This topic was requested of me by a beautiful and intelligent woman I know who is approaching the change in her life that all women dread; menopause. *Cue dreaded piano music*
Because our society lays much importance on women’s ability to bear children, women’s value is directly related to their sexual/reproductive abilities. Thus, when a woman’s body begins to change, and she enters into a period where she cannot bear children, there is a struggle against societal brain training which may lead a woman to feelings of worthlessness. Specifically that her worth as a member of the community has been de-valued, almost to nothing. (This is terrible. Shame on us, America!)
That being said, the topic of this blog is: can CBD improve hormone levels?
What are Hormones?
In order to discuss hormones, we must first define what they are. Hormones are the chemicals that your brain uses to communicate with your body. These “messengers” often come in pairs. One message that starts a chain of events in the body, and another that sends a signal to stop the cascade, and “go back to normal”. This means that hormones in a healthy person are balanced, and balance each other. Abnormalities in hormones is caused by an imbalance, and imbalances lead to disease. Even the word dis-ease implies an underlying root to a problem that is more important than the actual pathology of the disease itself.
Hormones include chemicals that govern our sexual reproduction: Estrogen, Testosterone, Lutein, FSH, and others. They include chemicals that govern our diet and appetite: insulin, glucagon, ghrelin and leptin, and many others. Hormones are the body’s way of communicating with itself. If you get stressed out, you get a chemical release into your body. If you feel happy, you get another chemical release.
How can we achieve and maintain a healthy balance in our hormones?
The answer to this question is complex, because hormones and chemical signaling is complex. One of the best ways to achieve balance is through a healthy diet and exercise, and getting enough sleep.
Evidence shows that daily meditation or prayer is an essential way to lower stress hormones and improve health. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022399909004152)
As we get older, our hormones naturally diminish, which brings us back to our original question: Can CBD affect hormone levels? The answer is yes, albeit indirectly. It actually works in reverse. Hormones are in control of the levels of endocannabinoids in our bodies. So as we age, and our hormones diminish, so do our levels of natural endocannabinoids. So while taking CBD is not going to replace any specific hormones, it is replacing the endocannabinoids, which play crucial roles in many different areas of the body.
For example, the endocannabinoids regulate:
- Appetite, Digestion, Hunger
- Immune function
- Reproduction and fertility
- Pleasure and Reward
- Temperature Regulation
So many body systems are regulated by Hormones activating the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Therefore CBD can be taken to supplement the body’s natural endocannabinoids. This will not replace specific hormones that are diminished, such as estrogen, or the Thyroid hormones, but can improve overall health, since these diminishing hormones will cause levels of endocannabinoids to diminish.
So find yourself some CBD and cheers to your Health!