More than half of women feel their cycle impacts their lives from both a personal and a professional point of view, CBD might help with some of those symptoms.
As many of us know, periods don’t only affect women on the days where they actually bleed – in fact, symptoms felt in the run-up can often be more challenging.
Recent research by Yoppie has found that 79 per cent of UK women lose between 1-7 – sometimes more – days a month due to not feeling themselves during their menstrual cycle, with the same study also showing that, unsurprisingly, 58 per cent of women felt that their cycle impacts their lives from both a personal and a professional point of view.
With many sufferers feeling little to no relief from the treatments usually recommended for PMS – plenty of sleep, a balanced diet, yoga for example – we’re left to search for an alternative solution. Could CBD be the one?
While CBD doesn’t necessarily target or treat PMS specifically, it has been known to have a positive effect on both the physical and mental symptoms felt by women.
The most common PMS symptoms experienced by women tend to centre around moods, including mood swings, low mood, and anxiety. Low mood and emotional conditions such as depression, anxiety and stress are all linked to low serotonin levels – and by interacting with the serotonin receptors in our brain, CBD may be able to regulate our mood and contribute to happier feelings.
Research into the exact effects is still limited, but a 2014 animal study found that CBD’s effects on these receptors produced both antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects, while another team found that the remedy has a faster and more sustained antidepressant-like effect.
During their cycles, many women have reported suffering from poor quality sleep and tiredness, which can in turn have a domino effect on other symptoms. The good news is that this poor sleep is down to hormone levels – which means it can be eased with a supplement such as CBD.
As hormones adjust during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, there is decreased melatonin secretions which can explain why sleeping patterns suffer. While research is still ongoing, it is believed that CBD can have quite the opposite effect, with early studies showing that the remedy can increase the total percentage of sleep and increase alertness during the day.
On top of these conditions, several women are also suffering from varying degrees of pain and physical symptoms as a result of PMS and are turning to CBD to alleviate these troubles.
Headaches can have an extreme effect on our ability to perform day-to-day tasks and concentrate at work – and when coupled with other PMS symptoms, can be even more draining. These pains can be caused by fluctuations in hormones such as estrogen, which controls the chemicals in the brain relating to pain. When these levels drop to trigger a period, they can also cause headaches. By working with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain, it has been shown that CBD can alter how we perceive pain and ease these feelings.
Similarly, the remedy can also come in useful when it comes to dealing with other monthly aches and pains, including cramps. CBD can relax smooth muscle tissue, which is known to tense up and contract to cause a dull ache – by loosening this tissue, the pain will slowly but surely disperse.
While research is still ongoing, CBD looks to alleviate and resolve the symptoms felt by women for days, or even weeks, on end – certainly welcome news to all PMS sufferers.
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