How Can CBD Oil Help You Balance Hormones?
How Can CBD Oil Help You Balance Hormones?
In our previous post about hormones, we attempted to explain hormones in simple terms and give practical tips on how to balance them. In this post, we would like to answer a more specific question – can CBD oil balance hormones?
“This is the first time using CBD oil and I have to say, I’m so pleased! I struggle with anxiety, stress and hormonal imbalance and this has been an amazing product to help with all of that.”
One thing we know for sure is that CBD helps your body balance the hormone cortisol. But let us show you how, by simply balancing that one hormone, your whole endocrine system gets affected and multiple other hormones also come into better balance. Let us explain it step-by-step.
Cortisol is considered to be the stress hormone, however, it’s one of your energy hormones as well. Cortisol is at peak levels one hour after waking up and it slowly goes down during the day if everything is functioning properly. Therefore, it’s the lowest in the evening, which allows the sleep hormone melatonin to kick in. If there are imbalances in cortisol, which means it’s either too high or too low during the day, then you will experience energy spikes and crashes, sugar cravings, and the inability to fall asleep at night. An important thing to keep in mind that if you spike cortisol, it will eventually go down lower than it would if you didn’t initially spike it. The same goes for most of the other hormones in the body.
What causes imbalances in cortisol?
Stress causes a spike in cortisol, thus causing it to crash later on.
Too much sugar causes a spike in insulin, which causes blood sugar levels to drop too low, which further causes a spike in cortisol.
Caffeine causes a spike in cortisol, followed by a crash.
Too much exercise spike cortisol, followed by a crash.
Too much stress, in the long run, will cause low production of cortisol when the adrenal glands get burnt out.
Since stress has the biggest effect on your cortisol levels, we want to make sure we minimize it and that’s where CBD oil comes in to save the day.
It is clear that CBD oil balances cortisol, but how does it balance the rest of the hormones?
Well, as we saw in the previous post, cortisol affects the sleep hormone melatonin. Melatonin makes you fall asleep and keeps you asleep at night, so when cortisol is too high in the evening then melatonin can’t go up, thus preventing you from sleeping and resulting in a vicious cycle.
So, does CBD oil balance hormones?
CBD lowers your stress levels and gives you more steady energy throughout the day while also helping you sleep at night. Lack of sleep affects the hormones leptin and ghrelin that control your hunger and satiety, as well as energy and cravings. When you have a more balanced appetite and cravings that are under control, you are way less likely to go for a sugary snack (all simple carbs are technically sugars including chips and french fries). Consuming sugar will spike insulin which affects your metabolism, fat storage, and will cause even more sugar cravings.
CBD helps you get proper sleep which helps you manage appetite, lowers cravings, and balances energy levels. Sugar consumption and extra body fat cause imbalances in the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone. Imbalances in those hormones cause further fat storage, muscle and bone wasting, PMS, and menopause symptoms. Estrogen imbalances affect our thyroid hormone which is responsible for metabolism and energy production. CBD helps balance your metabolism, fat storage, and energy production.
It is easy to see how by affecting just one hormone like cortisol, we then influence the rest of the important hormones also. So if you are taking CBD oil for stress management, you can also expect that you will sleep better, have more energy during the day, have fewer sugar cravings, a more balanced appetite, and have a healthier metabolism with the proper amount of fat storage and muscle gain.
Curious to give CBD oil a try for yourself? We suggest ICARIA’s Theia Double Strength which will provide you with a higher concentration, and zero flavoring making it easy to take throughout the day when needed.
CBD for Women’s Health
The divinity of the female form is impossible to overlook. For all of the harmonious magic that comes from within, pain and discomfort often arrive as well. By putting care and attention into naturally addressing the internal troubles that arise, we can strengthen our minds, bodies, and hearts and create positive ripple effects across our lives. What’s even better, we can fight these internal aggravators with herbal formulas.
CBD & Cannabinoids for Combatting Pain on a Monthly Basis
Almost all women will experience pain associated with their monthly flow at some point in their lives, if not regularly. This is called “dysmenorrhea.” The pain arises from inflammatory hormones, called prostaglandins, which form in response to the uterine lining shedding. Pain commonly occurs at the site of the source in the abdomen, but some women feel the discomfort in their back or thighs.
Prostaglandin is common-enemy-number-one when it comes to pain in the female reproductive system. This pain-messenger forms wherever there is infection or injury, and will signal pain outside of the uterus as well.
When the lining (endometriome) forms outside of the uterus, it causes endometriosis. As this lining sheds from ovaries, bowels, and pelvic tissue, prostaglandin synthesizes and spreads. The result is an often debilitating pain that an estimated 6.5 million women in the United States experience monthly.
Other disorders, like uterine fibroids, can also be fodder for prostaglandin production. So how do we fight against our monthly production of prostaglandin, both within and without the uterine walls? Medical approaches can call for anything from hormonal birth control to hysterectomy, and these merely offer treatment as opposed to total eradication.
On the other hand, a plant-forward approach has potential all its own. Studies indicate that cannabinoids may be capable of stopping the generation of prostaglandins before they synthesize. Cannabinoids may also inhibit the development of blood vessels and nerve endings in this endometrial tissue, as well as the desensitization of pain-transmitting nerves.
Being well informed on the plant-forward approach to pain is a powerful shield against period pain, especially for women who suffer from endometriosis. These, of course, aren’t the only bodily stressors women experience. The menopausal stage of life can initiate its own stress factors that can affect your quality of life. Luckily, cannabinoids have far reaching potential that can make a positive impact on a wide range of women’s health issues.
Slaying the Source of Stress
Stress and exhaustion of everyday life can trigger uncomfortable symptoms just as much as monthly cycles or menopause can. While we can’t halt these symptoms in their tracks, we can certainly identify them and learn ways to cope. What’s more: we can turn to nature for help.
You may have already heard about CBD’s relationship with sleep. There are plenty of factors that can contribute to poor sleep, and anxiety is among the most common. Women are twice as likely to experience anxiety or panic disorder than men, and, as such, all of the side effects that come with it, including difficulty getting a good night’s rest. This lack of sleep can contribute to feeling like you’re on a looping roller coaster of exhaustion and emotional distress. The same way that CBD can help soothe you into more restful sleep, it can also help reduce stress, panic, and anxiety, quelling these life interferences at the source.
For the label-reading consumer, it likely doesn’t come as a surprise that the remedies we seek for pain and mood are provided by the Earth. As more research emerges, there’s promise in a wide range of benefits that cannabinoids can deliver. We know to reach for CBD oil when we’re fighting against depression, struggling to sleep, and or caring for our skin. We also know how CBD loves the female body, and how important this plant is for overall women’s wellbeing.
Cannabinoids for the Female Body
Keep in mind: the human body is actually designed to receive cannabinoids. Our built-in endocannabinoid system (ECS) is responsible for picking up cannabinoids like CBD in the body and distributing them where they need to go. Lucky for us, that includes the female reproductive tissues.
The easiest summary of how CBD works is that it calms. When it comes to the female body, that can mean soothing pain and inflammation, and, in the case of menopause, offer relief in several areas.
Menopause often brings many changes to the body. On a molecular level, that includes the reduction of the bliss hormone, anandamide, and as well as estrogen. Since both of these hormones are linked with the endocannabinoid system, taking CBD can play a role in protecting levels of anandamide–which works to boost your mood–as well as estrogen.
Where you might really note the change in your body is through hot flashes. These sudden increases are actually your body’s way of attempting to cool you down (think of how hot the back of your air conditioning unit gets when it’s on full blast). Many women report that using full-spectrum CBD helps to reduce the intensity of hot flashes. Scientists believe this could be a result of hormonal balancing, and the ability of cannabinoids to mimic–and prolong the presence of–anandamide. The inclusion of THC may be essential to this effect, specifically in low doses.
Low doses of THC can also play a role in reducing anxiety, whereas too much can do the opposite. A full-spectrum CBD-rich hemp extract will naturally give you a non-psychoactive micro level of THC (0.3% or less), allowing the entourage effect to occur without the intoxicating effects.
The ECS can also send messages to help support immune function as well as the areas in which we know CBD shines: sleep, pain, and mood.
The Holistic Approach
There are other plants within nature that can support our bodies, too. One of the most attractive and abundant is cacao. Chocolate, made from the cacao plant, is rich in magnesium (a mineral women tend to be more deficient in) and also releases dopamine, anandamide, and serotonin, which immediately give the effect of stress release and even blissful euphoria! By eating CBD infused dark chocolate, you’re getting a double dose of plant power that can be especially potent for women.
We know the power of these plants exist, but how do we harness them to their full capability? Above all, you want to ensure the CBD you use of the highest integrity. Access to test results is only the beginning. Ideally, the CBD brand’s lab results and relationship to hemp farmers can confirm that their products are made with full-spectrum CBD-rich hemp extract, sourced specifically from regenerative and sun-grown crops in the US.
Tips to Maximize the Effects of Botanicals
Diet is a major aspect of reaping the most benefits you can from your day, and should go hand-in-hand with the introduction of CBD into your diet. Make an effort to reach for hormone-balancing foods, like avocados or cruciferous vegetables, to give CBD the support it needs.
If you truly hope to embrace a plant-based lifestyle, there are plenty of other herbal formulas you can try. Herbs like holy basil, shatavari, eleuthero, dong quai, schizandra, motherwort, and rhodiola have hormone-balancing and regulating properties.
Above all, don’t forget to love the skin you’re in! Your body’s largest organ will always appreciate a little help in staying healthy and protected. Exercise is an important contributor to overall health, but there are other ways you can practice self-care. Ancient practices, like yoga and Chinese gua sha, are rooted in the belief that your body needs some mechanical maintenance to function properly and prosper. Both are also unbelievably enjoyable (and highly affordable) ways to improve your self-care routine.
Acupuncturist and Herbalist, Dana LaVoie, who specializes in natural remedies for menopause says that breathwork is one of the single most powerful tools for women. The breath is the most direct gateway to the nervous system. By learning and practicing breathwork techniques, there can be profound effects on female stress hormones.
Women deserve the chance to feel healthy, strong, and empowered so they may take on everything they want in life. Remaining healthy and vibrant is work worth committing to. By harnessing the botanical power of CBD-rich hemp, it can be an unrivaled factor on your wellness journey.