CBD and Women’s Health
Cannabidiol, or CBD, has been gaining visibility lately as male athletes have endorsed it for easing the pains and strains of professional sport. But CBD also has plenty of applications for women, even if your only competitive event is chasing a toddler.
CBD is an all-natural extract of cannabis, the same plant that yields marijuana, but it won’t get you high. Properly made CBD products strain out the intoxicating THC, but still have many of the health benefits that people get from medical marijuana.
CBD also doesn’t have the side effects associated with THC, such as paranoia, anxiety, drowsiness, and impaired memory. In fact, it has very few side effects at all, with all studies reporting it to be well tolerated and no one suffering due to an overdose.
CBD oil promotes homeostasis, the natural balance that your body maintains when you’re in good health. And as we all know, certain events in a woman’s life throw things out of balance, which CBD can help in a variety of ways.
Menstruation may be natural, but it can bring many unpleasant effects: cramps, bloating, mood swings, joint pain, acne, and so on.
CBD can help control inflammation, according to many scientific studies. That can soothe the pains that come before or during menstruation. Inflammation is also involved in acne, and some research suggests that CBD can also reduce your skin’s output of sebum, which is what clogs your pores.
CBD also appears to affect mood and helps people to stay calm. If you’re prone to premenstrual mood swings, anxiety, depression, and/or irritability, relaxing with a nice cup of CBD-infused tea may be just the thing to help you relax.
Menopause also brings about a hormonal disruption, and so can bring similar symptoms, including moodiness, headaches, joint pain, and weight gain.
It also brings some new problems of its own. One side effect of aging that particularly affects women is thinning bones, making them easy to break even with minor falls. Some research suggests that CBD can speed the healing of fractures by promoting bone growth.
Weight gain also tends to be more permanent from menopause than from menstruation or pregnancy. CBD may help with that too, by encouraging the conversion of white fat into brown fat. White fat stores energy and sits inertly on your body; brown fat turns into heat and actually promotes weight loss.
Several studies indicate that CBD may inhibit the growth of cancer cells, including in triple-negative breast cancer, one of the deadliest and hardest-to-treat types. It appears to do so through a previously unknown pathway, so it can potentially improve upon current medicines.
So far, these studies have been only in animals; I would think of CBD as a supplement rather than a replacement to other treatments. Cancer treatment tends to work best with multiple lines of attack. CBD can also alleviate some of the side effects of standard medicines, such as nausea and neuropathic pain.
There’s also some evidence that CBD can also inhibit the growth of cervical cancer.
What Type of CBD Should You Take?
As you’ve seen, CBD has a lot of different uses, so what form you take depends on how you’re using it.
A lot of stores and websites these days are advertising food and drink with CBD in them, and many are quite tasty. But the actual amount of CBD in them tends to be low, so you’d probably have to eat a lot to get an effective dose – not so good if you’re fighting weight gain.
You can get a stronger dose by using a CBD oil tincture. This type also has the advantage of being fairly long lasting, about seven or eight hours. A CBD vape can give you an even stronger hit, though its effects wear off in a couple of hours.
For bodily aches and pains, a topical CBD lotion or spray can be applied directly to the sore spots. A bath bomb can also provide relief all over along with the relaxing benefits of hot water.
A transdermal CBD patch can provide both targeted and systemic effects if you stick it on to a painful area. Such patches can also provide long-lasting benefits by gradually seeping into your body.
Even if your symptoms only flare up occasionally, it can be helpful to take a modest daily dose of CBD. It accumulates in your body over time, so it may help prevent problems and not just treat them.
Be sure to consult your physician before starting a CBD program. It can dilute the effects of other medications, such as warfarin, so if you’re on different meds, you need to know its interactions.
With proper guidance, you can enjoy the benefits of CBD through all the changes in a woman’s life.
About the Author:
Amy R. Born in New York and raised in northern California, Amy joined cbdMD as a content contributor for the cbdMD Blog after spending 17 years as a business reporter in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, visiting museums, watching movies, and fantasizing that she’ll one day finish her novel.