Cannabis has been used by men and women for thousands of years. Although it was always thought to have massively beneficial properties, it’s only in recent years that researchers and health professionals have started taking a closer look and have begun to understand the scope of cannabis’s health benefits.
Cannabis plants contain a host of chemical called cannabinoids, the most well-known of which are CBD and THC. Now, CBD has become the most interesting compound because it has no psychoactive effects (it doesn’t get you high) and there is mounting evidence that it may be able to treat a vast range of health ailments from chronic joint pain to depression to Alzheimer’s.
The unique properties of CBD that allow it to work within the body’s endocannabinoid system, nervous system, and serotonin system means that it may hold incredible healing potential. Even more interesting, especially for women, is that CBD is increasingly being used to treat an array of health conditions that disproportionately affect those people that don’t have a Y-Chromosome.
CBD and Premenstrual Syndrome
According to PubMed Health, Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is defined as “a set of physical and psychological symptoms that start anywhere from a few days to two weeks before a women gets her monthly period.” These symptoms can include everything from abdominal pain and back pain, to mood swings and depression. An estimated 75% of menstruating women experience some type of discomfort each month due these symptoms.
There’s good news though. There’s mounting evidence that CBD can be an effective treatment for both the physical and psychological symptoms of PMS. In addition to promoting relaxation, numerous studies and clinical trials have shown that CBD can be effective at treating chronic pain related to inflammation. Cramps or back pain due to Premenstrual Syndrome? CBD can help.
There is also growing evidence that CBD can be effective at treating the general malaise or anxiety that can arise during this time. It is thought to improve mood, promote general relaxation and a feeling of calmness, and help regulate sleep patterns.
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CBD and Anxiety in Women
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “from the time a girl reaches puberty until about the age of 50, she is twice as likely to have an anxiety disorder as a man. Anxiety disorders also occur earlier in women than in men.”
This is thought to be the result of differences in brain chemistry. According to the ADAA, the fight-or-flight response in women is activated more readily and stays activated longer than in men, partly as a result of the action of estrogen and progesterone. It’s also thought that neurotransmitter serotonin may also play a role in responsiveness to stress and anxiety, with some evidence suggesting that the female brain processes serotonin slower than the male brain.
Whatever the reason, anxiety can seriously limit your ability to live a fulfilling life, often preventing people from living their full potential and reaching their goals. What’s more is that anti-anxiety drugs often come paired with a slew of negative side effects. But not to worry! CBD is thought to have huge potential to help here too.
A study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) had this to say about the benefits of CBD and its effectiveness in treating Social Anxiety Disorder:
“Pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alert in their anticipatory speech. The placebo group presented higher anxiety, cognitive impairment, discomfort, and alert levels when compared with the control group as assessed with the VAMS. The SSPS-N scores evidenced significant increases during the testing of the placebo group that was almost abolished in the CBD group.”
In other words, the group which received the CBD had significantly less social anxiety than the group that did not receive the CBD (the placebo group).
CBD and Women with Autoimmune Disease
Though the reason is unclear, about 78% of those affected by autoimmune diseases are women. Theories as to why this may be the case include gender differences in immunity and immune response, sex hormones and hormonal differences in general, genetic differences, and a history of pregnancy.
To be sure, different autoimmune diseases produce different symptoms and have different possible treatments. However, they share a common thread: inflammation. Studies suggest that CBD works to suppress pro-inflammatory cytokine production, and in doing so it alters the immune system response and decreases inflammation.
When your immune system overreacts or falsely reacts to a perceived issue, CBD helps to check it and bring it back into line. Due to the fact that women are more greatly affected by these types of diseases, the fact that CBD can help is great news.
CBD and Women’s Health
For most diseases and disorders, the research looking into the efficacy of CBD is still in its infancy. In addition to the ones stated above, scientists are also looking into CBD as a possible treatment for migraines, breast cancer, depression, eating disorders, diabetes, and a host of other health problems that affect both women and men.
There are millions of women (and men) who are turning to CBD as a totally safe and non-toxic alternative to conventional medications and drugs to treat their health issues. CBD is helping them live happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lives.