Cannabis has been recorded as being used for treating female medical conditions as far back as the 7th century BC, with examples listed in pharmacopoeia of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, China and Israel, among others.
Here are a few ways women can benefit from the use of cannabis:
Supporting balance for mental health concerns
Supporting balance for mental health concerns
Mental health is a growing concern across the U.S., and many conditions occur more commonly in women than men. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health, one in five women in the U.S. has a mental health disorder, such as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. These conditions can impact one’s overall health and have been linked to symptoms like insomnia, migraines, low libido and gastrointestinal distress.
Much of the research looking at cannabinoids has focused specifically on its impacts on mental health. In particular, numerous studies have established the anxiety-reducing, antidepressant and antipsychotic properties of cannabidiol or CBD, a non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis.
In addition, CBD appears to facilitate fear memory extinction — a major element underlying post-traumatic stress disorder — and promote healthy sleep cycles, a factor that is critical to maintaining both mental and physical health.
In low to moderate doses, THC, another compound found in cannabis, has also been found to help with anxiety, depression and sleeplessness, however it is important to note that its effectiveness may diminish with higher doses.
Individuals who menstruate may be well-aware of the side effects experienced throughout their cycle. Symptoms of PMS and menstruation can include cramping, mood changes, migraines and nausea, among other issues. Fortunately, cannabis has pain-relieving, mood-stabilizing and anti-nausea properties, which can help alleviate some of these symptoms.
Another hormonal change, menopause often comes with its own host of side effects. The most common symptoms of menopause include changes in body temperature or hot flashes, decreased libido, pain during intercourse, mood swings and insomnia
The benefits of cannabis can also improve women’s sex lives. Another study found that routine cannabis consumption was associated with improvements in female sexual satisfaction based on all measures, including levels of desire, arousal, lubrication and orgasm.
Insomnia often goes along hand in hand with some of these conditions and is more common among women than men. As many as one in four women experience some symptoms of insomnia, including trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.
In addition to cannabis’ ability to address the underlying factors of sleeplessness, routine use of CBD may also help regulate circadian rhythms, which can promote a more regular sleep schedule. According to both research and a substantial body of anecdotal evidence, THC — the cannabinoid that produces a high from cannabis — can also induce sedation.
70% of the people impacted by chronic pain are women. And yet, 80% of pain studies are conducted on male mice or human men. One of the few studies to research gender differences in the experience of pain found that women tend to feel it more of the time and more intensely than men. Multiple factors play a role in how we experience pain. This includes genetics, social status, exercise and information processing in the brain. And for women, hormones, puberty, reproductive status and menstrual cycle also affect pain threshold and perception.
Medical cannabis is an increasingly popular alternative to traditional pain-relieving medications, including opioids. Cannabis may ease certain types of chronic pain, including pain resulting from nerve damage and inflammation.
The Endocannabinoid System is the largest receptor system in the body. It is how your cells communicate with each other to maintain homeostasis (balance) in the body. Through the manufacture of endogenous (self-made) cannabinoids, it regulates our appetite, memory, immune system and our ability to rest and recover. The ECS has receptors throughout the entire body. If the ECS is deficient, external cannabinoids are needed to maintain balance in the body. Significant research is indicating that without enough endocannabinoids, the ECS can’t maintain communication between the body’s cells. This means your body can’t maintain homeostasis. When this happens, we get sick.
One key to maintaining homeostasis of the ECS is to provide exogenous cannabinoids (from outside the body). Phytocannabinoids (plant cannabinoids) from the cannabis plant offer this in a perfectly orchestrated way. When we ingest cannabis, in whatever form, the molecules go to the receptors in our bodies and this helps bring us back to balance.
Microdosing is an option for dosing that offers small, subliminal effects without the big high cannabis is known for. By ingesting a small amount of cannabis regularly into the body, systems can come back into balance and wellness is maintained. With that wellness comes a feel-good sensation that elevates daily living.
Since each individual responds uniquely to cannabis, it may take a bit of experimentation to find a product/products that address one’s specific needs.
If you’d like some assistance in reaching your cannabis wellness goals, please reach out. I’d love to help you start your journey of wellness through educated cannabis use.