Over the last few years, fewer ingredients have had more success in the wellness world than cannabidiol – known more commonly by its abbreviation, CBD. This plant compound has done the rounds in almost every major consumer industry, from beauty and skincare to health supplements, foods, and CBD drinks. But it is far from simply the versatility of CBD that has led to this impressive success. Instead, what we have to thank is a growing recognition of the various potential health benefits of the compound.
While CBD has now conquered every demographic you can imagine, it is among women that these potential benefits may be particularly profound.
Women and people with vaginas can face a number of physical challenges throughout their lives, from menstruation to pregnancy to menopause – and many more in between. Therefore, the hunt for effective relief solutions is always on. So, could CBD be the answer?
WHAT IS CBD AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
CBD is one of a large number of compounds - called cannabinoids - specific to the cannabis plant. Many of these compounds have been found to possess a number of therapeutic properties that may prove useful for various indications. This has triggered a renaissance in cannabis research in recent years – with CBD at the forefront.
Unlike its more well-known cousin, THC, cannabidiol is non-intoxicating. That means it doesn’t cause the “high” that is often associated with cannabis use. What it does appear to possess, however, is a wide range of health and wellness benefits.
While the exact mechanisms through which CBD influences our bodies are still not fully understood, it is its interactions with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) that has drawn the most interest. The ECS is a receptor and protein system expressed throughout both the immune system and the central nervous system. As such, it is believed to play an important role in a number of vital functions, including mood, fertility, and pain signalling.
But let’s get back to women and CBD. What exactly could this popular little compound be useful for – and how?
Cramps and period pains can be an irritant for many, causing discomfort whenever it’s “that time of the month”. But for some of us, these “cramps” can become almost intolerable and can lead to days off work and even have us bed-bound! But what is to be done when the obligatory hot water bottles and painkillers aren’t providing suitable relief?
Well, growing anecdotal reports suggest that CBD could be a Godsend in this situation. Let’s be clear, there is no clinical evidence to support these claims; however, reports from CBD users, and the launch of various CBD-infused tampons could suggest that this potential remedy may be worth investigating.
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other places, such as the ovaries and the fallopian tube. Despite being relatively common, having sometimes severe symptoms, and a significant impact on quality of life, Endometriosis is often misdiagnosed, leading to long periods without suitable treatment. This leaves any individuals looking for relief from alternative sources – including, increasingly, CBD.
The primary theory behind the potential of CBD for endometriosis lies in its anti-inflammatory properties. While few studies have assessed the potential of CBD for endometriosis, specifically, a growing body of evidence indicates that it has significant anti-inflammatory potential which could be useful in the treatment of chronic pain. One study, published in 2021, concluded that “cannabis [though not solely CBD] appears to be effective for pelvic pain, gastrointestinal issues and mood” in patients with endometriosis.
However – again – much more clinical evidence is needed before we can draw solid conclusions.
PERIMENOPAUSE AND MENOPAUSE
A number of troublesome symptoms are associated with perimenopause and menopause, including hot flashes, mood changes, and sleep difficulties. In some cases, these symptoms can have a significant impact on a person’s happiness and quality of life. And yet, a significant proportion of those affected do not seek medical advice. A poll conducted by Tena in the UK indicated that over three-quarters (76%) of participants didn’t inform a healthcare professional that they had entered the life stage.
People going through menopause are increasingly turning to natural remedies like CBD. With its blooming reputation as a sleep and anxiety aid, it is little wonder that people are interested in its potential. Furthermore, there is growing evidence to support its use in these settings. For example, one study, published in 2019, found that anxiety decreased in 79.2% of patients and sleep scores improved in 66.7% of patients in the first month after initiating CBD use.
In addition to holding so many potential benefits, the wider availability of CBD products has made them more accessible than ever before. Whether you’re looking for a CBD oil supplement to incorporate into your daily wellness regime or would prefer something a little tastier, you are sure to find the ideal product to try out CBD wellness for yourself.
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