THC may be the king of natural remedies for menopause. It’s a versatile medicine that is extremely effective at treating all of the key symptoms of menopause.
Women are living longer today than they ever have in the past. Part of this is due to improved access to medical care, as well as proper nutrition. While great news, it means that almost all women can expect to make the perilous trudge through menopause, on the way to this long life. Thankfully, we now live in an increasingly cannabis-positive world, and for those seeking natural remedies for menopause, look no further than the THC in the cannabis plant.
What Can You Expect From Menopause?
Brought on by the gradual loss of reproductive hormones as we age, menopause is officially defined as having happened if you make it through 12 months without a period. The lead up to that, however, is fraught with hot flashes, dry skin, sleepless nights, achy joints, wild mood swings, and a loss of interest in sex. Most women begin seeking natural remedies for menopause around fifty years of age, 51 being the median. Not to worry, the process usually only lasts a year (or few), and the good news is that your relationship with cannabis will likely last a lifetime.
Image credit: YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV
How Can THC Help?
The body has a network of receptors and endogenous cannabinoids, called the endocannabinoid system. This maintains homeostasis, regulates immune functioning, is tightly tied to the functioning of the reproductive system, aids in neurogenesis, and so much more.
Cannabis has cannabinoids, such as THC, that exert similar effects when they interact with the endocannabinoid system. THC activates the same receptors as endogenous cannabinoids do. The reproductive system is ripe with receptors and is heavily regulated by the endocannabinoid system. When estrogen levels are high, the endocannabinoid levels are equally as high and the converse. In fact, anandamide, an endocannabinoid, helps get the egg ready for ovulation. Low anandamide levels can result in fertility problems.
Using cannabis, the greatest of natural remedies for menopause symptoms, can boost hormone signalling issues that arise as estrogen declines. Here are seven ways that THC can help during menopause.
THC is the Most Powerful of Natural Remedies for Menopausal Aches and Pain control
Hormonal fluctuations that accompany menopause may trigger many forms of pain, such as breast tenderness, cramping, dyspareunia (painful sex), migraines and joint pain. Many studies have established that THC is an effective anti inflammatory agent. Menopausal pain may be adequately controlled by consuming high THC strains.
Hot Flashes Are Controlled By THC That Acts Like Anandamide
THC mimics the actions of the naturally occurring endocannabinoid, anandamide. This compound is effective in maintaining normal body temperature and so, externally administered THC will produce the same effect and control hot flashes. Other studies have suggested that consuming higher doses of THC has a cooling effect on the system and can lower body temperature. Worth a shot at finding natural remedies for menopause!
Insomnia is a Thing of The Past with THC
THC has been shown to have strong sedative properties. It also interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors in the brain to alter the sleep/wake cycle. THC will make you sleepy and help you stay asleep, beating the evil twin sisters of insomnia. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology found that the use of 15 mg of THC daily resulted in reduced sleep latency and increased sleepiness. This is good news for menopausal women who are struggling to find some quality shut-eye.
Mood Swings are Managed When THC Regulates Serotonin Levels in the Brain
Cannabinoid receptors are found on serotonin neurons, interestingly they are also found on corresponding inhibitory receptors. This means that consuming strains with high THC levels has a regulatory effect on serotonin levels which results in mood regulation. Indeed studies have shown that THC is a potent anti depressant.
Low Libido Make Way for Improved Sex Drive
Vaginal dryness is one of the symptoms that accompanies menopause. This is due to changes in hormones, and often accompanies a reduced sex drive. For a sexually active couple, this can be very devastating. Other issues resulting in low libido may be psychological, such as diminishing self esteem due to bodily changes. Fear of painful sex may also cause sexual inhibitions. Fortunately THC, with its psychoactive properties, can remove inhibitions and create euphoria that can relax the menopausal woman and set her in the right mood for sex.
THC is Really Good at Stopping Migraines
Migraines often accompany menopause as estrogen withdrawal is a big trigger for these major headaches. As cannabis helps regulate the body’s response to declining hormone levels via interaction with endocannabinoid receptors, it can prevent these big dips that trigger migraine. There is a theory being tested that migraines are the result of an endocannabinoid deficiency. Well, cannabis has got your covered on that one too!
Cannabinoids Work to Regulate Blood Sugar and Prevent Weight Gain
Although THC is well known to trigger the munchies, paradoxically, cannabis does not make you fat. Studies have shown that cannabis consumers have a lower BMI and smaller waist circumference. THC also increases your metabolism and this is helpful for menopausal women whose metabolism is already on a steep decline.
In the end, more research is needed to confirm these lab findings in humans. There is already plenty of anecdotal evidence and positive lab and animal results, but science likes to make it official. The growing wave of legalization will make this easier.
In the meantime, try a high THC strain to relieve your menopausal symptoms. You can even micro-dose if you are worried about the psychoactive effects.