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CBD oil and hormones: The ultimate guide

CBD oil and hormones: The ultimate guide

While very necessary to life, hormones certainly can make things difficult sometimes! Most of us will be familiar with the havoc that hormones can wreak on daily life. For women it might be PMS and menopause, and for men it might be poor sex drive or sexual dysfunction. A doctor may offer certain medications or hormonal therapy to treat various hormone-related issues. And while in serious cases this may be appropriate, other cases may be resolved more naturally—with CBD. 

Hormones: What are they?

Hormones are molecules produced by your endocrine system. They work like chemical messengers, sending signals to various parts of your body to regulate processes such as appetite,  blood pressure, mood, and sexual desire. Hormones are essential to reproduction, but in many other systems, too.

From time to time, hormones can get out of balance. This can mean having too much of one hormone (hyper-function)  or not enough of another (hypofunction). In both cases, health problems can result. 

CBD and hormones

The endocrine system comprises many different glands located throughout the body. These glands include the thyroid, hypothalamus, reproductive organs, pancreas, and more. It’s these glands that produce hormones and release them into your bloodstream.

That’s where CBD can help. 

CBD (cannabidiol) is a medicinal substance derived from the cannabis sativa plant. It’s a phytocannabinoid that mimics the endocannabinoids produced by your own body’s endocannabinoid system. CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, which are located throughout your body and in your brain. When activated, these receptors can influence a huge number of physiological processes, such as your perception of pain, mood, and inflammation.

By activating these receptors, CBD effectively ‘turns on’ your endocrine glands, which release the hormones required to cause changes in your body. 

Does cbd oil help balance hormones?

CBD’s ability to help relieve pain, inflammation, anxiety, and other ailments has a lot to do with the way phytocannabinoids interact with receptors in the endocrine system. This makes it a powerful and natural way to balance hormone levels in your body, particularly when it comes to improving sleep, sexual function, and energy production, as well as alleviating the symptoms of stress, anxiety, pain, and depression. In fact, new CBD treatments for endocrine disorders and hormone-related bone disorders are currently being explored.

What hormones does CBD impact?

Cannabinoids are able to ‘talk’ to your endocrine system, which in turn influences hormones such as  insulin, melatonin, cortisol, testosterone, epinephrine, and many others. 

Insulin

Insulin is produced by the pancreas and is used to help your body turn glucose into energy. It also stores excess glucose in fat cells for later use. If your body is not responding to insulin adequately,  glucose can build up in the bloodstream and cause damage to nerves, blood vessels, and organs.

Research has found a correlation between chronic inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) and poor insulin production, which can lead to diabetes. Because CBD oil can reduce inflammation in the pancreas, researchers have suggested it may also improve insulin production.

Cortisol

Cortisol is the hormone produced by the adrenal gland when we’re exposed to stressful situations. Higher levels of stress means higher levels of cortisol production. Prolonged cortisol can have an inflammatory effect on the body and may even lead to chronic illness. When under stress, your body goes into ‘fight or flight’ mode, which means its energies are no longer allocated to your immune system and metabolism. This can lead to frequent infections, low mood, increased anxiety, and even weight gain.

Fortunately, CBD oil may be able to help mitigate the stress response. The cannabinoids in CBD are anti-catabolic, which may mean they help regulate the amount of cortisol released by the endocrine system. This can help to reduce the effects of prolonged stress on your body and mind. 

Melatonin 

Melatonin is known as the sleep hormone; it’s the one that tells your body when it’s time to go to sleep and when to wake up. As we age, however, our levels of melatonin decline rapidly. Stress, poor diet, and environmental factors can also reduce melatonin. 

CBD oil may be a solution to those struggling to get a good night’s sleep. The compounds within cannabis have been found to activate your body's cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors in a way that reduces the amount of time it takes for you to fall asleep. It also appears to boost overall melatonin production, which can help improve quality of sleep. The effect of CBD on lowering cortisol levels can also go a long way in facilitating better sleep. 

Female hormones

Women tend to suffer the bulk of hormonal issues, from puberty right through to menopause. Changing levels of estrogen and progesterone can lead to all sorts of unpleasant symptoms, including mood swings, weight gain, physical pain, lack of sleep, and more. Once again, CBD can help. By reducing cortisol levels, CBD can be extremely helpful during times of stress and anxiety. It may also help to balance insulin and melatonin production, which can be affected by hormonal fluctuations.

More importantly, CBD can be an effective natural alternative to pharmaceutical drugs when treating menstrual pain. CBD oil helps to reduce inflammation and pain, which makes it useful to have on hand during menstruation.

Final words

If you want to try using CBD oil for hormonal imbalance, look for a quality CBD product made with pure, organic hemp. You can choose between full-spectrum CBD (which contains CBD plus all the other useful compounds of the hemp plant) or true cannabinol isolate. Isolate is one of the most potent CBD products on the market, delivering the highest level of cannabinoids to your body. Everyone is different, so it may take some experimenting to find out which works best for you. 

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