CBD and Hot Flashes
We are receiving reports from middle+ aged women using our CBD oil who are reporting that CBD is helping with their hot flashes. Okay I am very familiar with this topic because, let’s just say I can relate. CBD seems to be used for so many other conditions, why not menopause? I heard one doctor state that when he has tried everything and nothing seems to work he tells his patients about CBD oil and low and behold many are finding success in one way or another. Makes you wonder why many physicians don’t turn to CBD first?
What is a hot flash?
It’s a sudden feeling of heat and sometimes a red, flushed face and sweating. We don’t know exactly what causes them, but they may be related to changes in circulation.
Hot flashes start when blood vessels near the skin’s surface widen to cool off, making you break out in a sweat. Some women have a rapid heart rate or chills, too.
So, you can imagine how happy I was to hear from women using our oil that our CBD is working to minimize and in some cases, even curtain their hot flashes completely. Then I reflected on my own experiences. Realizing in the past 3 months that I’ve been taking TruHemp CBD to primarily help with my anxiety and depression, that I haven’t had what my family fondly refers to as “my own personal tropical vacation.” I’m usually dripping from sweat enough to make any lush jungle/tropical atmosphere envious.
Besides taking TruHemp CBD for my anxiety and depression, I take CBD three to four times a week in the evening to help me have a more restful night of sleep. I also take it for overall well-being. Is it a coincidence that I too have had fewer hot flashes in the same amount of time as I’ve been taking it? I think not!
Although my experience, as well as the experiences of the ladies using our products is far from scientific and could not be classified as a clinical trial, I think there is something to it. In all cases these women were taking oil for completely different reasons such as pain, stress, anxiety, etc. They all just happen to realize that not only was CBD helping them in those areas but that CBD works for hot flashes too!
What doctors say about hot flashes
A hot flash, according to doctors is the most common symptom of menopause and more than two thirds of women experience them. For those of you who have not experienced them, stop what you are doing right now and thank God! It is a quick feeling of heat that is normally felt in the upper body and very commonly in the face. It can cause redness and sweating. Think internal microwave. Some also experience a rapid heart rate or chills. Experts are not really sure why women get them but they believe it may have something to do with a change in circulation. Hot flashes happen when the blood vessels near the skins surface dilate to cool the women’s body. When they happen at night they are often called night sweats and it makes it more difficult to sleep. Some women only experience these hot flashes for a period of time while their bodies go through “the change.” Others will experience these hot flashes more infrequently over time and others have them for the rest of their lives. Yes, time to have a moment of silence for these poor souls.
The Role of the Endocannabinoid System in Menopause
Menopause is a wild ride and intimately linked to the ups and downs of endocannabinoid production. Both estrogen and our bodies own endocannabinoids ebb and flow with ovulation. As a woman’s natural cycles start to slow down, it’s natural that there are also changes in their endocannabinoid production.
As estrogen levels fall, there is a reduction in fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which is the means through which the human body regulates anandamide levels. One of the primary endocannabinoids affected by shifts in estrogen production is the “bliss molecule” or anandamide. Among other things, anandamide is responsible for pain, appetite, and fertility. Menopause triggers changes to anandamide management.
There are cannabinoid receptors in all areas of the female reproductive organs, including both the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Given what we already know about CBD’s influence over these receptors, it’s a logical assumption to believe that CBD could help reduce the signs and symptoms of menopause through interaction in the highly concentrated areas of endocannabinoid receptors.
The conventional treatments, like estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) leave much to be desired. Often the long-term side effects of ERT’s are just too difficult to swallow. It’s no secret that hormone replacement therapy comes with an increased risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, blood clots and more. The problems of long-term SSRI use are equally as dangerous, especially for women already struggling with mood swings and decreased sex drive.
Some research shows that CBD could help prevent cancer, including breast cancer. These are preliminary results, but even for women already using ERT, it may be beneficial to supplement with CBD oil.
How do cannabinoids (CBD) help menopause?
Hot flashes are again the most common complaint associated with menopause but there is a lot more going on behind the scenes. A women’s hormones are decreasing, which can cause a number of side effects including bone loss. For these reasons doctors are quick to prescribe hormone replacement therapy, (HRT). But many women are not candidates because it increases their risk of heart attacks, heart disease, blood clots, gallstones, breast cancer and even Alzheimer’s disease.
A decrease in bone loss is one of the main reasons physicians prescribe primarily estrogen replacement therapy. But here is the good news, our all-natural friend CBD has proven to be an alternative for stopping bone loss. It has actually also proven to help with bone regrowth, but we’ll save that topic for another day. Some researchers are claiming that it might even be able to prevent osteoporosis after menopause. if you believe hormone replacement drugs are good for you then you may also want to take CBD to possibly reduce your risk of breast cancer associated with it. CBD has been shown to kill breast cancer cells while avoiding healthy cells in the body. Cannabis does boost serotonin which can lower body temperature and this may be why CBD works for hot flashes.
Women who can not or choose not to take hormone replacement medication are often prescribed non hormonal prescription drugs such as Prozac, Effexor and Gabapentin. CBD according to at least one source can possibly be used to replace these drugs. Here’ s more good news. CBD has no side effects and has no drug interactions and you can not overdose on it.
Why is Cannabis for Menopause so Effective?
The endocrine system regulates the levels and output of dozens of hormones in your body, including the reproductive hormones that are a part of the changing internal landscape of peri-menopause.
Recent research has shown that cannabis and the endocannabinoid system relate to the endocrine system. Furthermore, they have found that the two major cannabis receptors found in the endocannabinoid system (CB1 and CB2) are directly related to the endocrine system and in particular to the relationship between the hypothalamus, the pituitary and other peripheral hormonal regulators.
Now comes the interesting part.
The pituitary gland controls key functions within the reproductive system, in particular, the release of FSH, or follicle-stimulating hormone, which is responsible for promoting ovulation. In the years leading up to menopause, the peri-menopause phase the body releases this hormone irregularly and once a woman hits menopause it stops producing FSH. That’s when your body goes into mayhem.
Those of you who have gone through menopause know that there are treatments for this, including Estrogen replacement therapy (ERT). This is when hormone therapy is prescribed to control symptoms of menopause. The thing is that while most doctors will prescribe the more common drugs, there are alternative solutions – And one of them is Cannabis.
More and more research is showing that Cannabis use helps the body by giving it a boost when it is not functioning at its best. Furthermore, specific strains of cannabis can help a woman’s endocrine system with the transition. For those who are going through peri-menopause, pain can come in many different forms, for example, headaches, abdominal pains, and overall body aches.
Similar to as it helped women in the past in different cultures, for example, it was used in traditional Chinese medicine, Cannabis can be a source of empowerment for women going through this period in their life. Medical Cannabis Cannabis can assist with the transition and help with the painful symptoms.
Alongside the inevitable hot flashes, the associated menopausal mood swings are an equally taxing part of hormonal changes. As hormones change, it changes the way women process and manage their stress levels. A woman’s body continues to operate as per usual, but with an endocannabinoid deficiency. Its suddenly not as easy to process stress, anger, and daily pressures.
Thankfully, cannabinoids are already making incredible inroads as a powerful replacement to traditional SSRI drugs. It’s a logical next step to bring the mood stabilizing capabilities of CBD, already evidenced for treating depression and anxiety, into the realm of menopausal women.
As a woman, we are taught to suppress and resist the transition from the premenopausal to the postmenopausal phase in our life. Although there are a few options meant to prevent or postpone the onset of menopause, the long-term side effects of these options are likely detrimental to our health. As the body of research on CBD for menopause expands, it could potentially provide relief to women experiencing some of the most frustrating symptoms of menopause, and all without the risk of serious side effects.
In conclusion, the evidence is stacking up and furthering our mission to spread the good news offered by this amazing plant. We believe that CBD works for hot flashes and so many other conditions. We are not doctors, we are not scientists, but we are informed about this amazing plant called Cannabis Sativa and we are dedicated to furthering our mission of educating people through science based research, expert opinions of physicians and personal testimonies.