CBD and Menopause
Posted on November 4th, 2022 to Uncategorized
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is derived from the Hemp plant. Both Marijuana and Hemp are strains of the Cannabis plant but differ in their uses. Many skin and haircare products contain Hemp seed oil. Textiles and paper products also commonly contain Hemp. CBD, which comes from the flower of the Hemp plant, has a history of medicinal use and is not psychoactive, meaning it does not create the “high” that is associated with the THC in Marijuana. Federally legal CBD products contain 0.3% or less THC, and Marijuana, which is only legalized in some states, contains more.
What is Menopause?
Menopause is a transition women go through that usually begins between 45 and 55 years old. Menopause can last from seven to fourteen years. During menopause estrogen levels decrease, and the menstrual cycle stops. Common symptoms of menopause include irregular periods, hot flashes, problems with sleeping, vaginal pain during sex, joint pain, incontinence and mood changes. Although, menopause is a natural part of life, the symptoms may be difficult to deal with and interfere with daily activities, and some may seek remedies to help.
What is the Role of Endocannabinoids in Menopause?
Human bodies have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is a network of chemical signals and receptors that regulate different cell functions. CB1 is a type of endocannabinoid receptor. CB1 receptors are found in the central nervous system, reproductive system, heart, lungs, skin, and adrenal glands. Cannabinoids, including CBD, interact with CB1 receptors to produce different effects on the body including reducing pain and inflammation. The endocannabinoid system interacts with many other systems in the body to maintain homeostasis, including the gonadal hormones, estrogen and progesterone. During Menopause, with the decrease in these hormones, homeostasis can be lost, resulting in many menopausal symptoms including dysregulated mood and body temperature. CBD can mimic the effects of the endocannabinoids that we produce naturally to combat some of the symptoms resulting from low estrogen.
There are many ways to treat menopause. One way is hormone therapy which involves taking synthetic estrogen and/or progesterone to reduce symptoms of menopause. While hormone therapy can be a good option for some, the side effects can be serious. Many women avoid hormone therapy due to concerns about breast cancer, heart disease, blood clots, and dementia. However, there are other ways to treat menopause including CBD.
CBD May Treat Some Symptoms of Menopause
CBD can treat menopause by decreasing common symptoms of menopause with few side effects. It has been shown to treat joint pain and arthritis by reducing pain and inflammation. Current evidence suggests that CBD has a calming effect on the nervous system. By decreasing joint pain and anxiety, CBD can help patients sleep better. CBD can also be used to improve anxiety and depression disorders. CBD can help with vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse by decreasing inflammation, increasing blood flow, increasing lubrication, and relaxing muscles. CBD can also help increase sexual drive.
Other cannabinoids may also be helpful in treating menopause. CBG is effective in promoting bone growth and healing fractures. CBG was the most effective cannabinoid at reducing bladder contractions and decreasing the symptoms of overactive bladder.
Hempeutics pharmacy offers CBD in the form of tinctures and topicals. Tinctures are oils that patients take orally, and topicals are sprays, creams, or oils that patients apply to the skin. We recommend tinctures for reducing widespread pain and inflammation, anxiety, and trouble with sleep. We recommend CBD topicals for dry skin, acute pain, vaginal dryness, and pain during intercourse. Note that there are often specific products made for intercourse and vaginal dryness, and not every CBD topical is safe to use in those areas. Hempeutics pharmacy also offers CBD suppositories for vaginal pain experienced during intercourse. Hempeutics pharmacy also offers CBD products that contain other cannabinoids such as CBG.
There are additional treatments for menopause that do not involve hormone therapy. SSRIs and SNRIs can help regulate mood and treat anxiety and depression. People can use Gabapentin, Clonidine, and Oxybutynin to treat night sweats and hot flashes. Oxybutynin can also treat and overactive bladder. Non-medication treatments for symptoms of menopause include weight loss and weight training. People can treat the mood and mental health aspects of menopause using cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and hypnosis. Exercise, yoga, paced respiration, and acupuncture have not shown any benefit in mitigating menopause symptoms.
Is CBD Legal?
CBD that contains 0.3% THC or less is federally legal. Although marijuana and CBD come from the same plant, they are classified as different drugs. The Farm Deal, passed in 2018, made CBD federally legal. However, some states have implemented their own laws and are not defaulting to the The Farm Deal, which is an ongoing legal battle. All states are allowing CBD to some extent, but some are only allowing patients to purchase CBD products with a medical card. Some states are only allowing patients to purchase CBD online. Here is an updated article with information on the legal status of CBD by state.
Some CBD products contain trace amounts of THC or other cannabinoids. If Marijuana is legal in your state, CBD with or without THC is also legal. Patients who are concerned about having trace amounts of THC in their products can choose THC-free CBD products instead of full spectrum products which can include up to 0.3% THC.
Is CBD Safe?
CBD is often a safer alternative to prescription drugs. It often has fewer side effects and no risk of addiction. If used for sleep, CBD will not cause drowsiness the next morning. Unlike some prescription medication, CBD does not have psychoactive effects, so it is safe to take while doing daily tasks. However, like any substance, CBD may produce some side effects. CBD can increase the risk of short-term memory loss, impaired attention, foggy thinking, dry mouth, diarrhea, and reduced appetite. CBD may also interact with other medications, the most common being blood thinners and seizure drugs. Patients should ask their doctor before taking CBD or any other cannabinoid.
Some CBD products contain trace amounts of THC. Older patients tend to have a reduced tolerance to THC, even in low doses, and should be careful of or avoid CBD products that contain THC. However, THC tolerance varies greatly from patient to patient. If the patient has used THC or Marijuana products previously, they may have a higher THC tolerance and trace amounts in CBD products will not affect them. At Hempeutics Pharmacy, our board-certified pharmacist, Dr. Peggy, consults with patients to ensure all patients are receiving products that will work for them based on their history and conditions.
What to Know Before Trying CBD
Since the FDA does not regulate CBD products, it is important for patients to look for products they can trust. Patients should look for independently lab tested CBD products to ensure good quality. Sellers should provide a certificate of analysis that contains the test results, outlining the quantity of each cannabinoid in the product, including CBD and THC. The certificate of analysis should also have the name, contact info, and address of the testing lab. Some patients may find the certificate of analysis difficult to read which is why at Hempeutics pharmacy we meet with patients to answer any questions.
At Hempeutics pharmacy we go a step further and meet with all patients before prescribing them CBD treatments. Unlike dispensaries, Hempeutics is a CBD pharmacy, run by our board-certified pharmacist and founder, Dr. Peggy. Dr. Peggy is extremely knowledgeable about CBD, medications, and medical conditions. We provide CBD treatments for many different issues such as sleep, pain, and relaxation. Hempeutics offers custom CBD treatments which we compound in our pharmacy to ensure each patient received products that work for them. We provide both full-spectrum (includes THC) and THC-free CBD products that have been independently lab tested and certified.