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Does CBD Oil Affect Your Hormones?

Does CBD Oil Affect Your Hormones?

A hormone imbalance can negatively affect your health and mental wellbeing. Luckily, CBD oil can help restore hormonal homeostasis.

CBD oil interacts with the brain and central nervous system to produce a number of beneficial outcomes from reducing inflammation to calming anxiety. But how does CBD oil impact the endocrine system, the body’s network of hormone-producing glands, that plays a role in everything from hunger to heartbeat to sexual function?

While research is still ongoing, there are some indications that CBD oil can affect your hormones. Below you’ll find information on how CBD oil and other cannabis-derived products can impact your major hormones, and how you might use CBD oil to treat hormone-related ailments.

Keep in mind, the following information is intended to be informational and should not be considered medical advice—always speak to your doctor before trying any new treatment plan, including one involving CBD oil.

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How Does CBD Oil Affect Your Hormones?

Before diving into the science behind CBD oil’s interaction with hormones, it’s important to have a basic understanding of what hormones do and their role in the endocrine system.

The endocrine system consists of a series of glands located throughout the body. These glands include the thyroid, pineal gland, hypothalamus, ovaries, testes, and pancreas, among others. These glands produce hormones, which are released into the bloodstream.

Hormones play a role in a number of your body’s processes, including metabolism and appetite, reproduction, growth and development, sexual function, and mood. And, many of these processes can be impacted by CBD oil.

The cannabis sativa plant, from which CBD oil is derived, contains over 100 phytocannabinoids, compounds that mirror the endocannabinoids produced by your own body’s endocannabinoid system . Two of the most popular and well-researched phytocannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) . THC produces the intoxicating ‘high’ most people associate with marijuana use; contrastingly, CBD is not intoxicating and will not get you high.

CBD oil reacts with the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, which are located throughout the brain and body. These receptors are responsible for a wide variety of physiological processes, such as the perception of pain, mood, and inflammation.

By activating these receptors, CBD oil stimulates the endocrine glands , in turn affecting hormone levels in the body.

CBD Oil’s Effect on Insulin

Insulin is produced by the pancreas and is an incredibly important hormone which, if unbalanced, can negatively impact your health. Common conditions that are caused by insulin imbalance are heart disease, obesity and most notably, diabetes. CBD oil may be able to influence insulin production.

When digesting carbohydrates (sugars and starches), the body breaks them down into glucose molecules. Insulin assists in metabolic processes by helping the body turn glucose into energy and storing excess glucose in fat cells for later use. In addition, insulin helps cells absorb nutrients from food. When insulin is not adequately produced, glucose can build up in the bloodstream and cause damage to nerves, blood vessels, and certain organs.

The way in which CBD oil aids insulin production is not entirely clear, but there is a correlation between chronic inflammation of the pancreas, or pancreatitis , and lack of insulin production, which typically leads to diabetes . In a 2013 study , cannabidiol produced significant anti-inflammatory effects on mice with acute pancreatitis; because CBD oil can reduce inflammation in the pancreas, it stands to reason that it could potentially improve insulin production.

CBD Oil’s Effect on Cortisol

Produced by the adrenal gland, cortisol is a primary hormone responsible for managing your response to stress. The more stress you experience, the more cortisol your body is likely to produce. CBD oil may be able to help mitigate this response. Cortisol has played a crucial role in human survival as it is responsible for mediating your natural “fight or flight” response. While the actual dangers in your daily life are now few, stress is still high, which means the body regularly produces cortisol. Increased levels of cortisol force your body to prioritize the fight or flight response, instead of allocating resources to your immune system and metabolism, resulting in symptoms that can range from mood swings and increased anxiety to weight gain.

CBD oil was shown to be anti-catabolic in a 1993 study , meaning it was proven to help regulate the amount of cortisol released by the endocrine system, thus reducing stress- and cortisol-related side effects in the body.

CBD Oil’s Effect on Hormones and Sleep Quality

Did you know hormones play a role in your sleep cycle? If the endocrine system becomes unbalanced, your slumbering could suffer. Luckily, CBD oil may be able to help you get some rest.

Cannabis, and extracts from the cannabis plant like CBD oil, have been known to improve sleep and relaxation. Cannabis and cannabis-derived substances activate the body’s cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors in a way that decreases the time it takes to fall asleep while also improving sleep stability and increasing overall melatonin production.

Melatonin is a hormone produced in the pineal gland that signals to the body when it’s time to sleep. Healthy melatonin production regulates your natural sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm), which in turn regulates bodily functions. Low or unbalanced levels of melatonin can lead to conditions like depression, obesity, and diabetes. So, if your melatonin levels are off balance and keeping you from being able to fall asleep and stay asleep, CBD oil may be able to improve your sleep quality, which will ultimately better your physical and mental health.

Finally, as mentioned above, CBD oil can improve sleep by lowering cortisol levels in the blood. Cortisol revs the body up in response to stressful stimuli, eliciting a physical and mental response opposite that of sleep. Unfortunately, modern life is full of stressors, and finding fast relief can be difficult. At the end of a stress-filled day, CBD oil can help the body and mind relax by reducing the amount of cortisol produced, allowing you to fall asleep more easily.

CBD Oil for Women

Women may experience frequent shifts in hormone levels throughout their adult lives. Temporary hormone imbalances are to be expected during puberty, menstruation cycles, and menopause, meaning if you’re a woman, you’re no stranger to the symptoms associated with changing levels of hormones. The hormonal imbalance can manifest as stress, weight gain, sleep loss, and physical discomfort, just to name a few.

Because CBD oil can help reduce cortisol levels in the body, it may also be able to reduce the stress or anxiety you feel when your hormone levels are shifting. Too, CBD oil’s ability to help with insulin and melatonin production could help offset the potential weight gain and loss of sleep that occur during hormonal fluctuations.

Finally, if you experience physical discomfort like cramping, CBD oil may be able to help. CBD oil is effective at treating inflammation and pain , meaning it could reduce the pain you may feel during menstruation or as part of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). While pain of this sort isn’t directly caused by hormones, it’s still associated with female life events that are brought on by shifts in hormone levels.

How to Use CBD Oil for Hormone-Related Issues

If you suffer from a condition or maintain a lifestyle that throws your hormones out of balance, CBD oil may be able to help you achieve homeostasis.

But, before you get started with CBD oil, check with your doctor to make sure it’s the right choice for you, as CBD oil has been known to interact with certain medications . You might also consider speaking with a cannabis doctor to supplement the conversation you have with your primary physician.

Once you and your doctor have decided that CBD oil could be a viable option for you, there are many different ways you can start taking it, including capsules, drops, edibles , and vapes. Whatever delivery format you choose, give yourself a little bit of time to experiment. You may find that what works best for you is a combination of products.

When it comes to CBD oil dosage , start slow and follow the serving suggestions listed on your CBD oil product.

If the serving suggestion is unclear or ineffective, we at CBD Oil Review have analyzed hundreds of products and come up with a standard serving suggestion for you to try:

The CBD Oil Review Serving Standard is 25mg of CBD, taken twice daily.

If you aren’t seeing results, increase your dosage by 25 mg every 3-4 weeks until you see the effects you’ve been wanting.

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CBD oil can benefit the body but how does it affect your hormones? From insulin to cortisol to melatonin, here’s everything you need to know.

CBD oil and menopause

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Contents

  1. Research overview
  2. Patient perspective

A normal and inevitable part of aging, menopause is a transitional period when menstruation ceases. Menopause can cause a wide range of symptoms, many of which vary from one woman to the next. Most often occurring between the ages of 45 and 55, this transition typically lasts around seven years.

During menopause, estrogen levels significantly drop, causing numerous symptoms. However, research is beginning to suggest that cannabis and the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) may be able to help counteract some of these effects without the possible dangers of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Notably, combination HRT and estrogen-only therapy have shown to increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancers, according to Breastcancer.org. Even short-term combination HRT may increase the risk of breast cancer at an alarming rate of 75 percent.

CBD, as well as THC, have become key areas of interest, offering potential low-risk treatment options for menopause symptoms. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Cannabidiol (CBD) and THC have become key areas of interest, offering potential low-risk treatment options for menopause symptoms. Women of all ages have experienced CBD-related relief in relation to other female-specific hormone-related conditions and symptoms, including premenstrual syndrome (PMS), as reported in an article published in 2017 in the journal Addiction Research & Theory.

Research overview

While studies on CBD and menopause are limited, there is evidence that high-quality CBD products may help combat associated symptoms. This is particularly true when CBD is combined with other treatment options.

According to a literature review published in 2019 in the Journal of Ovarian Research, the ECS impacts female reproductive tissues and processes, playing a vital role in temperature regulation, sleep, pain, mood, memory, and immune function.

Several studies have reported the positive effects of CBD and CBD-rich cannabis oil on mood changes, joint pain, and sleep problems, all commonly associated with hormonal changes during menopause. Though the studies didn’t look specifically at menopause, the results indicate that CBD could provide relief for these symptoms regardless of their cause.

In addition, numerous studies have identified the potential impact of CBD on mood, including its inherent anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that cannabis significantly reduced perceptions of depression, anxiety, and stress in both women and men. Researchers also reported that women experienced greater reductions in anxiety compared to men and that low-THC/high-CBD strains were best for reducing symptoms of depression.

Aches and joint pain frequently occur post-menopause, as reduced estrogen levels tend to produce higher levels of inflammation. Luckily, CBD has been shown to offer relief from pain and inflammation, as reported in a 2015 literature review published in the journal Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry

Aches and joint pain are also often reported post-menopause, as reduced estrogen levels tend to produce higher levels of inflammation. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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In addition, a 2016 study published in the European Journal of Pain examined the efficiency of transdermal CBD for pain and inflammation in rats. Researchers found that topical CBD can help reduce swelling as well as other signs of inflammation. The study concluded that CBD provides potential therapeutic relief when aiming to treat arthritis pain, as well as inflammation, without any apparent side effects.

Sleep disturbances are also an area of concern among menopausal and postmenopausal women, with 61% reporting insomnia symptoms. In a 2019 study published in the Permanente Journal, researchers were interested in whether CBD would improve sleep and anxiety among a clinical population. After providing CBD treatment to 72 adults, the researchers found that anxiety scores decreased in 79% of patients within the first month and sleep scores improved in 67% of patients within the first month.

Patient perspective

Dr. Melanie Bone, a board-certified OB-GYN and cannabis specialist, shared the stories of two of her patients who are going through menopause and using CBD as a treatment option. Names have been redacted in accordance with patient privacy laws.

J.A. is a 52-year-old woman who has had one period in the last six months. She has trouble sleeping because she is awakened with hot flashes and sweats. This makes her tired during the day and she feels depressed because she can’t get a good night’s sleep. J.A.’s sister had breast cancer at age 54 and she is worried about being diagnosed herself. She is scared to use hormones due to the history of breast cancer in her family.

Dr. Bone said, “The patient wanted a consult because she is having so much trouble concentrating at work that she is afraid she will lose her job. After I explained to her that she could opt to try hormones, she decided to try cannabinoids first, with hormones as a fallback. Currently, she is doing exceedingly well with excellent management of most of her complaints. Just a few daytime hot flashes remain as a reminder of her menopause.”

Using both cannabis and bioidentical hormones may be helpful to some menopausal patients. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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C.T. is a postmenopausal patient who uses both cannabis and bioidentical hormones. She told Weedmaps, “I was using bioidentical hormones to help with hot flashes, mood changes, and dryness. After discussing my situation with Dr. Bone, we agreed that I might benefit from the addition of cannabis.

“Now that I have been using both, I feel great. I have no more symptoms of menopause and my husband is delighted to have me back to my old self.”

It is important to note that these are individual testimonials and results will vary among patients. Be sure to consult with your physician before beginning a CBD regimen to address the symptoms of menopause.

What the experts say

Researchers are only just beginning to understand how the ECS works in relation to menopause and other health-related conditions. However, for those looking for an alternative therapy option, CBD may show great promise, according to some physicians.

“There are more issues at stake in menopause: sexual dysfunction, dryness, urinary complaints, and weight changes,” Dr. Bone said. “While some of these complaints are best managed with hormones, in women who have contraindications to using estrogen, such as a history of breast cancer, there is a definite role for cannabinoids to help as well.”

Bone continued, “There is a wealth of history and tradition pointing to the efficacy of cannabis for a variety of women’s conditions, from menstrual cramps to postpartum hemorrhage. The THC of cannabis helps with aches and pains associated with arthritis that sets in with menopause. It also helps with some of the mood swings that can herald the onset of menopause. CBD is important to manage anxiety that is almost universal during menopause. The combination of CBD and THC is essential to help with sleep problems, which are all too common in menopausal women. The ratio that works depends on which complaints are most prominent, but I find that a 1:1 is the sweet spot for a lot of women. In addition, local cannabinoids can be added for vulvovaginal-vaginal complaints and painful sex.”

Dr. Adie Rae, a neuroscientist and scientific adviser to Weedmaps, added, “Although cannabis does not address vaginal dryness, it has been shown to increase libido, decrease pain, and enhance orgasm.”

In fact, certain cannabis strains and products have been designed with women’s sexual pleasure in mind. CBD topicals like Night Moves, Happy Clam Oil, and Smooth Operator are all touted to enhance women’s sexual wellness.

Bottom line

CBD oil and CBD-rich cannabis oil may combat some of the most problematic symptoms associated with menopause, including sleep disturbances, mood changes, and aches. Anecdotal evidence and animal model studies suggest that combined cannabinoids, rather than the more readily available CBD isolate, may be better at alleviating some of the more severe symptoms associated with menopause. When high-quality CBD oil is combined with positive lifestyle changes, there may be a greater synergistic effect, though further research is necessary.

While studies on CBD and menopause are limited, there is evidence that high-quality CBD products may help combat associated symptoms. This is particularly true when CBD is combined with other treatment options. ]]>