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CBD for Menopause: Dosage, Side Effects, and Symptom Relief

January 26, 2021

cannabis for menopause

Reduced endocannabinoid signaling could be a driver behind some of the negative menopause symptoms, with many women reporting finding relief from the use of CBD and cannabis products. A review of the available studies from 2007 found that cannabinoids helped to bring relief to menopause-related sleep disorders such as insomnia. [1]

Does CBD oil help balance hormones?

Estrogen seeks the help of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to balance emotional responses and brings relief to depression and anxiety through its actions on the brain. A reduction in estrogen levels during and after menopause means that there is less activation of the endocannabinoid system, resulting in a reduced ability to deal with stress, sleep well, and to elevate mood and feel good.

cannabis helps menopause

One other symptom that can be assisted is hot flashes, because typically body temperature is lowered by cannabis. Also, common concerns related to sexual activity, including lubrication levels, libido, and sensitivity, can show up during menopause. More data on the potential of cannabinoids for these types of sexual health issues is very much needed, however, anecdotal reports point to the fact that they may be of great assistance for some women.

Does CBD help sexually?

Lubricants and other women’s sexual health related cannabis products have appeared on the market, all showing varying degrees of success based on the feedback of users. Included in these types of products are often, THC, CBD, and stimulating sativa strains that are regularly recommended for improving sex and increasing drive.

The endocannabinoid system

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex system of physiology inside the body that is responsible for maintaining order and balance across the entire body. If the ECS becomes overstressed and overwhelmed, it can fall into a state of dysfunction, leading to states of disorder in the body, which becomes especially noticeable in the area of women’s menstrual health with irregular cycles, PMS, mood swings, and early menopause symptoms. The ECS is so important, that it forms at 8-weeks gestation and its compounds are present in breastmilk; supporting healthy growth and development. Women with conditions resulting from an inactive, overwhelmed, and disordered ECS, can surely see benefits from utilizing the support of plant-based cannabinoid treatments.

cbd for menopause dosage

When endocannabinoid levels are too low, early menopause may be brought on. Women who are underweight, or have anorexia, who typically tend to enter menopause earlier, have been found to have low endocannabinoid levels. Due to the fact that an endocannabinoid deficiency can be balanced out, corrected in a way, by boosting levels with plant-based phytocannabinoids from cannabis, it is thought that this could actually help to delay menopause in such cases.

Can CBD help prevent bone loss?

The endocannabinoid system has the ability to regulate bone loss seen after menopause. Cannabinoid-2 (CB2) receptors have been discovered on bone cells, called osteoblasts. Fascinatingly, a common mutation in the gene that codes CB2 in humans, resulting in fewer CB2 receptors, is associated with osteoporosis after menopause one study showed. [1] As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, the endocannabinoid, anandamide, is an all important compound, and is the endocannabinoid-signaling agent responsible for forming bone at the CB1 receptor in bone, while another endocannabinoid called, 2-AG, contributes to breaking anandamide down at the CB2 receptor, which allows a balance to occur where bone tissue can both break down and rebuild, remodeling throughout life. This process, when in balance, helps to retain bone density and prevent bone loss. [2] 

The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice of any kind. Prior to making changes to your lifestyle or treatment plan, always consult with a licenced medical practitioner. It is recommended those wishing to utilize cannabinoids, do so under the guidance of a physician who has experience in prescribing menopause related drug, CBD oil, natural hemp oil, and medical marijuana so that the dosage and delivery method may be customized to the patient. At the same time, well educated and aware persons may be their own highly informed health consultants, able to treat themselves accordingly.

how to use cannabis for menopause

Cannabidiol (CBD) products with a 20:1 ratio or higher are typically recommended for endometriosis, premenstrual and menopause-related conditions, and for relief from menstrual cramps. These cannabis and hemp products can be given as capsules, drops, or edibles. As always, start with a micro dose to test for sensitivity, and titrate up as needed before going to the next dose. The micro to standard dose is generally the recommendation for menstrual disorders.

If high-CBD products on their own aren’t enough to assist with a particular issue, products with a higher ratio of THC are sometimes needed to better manage pain or other symptoms. During the day, the more stimulating, narrow-leaf sativa strains with higher concentrations of myrcene could be added to the formula. Typically, for pain, and especially for use in the evening and when it's time to sleep, broad-leaf indica strains are preferred for their relaxing, sedative effect. Someone without any experience with THC should use caution and slowly titrate the dose up to higher amounts. A 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC can be used when patients report too much psychoactivity, due to the nature that cannabidiol can neutralize that effect, or at least, help reduce it.

cbd oil for menopause symptoms

Is CBD oil beneficial for menopause?

Women tend to be more responsive to the pain-relieving benefits of CBD and THC when their estrogen levels are at their highest. Due to the nature that menopausal and postmenopausal women have low levels of estrogen, they will be less responsive to THC and need higher doses than premenopausal women to reach the same level of pain relief. Women who are premenopausal can build a tolerance to THC rapidly and could be more vulnerable to the side effects of cannabis such as anxiety, paranoia, or dependence. Post-menopausal women may be able to stay on a stable dose of THC or cannabis for the long term and could be less likely to feel anxious or paranoid from cannabis.

There are also other cannabinoids found inside cannabis that have been shown to relieve pain, including CBG, CBC, THCV, and THCA. Strains that are high in the terpenes myrcene, beta-caryophyllene, and linalool can provide even more pain relief and increase the effectiveness of other cannabinoids for analgesia.

When it comes to fast relief of pain, insomnia, or other immediate menopause symptoms, vaporizing or smoking work well. These delivery methods can take effect immediately and can last anywhere from one to three hours, whereas most ingested items take thirty to sixty minutes before taking effect (faster on an empty stomach) and last six to eight hours. Vaporizers that use a cartridge filled with CO2 concentrate are highly effective, and these can be found in a variety of ratios of CBD to THC. Herbal vaporizers that use the whole plant are another effective delivery method. TInctures or sublingual sprays can also produce rapid results and last longer than inhaled products. In recent times, the availability of cannabis-based vaginal suppositories and topical products where the medicine is absorbed into the muscle tissue of the pelvic floor and surrounding area has increased in the marketplace.

cannabis effect on menopause

The Cannabis Health Index (CHI) is a scoring system based on the best available evidence to date, scoring cannabis against the research data. Using this system, for symptoms of menopause such as menstrual pain, endometriosis, and hormone-related nausea, cannabis scored in the probable-to-demonstrable range of treatment efficacy (a score of 4 out of 5), which is very high. The effect of the endocannabinoid system on reproduction is complex, and more research is very much needed on cannabinoids and women’s wellness and health.

This article is part of our Women's Wellness series:

A History of Cannabis Use for Women's Health

Cannabis for Menstrual Symptoms and Fertility

Cannabis for Menopause: Hot Flashes, Insomnia and Pain

Cannabis and Maternity: Nausea, Anxiety and Pain

1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17712817/
2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19656492