CBD for Women’s Health

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In recent years people have been turning to CBD for its numerous health benefits and therapeutic properties. Below, we discuss 5 ways CBD may aid women’s health specifically. 

PMS and Menstrual Cramps

Studies indicate that most women suffer from some symptom of PMS. These symptoms include but are not limited to acne, headaches, irritability, mood swings, digestion issues, and sometimes debilitating cramps during monthly cycles.

Midol, Ibuprofen, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) sometimes provides temporary relief but may come with side effects such as ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, tinnitus, headaches, liver and kidney problems, stroke and even death.

CBD can provide the relief that over-the-counter drugs offer, but without the devastating side effects. Like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, CBD relaxes uterine muscles, which can relieve painful menstrual cramps. CBD may also alleviate other PMS symptoms, such as moodiness and irritability by restoring serotonin levels which are typically lower during PMS. CBD can also help with gas, bloating and other intestinal upsets by reducing gastrointestinal inflammation and by stimulating cells in the gastrointestinal lining.

Postpartum Depression

Half a million women each year experience some form of depression associated with the arrival of a newborn baby. Postpartum Depression (PPD) induces symptoms of depression, anxiety, fatigue, loss of appetite, and even disconnect from the newborn baby during a time where establishing a rapport (between mother and child) is paramount . The most extreme cases of Postpartum Depression (PPD) can incite hallucinations and cause mothers to have violent thoughts toward their newborn baby and other children.

CBD may help balance and boost serotonin levels in the brain, regulate energy levels, sleep patterns and restore a healthy appetite. CBD is a helpful supplement to include in treatment plans for PPD, alongside exercise, psychotherapy therapy, and medications.

It is important to be mindful that whatever supplements or medications the mother takes, it will pass through the breast milk. Many medications for Postpartum Depression (PPD) are not recommended for breastfeeding mothers, and the effects of CBD in newborns and infants are still not known. But a healthcare professional can help new mothers find the best possible solution.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a disease in which the endometrium (the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus or womb) is present outside of the uterus. Endometriosis most commonly occurs in the lower abdomen or pelvis, but it can appear anywhere in the body. Symptoms of endometriosis include lower abdominal pain, pain with menstrual periods, pain with sexual intercourse, and difficulty getting pregnant. On the other hand, some women with endometriosis may not have any symptoms at all. Some women report minimal discomfort with endometriosis. But there are also many women who experience extreme pain, cysts, emotional afflictions, severe headaches, hair loss or excess hair growth in unfavorable areas, weight gain, abnormal periods, and acne.

There is currently no known cure for Endometriosis and medications come with short and long-term side effects. Endometriosis generally goes away at menopause, and in some cases, surgical removal of the endometrial tissue can relieve some of the symptoms.

A number of women have found CBD very effective in treating their symptoms of Endometriosis, as CBD directly affects hormone production and can help stabilize those hormonal inconsistencies, as well as alleviate pain.

Perimenopause/ Menopause

Menopause is the time that marks the end of your menstrual cycles. It’s diagnosed after you’ve gone 12 months without a menstrual period. Menopause can happen in your 40s or 50s, but the average age is 51 in the United States. Menopause is a natural biological process. But the physical symptoms, such as hot flashes, and emotional symptoms of menopause may disrupt your sleep, lower your energy or affect emotional health.

CBD and other cannabinoids can help replenish the estrogen loss that transpires during menopause and relieve some of the symptoms associated with the condition. 

CBD may also aid the reduction of hot flashes, promote increased energy during the day, improve sleep at night, regulating the sleep-wake-cycle and reducing the occurrence of insomnia.

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer affects approximately 1 in 4 women worldwide. There are many types of breast cancer, including invasive, non-invasive, metastatic, and numerous sub-types of breast cancer. 

There are a number of studies examining how CBD and other cannabinoids work in the human body. A recent Israeli study suggests that CBD can block and reverse the Id-1 gene, the gene responsible for the migration and spreading of cancerous cells in metastatic breast cancer. 

Another study noted that cannabinoids may aid the reduction of tumor size and cause cancerous cells to die.

Cannabinoids, such as CBD, can be used to manage harsh side effects from cancer treatments such chemotherapy. Cannabinoids may also assist in cell regeneration and maintain the balance of healthy cells, restore energy levels and sleep balance and counteract nausea associated with chemotherapy.

References:

  1. McAllister, Sean D et al. “Cannabidiol as a novel inhibitor of Id-1 gene expression in aggressive breast cancer cells.” Molecular cancer therapeutics vol. 6,11 (2007): 2921-7. doi:10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-07-0371
  2. Chakravarti, Bandana et al. “Cannabinoids as therapeutic agents in cancer: current status and future implications.” Oncotarget vol. 5,15 (2014): 5852-72. doi:10.18632/oncotarget.2233
  3. Dariš, Barbara et al. “Cannabinoids in cancer treatment: Therapeutic potential and legislation.” Bosnian journal of basic medical sciences vol. 19,1 14-23. 12 Feb. 2019, doi:10.17305/bjbms.2018.3532
  4. Massi, Paola et al. “Cannabidiol as potential anticancer drug.” British journal of clinical pharmacology vol. 75,2 (2013): 303-12. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04298.x
  5. Śledziński, Paweł et al. “The current state and future perspectives of cannabinoids in cancer biology.” Cancer medicine vol. 7,3 (2018): 765-775. doi:10.1002/cam4.1312

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