Hooray! Menopause is finally being openly discussed, which is helping to make women who go through the experience feel less isolated. As a nutritionist and perimenopausal woman myself, I’m so grateful for the conversations that have begun on such an important topic, bringing forth awareness, new research and solutions.
What is menopause?
Menopause is a hormone deficiency, not an illness, but a drastic lowering of oestrogen and progesterone in our bodies, can make us feel like we are falling off a cliff edge.
Our bodies can very quickly feel radically different through changes in our sleep, mood, weight, anxiety, eyes, libido, joints, and bones. These can all be affected, and leave us feeling unrecognisable even to ourselves. It is estimated that 90% of women experience symptoms.
Is there a way CBD can support this transition?
Is it a coincidence that many of our Mighty Green customers are women in their 40s and 50s?
Many customers have turned to our Mighty Green CBD drops and balms to help manage specific symptoms like anxiety, depression, insomnia, restless legs, pain, and more.
Most people hear about CBD helping with the menopause from other peoples’ experiences. Former Loose Women star, Andrea McLean shared her story publicly in May 2019.
Her doctor recommended CBD oil to ease hot flushes associated with menopause. She said “It has massively taken the edge off things with the flushes, and it has made me less anxious because anxiety is still a key thing for me. It is not an anti-depressant but what I no longer feel is that sensation of being on high alert.”
The medical community are also discovering more about CBD for menopause.
“CBD can be really helpful for women going through these stages of perimenopause and menopause,” says Dr Shahzadi Harper, co-author of The Perimenopause Solution. Dr Harper uses CBD to help women manage their symptoms. “It’s something I recommend on its own in the early stages of perimenopause or alongside HRT,” she says. “I’ve often found that the combination (of CBD and HRT) works really well.”
What does the science say?
We’ve known for a while that the endocannabinoid system interacts with our hormones. To date, most CBD studies have focused on symptoms like insomnia, anxiety etc. There is very little menopause-specific data.
The endocannabinoid system (let’s call it the ECS) is a network of cannabinoid receptors in our brain, spinal cord, organs and tissues throughout our bodies, including the female reproductive system. Our bodies make endocannabinoids but phytocannabinoids (from plants), like CBD, also interact with the ECS. If our ECS is underperforming, CBD can top it up, and if our ECS is overactive, it can calm it down. (For more on this please read this blog).
One of the body’s main endocannabinoids, anandamide, is produced in the ovaries in response to oestrogen (1). This could explain why the ECS can also experience significant changes and disruption during menopause. It has even been suggested that the state of the ECS may influence how the body responds following the drop in oestrogen – our likelihood of weight gain, osteoporosis and increasing inflammation (2).
Many of the benefits of CBD are through its ability to regulate the ECS. There’s a good case to argue that since many of the complications of menopause are similar to those of ECS imbalance, that some sort of ECS disequilibrium is involved in menopause. Some of these symptoms include: bone modelling, anxiety, aches and pains, insomnia. CBD is a great candidate because it acts as an adaptogen, supporting balance across the ECS in ways that meet individual needs.
It will be amazing when science catches up and menopause is given the attention, resources and clinical trials it truly deserves. In the meantime, many women find CBD helpful for alleviating symptoms particularly those relating to mood, insomnia, and aches and pains. One of our clients described the Balm as ‘helping make life better’. This is what we live for 😊.