Menopause is little spoken of, but it’s one of the most dramatic changes a women’s body goes through her entire lifetime. From hot flashes through mood swings to constant ache and insomnia, menopause affects millions of women but treatment options are scarce.
Perhaps cannabis isn’t the first treatment that pops into your mind when thinking about menopause but growing research suggests it may indeed be the most effective one. Traditional treatments such as HRT (hormone replacement therapy) are expensive, risky and often ineffective. Cannabis, on the other hand, binds to the endocannabinoid receptors of the body – a system that is greatly impacted by the onset of menopause.
But can cannabis improve the symptoms of menopause and how?
The anandamide – the natural cannabinoid which is almost identical to THC – has been long known to help regulate body temperature. Studies have shown that consuming higher doses of THC may cool the body and lower body temperature. Additionally, many cannabis strains have been shown to promote more restful sleep and thus, address the insomnia that’s often present in menopause.
The CBD in cannabis, on the other hand, is well known for its pain-relieving properties. The pain that accompanies menopause is often due to hormonal changes which may contribute to joint stiffness, migraines, and muscle agents. CBD inhibits certain cellular processes that may exacerbate the swelling and pain, and help menopausal women engage in daily activities pain-free.
Due to the federal restrictions on cannabis use, the particular effects of CBD or THC on menopausal symptoms have not been studied in depth. There’s however evidence to suggest that CBD interacts with the GPR55 receptors in the body and inhibit their osteoporosis action, helping prevent bone density loss. In animal studies, cannabis has been demonstrated to inhibit anxiety and improve mood, finally putting an end to those horrible mood swings.