Mood swings, lack of sexual interest, bone density loss, anxiety, insomnia – cannabis is the one-stop medicine for all of these.
Jokes about the winding down of a woman’s reproductive life abound. Menopause. The Change of Life. The inner workings of the process are shrouded in mystery, rarely discussed, and the symptoms can be very unpleasant.
The reality is that menopause isn’t funny for women. It’s uncomfortable. And it can have unwanted side effects including muscle loss and weight gain, bone deterioration, decreased sex drive, loss of concentration, urinary incontinence, slowed metabolism, insomnia, night sweats, and sexual discomfort.
Menopause is treated like one of those things women just have to go through. A fact of life, something not worth moaning about or treating because, well, we’ve all got to face it one day. But does it have to be so dreadful?
Not necessarily. Cannabis can reduce many of the symptoms associated with menopause.
Endocannabinoids and Estrogen
The endocannabinoid system has receptors that can be activated by cannabis, in a process called signalling. Endocannabinoid signalling is linked to estrogen levels; as estrogen levels decrease during menopause, signalling is reduced.
You may ask, why does that matter? Well, the endocannabinoid system helps to regulate emotional responses, anxiety, and depression, as well as bone loss. Furthermore, low levels of estrogen and endocannabinoids can cause early onset menopause.
Triggering endocannabinoid receptors with cannabis, then, can help treat these symptoms. When a woman is premenopausal, she is the most responsive to THC and CBD, as estrogen heightens her body’s response to these triggers. Menopausal and postmenopausal women will still experience the positive effects of cannabis, but may need larger doses. It’s all about trial and error.
Using Cannabis to Get Through Menopause
As mentioned, there are a variety ways for cannabis to treat menopause. The most common benefit is to regulate mood. One of the most popular menopause “jokes” focuses on mood swings. With cannabis, a menopausal woman can reduce anxiety and irritability associated with shifts in her hormonal levels.
It also relaxes and reduces the effects of night sweats and hot flashes. That’s because cannabis boosts serotonin signaling. It helps to lower your body’s temperature, and therefore lowers the impact of hot flashes. In this way, it can treat daily discomfort and inability to sleep at night. And proper sleep schedule also has the added benefit of offering women mood regulation and energy during the day. After all, who doesn’t get a little irritable if they haven’t slept enough?
On a chemical level, topical cannabis cream has two benefits: 1) it slows down facial hair growth that comes with menopause; and 2) increases sex drive, and treats lack of vaginal lubrication and decreased sexual pleasure. In fact, many women rave about the positive outcomes of cannabis lubrication.
The adverse sexual side effects associated with menopause can also be treated with edibles, vaping, and smoking. An edible an hour before the fun begins can help you relax, get more enjoyment from touch, and keep you in the moment.
Significantly, bone loss, or osteoporosis, is another consequence of menopause that can be treated with cannabis. Many doctors will prescribe estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) to treat bone loss associated with menopause, as well as in treatment of hot flashes. But ERT puts women at higher risk of heart disease, as well as breast and ovarian cancers. Cannabis boosts bone growth, and as already mentioned, reduces body temperature.
While some women will still opt for ERT, cannabis can reduce your risk of cancer by killing breast cancer cells. There’s no harm in self-medicating with cannabis while taking ERT, after all.
Microdose Throughout the Day to Avoid “High”
Your main concern with using medicinal cannabis might be the high that’s associated with this drug. But there are solutions to that! Microdosing offers the health benefits of cannabis without causing the psychoactive effects. Basically, you take just enough to get your body to the point just before the high.
Menopause currently affects nearly a billion women across the globe. Its consequences are all consuming and can affect your entire life. You shouldn’t have to suffer in silence without treatment. Cannabis can help.