Five Perimenopause Symptoms and How CBD Can Help
Bringing symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings, it’s no wonder they call menopause “the change.” Most women don’t realize that these symptoms actually occur in what’s called perimenopause, or the ongoing stage prior to menopause. Officially, menopause takes place when a woman has not had a period for a full 12 months—but getting through potentially years of perimenopause symptoms can be rough.
If the effects of perimenopause have you reaching for over-the-counter pain relievers and ice packs to cool off, you’ll be pleased to know there’s another option that may be able to help: CBD. Here are five common perimenopause symptoms and the ways in which CBD can provide some much-needed relief.
According to Jennifer Payne, M.D., psychiatrist and director of the Women’s Mood Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins, women experiencing the type of hormonal changes associated with perimenopause are at an increased risk for depression (1). Though research on CBD as a therapeutic is limited, what is available shows promise in regard to depression.
One 2014 research study performed on animals found CBD “exhibited an anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects (2).” It’s also believed that CBD positively influences the 5-HT1A neuro-receptor, a brain receptor closely linked to mood (2) and the way we feel.
Anxiety-related hot flashes
Hot flashes are one of the most outwardly visible symptoms of perimenopause because these moments of overheating can cause women to sweat and appear flushed. There are many different things believed to trigger a hot flash, but one that research has proven is anxiety. In fact, one study followed more than 400 premenopausal women for six years and uncovered that women with anxiety were significantly more likely to experience hot flashes (3).
The way CBD addresses anxiety is similar to what it does for depression in that it impacts serotonin levels. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “CBD has shown therapeutic efficacy in a range of animal models of anxiety and stress, reducing both behavioral and physiological (e.g., heart rate) measures of stress and anxiety4.”
If you read our recent blog on the connection between CBD and sleep (5), you know why people have turned to CBD to get the best rest possible. But what you may not know is that 39 to 47% of perimenopausal women say they have sleep problems (6).
There is a multitude of reasons why women undergoing perimenopause struggle with sleep, including some of what we’ve already talked about like mood swings and hot flashes. However, it’s been demonstrated that CBD may offer assistance since it can reduce levels of cortisol (7), the hormone that keeps us awake like a loud internal alarm. Generally speaking, CBD has a soothing and relaxing effect that helps people establish and maintain healthy sleep patterns.
The “middle-age spread” or gaining of weight for women in perimenopause is a common problem that can have cascading physical and emotional concerns. As Harvard Health writes, “…increasing waistlines are linked to greater risks for heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis (8).”
To be clear, CBD is not a weight loss product. Yet, it does have some properties that, when working in lockstep with a healthier lifestyle, may help women achieve their weight loss goals. Animal studies found that CBD caused a reduction in food intake when compared to other cannabinoids in rats9 and decreased body weight gain (10).
Aches and pains
Estrogen in younger women can reduce inflammation, but as they start to age and estrogen levels decline, women in perimenopause are more likely to feel pain in joints like the knees, elbows and hands. As we wrote in a recent blog post, CBD is an excellent remedy for pain relief (11).
Not only do studies like the one published in Future Medicinal Chemistry indicate that CBD can reduce acute inflammation (12), but it’s non-habit-forming and is not associated with abuse potential (13).
Women on the cusp or in the midst of perimenopause are often racked with fear about the unknown and what their bodies are feeling—but it doesn’t have to be that way. Check out Woven Earth’s line of high-quality, full-spectrum CBD products, including our sleep capsules and daily oil for whole-body relief.
5 (link to sleep blog post once it’s live)