How Can CBD Improve Your Hormones?
Hormones are chemical messengers, sent from endocrine glands to receptor sites in the organs and tissues where they cause changes to take place. Essential for all bodily processes, hormones may be small, but they are mighty – so even a slight excess or deficiency of a particular hormone can have a noticeable effect on your overall well-being.
What is a hormone imbalance?
Everyone can suffer from hormonal imbalance, but it is women who are most likely to be affected by hormonal fluctuations, with these naturally occurring during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause. Hormone imbalances can also happen outside of these periods, if one of the endocrine glands produces too little, too much, or even stops producing hormones entirely. This can trigger serious health conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, Addison’s disease, and PCOS.
Hormone imbalance signs and symptoms
Both men and women can experience hormone imbalances. The symptoms you experience can vary greatly and depend on the glands and hormones affected. Symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances include:
Hormones and CBD
Our bodies are made up of an interconnected network of receptors called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system works synergistically with our immune, nervous and endocrine systems and helps regulate key functions in our body such as stress, mood, sleep, inflammation, pain, metabolism, digestive health, memory, reproduction, and last but not least hormones. When phytocannabinoids such as CBD are introduced into our body they supercharge our ECS creating an optimal balance or homeostasis in all aspects of functional wellness.
Can CBD Help With Hormonal Balance?
Short answer, yes! CBD can help with the balancing of hormones. Research confirms a link between the endocannabinoid system and endocrine processes. This wonderfully beneficial cannabinoid can be used to influence hormones like cortisol (the stress hormone), melatonin (the sleep hormone), and lastly but not limited to estrogen (your sex hormone). Because of this, CBD makes for a great, natural treatment of hormonal imbalances.
CBD can also influence major hormones, including insulin, cortisol, and melatonin.
CBD and Hormone Imbalances in Women
CBD might be able to help with the symptoms of normal monthly hormone fluctuations and those that happen during puberty and menopause.
Many women experience anxiety and depression as part of their menstrual cycle and during menopause. Oestrogen and progesterone affect levels of serotonin, the so-called happy chemical that influences mood.
Research shows that CBD activates serotonin receptors and that in animal models, it shows anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects.
During menstruation, the uterine contractions that occur throughout your cycle are more intense. This causes food transit through the digestive system to slow down, leading to constipation and bloating. The drop in oestrogen and progesterone before your period can also cause water retention.
There are cannabinoid receptors in the digestive system, and research confirms that the ECS is involved in the physiological control of colonic motility. CBD could, therefore, help with bloating issues by increasing gut motility.
Pain and cramps
Some women find the pain associated with menstruation debilitating, others merely uncomfortable. Studies have shown that CBD works to relieve pain and relax cramping muscles.
As progesterone declines, prostaglandins increase, peaking during menstruation. These chemicals cause inflammation, heightened sensitivity to pain, blood vessel constriction, and uterine contractions. Although necessary for a regular menstrual cycle, high levels of prostaglandins can lead to more painful or heavier periods. An enzyme (COX-2) is responsible for prostaglandin production. CBD inhibits COX-2 and can lower the level of COX-2 that you produce, thereby reducing inflammation, pain, and cramps.
CBD is widely recognised as having muscle and vascular relaxing effects, which also lead to a decrease in painful period cramps.
The way that CBD and the ECS work are complicated and further research is needed, but there is some evidence to suggest that CBD is a step in the right direction towards helping with the symptoms of a hormone imbalance.