The menopause is something that all women of a certain age go through, yet it is still something that most people don’t think about until it is about to hit us or our loved ones. It is something that is rarely discussed by people who aren’t directly affected by it and it is something that can radically affect women whilst receiving very little support from the medical profession.
The menopause occurs when the menstrual cycle is ending, meaning that a woman’s body is no longer in the best condition to bear children. It can bring about changes in the body which can manifest themselves in a number of symptoms, some of which can be helped by medication.
Research shows that the menopause is in the top three reasons that women use cannabis products in the USA . This is testament itself that CBD and other cannabis-derived products might be able to help to improve the quality of life of women who are going through the menopause.
The menopause and how it affects women
Some women are hardly affected at all by the menopause, whereas others can find that it can severely affect their lives. It can last typically for around 4 years, but for some women, it can be significantly longer.
For women who are struggling with the effects of the menopause, some doctors prescribe HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) which helps to increase the levels of oestrogen in the body – one of the hormones which are depleted during the menopause.
Although HRT can be very effective for some women, it also has risks associated with it and is not recommended for some people.
In fact, it is not just oestrogen levels which change during the menopause, there are a whole host of other changes going on as well. This can leave women with health problems that they have never felt before as well as potentially be affected psychologically as well.
CBD and the menopause
We have already heard about how women who are going through the menopause are turning to cannabis-derived products, but why, and how are they helping them?
CBD is an abbreviation of cannabinoid and it is a cannabinoid which is found naturally in the cannabis plant. CBD can be extracted and made into products which can be taken by humans to give us a number of health benefits.
For more information about CBD and how it can affect the human body, this article explains it all – What is CBD?
When it comes to the menopause and how CBD can help women who are going through it, as far as we know, it can’t directly help with the menopause. What it can do, however, is to help to deal with the symptoms and make you feel more comfortable.
Painful muscles and joints
One of the most common symptoms of the menopause is painful muscles and joints. This is because the body can produce more inflammatory molecules when you are going through the menopause, and this inflammation can often result in pain similar to that suffered by people with arthritis. 
CBD has both strong anti-inflammatory properties as well as being able to help to regulate pain in general. 
If you are suffering from sore muscles or joints, you can try CBD in two ways. Some people like to ingest it through taking drops under the tongue, vaping it or in capsules or edibles, but others prefer to use it topically and can find pain relief in rubbing a topical CBD rich cream to the area which is sore.
Depression and Mood
One of the biggest issues that women who are going through the menopause come up against, is the psychological effect that it has on them. Changes in hormones can affect women emotionally and affect levels of serotonin (also known as the happiness chemical) and dopamine (another neurotransmitter which keeps us happy) in the brain. 
When CBD is taken, it can help to regulate these neurotransmitters, ensuring that they are at the correct levels to keep mood steady, avoid anxiety and depression, and this is why there is a lot of interest around using CBD as a natural and safe antidepressant. 
Closely linked to the psychological issues which can be suffered as a result of the menopause, many women report having problems sleeping. Whether it is due to some of the other symptoms – such as hot flushes – or more psychological issues, many people believe that CBD can be highly effective both in getting to sleep in the first place, as well as getting good quality sleep during the night.
CBD has calming and relaxing qualities, it can help to deal with pain and keep the mind tranquil. This is all conducive to a good night’s sleep.
Loss of memory
Some women find that they begin to suffer a certain amount of memory loss as they hit the menopause. This isn’t necessarily about getting older, it is also possible that it is as a result of the menopause. The hippocampus is the part of the brain which is responsible for memory and it is hormones such as oestrogen which helps new connections in the hippocampus to be made.
This means that if oestrogen is in lower levels, it could result in a degree of memory loss. 
Research shows that CBD can be very active in the hippocampus and, whilst more research is needed to be done on this issue, scientists are excited in its potential to help people with a degree of memory loss.
Although we have a lot of promising research to support the fact that CBD can be helpful to alleviate the symptoms of the menopause, due to the fact that research hasn’t been going on for long, there is still not enough science to back this up.
Research into cannabis and its compounds has only really been going for the last couple of decades – mainly due to the fact that before then it was illegal in many places. Most medical research must first be carried out on animals before it can be applied to humans and all of this takes time, meaning that we are still lacking clarification in some parts of how CBD can affect us humans.
Whilst we are beginning to get research through now, it is by no means complete, but this can be only a sign of hope.
Although we are seeing great results on animals, we are going to have to wait a little longer before we have solid scientific evidence to back up what people have been telling us for years.
The menopause can be a difficult time for many women, but it is, unfortunately, a fact of life. This means that trying to deal with the symptoms of the menopause is the best way forward and it is in this way that CBD might be able to help.