Since appearing on the scene a couple of years ago, CBD oil has been widely touted as the great panacea of our times. Enthusiasts, advocates and influencers have been keen to tell us of its benefits, and if you believe everything you hear, it would seem that CBD can help with practically every physical of physiological malady you can think of.
There has only been limited scientific research to date, and as a result, CBD also has its fair share of critics and doubters. But while we are right to treat some of the more fanciful unproven claims with healthy scepticism, there are many properties of CBD that are supported by both the research data and the anecdotal evidence.
One area in which CBD is being marketed with increasing regularity is to combat menopausal symptoms. It turns out that this is one of those areas in which the science largely supports the claims, so let’s find out more.
What is CBD and how does it work
The fact that CBD is a type of cannabis oil causes some people to eye it with suspicion. However, the first things to note are that there is nothing illegal about it and it won’t get you high. CBD is actually one of more than 100 cannabinoids that are present in the cannabis plant. Only a handful of these have the psychotropic effect associated with marijuana, and there are strict controls to ensure that they are not present in the cannabis oil you buy online or from a health food store.
The CBD in cannabis oil interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system. This is a network of receptors that serves to control and regulate mood, body temperature, sleep, pain, the immune system and more. Clearly, the endocannabinoid system has a lot to do with menopausal symptoms.
CBD and menopausal symptoms
It is important to note that to date, there have been no studies that specifically look at the effects of CBD on menopausal women. However, there have been dozens that assessed how CBD affects specific symptoms that are commonly experienced during the menopause.
For example, a review carried out last year concluded that CBD can relieve chronic pain, reduce inflammation and, most significantly, lead to better sleep. Difficulty sleeping is one of the most common problems associated with menopause. Researchers believe CBD helps address this by interacting with neurotransmitters to bring the body’s sleep-wake cycle into equilibrium.
Furthermore, studies dating back to 2014 have shown that CBD can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety – however, it should be noted that these have predominantly been studies on animal subjects, and only very limited research has taken place on humans so far.
Finally, it is worth noting that women typically lose bone mass after menopause, with osteoporosis affecting 25 per cent of women aged over 65. A 2008 study found that CBD can help maintain bone density through its interactions with cannabinoid receptors. However, again, this study was on animals and further research is ongoing to see whether the same results are observed with human subjects.
Clearly, CBD can play an important role in helping to ease menopausal symptoms. As the research continues over the months and years ahead, we will undoubtedly unlock more benefits.
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