We navigate a complex landscape as women, facing unique health challenges throughout our lives. From the monthly ebb and flow of our cycles to the hormonal shifts across life stages, seeking natural solutions for well-being is a common thread that binds us. Today, we delve into the exciting world of cannabinoids, specifically CBD and CBG, to explore their emerging potential in supporting women’s health.
CBD for Women: Menstrual Cramps and PMS:
Menstrual cramps can be extremely painful and debilitating. In fact, statistics show that up to 90% of women of reproductive age suffer from dysmenorrhea, which is a fancy term for painful period cramps. Relying on pharmaceutical painkillers every month can come with a plethora of unwanted side effects, such as stomach ulcers, increased risk of heart disease, and intestinal bleeding. Fortunately, there are alternatives.
A 2020 study published in the Journal of Pain Research found that CBD capsules significantly reduced pain intensity and improved quality of life in women suffering from primary dysmenorrhea (painful periods). Sublingual CBD oil, offering faster absorption, could provide even swifter relief. For localized comfort, topical CBD salves applied to the abdomen and lower back can be extremely effective. Many women report relief from cramps as soon as 5 minutes after applying topical CBD salve.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), with its constellation of emotional and physical symptoms, can also find relief with CBD. A 2018 study in Frontiers in Immunology showed that CBD oil is effective at reducing anxiety and psychotic disorders due to its neuroprotective qualities (which means it protects nerve cells from damage or impairment of function).
CBD for Hormonal Imbalance:
Hormonal fluctuations throughout the menstrual cycle and life stages can lead to various issues. The interplay between the endocannabinoid system (ECS)—which is the system by which your body produces and utilizes cannabinoids—and the estrogen system are not fully understood, but preliminary research suggests that they modulate and influence each other’s activity. Supplementing your ECS with plant-based cannabinoids like CBD and CBG may help maintain hormonal balance and lead to more stable moods and body functions.
CBD for Endometriosis:
Endometriosis, which is a painful condition where uterine tissue grows outside the uterus, effects around 10% of reproductive aged women. It’s a chronic disease with no known cure, in which treatment is aimed primarily at managing symptoms. Those symptoms can include severe pain during periods, sexual intercourse, urination, and bowel movements, as well as chronic pelvic pain, nausea, abdominal bloating, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and sometimes infertility.
Cannabinoids have shown great promise at helping women manage the symptoms of endometriosis. A 2021 study published in the National Library of Medicine reported that CBD greatly reduced inflammatory markers and pain in women with endometriosis. The same study concluded that orally-ingested CBD was more effective than inhaled CBD at assisting with gastrointestinal conditions and mood.
CBD for Skin and Hair Care:
Beyond internal concerns, CBD and CBG are making waves in the world of beauty. CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties make it a potential hero for acne and skin conditions like eczema. A 2020 study in Clinical Cosmetic Investigational Dermatology found that topical CBD significantly reduced acne compared to placebo. That same study references both CBD and CBG’s effectiveness against several staph, or MRSA, strains. Overall, CBD and CBG show incredible promise at regulating skin health.
The endocannibinoid system also plays a part in hair growth. A study published by the University of Florida found that CBD-rich hemp extract has the potential to speed up hair regrowth and combat androgenetic alopecia, which is the most common cause of hair loss. The reason, as written in the study, is that “Cannabidiol (CBD) is a negative allosteric modulator of the CB1 receptor and has been shown to result in hair shaft elongation”.
CBD and CBG offer a safe, natural solution to many of the various issues that pertain to women’s health. With growing scientific evidence and anecdotal reports of positive experiences, these cannabinoids stand on the threshold of becoming recognized tools for menstrual comfort, hormonal balance, endometriosis, and even skin and hair care. As research continues, women may well find a powerful ally in nature’s own medicine cabinet.
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