors to Consider When Buying CBD Products
If you’ve decided that CBD is the right fit for you, you’re ready to look for products.
But how do you pick a quality CBD product in a market rife with impotent and dangerous products?
Here are a few tips for cutting through the noise and finding a product that will actually support you during menopause.
If a CBD brand doesn’t provide open access to 3rd-party lab results for their products, don’t buy from them.
The main thing to look for in lab reports is whether the brand’s products are really as potent as they say they claim to be – is that amount of CBD indicated in the lab report roughly equal (within 10%) to the amount on the product label?
If so, you’re good to go.
Here’s an example of how to check a product’s potency from a lab report.
To find the amount of CBD in a product (in mg), multiply the mg/g amount by the number of mL in the product.
This lab report is for our 1000mg Full Spectrum Hempseed and CBD Oil:
36.90 mg/mL x 30 mL in a bottle = 1107 mg of CBD in the bottle. It’s within 10% of its potency – 10% over!
The general way to find the amount of CBD in a product is to multiply the concentration value in the lab report by the total volume of the product.
Company Knowledge & Transparency
The next factor to consider when picking a CBD brand to buy from is how knowledgeable and transparent they are about their growing, extraction, and other manufacturing processes.
Also, consider whether they’re knowledgeable about their product and its suggested use.
Look for brands that talk about their manufacturing process on their website, and share information about how to best use CBD (either through a blog or another means).
The last major factor is, of course, what the brand’s customers say about them. Do other people find their products effective? Do they like the brand’s customer service?
No matter how positively a brand portrays itself, if its customers aren’t leaving five-star reviews for them, they aren’t worth your time.
Note: For a full article on how to avoid low-quality CBD and find the good stuff, click here.
Other Ways to Address Menopause Symptoms
CBD can work wonders for menopause, but it can’t do everything.
Here are some other methods you can implement to make your menopause journey easier!
Getting plenty of nutrients – specifically, Calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K – is linked with a reduction in menopause symptoms.
You can take vitamin supplements, or you can ensure that your diet naturally provides plenty of these nutrients.
During menopause, eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean proteins so that you get all the necessary nutrients.
Get Plenty of Exercise
Weight gain is one of the side effects of hormonal changes that take place during menopause.
And while healthy eating will do a lot toward maintaining a healthy weight, exercise is critical, too – especially because it has a plethora of other benefits that make your body better able to thrive during menopause.
The CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate-level activity (e.g. brisk walking) per week or 75 minutes of high-intensity activity per week (e.g. running). However, some exercise is better than none at all.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is vital to your health during menopause, and in general.
Unfortunately, sleep disturbances are common during menopause.
Not sleeping enough can cause a host of problems, from stress to obesity, which makes menopause all the more difficult. That’s why using CBD and other methods to ensure you get enough sleep is critical.
Use Relaxation Techniques
Meditation, yoga, and journaling are three relaxation techniques that can help you deal with the anxiety and mood swings that can stem from menopause.
Limit Substance Use
Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol worsens menopause symptoms and degrades your overall health.
To ensure you’re at your strongest as you go through menopause, quitting both of these substances is critical. For help quitting, talk to a doctor, who can work with you to create a cessation plan that fits your needs.
And last but not least, be forthright about how you’re feeling to your family, friends, and other loved ones. Menopause isn’t easy, and few get through it without any difficulty.
If your family and friends know what you’re going through, they’ll be more understanding if you’re not having a good day, and they can act as a support group when things get hard.
And if you are struggling with menopause-specific challenges such as depression or insomnia, speak with a therapist.
CBD and Menopause: Frequently Asked Questions
Before we wrap up, here are a few frequently asked questions about CBD use for menopause.
Is CBD a Treatment for Menopause?
While CBD can help maintain and support your health in a variety of ways during menopause, it is not a treatment for menopause and should not be used in lieu of what your doctor recommends or prescribes to you.
Which Type of CBD is Best for Menopause?
Although some types of CBD are poor for supporting health during menopause, such as smokables and vapes, there is no best way to take CBD for menopause.
The product you choose will be determined by your personal preferences, as well as which menopause symptoms you’re looking to address with CBD.
Is CBD Safe to Use for Menopause?
Generally yes, but check with your doctor beforehand to ensure CBD won’t negatively interact with any existing health conditions you have or any medications you’re already taking.
The way menopause impacts you will be different from the way it impacts anyone else, and because of that, you’ll have to do some testing to find which wellness methods are best for you.
As you’ve discovered, CBD can address menopause symptoms in many ways and is completely safe to use. In some cases, it may even seem like a “magic bullet.”
However, CBD is only a piece of the puzzle: it will be the most effective at supporting you during menopause when you combine it with other positive wellness behaviors.