As an alternative treatment, CBD oil is fast becoming the first choice of patients with a variety of conditions. CBD (cannabidiol) is an extract of the marijuana plant. It is one of the hundreds of compounds the plant contains.
CBD is very different from THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). It is THC that dominates any talk about using cannabis for medicinal reasons. A lot of people fear the mood-altering consequences of cannabis use. However, what they need to know is that CBD products contain only tiny traces of THC. Therefore, using them will not make you ‘high’.
There is currently a lot of literature explaining the potential benefits of using CBD products for conditions like depression, inflammation, and pain. However, few people know of the increasingly plausible link between CBD and hormones. A lot of people don’t realize they have a hormone imbalance. The symptoms are easily misdiagnosed. In certain circumstances, however, an imbalance can prove fatal if not treated.
CBD oil and hormones – does CBD affect your hormones?
The body’s endocrine system is complex. The body has several glands that produce and secrete hormones that are essential for normal functioning. These include the pituitary, thyroid and thymus glands, as well as the pancreas and adrenal glands. Women have ovary glands, while men have glands in their testes.
The hormones in the body affect sleep patterns, sexual function, energy usage, growth, mood, and behavior. For optimal functioning, the correct hormone levels must be present. A hormone imbalance can cause illness.
In addition to the endocrine system, the body has an endocannabinoid system. This is a set of cannabis-like substances that occur naturally in the body. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is vital for remaining homeostasis, which is maintaining a stable environment within the body regardless of what is happening around it. The body senses changes in and around it and the endocannabinoid system is activated to correct it.
Can CBD help restore hormonal balance?
The ECS works on specific problems and does not take a general approach. Therefore, if the ECS is activated to tackle a problem with reproductive hormones, the endocannabinoids won’t affect cortisol, the hormone that governs your fight or flight response.
The ECS restores balance, and then the body sends out enzymes to break the endocannabinoids down to prevent them from continuing to act and creating another imbalance. The slightest disturbance to the ECS can affect the body’s ability to react to internal and external triggers.
So, what’s the link between CBD oil and hormones? Homeostasis allows your body to function optimally. Prolonged hormone imbalance can cause long-term health complications. The body will struggle to maintain homeostasis.
What are the effects of CBD on your hormones?
One of the most common diseases caused by a hormone imbalance is diabetes. The pancreas produces and releases insulin into the body. The insulin breaks the glucose in the blood down to allow for its metabolism.
When your pancreas isn’t producing enough insulin, the blood glucose buildup in your bloodstream can become life-threatening. Several studies have indicated that the ECS stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin when the body needs it. Using CBD can improve pancreas function and insulin production.
This is one of the examples that shows how CBD oil and hormones are connected. Through interacting with the ECS due to its similarities to the endocannabinoids in the CBD, the body’s hormone production is stabilized. Since the body dispatches enzymes to destroy the endocannabinoids once their job is finished, there is little chance of under- or overproduction of hormones.
Production of the hormone cortisol takes place in the adrenal glands, which are located near to the kidneys. Known as the stress hormone, cortisol governs your body and mind’s reaction to stressful situations. The more stressed out you become, the more cortisol your body produces.
High levels of cortisol make the body allocate resources to dealing with what it perceives to be a fight or flight situation. Consequently, the body is forced to neglect other functions, such as maintaining the immune system and a healthy metabolic rate.
The result can be heightened levels of anxiety caused by the increased presence of cortisol. You might be more susceptible to infections or gaining weight because your immune and digestive systems are affected by high levels of cortisol.
CBD can be effective by making the ECS work to stabilize and reduce the levels of cortisol produced and released into the body. Studies show that the use of CBD products can make people feel less stressed.
This could be explained by stabilized and healthy levels of cortisol, illustrating the relationship between CBD oil and hormones again. It should not be confused with the relaxation and lethargy you might feel if you used a cannabis product that contains THC.
This lesser-known hormone is essential for a good night’s sleep. It is produced in the pineal gland and regulates your body’s circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.
It tells you when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up. A healthy circadian rhythm is needed to regulate your bodily functions. You know how terrible you feel if you haven’t had enough sleep.
Your entire body struggles through the day, and you feel exhausted. Prolonged periods of sleeplessness can increase the body’s risk of developing conditions like diabetes, obesity, and depression.
Stable levels of melatonin will ensure that you fall asleep quickly and have a restful sleep. You’ll wake in the morning feeling rested and refreshed. CBD can help as it triggers the ECS to stabilize the melatonin levels in the body. Combined with lower cortisol levels that CBD oil can also cause, you won’t be counting sheep or staring at the ceiling all night anymore.
How do cannabinoid receptors work?
A closer look at the ECS reveals the presence of cannabinoid receptors in the body which drive the system’s function. These receptors are only one part of the ECS. The system is made up of endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and the enzymes that degrade the endocannabinoids.
There are two known cannabinoid receptors in the body called CB1 and CB2. Both are found in the brain, while CB2 is also present in immune system cells. The presence of endocannabinoids and cannabinoids to the body stimulate the cannabinoid receptors. Endocannabinoids exist naturally in the body, while cannabinoids are introduced to the body by ingestion.
The presence of cannabinoid receptors in the body is significant for people who have problems with stable hormone levels. An increased presence of cannabinoids can work with the endocannabinoids to activate the ECS, which will allow for the balance or homeostasis to return.
The symptoms of hormone imbalance and what CBD can do about it
While the symptoms of an imbalance depend on the affected hormone, some symptoms indicate the need for further investigation. These symptoms include:
- Problems with the digestive system such as constipation or diarrhea.
- Changes to the sleep pattern resulting in increased or decreased lengths of sleep.
- An increased or decreased appetite.
- Fluctuations of weight, which could be a weight gain or a weight loss.
- A feeling of fatigue or listlessness.
- A change in overall mood, including depression.
There might be other medical conditions causing these signs, but investigating hormone levels, even if it is only to rule them out, is advised. The thyroid gland is a good example.
It could be overactive (hyperthyroidism) or underactive (hypothyroidism). The thyroid gland secretes hormones that affect growth and development. It is also essential in maintaining body temperature.
Noradrenaline is another important hormone that increases heart rate and blood pressure. It also triggers the release of blood sugar stores for energy. It causes a more substantial blood flow to the muscles to oxygenate and energize them.
Thyroid hormones, noradrenaline, cortisol, melatonin, and insulin are only a tiny fraction of the hormones the body produces. Their function can be affected by the ECS, which is triggered during an imbalance. CBD products contain cannabinoids, which are compounds very similar to the endocannabinoids that the body produces.
CBD oil and hormones – can CBD help with female menopause?
When they hear the word hormone, most people think of reproductive hormones. A lot of them believe the reproductive hormones are related only to the conception and gestation of a baby. However, female hormones have other functions as well.
Female reproductive hormones include progesterone and estrogen. Estrogen is vital to healthy female development. When a girl enters puberty, her estrogen levels increase dramatically as her body begins to change into that of a woman.
The ovaries release estrogen in differing quantities during the stages of the menstrual cycle. Estrogen is instrumental in the manufacture of healthy eggs for fertilization.
Progesterone is another hormone released into the body during the latter half of the menstrual cycle, after ovulation. Progesterone functions in the endometrium to make sure it is ready for a potential pregnancy should the egg be fertilized.
Women enter menopause later in life. They stop menstruating, which means that they can no longer fall pregnant. During this time, estrogen production slows down, which can cause a lot of the symptoms associated with menopause. They include:
- Hot flashes, chills, and night sweats
- Mood swings
- Vaginal dryness
- Issues with appetite, sleep, and weight
The symptoms of menopause are similar to those of many hormone imbalances. When it comes to CBD oil and hormones, the imbalances presented by menopause could be alleviated.
How does CBD help with menopause and estrogen production?
Menopause is a time of significant changes in the body of a woman. Her body often needs a little help to get through it. Many women are prescribed hormone replacement therapy (HRT) during menopause. It elevates the levels of female hormones in the body. However, the research done on CBD oil and hormones indicates that there is a possibility that a woman can use CBD to treat an imbalance.
CBD will not stabilize the female hormone levels in a woman’s body on its own. However, the cannabinoids can supplement the endocannabinoids which strive to maintain homeostasis in the body. In doing so, the ECS will stimulate the ovaries to produce more estrogen. This will help to alleviate a lot of the symptoms of menopause.
Other hormones might also be unbalanced, such as melatonin, which helps with sleep, or the thyroid hormones which help to regulate body temperature. Women who are reluctant to introduce synthetic hormones to their bodies might want to consider using CBD products as a substitute.
Taking CBD oil
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Before thinking about CBD oil and hormones and the benefits it might offer, it is advisable to consult with your doctor. You need to establish that you aren’t taking any medication that interacts negatively with CBD. A doctor can advise you of your options and help you determine if CBD is a viable treatment for you.
CBD oil can be used in a variety of ways. If you’re interested in securing an interaction between CBD oil and hormones, it is better to ingest it. There are many ways to do this. You can get CBD oil capsules.
A lot of people prefer to buy the oil and use it in their cooking. One of the advantages of doing this is that the oil can also be used topically for pain and inflammation. A few drops diluted with a carrier oil can be applied to the affected area.
There’s no hard and fast way to work out how much CBD oil you should be using. The dose differs from one person to another and depends on what it is being used for. Experts recommend starting with tiny doses. If you don’t feel the desired effect, you can increase the dose gradually.
Always make sure that the CBD oil you buy comes from a reputable manufacturer and contains only minute traces of THC. Keep your CBD oil out of direct sunlight and out of the reach of children.
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