CBD Research - How CBD Works
HOW DOES CBD WORK FOR PERIMENOPAUSE AND MENOPAUSE
Our household saw first hand just how traumatic perimenopause can be.
My wife went from being our rock for 18 years to completely coming unglued over the span of a few months.
The advice of her many doctors only made things significantly worse.
In fact, half of the suffering she went through was a result of the medications they prescribed.
Here's the standard reply from the medical community.
"Here's your Lexapro, Blood Pressure meds, and Sleeping pills".
I won't get into the roller coaster we were put on but it all culminated in 3 days without sleep, yet another ER visit and a bad anti-nausea drug that interacted with her Lexapro to nearly sent her into a psychotic break. Read her nightmare story
We're only now getting over the anger.
We had to learn on our own, eventually finding a naturopath who actually looked to get to the root of what's going on.
Even with her, there are things we've learned more in-depth and that's just the way things are now.
You have to be your own advocate in today's healthcare.
In highsight...and believe me...there's a debris field of hindsight in 2017, it's all so simple.
It boils down to three things:
Nutrition and nutrients
We'll explore these three based on everything we found.
Also, try to find a good doctor who knows her stuff.
Unlike my wife's OBGyn who's recommendation??
A full hysterectomy!!
I kid you not.
If you want to jump to the safety screened CBD brands by cost, go here:
Otherwise, prepare to be enthralled by the change that is perimenopause.
We promise it will be easy.
Easier than waking up with night sweats and racing hearts for NO reason!!
Jump to any section here:
Let's get into it.
We only have 4 years (average length of perimenopause).
Okay...not funny...but if you don't laugh, you'll cry.
What Is Perimenopause
Simply put, perimenopause is a transition of hormone levels!
Yes, we're going from having periods and being able to produce eggs to menopause, where the period ends.
But the "transition" is one of the hormones.
Hormones are so powerful in the body!
Just look at the chaos brought on by the other transition, puberty! If you're really lucky like my wife, you'll get to have teenagers WHILE going through perimenopause.
Not on our worst enemies!
Anyway, the three key hormones in flux are:
Testosterone (to a lesser extent)
This change is really what drives the train and also the symptoms.
We'll get into them later.
This transition, which can last an average of 4 years ends when you have had no period for 12 consecutive months.
The problem is that there can be some really nasty symptoms.
Let's take a look at those.
What Are The Symptoms Of Perimenopause
Interestingly, we found that women don't really talk to each other about perimenopause or what they went through.
Mothers don't tell daughters.
It's crazy! Only after my wife basically dropped out for half a year (people thought she had cancer) and we told people what happened, did their stories start to roll out.
There are lots of women suffering out there...in silence!
The common symptoms are:
Stronger PMS symptoms
Loss of sex drive
The possible symptoms and severity are as varied as the women that have them.
There are genetic impacts (COMT, MTHFR, etc)
There are obviously lifestyle impacts (exercise, diet, medical issues, etc)
At the root of most of these changes is a hormonal shift.
We'll get into that below.
What Is The Average Age Of Perimenopause
The average age to start perimenopause is in the mid-'40s.
That being said, women are entering perimenopause at an earlier and earlier age.
Similar to what we're seeing with puberty.
Female hormones actually start to decrease in our mid 30's but the early perimenopause speaks to something else.
The sea of hormone-mimicking and disrupting chemicals that our bodies are inundated with.
Evolutions move really slowly and the change in both perimenopause AND puberty speaks to something environmental.
Again, perimenopause is a transition primarily of hormones so let's really get into that.
Hormones And Perimenopause
As a baseline, a woman should get her hormone panel done annually...
And starting early!!
To find a baseline. Ideally in her early to mid-'30s if possible.
Basically, when you're feeling great!
Establish what those levels are.
Also, make sure to get the full panel!
There are three estrogens...not just one!
The Dutch Test is the gold standard.
Unfortunately, you'll probably have to push your OBGyn to run the full panel (and to run hormones at all!)
My wife and I had to learn the hard way just how important hormones are in the body.
We'll start with Progesterone
Progesterone is intimately tied into SO many systems in the body.
Forget about the whole fertility need...how about just feeling great!
Boost energy and metabolism
Calms mood and aids sleep
Strengthens hair and clears skin
Help prevent autoimmune disease
Builds bone and muscle
That's just a sampling.
Maybe most importantly, progesterone protects the brain!
There's a great overview of just how important progesterone is in ways that have nothing to do with fertility!
When we were at our absolute lowest point, we started bioidentical progesterone and the effects were almost immediate (and damn near miraculous!).
This was after another doctor put her on progestin, a synthetic hormone (essentially birth control) that has none of the protective features but actually causes more issues.
You can learn all about the difference between bioidentical progesterone and synthetic progestin here:
Required reading since you're bound to run into a doctor who is ill-informed.
That same doctor who prescribed the synthetic hormone told my wife as we were leaving the office that she was going to have a stroke from hormone replacement!!
A great thing to say to a woman in the throes of anxiety from perimenopause (again...anger).
So progesterone. Check
Again, we want to look at estrogen for all its attributes that have nothing to do with fertility.
It's SO much more!
Estrogen is another hormone intimately tied to entire systems in the body!
Estrogen gets a bad rap based on a troubled history and lack of information Basically, a doctor came out in 2002 and scared women and doctors over supplementing estrogen for hormone replacement.
They were using estrogen derived from horses (Premarin)
Or...they were also using synthetic hormones and just one version of the three
Millions of women were warned by their doctors and they came off of estrogen.
The amount of suffering that this one act caused is incalculable.
It's STILL affecting millions of women now!
As estrogen decreases in a woman's body, the effects are horrifying.
Let's look at the symptom of low estrogen and casually compare them to perimenopause symptoms:
Um..did I just copy/paste the same symptoms from perimenopause above??
You can see that perimenopause IS hormones dropping. Now, make sure to get bioidentical and focus on estradiol which is actually cancer-protective!
There's a ratio between progesterone that's important but you'll likely need both.
You can also see how your body metabolizes estrogen which is very important.
These hormones are NOT just about having babies.
They are about feeling well and aging even better!
Let's look at one more.
Many women think testosterone is the "guy's" hormone but it's incredibly important to women as well.
A recent study found that testosterone levels are tied to a sense of well-being and confidence in outcomes.
The dutch test will determine where your hormone level is for this as well.
As for my wife...
It started with panic attacks
Rolling anxiety and racing hearts
Sleep was destroyed
Negative thoughts and OCD
For a few months, it was really really bad.
Throw on all the medications (multiple blood pressure meds, heart medications, sedatives, SSRI's, and more).
We almost didn't make it out.
But we did!
She is 99% there and the other 1% is the residual trauma from the medication's effects.
You have estrogen receptors in the ligaments of your feet!!
Oh...and my wife suddenly got Plantar Fasciitis.
So what does all this have to do with CBD?
Let's go there!
The Endocannabinoid System And Perimenopause
Hormones are made by the endocrine system.
There just happens to be a system right above it which is in charge of balancing hormones.
That's the endocannabinoid system.
We all have one running through our bodies with naturally made endocannabinoids (such as Anandamide and 2-AG).
Here's a quick image of the system's interactions within the body (growing by the day):
Since perimenopause and it's symptoms are primarily a function of hormones as described above, a health endocannabinoid system is a good place to start.
Interestingly, there's also a tie between progesterone and the endocannabinoid system: Therefore, as with estrogens, progesterone appears to regulate endocannabinoid signaling in a cell-type-specific manner in peripheral tissues via the control of FAAH expression and activity.
Stay with us here...we promise it's worth your focus...
Since estrogen and progesterone are both dropping due to age from about in the mid-'30s until perimenopause, we would love to see research on the impact of this reduction and the proper functioning on the endocannabinoid system.
If you look at all the issues that are positively affected by supplementing the endocannabinoid system (anxiety, depression, sleep disruptions, temperature regulation, skin/bone growth, etc), they sound very similar to issues that accompanying perimenopause.
For example, the vast majority of people diagnosed with autoimmune disease are women...
And get this...
That speaks to a hormonal tie (female) and a possibly a change in hormones (over age 40).
Autoimmune diseases are seeing a great deal of interest in terms of CBD.
Check out the research on
CBD and autoimmune here.
It's pretty ridiculous.
In fact, interruption of the endocannabinoid system is being connected to early menopause.
Maybe it's the other way around since estrogen helps to moderation endocannabinoid signaling!
We've discussed in detail all the environmental actors that are affecting women's hormone systems:
Estrogen mimickers and disruptors in our makeup, food, plastics, and more.
If you're not convinced...
Let's look at a very specific trait of perimenopause...temperature regulation.
Hot flashes. Night sweats.
It's almost a calling card of perimenopause.
Let us introduce Anandamide.
Yes, it's your natural endocannabinoid.
The largest one by volume in your body. Guess what chemical is in charge of temperature regulation?
You guessed it!
Anandamide. Now guess what substance can boost anandamide and the endocannabinoid system in general.
Let's look at that now for perimenopause.
CBD For Perimenopause Symptoms Based On Research
Let's go right through the laundry list of perimenopause symptoms we're hoping to get relief from.
CBD For Perimenopause Mood Swings – Anxiety And Depression Specifically
This is one of the main reasons women search for, find, and use CBD.
We have an entire section on
CBD and Anxiety or CBD and Depression with all the research.
This is all a function of CBD's ability to help stabilize mood.
Mood is intimately tied to hormone levels which are in flux during perimenopause.
The go-to response to most women walking into their doctor with perimenopause related anxiety or depression is an SSRI.
It's like candy for the doctors.
They don't always tell you the side effects or just how excruciating it can be to come off of them.
I've seen it first hand.
Lexapro left us with 3 nights of no sleep, an ER visit, and suicidal thoughts.
That wasn't mentioned when the doctor gave us the prescription.
Look...work with a good doctor but learn about CBD on the page above.
CBD For Perimenopause Hot Flashes
We mentioned above how Anandamide, your largest endocannabinoid, is in charge of the thermostat.
The fact that it goes haywire during perimenopause sheds further light on how falling hormones may interact with the endocannabinoid system's function.
They actually found this out while researching psychotic behavior.
Anandamide is called the "bliss" chemical for its calming feeling. Moreover, cannabidiol treatment was accompanied by a significant increase in serum anandamide levels, which was significantly associated with clinical improvement.
CBD And Perimenopause Insomnia And Sleep Disruption
As we mentioned before, we've written extensively on CBD's effects for all the perimenopause symptoms (coincidence??).
Sleep quality or Insomnia is no different.
You can check out the
CBD and sleep article here. This is one of the top 3 reasons that women use CBD.
It appears to be three-fold
Reducing anxiety and worry
Moderating body temperature
Balancing hormones that govern sleep
Keep in mind that your body temperature has to drop a few degrees to even enter sound sleep at night.
If your thermostat is off, that's never going to happen!
The two go hand in hand.
CBD And Perimenopause Pain, Headaches, And Cramping
You just found the 3rd most popular reason that women use CBD.
Anxiety and Insomnia being the other two.
Hmmm...all are major symptoms of perimenopause. Anyway, CBD has been shown to be a powerful analgesic (reduces pain).
It also acts as a smooth muscle relaxant and helps to balance the hormones (prostaglandins) that lead to:
Joint pain (joint tissue actually has estrogen AND CBD receptors)
Nerve pain (fibromyalgia's average age of diagnosis – 40!)
Check out the
CBD and Pain page for research and detail. Other Benefits For CBD And Perimenopause
Women need to look at hormone levels and consider bioidentical progesterone, estradiol, and testosterone.
Secondly, CBD may be a useful ally during this stage of transition.
More importantly, it can aid a woman's body to remain healthy and vibrant.
There are studies on CBD's effects on everything from bone loss to libido to mental and heart functioning.
These are vital at any age!
You can check out the
CBD for Women article here.
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