Most women will experience menopause at some point in their lives. While menopause is a natural and healthy part of a woman’s life, it often comes with troubling symptoms.
Although everyone’s experience with menopause is unique, some symptoms seem to be consistent across the board. Some of the most common symptoms of menopause include mood fluctuations, weight gain, and sleep disturbances. As you can see, menopause isn’t exactly the most pleasant event that takes place in a woman’s life.
Due to the many difficult and uncomfortable symptoms of menopause, women are always on the lookout for the best ways to treat the side-effects of this natural bodily occurrence. With the rise of CBD in the worlds of health and wellness, women are taking notice of the popular cannabinoid’s potential to help relieve symptoms of menopause.
Recent studies show that CBD is a promising form of relief for conditions such as anxiety, depression, weight gain, and insomnia–suggesting that CBD for menopause might be an excellent aid in relieving many common symptoms of this life change.
More About Menopause
Assuming that a woman lives long enough, she will experience menopause. It is a natural occurrence in the female body which can occur at ages as early as the 30s to as late as the 60s. That being said, 51 years old is the average age of menopause.
Genetics is the best predictor of what age a woman will experience menopause. However, other factors, such as smoking, ethnicity, reproductive history, and menstrual history do come into account as well.
But, what exactly is menopause? Menopause is the gradual but complete absence of menstrual periods. After missing 12 months of menstrual periods, it is safe to say that menopause has taken place.
During menopause, which is a gradual process rather than a one-time occurrence, a woman’s ovaries cease to function. At this point in time, the ovaries no longer produce estrogen and finish releasing eggs that may be fertilized by sperm to result in pregnancy.
CBD for Menopause and Weight Gain
Weight gain is an understandable concern for women during menopause. Menopause causes hormonal changes which can severely impact one’s shape. Also, the age at which menopause usually occurs often comes alongside lifestyle changes which tend to be characteristically less active. Since women are nearing older age, they’re more likely to lead sedentary lifestyles and spend more leisure time.
While the exact cause of menopause-related weight gain is still unclear, many studies do link the two conditions. The studies found that menopausal and postmenopausal women are prone to weight gain and have bigger midsections than women who have not yet gone through “the change,” as it is fondly called.
Although there’s a lack of substantial evidence about CBD’s ability to help weight loss, the information we currently have is promising nonetheless. For instance, CBD can increase the metabolism by turning white fat into brown fat, the less harmful of the two. Also, specific CBD resources cite CBD being an appetite suppressant, implying that it can affect weight gain in women who are going through menopause. To date, the only study we have to point to CBD as a weight loss supplement is a 2012 animal study.
CBD for Menopause and Mood Fluctuations
Emotional and hormonal changes are an unfortunate fact of menopause. While there are women who don’t experience any severe shifts in mood, many others do experience significant emotional stress.
Some of the feelings and conditions that come alongside menopause include anxiety, depression, and irritability.
Whereas irritability seems to be the most prevalent menopause-induced mood, depression is a more severe side effect which touches 1 out of every 5 women going through menopause. Women are already twice as likely as men to develop an anxiety disorder in their lifetime, making the common menopausal feelings of tension, anxiety, and stress all the more daunting.
So, how can CBD help relive the emotional symptoms of menopause? It just so happens that one of the popular cannabinoid’s most significant claims to fame is its ability to increase feelings of calmness and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
In 2014, researchers conducted a study to review all of the available animal models using CBD as an anti-anxiety and anti-depressant treatment. Upon completing their review, the researchers found that CBD does have the capacity to reduce anxiety and depression in animals and therefore is promising for humans as well.
CBD for Menopause and Sleep Disturbances
According to the National Sleep Foundation, many women report sleeping problems during menopause and after menopause. Most of the sleeping issues arise from other troubling symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, mood swings, and anxiety. Moreover, it’s common for women to experience sleep-disordered breathing conditions such as snoring and sleep apnea. A high number of women also report insomnia during menopause.
Post-menopausal women are reportedly less content with their sleep than they were before the change. Luckily, doctors and other medical professionals have a fair amount of insight about treating menopause-induced sleep problems. However, many of these treatments can be costly and time-consuming. For example, Estrogen Replacement Therapy, while useful, can lead to serious health risks–two of these conditions being heart disease and dementia.
Opting for a more natural sleep remedy would likely be a safer alternative for addressing sleep disturbances in women going through menopause. That’s where CBD for menopause can come in. Another meta-study which reviewed the current body of research about CBD and sleep found that CBD was a promising treatment for serious sleep issues such as REM sleep behavior disorder. Concerning the breathing issues that might cause sleep issues in those with menopause, CBD was also found to be promising for addressing obstructive sleep apnea.
In another study, researchers looked at how cannabidiol would affect sleeplessness in a young girl suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Despite sleeping issues being a hallmark of PTSD and notoriously tricky to treat, CBD did help to regulate the patient’s sleep while also reducing anxiety. Regardless of the origination of the sleep disturbances–whether it be PTSD or menopause–this study indicates CBD’s potential to improve the sleep conditions in people overall.
Final Thoughts on CBD for Menopause
Avoiding menopause is impossible. Every woman, so long as she lives long enough to do so, will experience menopause at some junction in her life. The list of undesirable symptoms of menopause is long and varied, but some of the most common symptoms are mood fluctuations, weight gain, and sleep disturbances. These troubling symptoms make it difficult for women to live happily and tend to further complicate an already vulnerable period in their lives.
Given the rise in popularity of CBD and its reputation to help treat a variety of ailments and conditions, it’s possible that it can act as a form of relief to those going through menopause. Studies show that CBD may help relieve mood swings, weight gain, and sleep disturbances–making it a convenient, cost-effective, and safe way to help treat symptoms of menopause.
- Cannabinol and cannabidiol exert opposing effects on rat feeding patterns.
- Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: a chemical compound of Cannabis sativa.
- Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report.
- Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature
- Association between menopause status and central adiposity measured at different cutoffs of waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio