Medical cannabis may be an important alternative for the treatment of menopause symptoms. This is what the most recent studies and research states.
Menopause is a natural process that marks the end of women’s reproductive life, and it is determined when the last period occurs at least 12 months ago. Biologically, it occurs due to the gradual reduction of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, interrupting the menstrual cycle.
This drop in the production of hormones causes symptoms that are often unpleasant and, sometimes, an important physical and psychological suffering for the woman. Among the most common complaints are:
- Hot waves with intense sweating, popularly known as “hot flashes”;
- Mood swings;
- Water retention and weight gain ;
- Reduced vaginal lubrication and libido.
To improve the discomfort of menopause, many women seek pharmacological treatments such as hormone replacement. However, some women have contraindications to this treatment, and a growing number of them are seeking other alternatives, either to avoid the associated side effects or to optimize a therapeutic process in search of better results.
Although we still have little research methodology to understand more deeply how the chemical elements of Cannabis can help in this scenario and the extent of its effects, initial results point to a promising path about the therapeutic effects of this plant in menopause.
We have already talked about how medical Cannabis can be beneficial for women in the treatment and control of symptoms such as hot flushes, migraine and insomnia in the climacteric period.We will present here new studies that demonstrate, once again, how the knowledge in Endocannabinoid Medicine can be an important resource in this phase of life.
Cannabis use and women’s sexual health
It is a fact that a growing number of women are willing to explore the medicinal properties of Cannabis to help treat menopause symptoms. A study conducted by the University at Albany, Canada, and presented at the North American Menopause Society’s Annual Meeting in September 2021, surveyed 1,500 women to understand how the use of the plant relates to controlling climacteric symptoms.
Of that total, about two-thirds said they had ever used Cannabis.Among those interviewed, 75% reported needing it for medicinal purposes, but only 23% had been prescribed it by a doctor..
>> Check out further information of the study here: More Women Turning to Marijuana Products to Help With Menopause
It is known that Cannabis, when linked to an assertive prescription, can exhibit analgesic, anti-inflammatory effects and aid in mood modulation and feelings of well-being. Studies also show the potential of Cannabis to help with the hormonal fluctuations associated with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
The explanation lies precisely in the Endocannabinoid System.
We know that women with PCOS are up to 4 times more likely to develop diabetes mellitus. In this studyconducted in Taiwan with 40 women, showed that women with PCOS have higher serum levels of the endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2AG, and higher expression of endocannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, than women in the control group, and that it is probably the higher expression of CB1 receptors in the adipose tissue of these women that correlates with higher insulin resistance.
>> You can read the full study here: Endocannabinoid system activation may be associated with insulin resistance in women with polycystic ovary syndrome
It is not of today that studies how the action of Cannabis in reducing insulin resistance and modulating glucose metabolism. The knowledge about Endocannabinoid System (ECS) allows the understanding of women’s health in an integrated way, not limited to the female reproductive organs.
The investigations about the benefits of the plant go beyond the logic of action of most of the usual drugs, allowing integrative treatments with a broad spectrum of action. To understand more about how the endocannabinoid system acts modulating pain, mood, sleep-wake cycle, inflammatory processes, glucose metabolism, among other multiple physiological processes:
- Download our E-book “Entenda como interagem o Sistema Endocanabinoide, seus receptores e os fitocanabinoides [Get to understand how the Endocannabinoid System, its receptors and phytocannabinoids interact.]”“
Phytocannabinoids and the lowering of cholesterol
Since estrogen is one of the hormones responsible for cholesterol balance, it is common for postmenopausal women to have high LDL and low HDL cholesterol. Dyslipidemias are risk factors for the development of coronary heart disease and several other cardiovascular diseases.
Medical Cannabis showed positive results in controlling LDL and HDL levels, according to this study carried out by Urmia University in Iran. The study used cannabis seed extracts on mice with and without ovaries to understand the effects of the plant on blood fat levels.
>> You can read the full paper of the study here: The Effects Of Cannabis Sativa L. Seed (Hempseed) In The Ovariectomized Rat Model Of Menopause
When combining special and traditional dietary regimes, it was observed that menopause rats treated with Cannabis sativa had lower levels of fat in their blood. The reason, as the article explains, is that the plant extract contains significant levels of linoleic acid, an important aid in cholesterol regulation and weight control.
Cannabidiol’s action on memory lapses and concentration difficulties
The study Memory functioning at menopause: impact of age in ovariectomized womenproduced in Chicago (USA), presented data proving that low estrogen concentrations are associated with memory and concentration difficulties. Not by chance, more than half of women in the menopause period have cognitive symptoms and difficulties regarding memory and attention.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a promising adjuvant in improving memory failures caused by hormonal estradiol depletion. This result was obtained in a study with ovariectomized rats in which a small dose of CBD was administered for 14 days.
You can access the study here: Cannabidiol reverses memory impairments and activates components of the Akt/GSK3β pathway in an experimental model of estrogen depletion
Although there is countless scientific evidence regarding the attributes of Cannabis in the Integrative Medicine,safe and assertive prescriptive practice requires qualified education in the areato individualize treatment, potentiate therapeutic results and modulate possible adverse effects.
The WeCann Academy is committed to your learning journey, providing this disruptive knowledge to physicians who want to get ready for this new frontier of Medicine.Learn about the WeCann Academy’s International Certification in Endocannabinoid Medicine .
We connect experts from around the world in a global Endocannabinoid System study community to link scientific knowledge and practical experience in the use of medical Cannabis.
Would you like to join us? Contact us and get ready to transform your patients’ results!
CHI-CHANG, Juan et al. Endocannabinoid system activation may be associated with insulin resistance in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertility And Sterility, Taipei, v. 104, n. 1, p. 200-206, 30 abr. 2005.
CORRÊA, Márcio da Silveira et al. Cannabidiol reverses memory impairments and activates components of the Akt/GSK3β pathway in an experimental model of estrogen depletion. Behavioural Brain Research, Porto Alegre, v. 417, n. 2, p. 1-12, ago. 2021
Nappi RE, Sinforiani E, Mauri M, Bono G, Polatti F, Nappi G. Memory functioning at menopause: impact of age in ovariectomized women. Gynecol Obstet Invest. 1999;47(1):29-36. doi: 10.1159/000010058. PMID: 9852389.
SABERIVAND, A. et al. The effects of Cannabis Sativa l. seed (hempseed) in the ovariectomized rat model of menopause. Thomson Reuters, Urmia, v. 7, n. 32, p. 467-473, fev. 2010.