From a biological perspective, a person’s sex can make them more or less prone to certain health conditions. Unfortunately, doctors ignored women’s health conditions for a very long time, and it wasn’t until the 20th century that researchers started to have a closer look at the illnesses that are more prevalent among women and their unique treatment needs. To this day, some healthcare workers still overmedicate women because dosage trials are conducted on men, who have higher average body weight, whereas women experience stronger side effects. Things are slowly starting to change for the better, but, even so, some women prefer treating their symptoms naturally as much as possible, using gentler solutions that have few to no side effects.
One of these natural solutions is CBD: the wellness craze that took over the entire world, and that seems to treat everything from eczema to chronic pain. According to the latest data, the majority of CBD users are female (59%), and women are also more likely to purchase CBD products for personal care than men. But, unlike other so-called wonder treatments, CBD does seem to work. So far, preliminary data has shown promising results and, for these four common women’s health concerns, CBD can work as either a substitute or complementary treatment for conventional medication.
It is estimated that up to 80% of women experience period pain at one point in their lives. In fact, menstrual cramps (or dysmenorrhoea, in medical terminology) are so common and normalized, that a pain-free period is a rarity. However, not all period pains are normal. While experiencing light cramps on your first day of period is nothing to be worried about, not being able to get out of bed for days and skipping work every month may be a cause of concern.
Intense menstrual cramps can be a symptom of endometriosis, which affects one in ten women worldwide. Endometriosis can be difficult to treat because most medications have harmful side effects, such as mood swings and depression, and shouldn’t be used in the long run. Besides, studies suggest that conventional anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen is not effective in the management of pain caused by endometriosis. CBD, on the other hand, addresses the cause of the inflammation without inhibiting the enzyme that produces prostaglandin.
CBD has been shown to reduce menstrual cramps, and many women have started to use CBD instead of traditional painkillers because it’s natural and has no side effects. Some have even reported an improvement in endometriosis pain. American actress Whoopi Goldberg, who herself suffered from endometriosis for 40 years, even launched her own medical cannabis brand designed to relieve menstrual discomfort.
So, whether you’re looking for a natural alternative to conventional drugs or you want to see for yourself why so many women swear by CBD during their period, testing out a bottle of CBD oil or spray from websites like www.cbdplanetuk.com may prove to be a pleasant surprise.
Mood swings, irritability, and other menopause symptoms
On average, women enter menopause at the age of 51. The decline in estrogen levels doesn’t come without its problems, however. Apart from increasing the risk of certain urogenital and bone conditions, menopause also comes with a whole set of emotional symptoms and, as they transition to menopause, women can experience mood swings, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.
This is yet another case where symptoms have been normalized, causing millions of women to feel confused and uncomfortable in their own skin, oftentimes letting menopause affect their careers and personal relationships. Fortunately, the emotional side effects of menopause can be held under control with CBD, which has been shown to improve these symptoms:
- Irritability and mood swings: CBD binds to serotonin receptors and activates them, resulting in a calming effect.
- Insomnia: one study showed that CBD reduced insomnia in 66% of patients and helped them maintain regular sleep cycles.
- Low sex drive: since CBD has a relaxing effect, a few drops can reduce stress and improve your libido. CBD also increases the sensitivity in nerve receptors, which can enhance sexual pleasure.
- Difficulty focusing, better known as “brain fog”: CBD promotes a sense of calm and focus, and it can help you think sharp and remember things better.
Pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis
Although rheumatoid arthritis isn’t an exclusively female health concern, women are two to three times more likely than men to develop it (4% risk compared to 2% risk). In general, rheumatoid arthritis sets in after menopause, when estrogen deficiency leads to bone loss. Left untreated, rheumatoid arthritis can lead to osteoporosis, a severe skeletal disorder.
The progress of rheumatoid arthritis can be slowed down with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and biologic response modifiers but, as for the pain caused by it, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs remain the main course of treatment. As we mentioned before, these drugs can have dangerous side-effects in the long run, such as stomach irritation, kidney damage, and high blood pressure. These should be avoided at all ages but all the more so after the age of 50, so natural alternatives are welcome.
The first study to prove the efficiency of CBD for rheumatoid arthritis was conducted in 2006, followed by additional clinical trials in 2008 and 2016. So far, the consensus is that CBD can reduce inflammation in the joints and significantly improve pain, without the side effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. CBD is available in many forms; you can consume it in oil form, and you even apply CBD creams locally, on the aching joint, for pain relief.
Like rheumatoid arthritis, migraines aren’t a women’s-only issue, but they do affect women mostly. Women are three times more likely than men to experience migraines, especially during their reproductive years, when the incidence rises to 43%. Of those who have migraines, 25% have more than four attacks per month, oftentimes caused by menstruation, hormonal imbalances, and menopause. Living with migraines can be tough, and, if the side effects of conventional medication make you worried, CBD is a solution worth trying.