Every woman will experience menopause at some point in their life, but similarly to PMS, every woman experiences it with different symptoms and severity. The most common symptoms of menopause range from emotional symptoms, like mood swings and anxiety, to physical symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia, and uncomfortable sex. Marijuana can help with a variety of symptoms caused by menopause, as well as help women who have problems with early onset menopause.
Estrogen Levels & the Endocannabinoid System
Endocannabinoid levels are closely linked to estrogen levels. Endocannabinoid levels, like estrogen levels, are highest during ovulation. Estrogen helps to regulate the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which breaks down the naturally occurring endocannabinoid anandamide. When there's an insufficient amount of estrogen in the system, endocannabinoids will begin to be broken down by the larger presence of FAAH. The body's naturally occurring endocannabinoids can be supplemented with cannabinoids from marijuana to reduce the effects of the breakdown of naturally occurring endocannabinoids and other symptoms related to endocannabinoid deficiency.
Various medical conditions can cause menopause to come on early, which can sometimes cause even stronger symptoms. Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency is believed to be a cause of early onset menopause, as well as medical conditions such as breast cancer. Estrogen Replacement Therapy, or ERT, is a common treatment for many menopausal and post menopausal women who experience extreme symptoms, but it is not available or recommended for everyone.
Cannabis Instead of ERT
Cannabis can be a great alternative for women who cannot take ERT because of conditions like ovarian cancer or heart disease. ERT is often administered to help prevent adverse problems from menopause like bone loss. The cannabinoids CBD, CBG, CBC, and TCHV have been found to help stimulate bone growth and help prevent the onset of osteoporosis after menopause. Supplementing endocannabinoids from cannabis can help stimulate the body and delay some of the effects of early menopause.
Cannabis can also work to regulate the body after menopause. Less estrogen is produced in the body post menopause, so in turn the body produces less natural endocannabinoids. The decrease in endocannabinoids can cause a variety of problems, like poor ability to respond to stress. Cannabis can help supplement the body's natural endocannabinoids and decrease the symptoms associated with lower levels of estrogen and endocannabinoids.
Cannabis for Symptom Relief
Cannabis can also help fight many of the most common symptoms associated with menopause. Marijuana can help reduce anxiety and stress, which can be a common part of mood swings associated with menopause. CBD heavy strains can be particularly helpful for women who experience anxiety with menopause because of CBD’s ability to ease anxiety problems.
Cannabis can also help with insomnia by promoting sleep. THC heavy indica strains are known to be the best at promoting sleep because of THC’s ability to help ease people into sleep. One of the ways marijuana can be the most helpful for women experiencing menopause is easing sexual discomfort during menopause. Women going through menopause often find sex to be uncomfortable due to a decrease in sexual desire or other related issues, such as increased vaginal dryness. The bottom line; marijuana can help with a variety of menopause symptoms for women experiencing it at all points in their life and with various levels of severity.