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Cbd oil for menopause relief uk

CBD oil and menopause: Can it help?​​

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a natural plant-based remedy increasingly used for various health issues, including pain , inflammation , and anxiety . CBD is known to help support the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays an essential role in regulating many functions in the body.

Because of these effects, the practice of using CBD oil for menopausal symptoms is now garnering attention. Research is ongoing to determine if CBD oil can help relieve some of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with menopause, such as hot flushes and night sweats.

While hormone therapy is one option, those looking for alternative solutions may find value in CBD oil. Here’s what you need to know about CBD oil and menopause.

Table of Contents

What is menopause?

Menopause is a time of transition usually beginning between ages 45 and 55 and marking the end of a woman’s reproductive life. Menopause occurs because the ovaries stop producing oestrogen and progesterone , which means menstrual periods stop.

Women reach menopause when they haven’t had a period for one year. However, symptoms can start several years earlier during perimenopause, including:

  • Changes in menstrual periods (e.g. becoming irregular, lighter, or heavier)
  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Loss of libido
  • Mood swings
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Hair loss
  • Weight gain

Women may also develop anxiety and depression because of the shifts in hormones or other menopausal symptoms that affect their quality of life.

The endocannabinoid system and menopause

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) consists of a network of cell receptors called cannabinoid receptors. They’re found in the brain, central nervous system, and tissues throughout the body, including the female reproductive system.

The ECS also encompasses endocannabinoids, which are natural neurotransmitters, and enzymes that break down the endocannabinoids once they’ve performed their function.

The ECS helps the body maintain its natural balance or homeostasis . It’s involved in:

  • Mood
  • Immunity
  • Pain
  • Sleep
  • Memory
  • Fertility and reproduction
  • Temperature regulation

Cannabis compounds, such as cannabidiol (CBD), affect how the ECS functions. Considering that the ECS plays a role in the processes listed above, theoretically, CBD could influence menopausal symptoms . However, research is inclusive so far, but some women report feeling beneficial effects.

Can CBD oil help with menopause?

There remain critical gaps in research looking into the effects of CBD oil and menopause. However, many studies have examined the effects of CBD on participants other than menopausal women.

In one such 2020 review , the authors noted that CBD could improve quality of life, enhance sleep, ease chronic pain, and reduce inflammation .

Although no studies have specifically confirmed the effect of CBD in menopause, some of these symptoms may be present.

Mood swings and anxiety

The likelihood of developing mental health issues, including depression and anxiety, is increased around menopause.

Fluctuating hormone levels and other uncomfortable menopausal symptoms could trigger these problems.

A body of research suggests that CBD may inhibit anxiety and improve mood. For example, a 2014 review of research performed in mice found that CBD reduced depression and anxiety.

Further evidence strongly supports CBD as potentially useful in certain conditions , including:

  • Generalised anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

However, some of the conditions above may be treated with prescription drugs and the prescribing doctor should be consulted before adding CBD to a daily routine.

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Sleep disturbances

Sleep quality often declines during menopause which can negatively impact quality of life.

In a 2020 review , authors noted that endocannabinoids affect the sleep-wake cycle, suggesting CBD could impact sleep.

This effect was also identified in a 2019 study .

Loss of bone density

Osteoporosis, a condition describing weak and brittle bones, affects 1 in 4 females aged 65 and over.

Individuals with low bone density have an increased risk of fractures, so treating the condition is critical.

Currently, no research demonstrates that CBD improves bone density loss after menopause. However, there are some promising preclinical studies.

For example, a 2008 study in mice found that CBD interacts with a cannabinoid receptor involved in the loss of bone density.

The authors concluded that the ECS plays an essential role in regulating bone remodelling and that their research paved the way for developing cannabinoid-based medications to combat osteoporosis.

CBD and hot flushes: Can it help?

CBD could potentially help with hot flushes, a symptom affecting 85% of menopausal women.

A hot flush or flash is a sudden feeling of warmth in the face, neck, or chest. It can include sweating, flushing, racing heartbeat, and chills.

Although the exact causes are unknown, research suggests that falling oestrogen levels cause the body’s natural thermostat to become more sensitive to the slightest variation in temperature. So if the body is too warm, it prompts hot flushes to cool it down.

To date, no studies have explicitly looked at using CBD for hot flushes. However, research indicates that CBD interacts with serotonin receptors. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, and as hot flushes have a neurochemical basis, CBD could affect them somehow.

Moreover, a 2018 study found that CBD significantly reduced anxiety and stress. As anxiety can trigger hot flushes, individuals experiencing these episodes may find it valuable.

Therefore, further studies could unravel the link between CBD oil and menopause, and symptoms like hot flushes.

Can CBD help to balance hormones?

Yes, CBD may help balance hormones . Research confirms an association between the ECS and hormonal or endocrine processes.

The ECS regulates stress , mood, pain, fertility, and more. CBD interacts with the ECS and its receptors throughout the body. Although there’s a lack of human studies showing how this affects hormones, early, small-scale research from 1993 showed that CBD helps regulate cortisol secretion. Cortisol is a steroid hormone and primary regulator of the stress response.

High cortisol levels affect other hormones, including thyroid-stimulating hormones (TSH) and sex hormones. Therefore, anything that reduces cortisol may help balance hormones.

Cbd oil for menopause relief uk

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The views expressed in these reviews are the personal opinion of Healthspan customers. Healthspan does not endorse these views, nor should they be regarded as health claims or medical advice.

The views expressed in these reviews are the personal opinion of Healthspan customers. Healthspan does not endorse these views, nor should they be regarded as health claims or medical advice.

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Cbd oil for menopause relief uk

Published: 22:34 BST, 7 February 2021 | Updated: 22:36 BST, 7 February 2021

Once known as Hippie’s Disappointment because it doesn’t get you high, cannabidiol (CBD) — derived from the cannabis plant but non-psychoactive — is the panacea of the moment. You can sip it in coffee, sprinkle it on porridge or bake it in brownies.

Fans claim that CBD oil can reduce anxiety, aid relaxation and promote sleep. And the latest buzz is that it can alleviate menopausal symptoms, too.

The former wife of Noel Gallagher and menopause author Meg Mathews makes big claims for it on her popular website MegsMenopause. Despite taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT), Meg said she still suffered from anxiety. However, after three weeks of putting a few drops of CBD oil under her tongue before bed every night, she noticed she felt ‘much calmer and less anxious’.

‘Three months on and I can honestly say that my anxiety levels have dropped to practically nothing,’ she writes. ‘I’ve also noticed that my joint pain has all but gone. I wake up in the morning and feel sprightly for the first time in a long time.’

Meg, 54, who wrote The New Hot: Taking On The Menopause With Attitude And Style, isn’t alone in finding CBD oil helpful. Journalist and TV presenter Andrea McLean, 51, author of Confessions Of A Menopausal Woman, says that while a low dose of the beta-blocker propranolol alleviated her anxiety, CBD oil ‘has massively taken the edge off things with the flushes and … made me less anxious’.

Fans claim that CBD oil can reduce anxiety, aid relaxation and promote sleep. And the latest buzz is that it can alleviate menopausal symptoms, too (file image)

So what is it exactly? This CBD is derived from hemp, part of the cannabis family. Marijuana (the cannabis used as a recreational drug) remains illegal in the UK, as it contains significant levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the psychoactive component that gets you high. But hemp contains only tiny levels of THC and no quantity of it can intoxicate you.

Also, to comply with the current law, any CBD product sold over the counter or online must contain no more than 0.2 per cent THC and make no medical claims. That means CBD products can only be legally sold in the UK as food supplements or herbal remedies.

So is it hype, or could CBD possibly help reduce menopausal symptoms, and how?

Cannabinoid receptors are present in organs such as the brain and other body tissues, and it’s believed they contribute to functions including mood regulation, sleep, pain, memory and temperature modulation. The menopause seems to disrupt this system, which works by interacting with chemical messengers and can be influenced by CBD.

James Dempsey, MD of online CBD oil shop Naturally Pure, acknowledges that he cannot make claims for a CBD product, but says: ‘Some of our clients use our oil, sprays and creams, which they claim help them with symptoms of both peri-menopause and the menopause.’

So is it hype, or could CBD possibly help reduce menopausal symptoms, and how? (file image)

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According to clients, symptoms alleviated include anxiety, insomnia, low mood and joint pain.

Olivia Ferdi is co-founder of CBD oil brand Trip (stocked in Liberty, Selfridges and Fenwick) with her husband Daniel. They discovered CBD oil in 2018, when Daniel took it to minimise pain and inflammation after a knee op. Seven weeks later he walked down the aisle, crutches-free.

Olivia says: ‘It provided incredible relief for my everyday stress while working as a lawyer in the City.

‘The exciting thing about CBD is that, anecdotally, it’s being seen to really help so many of those female-centric wellness issues.’

As for the medical experts, many appear to be in two minds. ‘CBD may work on the body in a range of ways to help menopause symptoms. Of particular interest is the way it interacts with cannabinoid receptors,’ says health information website Medical News Today.

Yet it also notes that there is ‘very little reliable evidence to suggest CBD oil can treat the symptoms of the menopause’.

Indeed, GP and menopause specialist Dr Louise Newson warns: ‘There isn’t any good evidence that CBD oil products work. That doesn’t mean they don’t work, but it does mean people have to be careful about what they’re taking and how they’re taking it. They’re not regulated like medicines are, so we don’t know what they contain and each product could be slightly different.’

‘With anxiety, even placebos can have an effect, so it’s hard to know — is it the CBD oil or is it the packaging? These products are expensive as well. For me, something like doing yoga or even having aromatherapy is a lot better. When substances are ingested, you don’t know what the long-term effects are.’

As some of the most distressing symptoms of the peri-menopause and menopause include wakefulness, increased worry and achy joints, it’s no wonder that some women are prepared to give CBD oil a try (file image)

The research is limited, but the symptoms that CBD seems to affect, albeit in animal studies, are commonly experienced features of the peri-menopause or menopause, such as low mood, anxiety, poor sleep and joint pain.

For instance, a 2010 study on mice, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, found CBD operates on the brain in a similar way to antidepressants. It was also seen to reduce depressive symptoms, according to Harvard Medical School’s online magazine, Harvard Health Publishing.

CBD is also often used to address anxiety and, notes Harvard Health, ‘studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep’.

In addition, it cites a study from the European Journal of Pain which showed — again using an animal model — ‘CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis’.

But experts stress that more study in humans is needed in order to substantiate these claims. Dr Newson refers to the British Medical Journal, which noted that in CBD products sold as herbal remedies, ‘the amount of CBD … is typically far lower than in clinical trials (eg 25mg in a non-medicinal product versus 150-1,500mg/day in clinical trials).’