Increasing numbers of women are reporting that CBD can help relieve some of the symptoms commonly associated with the menopause.
Most women will experience some symptoms of menopause and perimenopause, although the range and severity varies greatly.
Symptoms often start a few months or years before a woman’s periods stop altogether and can persist for some time afterwards – up to 12 years for one in 10 women.
Some such symptoms include hot flushes, headaches, insomnia and joint pain, and the main form of treatment is hormone replacement therapy – which is not without its own issues.
As such, it is not surprising that many women are now looking for a more natural alternative to ease their uncomfortable symptoms – with CBD becoming increasingly popular.
A study published in 2020 by the North American Menopause Society found that a growing number of women were either already using cannabis or were considering using it to help manage symptoms of the menopause.
Here are just some of the ways it could help…
Many women going through menopause find their sleep is disturbed and here, CBD oil can be a useful tool to help you drift off.
A few drops under the tongue before bed, combined with some deep breathing, can settle the mind and body, ready for a peaceful night.
Research also suggests that CBD can help improve sleep quality; a paper published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that systemic acute administration of CBD appears to increase total sleep time.
Another common symptom of menopause – and ageing in general – is joint stiffness. CBD has long been known for it’s pain-relieving properties, and is a more natural alternative to over-the-counter medication – especially if the pain is chronic.
CBD works as an analgesic through the interaction between it and the body’s endocannabinoid system, which boosts the signalling of anandamide – the body’s natural mood enhancer which also regulates pain.
It can be taken orally or applied topically, making it a valuable resource for people looking to manage pain in a more natural way.
Brain fog and forgetfulness often go hand-in-hand with menopause symptoms, but can be difficult to deal with and treat.
While cannabis – which contains high levels of the psychoactive THC – has been associated with impaired cognitive function, studies have found that the use of CBD oil can actually help improve cognition.
Unsurprisingly, with troubling symptoms and fluctuating hormones, many women going through the menopause also report low mood.
Happily, CBD can offer some relief; in fact, mental health is one of the most common reasons cited for its use. Research has found that CBD almost certainly has both anti-depressant and anti-anxiety properties, believed to be related to its positive effect on serotonin receptors in the brain.
Loss of bone density
As women go through menopause, they may begin to lose bone density leading to osteoporosis, which can increase the risk of fractures.
A 2008 animal study found that CBD interacts with a cannabinoid receptor that may play a role in bone density loss, signalling that it may be able to reduce the rate of bone density loss. However, this research has not yet been replicated in humans.
Menopause symptoms can have a debilitating effect on women’s lives, and so, for those who do not wish to rely on hormone replacement therapy or a cocktail of prescription medication, CBD could be the natural solution they are looking for.
The £10 CBD pillow which promises a “calmer night’s sleep”
The major discount store B&M has introduced a new collection designed to give you a better night’s sleep – including a CBD-infused pillow at a bargain price.
According to the store’s website, the Downland CBD Infused Relaxation Pillow “enhances wellbeing” for a calmer and more comfortable night’s sleep and even “relieves anxiety and stress”.
As with other similar products, the pillow is filled with microcapsules of CBD which burst throughout the night to continually release microdoses of the cannabinoid, encased in a soft, knitted polyester cover.
Early studies indicate that high doses of CBD could help aid sleep, and consumers report that taking oils or tinctures before bed helps them relax, unwind and wake up feeling better-rested.
As CBD becomes more widely accepted for its potential to relieve stress and help people switch off, the CBD pillow was bound to make an impact – particularly as the The National Sleep Survey reported that almost half of us are finding it harder to fall asleep since the outbreak of Covid-19.
Home furnishings company Plush Living launched its CBD Pillow last year, hailed as ‘the world’s most relaxing pillow’ the founders told Cannabis Health they wanted to create the “safest and least intrusive way to deliver CBD to people who could benefit from it most.”
But while most CBD pillows on the market will set you back around £100, this B&M beauty comes in at just £10.
Is it worth the hype or just a typical case of the retail giant cashing in on the rise of CBD?
“CBD has been one of the biggest trends over the last few years,” reported Ideal Home.
“Not having the right pillow can stop us from feeling well-rested, and can aggravate headaches.
“While we are yet to test the supposed benefits with B&M’s CBD pillow costing just £10 we’re happy to give it a try.”
How Covid-19 has impacted Britain’s sleep
A new survey has found that 85 percent of UK residents believe lockdown has negatively affected their sleep – and most would be open to seeing if CBD helps.
According to the new research, a staggering 85 percent of residents believe the ongoing lockdown has negatively affected their sleeping habits.
Financial worries, lack of a social life and spending too long watching tv or on our phones have been named as the top three reasons Brits are struggling to get their eight hours every night.
The results will likely come as no surprise to most people, considering the events of the last 12 months, however according to the new data over two thirds of Brits say that 2020 was the most stressful year of their life.
And three quarters of people now struggle to fall asleep at night due to feelings of anxiety caused by the pandemic.
The research comes from CBD brand TRIP, who surveyed 800 UK residents to determine how the Covid pandemic has increased our stress and anxiety levels leaving us unable to get some much-needed rest.
The results show that on average most of us are struggling to fall asleep either three or four times a week, however 13 percent say they struggle every night due to their feelings of anxiety or stress.
Most doctors recommend that we get around eight hours of uninterrupted sleep a night in order to feel at our best, a statement supported by nearly 70 percent of respondents.
However, only 15 percent of people are reporting they currently get at best between two and four hours a night.
What happens to us when we aren’t getting those precious eight hours?
According to the research the three main side effects of lack of sleep are a loss in productivity, trouble concentrating and mood changes. With each of the three being reported by at least two fifths of respondents.
Nearly 80 percent of those surveyed said they would be open to try CBD products to help them sleep better, and just under 15 percent said they already have done and believed it worked.
CBD products have recently become increasingly popular with reported benefits said to include reducing stress and anxiety, improving focus, supporting our immune system, and aiding with inflammation.
“2020 was a rough year for pretty much everyone, so it’s no surprise that all of the stresses and anxiety last year brought with it has had a lasting impact on people’s sleep,” comments Olivia Ferdi, founder of TRIP.
“Especially when working from home, finding ways to unwind and creating separation from the working day is really important – having a moment of calm before bed can really help stop your mind racing.
“I have found that having a TRIP drink or a few drops of our strong CBD oil just before bed is the perfect way for me to calm my mind and get some stress-free sleep.”
Five ways to help tackle ‘coronasomnia’
The ongoing coronavirus crisis has resulted in a new wave of anxiety, which is keeping people awake at night. The term ‘coronasomnia’ has been used by experts to label the lack of sleep due to Covid-19 stress.
Last August, a UK study found that the number of people experiencing insomnia rose from one in six to one in four, with more sleep deficiencies affecting mothers, key workers and BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) groups.
Since the pandemic, sleep guidelines have been released to help those struggling to settle during these unprecedented times.
Establish a routine
Setting up a bedtime routine can present a sense of normality during the evenings, allowing your mind to rest during the night. By adjusting sleep-specific features like having regular wake-up, wind-down and bedtimes, the consistency can help you to relax and de-stress.
During an evening wind-down, taking up peaceful activities like light-reading, meditation and stretching can benefit your sleeping routine a lot more than scrolling through your social media and being reminded of what is keeping you up at night.
Keep your bed free for sleep
Sleep experts often talk about the importance of associating your bed and sleep. If you’re working from home, try to sit at a desk or away from your bed area and avoid laying in bed to watch TV.
If you’re struggling to settle at night, try not to spend too long tossing and turning. Experts suggest getting up and doing something relaxing, like reading, in low light until you feel ready to sleep.
It’s been found that changing your bedding, turning your pillows or purchasing a new mattress can help you doze off, due to the extra comfort.
As the weather is improving, it’s the perfect time to introduce regular daily exercise. Getting fresh air and natural light can have positive effects on your circadian rhythm. Reducing your screen time and going for frequent walks, can help to relax in the evening.
If you’re feeling a little more athletic, introducing yoga and live-streamed classes is a great way to stretch out your body while tiring it out for bedtime.
Healthy diet, healthy mind
What you put into your body during the day can influence how you settle in the evenings. During stressful times it can be easy to reach for your takeaway apps, but healthier diets rich in fruit and vegetables will benefit your brain and body more.
It’s also recommended to be cautious of your alcohol and caffeine intake. Drinking caffeinated drinks before bed will not help you sleep, no matter how tasty.
Cannabis product sales have increased significantly since the start of the pandemic. CBD is often used to improve insomnia as research suggests it effectively treats anxiety. The industry has witnessed a 100 per cent growth year-on-year, with a 275 per cent growth last April.
Cannabis is known for helping to treat the causes of sleepiness, excessive daytime sleepiness and grogginess. Vaping CBD can help to relax your body in the run-up to bedtime, however, using oils in a caffeine-free drink can also help.
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