This article by Madeleine Taylor is originally published at SundayScaries.
In addition to the physical symptoms associated with the menopause, the process of your body changing can also wreak havoc on your mental and emotional health. Anxiety is one of the primary symptoms that women report during their change in life. It might be caused by an imbalance in hormones or it could be caused by a woman’s emotional reaction to how her body is aging. Chances are it’s a blend of those two factors for most women, but regardless of what’s causing the anxiety there’s no denying—it can turn your life upside down.
The good news is there are a number of things that can be done to curb the anxiety that comes with menopause, regardless of whether it’s generated physically or emotionally. An overall healthy lifestyle can be one of the most powerful tools for relieving menopause-related anxiety, but it isn’t always enough. For some women, additional treatment is needed to combat the symptoms of menopause, especially anxiety.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD, scientifically known as cannabidiol, is made from cannabis containing low levels of THC. THC is what makes marijuana psychoactive. CBD oil is high in cannabinoids and is used globally for treating various illness and disease. It has been in use for centuries. Even Queen Victoria reportedly used a candy containing THC and CBD to ease her menstrual cramps.
CBD oil is safe and legal in many places and has very few negative side effects. Most people are able to use it with few problems, even if they are dealing with other health issues. Best of all, CBD oil and other CBD products, when used properly, can offer great relief from the pain anxiety linked to menopause.
What Is Menopause?
“Menopause” is the phase in a woman’s life that signifies the end of the menstrual cycle. It usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 65. Though it is still possible for a woman to fall pregnant during the menopause if she is still menstruating, it is the bridge between being able to get pregnant and not being able to get pregnant.
Though it might seem like a simple transition and some women might welcome the relief of not having to worry about pregnancy—not to mention cramps, pain (even chronic pain at times), bleeding, mood swings, and even anxiety and depression—the transition to being post-menopausal can be extremely difficult for some women.
The negative aspects of menopause can be life-crippling. Women experience hot flashes, night sweats, sleep problems, fatigue, mood swings, depression, and anxiety. Many describe the symptoms of menopause as being similar to those experienced during the pre-menstrual days before they get their period multiplied by a hundred or a thousand times. These menopausal symptoms can last for months or years and can begin years or months before actual menopause or for years or month after.
In many cases, when women are struggling with menopausal symptoms that are severe, a doctor will recommend medication or hormone treatment. For instance, if a woman is feeling depressed during menopause, her doctor might recommend an antidepressant. If she’s unable to sleep she might be prescribed a sleep aid medication.
Additionally, a great deal of the symptoms of menopause are caused by fluctuations in hormone levels. When hormones are out of balance, doctors might recommend hormone treatment that supplements what a woman needs to feel more in balance. Though many of these hormone therapies can be safe and effective, there are risks involved and many of these risks are serious.
Is CBD Oil for Menopause and Anxiety Safer?
Obviously, many women are unwilling to take medications or hormone treatments if they are concerned about the risks of these things or if they experience side effects worse than they are dealing with that are related to menopause.
Which is why many are willing to try CBD oil. There is evidence that CBD oil can ease the symptoms of menopause, especially those linked to anxiety.
What You Should Know about Anxiety
Anxiety can be crippling. Nearly everyone experiences some degree of anxiety from time to time. In many cases, anxiety is a tool that helps us recognize a dangerous situation. You might feel anxious because something is unusual about a situation or you might have growing anxiety over a job that is not working or because someone you love is taking risks with their safety. The anxiety is your mind and body’s message to you that something needs to change before your health is seriously affected.
Anxiety is related to menopause, though does not serve as a warning signal. It can interfere with your daily life and make it difficult to function. Symptoms of anxiety might include:
Muscle aches and tension
Shortness of breath
It’s easy to see why living with anxiety for a prolonged period of time can make life miserable —especially if the anxiety is paired with any of the other unpleasant symptoms related to the menopause.
Using CBD Oil for Treating Menopausal Anxiety
CBD oil is anti-inflammatory. It also works as an antioxidant and can be used as an antipsychotic. In part, this is due to its effect on serotonin receptors in the brain. These receptors play a major role in anxiety and when CBD binds to the receptors it produces an anti-anxiety and antidepressant effect. CBD oil also naturally acts on the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is the body’s natural way of balancing mood, energy, and other emotional and mental factors.
Taking small doses of CBD oil for several days and gradually increasing the dosage has been shown to help ease anxiety. Most people are able to tolerate CBD oil and find relief from their symptoms in just a few days. Some people experience relief immediately.
If you are struggling with menopausal anxiety and other treatment hasn’t worked or you’re concerned about the side effects linked to other treatments, CBD oil might be right for you.