Research out of Rutgers University in the USA suggests cannabidiol (CBD) could be of benefit to menopausal and postmenopausal women.
The steep decline in estrogen levels in women after menopause can often result in various health issues; among them weight gain, osteoporosis, disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and cognitive decline. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is one of the few conventional treatment options, but is accompanied by risks – particularly in women over 60 – and the benefits vary person to person.
Other therapeutic options with fewer potential safety issues are certainly needed. And the non-intoxicating cannabinoid CBD may prove to be one of them.
In their preclinical study, the Rutgers researchers found when estrogen-deficient mice were fed CBD over 18 weeks, they showed significant improvement in several important areas; including an increase in bone density, less gut inflammation and the mice burned more energy. The mice not treated developed symptoms that resembled those of postmenopausal human females.
Another interesting finding was the CBD-treated mice experienced a bloom in Lactobacillus growth, a beneficial bacterium. Lactobacilli preparations are already widely used as probiotics to restore normal gut flora after the impact created by antibiotic therapy.
“There is much anecdotal evidence of CBD’s health benefits for menopausal and postmenopausal women, but our study is the first to investigate some of the claims in an established preclinical model of postmenopause,” said Assistant Professor Diana Roopchand, who was senior author of the study.
The research has been published in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology.
Medical cannabis use in increasing among women in the USA to manage menopause-related symptoms. A recent survey suggests a majority of perimenopausal and postmenopausal women are currently using cannabis as an adjunct treatment for related symptoms.
“CBD is already being used by many women to deal with symptoms of menopause and postmenopause,” said Asst. Professor Roopchand. “This study provides preclinical evidence to support further investigation of CBD as a therapeutic for postmenopause-related disorders.”
Given menopause is something impacting all women, it’s certainly time it received more research attention in relation to cannabis as the potential for relief could be huge, safer and simple.