Introduction to CBD
I don’t know about you, but it seems like these days there isn’t any other all-natural drug generating more excitement than CBD (or cannabidiol), a concentrated extract from the cannabis plant.
CBD is an isolated chemical, with other chemicals from the hemp and cannabis plant removed. Most notable of those removed is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the chemical in traditional marijuana responsible for altering the state of consciousness. Because of this, it is becoming legal at a rapid rate in many states and enticing patients and professionals alike for its therapeutic qualities, which don’t include the ‘high’ associated with weed.
Pharmacy and health food store shelves (in states where it is legal) are quickly becoming stocked with numerous CBD related products, with some stores now dedicating entire sections to facilitate them. These all-natural products range from remedies for inflammation, insomnia, seizures, anxiety, nausea, sleep disorders, migraines, and more. Read on to see how women are now getting in on the action too!
These products come in many forms as well, including capsules, edibles, topicals, oils. The most common forms are ingested, for instance, you might add it like any other oil to your salads, or put it in your coffee, eat it in a bar of chocolate or various candies, or finally, you might get a CBD inhaler. You may also apply it as a lotion or ointment, discussed more below.
While studies on the topic continue to accumulate, at this point it is generally regarded by the medical community to be very safe. Some users have noted side effects such as sleepiness, diarrhea, rashes, a loss of appetite, or general fatigue, and there is some thought that it may interact with certain other medications like antidepressants, though nothing is conclusive yet. As with any drug, the dose plays a large role in any possible side effects. Always consult with your doctor before adding it to your diet.
Now let’s get to the interesting part, the CBD products designed to remedy some conditions specific to one half of the population – women!
Everyone wants healthy, ageless skin, and CBD may be the perfect elixir to get it! According to a 2014 study conducted by Dr. Anita Sadaty, topically-applied CBD (in the form of lotions, oils or serums) appears to play a significant role in aiding acne breakouts by regulating oil production of the sebaceous glands and reducing skin inflammation. They also help to alleviate skin rashes, eczema, and psoriasis. “In general, anti-aging skin benefits may be related to the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD,” says Dr. Sadaty, an obstetrician-gynecologist who is the founder of and head doctor at Redefining Health Medical, a women’s health clinic in Roslyn, New York. Other products are aimed at strengthening hair follicles and eliminating dark spots.
One thing we don’t have the time to discuss here is the difference between hemp-derived CBD vs. marijuana-derived CBD. For our purposes, it will suffice to say that they are largely different plants of the same classification, with hemp being more stalk and less leaf. The hemp plant also contains higher amounts of omega fatty acids and gamma-linolenic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid that has been shown to help regulate hormones. One study even found that it may specifically help to regulate cortisol, a hormone responsible for stress-activation. All of this means that women struggling with hormone imbalance should be sure to try CBD remedies after consulting their doctor.
While no connection has been found between CBD use and the specific processes involved in menopause, there is significant reason to consider using it to help with some of the side-effects that come with menopause. As discussed above, CBD has been shown to help both with hormone regulation as well as anxiety and sleep disorders, as well as decreasing the rate of bone density loss that some women experience. According to Dr. Alyssa Dweck, “Sleep is interrupted during this time, impacting your day-to-day life. Women wake up with a busy mind and can’t shut down their thoughts.” She began administering CBD oil to her perimenopausal and menopausal patients to help reduce anxiety before bedtime as well as to simply help them remain asleep throughout the night. Dr. Alyssa Dweck is an OB-GYN out of Westchester County in New York, as well as the author of The Complete A to Z for Your V.
Once again coming to the rescue due to its anti-inflammatory nature, CBD appears to play a role in alleviating PMS symptoms! Possible symptoms it can help with include bloating, cramping, mood irregularities, and general mental health. “Anecdotally, I’ve seen it help PMS, particularly mood behavior,” says Dr. Sadaty. “However, the combination of lowering stress hormone levels, improving liver detox capabilities, and reducing inflammation will target physical PMS symptoms as well.”
Last, but certainly not least, can CBD really aid in the bedroom? Many women think so! Both Drs. Dweck and Sadaty are seeing women turn to CBD oils, lubricants and sprays to spice up their private lives in the hope that they will increase pleasure and their sex drive, help with relaxation or even ease the sometimes crippling mental pressure to perform well. “Many women need to feel relaxed to want sex,” says Dr. Sadaty. “CBD fits the bill.”
So what is our takeaway from all of this? Well, as with all things healthy living, one must remember that this is no panacea, and healthy living is about healthy living! It’s not about putting a bandaid on your problems and going on with bad habits. We think CBD is going to play an important role in the lives of its users going forward, and its benefits will only continue to be better understood and utilized, but let’s all continue to do our best to live, eat and exercise healthy, and enjoy the wonders of natural living! Finally, we remind everyone to check with their doctors before taking CBD, as new findings are coming out all the time about which medications or underlying issues it may interact negatively with.