CBD’s role in the management of perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms

CBD’s role in the management of perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms

Perimenopause and menopause are distinct and often challenging phases at the end of a woman's reproductive journey. Perimenopause commonly starts in a woman's 40s but can be as experienced in the mid to late 30s. There are also instances of some women experiencing perimenopause in their 20s, but this is not common. Hormonal fluctuations and a gradual reduction in the production of oestrogen characterise perimenopause.

This phase introduces irregular menstrual cycles associated with long list of physical and emotional symptoms such as weight gain, decreased libido, headaches, hair thinning, and fertility issues.

Menopause is reached when there is no menstruation for 12 consecutive months. Generally, this occurs around the age of 50. During this phase, there is a marked reduction in oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels, which results in a complete stoppage of menstrual cycles.

Common symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, mood variations, bone weakness and vaginal dryness. These symptoms are generally managed with hormone replacement therapy.

What is CBD?

CBD, known as Cannabidiol, is one of the 100 cannabinoids. Unlike THC, which is also a cannabinoid and addictive, CBD is not psychoactive and is legal in the UK. There a complex system in the human body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex cell-signalling system present in the human body.

The ECS is vital in regulating various physiological processes, including mood, sleep, appetite, pain perception and immune function. It’s been shown that CBD interacts with ECS receptors, particularly CB1 and CB2, to help maintain balance and homeostasis.

How can CBD help?

Perimenopause and menopause can be challenging phases for women due to a range of symptoms that impact both physical and emotional well-being. Increasingly, women are turning to Cannabidiol (CBD) as a potential natural remedy to decrease these symptoms. Here, we explore how CBD may provide relief during perimenopause and menopause, by focusing on its impact on anxiety, mood, sleep, and physical discomfort.

  1. Anxiety and Stress Reduction

One of the main challenges during perimenopause and menopause is anxiety and stress. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which plays a crucial role in regulating mood and stress responses. Studies suggest that CBD may influence receptors in the ECS and increase serotonin, which causes anxiety reduction. By modulating the ECS, CBD provides a calming effect, helping women navigate the emotional distress often associated with this phase of life.

  1. Mood Regulation

‘Mood swings’ are a common symptom during perimenopause, which impacts daily life. CBD's interaction with the ECS extends to mood regulation, offering a solution for women experiencing emotional fluctuations.

By influencing serotonin receptors, CBD may contribute to stabilising mood and reducing the intensity of mood fluctuations. This provides women with a more balanced emotional state during the hormonal shifts of perimenopause and menopause.

  1. Improving Sleep Quality

Sleep disturbances, including insomnia and often caused by night sweats, are prevalent symptoms during these phases. CBD has shown promise in addressing sleep issues by influencing sleep-wake cycles. The compound's calming effects contribute to better sleep quality and duration. Research indicates that CBD could potentially reduce insomnia and improve overall sleep patterns, providing women with a more restful night's sleep.

  1. Relief from Physical Discomfort

Joint pain and decreased bone density are physical challenges that often accompany perimenopause and menopause. CBD's anti-inflammatory properties offer relief from these discomforts. CBD has demonstrated the potential to reduce pain levels and improve joint function by interacting with receptors involved in pain perception and inflammation.

This could be particularly beneficial for women experiencing musculoskeletal issues during these life stages

Types of CBD available in the UK

CBD is available in different forms in the UK; each form can be helpful depending on the different symptoms of menopause.

  1. CBD Oils

CBD oil is administered sublingually under the tongue. It is quickly absorbed due to its rapid action, resulting in quicker effects compared to other CBD forms. 

  1. CBD Gummies and Edibles

CBD gummies and edibles also require digestion before the CBD is absorbed.

  1. CBD Topicals

CBD balms and other topical products are directly applied to the skin, yielding a localized effect ideal for joints and muscles. They provide targeted relief for specific areas.

  1. CBD Capsules

CBD capsules serve as a convenient alternative to CBD oil, facilitating easy dosage management. Due to the digestive process required before CBD absorption, their effects take longer to manifest, typically up to 2 hours. However, they provide a comprehensive, whole-body effect lasting up to 8 hours, making them a suitable option for addressing issues like pain, anxiety, or sleep disturbances.

The important role of nutrition and exercise

Navigating through perimenopause and menopause can be a challenging journey, yet with the right nutritional approach and the thoughtful use of natural remedies, such as CBD, it can be possible to manage symptoms and maintain a sense of well-being.

Ensuring a diet rich in essential nutrients like calcium and vitamin D is fundamental for supporting bone health, which can be adversely affected during menopause. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids are known to offer mood stabilisation benefits, which can be particularly helpful in managing mood swings and depressive episodes. Incorporating phytoestrogens found in foods like soy may offer some relief from hot flushes.

Incorporating weight training and exercise into your routine during perimenopause and menopause is beneficial and transformative for your health and well-being. Engaging in regular physical activity, especially strength training, plays a crucial role in counteracting the muscle loss and bone density reduction that can accelerate during these stages. Weight-bearing and resistance exercises are particularly effective in enhancing bone health, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, and improving metabolic health.

Moreover, exercise acts as a natural mood lifter, combating the ‘mood swings’ and anxious episodes that can be prevalent during perimenopause and menopause. It boosts your overall energy levels, helps manage stress, and improves sleep quality, which many women find challenging during these times.

The importance of seeking professional advice cannot be overstated during this journey. A healthcare professional can provide personalised guidance that considers your unique health profile, ensuring that any dietary adjustments, changes in exercise routines, or the introduction of natural remedies like CBD are safe and beneficial.

Their support is about managing symptoms and empowering you with knowledge and confidence as you navigate the transition.

Remember, reaching out for professional help is a proactive step towards taking control of your health and well-being during perimenopause and menopause.


Further reading:


Women's Health Concern (WHC) https://www.womens-health-concern.org/


Menopause Matters https://www.menopausematters.co.uk/


Nutritionist Resource https://www.nutritionist-resource.org.uk/

The Cannabidiol (CBD) Information Project https://www.cbdregulation.co.uk/

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