Can CBD help with the menopause?

When hormone levels dip in the menopause, many women suffer including symptoms from insomnia, irritability, brain fog, hot flushes and much more. But experts now claim that CBD can help ease these symptoms . But can CBD oil for the menopause really help? We jump into the science...

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The science behind CBD for menopause

First off, there are no double blind randomised placebo control trials with the use of CBD for the menopause. This does not mean that it is not helpful, all that this means is that we are very early on in the science and our understanding. However, while there may not be any overt examples, there are plenty of reasons and studies which show why CBD might be helpful for the peri, menopause and post-menopausal woman.

CBD restores deficiencies in the endocannabinoid system

If you haven’t heard of the endocannabinoid system, it's because it was only discovered in the 1990’s. Scientists discovered we have a 6th body system called an Endocannabinoid system. It's made up of receptors all over our brain and organs. It regulates everything from appetite, sleep, immune function, pain, memory and overall keeps our bodies in balance (or homeostasis). Despite its huge importance for us, doctors are not trained in it which is why when you ask about CBD to your doctor, they are likely not to know too much about it - yet. But this is changing.

If you can imagine the endocannabinoid system like an orchestra, keeping everything together in perfect harmony. Unfortunately, if one of the sections of the orchestra goes out of tune, everything else is affected.

This is exactly what is happening with declining oestrogen levels during the menopause. To get scientific for one moment, oestrogen helps regulate the levels of fatty acid hydrolase enzyme or (FAAH). FAAH breakdowns endocannabinoids like anandamide, our bliss molecule - and low levels of anandamide will show up as depression, anxiety and pain. See endocannabinoid deficiencies research paper

So to put this simply:

  • Declining oestrogen levels are increasing levels of FAAH in our bodies and therefore we have much lower levels of anandamide, the molecule which helps us feel good
  • These low levels of anandamide are causing knock-on effects throughout our bodies including stress, anxiety, depression and pain.
  • Adding natural phytocannabinoids to the mix like CBD, will boost our natural endocannabinoids, stimulate our endocannabinoid receptors and prevent the too early breakdown of anandamide.

CBD for menopause helps reduce inflammation in the body

What’s happening: Oestrogen, protects joints and reduces inflammation, but with declining oestrogen levels during menopause, inflammation increases. This often leads to additional pain like joint pain, something referred to as ‘menopausal arthritis’

Why CBD for menopause could help: One of the most powerful benefits of CBD oil is its anti-inflammatory properties. CBD works by reducing the pro-inflammatory proteins called cytokines and stops inflammatory cells from going to other parts of the body.

CBD can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression

What’s happening: Menopause symptoms can be a challenge mentally, physically, and emotionally increasing anxiety and depression symptoms.

Why CBD could help: Many people report reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression after taking regular CBD. This can be explained by the activation of our serotonin receptors, the 5-HTP1A receptors in the brain after consuming CBD.

CBD for menopause can help with sleep

What’s happening: When it comes to perimenopause and menopause, not too many women will not mention sleep disruption. One reason for this is thought to be reduced levels of GABA, the calming neurotransmitter in our brains.

Why CBD could help: Adding phyto-cannabinoids like CBD can help normalise levels of GABA in our brains, resulting in more restful sleep.

How to use CBD for menopause

  • Look for a full-spectrum CBD product (or broad-spectrum) (learn why we recommend full spectrum)
  • Try a high CBDa product like BioBloom if you are suffering from inflammation
  • For sleep issues, look out for calming and mood-balancing terpenes like beta-carophyllene and myrcene . Full circle hemp is high in both of these terpenes 

Other supplements to consider

  • Magnesium biglycinate chelate, taurate or threonate (see our guide)
  • Omega 3 oil where DHA is at least 1000 
  • B-complex
  • Vitamin D
  • Zinc
  • Reishi mushroom (see our guide to mushrooms)

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