By Dr. Stan Headley, natural health consultant for Cypress Pharmacy
Natural approaches for promoting better health are steadily on the rise, and every January, National CBD Month shines a spotlight on the powerful benefits of a natural product, cannabidiol.
Recognized for helping to address common health conditions including anxiety, appetite/hunger, depression, immune function, memory, mood, motor control, pain, pleasure, reward, reproduction, fertility, sleep and temperature, CBD is a popular tool used by men and women of many ages and lifestyles. It has become increasingly favored among women for its help with a wide range of women’s health concerns.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 36 million women are living with a condition of the body or mind that makes it more difficult to do certain activities and interactions on a day-to-day basis. A 2019 Consumer Reports survey found more than 64 million Americans used CBD, the majority of whom were female.
So, what makes CBD attractive to women?
CBD, the non-psychoactive component of cannabis, the part that doesn’t get you “high,” has been a game-changer for many struggling with underlying physical and mental health conditions.
The Consumer Reports survey shows a large majority used cannabidiol in pill form, oils and topicals to relieve pain, anxiety, insomnia and arthritis.
Several health-focused benefits of CBD for female users include:
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, women experience depression twice as often as men.
Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health disorders and can be treated with medications that can result in undesirable side effects such as fatigue, sexual dysfunction and even substance abuse.
Many women find CBD oil as a natural holistic approach for helping to boost mental states.
This alternative has shown promising results due to cannabidiol’s effect on parts of the brain that regulate mood and behavior.
Hormones play a large part in women’s daily functions, affecting everything from mood to metabolism, as well as critical life stages like puberty, pregnancy and menopause.
As women age, the body produces lower amounts of essential hormones, sometimes creating unpleasant challenges caused by imbalance that can include weight gain, vaginal atrophy and hair loss.
With CBD’s ability to act on the body’s endocannabinoid system, which regulates hormone production, it can be especially helpful to promote balance and reduce symptoms.
CBD can help alleviate painful, debilitating cramps and bloating associated with menstruation. Furthermore, it has also been found to provide relief for chronic health problems including endometriosis, a painful chronic condition that affects more than 6.5 million women in the U.S.
Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. Symptoms can be excruciating menstrual cramps, painful sexual intercourse and chronic back and pelvis pain. Research indicates CBD can help endometriosis by minimizing cell migration and relieving pain.
With guidance from a health care professional, women struggling with endometriosis and painful menstrual cramps can explore CBD-infused creams and oils to help ease discomfort and manage symptoms. Specially designed products can also be used intravaginally for targeted relief and improved absorption.
Research suggests up to 50% of women will experience some type of sexual dysfunction during their lifetime. Female studies often cite pain during intercourse and reduced desire as some of the biggest problems.
Along with CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties, certain infused oils can also enhance intimate moments and empower a healthier sex life.
While many people have heard about the gut microbiome and the benefits of probiotics for digestive health, few know that the vagina also requires a healthy microbiome to prevent problems such as yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and vaginal dryness. CBD combined with prebiotics and other natural ingredients can help restore vaginal flora to a healthy, balanced state and also alleviates dryness, pain or itching.
So, if CBD can offer this many healing benefits, what is stopping many people from getting started?
For some, the thought of cannabis use – even the non-intoxicating part – is misunderstood. In addition, a dizzying array of CBD products are available, from infused food products to CBD sold at convenience stores. To get the most out of CBD’s benefits, it’s important to know the quality of CBD and that it comes from a trusted source.
In addition, before using any CBD product, consult a medical professional or pharmacist to determine any possible side effects based on your current medications. A knowledgeable natural health professional can provide guidance on CBD quality and safety as well as the different forms, usage and application to get the best natural benefits from this natural powerhouse.